Information for patients

Boosting testosterone improves mood and other 'quality of life' measures in older men

Picture: Senior man contemplating

A Russian study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in July 2010, looked at how men with metabolic syndrome (Met S) and hypogonadism responded to treatment with either a placebo (safe, dummy medicine) or testosterone (Nebido®) injections.

Key findings

Following treatment with additional testosterone (Nebido®) to reach 'normal' testosterone levels, men in the trial (average age 51) reported feeling and functioning better. They also lost weight. These improvements to quality of life measures were significantly better than the results achieved by the placebo.

The most significant improvements to quality of life scores were reported by those men who had the lowest levels of testosterone at the start of the study.

Patients felt better and functioned better when they lost weight and the more weight they lost, the more they improved.

The study suggests that testosterone supplementation alone may improve depression in men with Met S and hypogonadism.

There were no health issues associated with the testosterone therapy.

Source: “Effects of testosterone supplementation on depressive symptoms and sexual dysfunction in hypogonadal men with the metabolic syndrome.” Giltay EJ, Tishova YA, Mskhalaya GJ, et al. J Sex Med. 2010 Jul;7(7):2572-82.

Background information

Metabolic syndrome (Met S) is a group of conditions linked to being overweight or obese: three or more of these conditions together is sufficient for a diagnosis of Met S. These conditions or characteristics are:

  • A large waistline
  • A higher than normal fat level in the blood – the so-called 'triglyceride level'
  • A lower than normal HDL ('good') cholesterol level
  • Higher than normal blood pressure
  • Higher than normal blood sugar

People with Met S are at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. It is also associated with poor sexual and personal well-being.

Hypogonadism (or low testosterone) occurs when the testes produce little or none of the hormone testosterone, or sperm. Low testosterone is associated with Met S as well as with depression, low energy and sexual problems, (ie poor quality of life indicators).

Testosterone levels naturally fall over the age of about 40, but hypogonadism is not only associated with older men.

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Last updated: 2019