Dr. Andrew Weil: Think Twice Before Taking Testosterone

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 09:10 AM

By Andrew Weil, M.D.

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Image: Dr. Andrew Weil: Think Twice Before Taking Testosterone
Judging from the number of prescriptions written for testosterone replacement, you would think that "low T," as it has come to be known, is really common.

I suspect the reason is more about the marketing of drugs and the popularity of “anti-aging” medicine than any scientific evidence that men experience menopause.

I do not agree with the concept of anti-aging – aging is an important part of the human experience. To deny that fact and try to fight aging is to go against nature.

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Rather than attempting to stop or reverse the aging process, men (and women) should focus on aging optimally well by maintaining good health throughout life and limiting inappropriate inflammation.

I am concerned about the inappropriate use of testosterone replacement. Taking sex hormones of any kind can increase the risk of hormonally sensitive cancers and is associated with a number of potential side effects, including acne and breast enlargement.

In my view, testosterone replacement should be considered only when blood tests indicate a deficiency in the natural production of this hormone that might be contributing to some medical problem. I don't know of any natural method to significantly increase testosterone levels.

-- With Marti Lotman

Andrew Weil, M.D., is founder and director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, and Director of Integrative Health and Healing, Miraval Resort. He is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, which combines conventional medicine with alternative approaches. He received his medical degree from Harvard University. His new book is True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.

To see Dr. Weil's website, click here.



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