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Last Updated: 06/11/2014 17:33 PST

Using This Raises Your Heart Attack and Stroke Risk By 30%

For many men in their 50s and 60s, that all too familiar dip in energy and sexual vigor is often a fact of life–and a clear sign of diminishing testosterone levels.

For many healthcare professionals, though, the solution is clear: Have them take a testosterone supplement.

But now a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that doing so could pose serious health risks.

“Our findings raise some uncertainty regarding the potential safety of testosterone use in men,” say researchers of the study. “It is important to inform patients that long-term risks are unknown and there is a possibility that testosterone therapy might be harmful.”

In the study, researchers followed 8,709 older men who were thought to possibly have blocked arteries, of which some were undergoing testosterone therapy. During the start of the study, those who were taking testosterone–about 14 percent of the participants–appeared healthier than those who opted out of this treatment.

But when researchers continued to follow these men for a total of three years, something strange happened: These otherwise healthy men were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

While researchers admit the study isn’t perfect–it establishes a causational link and not a cause-and-effect pattern–they say it does raise questions about the safety of testosterone supplements.

“In light of the high volume of prescriptions and aggressive marketing by testosterone manufacturers, prescribers and patients should be wary,” says Anne R. Cappola, a epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “There is mounting evidence of significant cardiovascular risk which should both spur further research and slow the growth of prescribing the hormone replacement to middle-aged men.”

How to Raise Testosterone Naturally

For now, the evidence is clear: Taking testosterone supplements could increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. But if dwindling testosterone levels are a real problem, how do you fix it?

“I only recommend using bioidentical hormones, and only then under the guidance of a holistic doctor who can monitor your hormone levels to ensure you need supplementation,” says Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopath and founder of Mercola.com. “But, before you opt for this route, there are numerous strategies you can try to boost your testosterone levels naturally.”

So what does he recommend?



 


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