Low-T Supplements? Should It Be A Choice Or A No-No?

When Hans and Franz (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon) appear on TV ("Saturday Night Live" reruns and, more recently, in a cheeky commercial), they're all about fitness training to "Pump ... you up!" They know that's a great way to maximize testosterone levels. But what would they say about taking testosterone supplements?

The shady ones sold on the Internet (no prescription needed!) can have risky side effects, such as shrunken and soft testicles - or what Hans and Franz called "girlyman syndrome." But even Food and Drug Administration-approved testosterone supplements now come with a warning: Taking testosterone ups the risk of heart attack and stroke in aging men.

That's launched a debate: to supplement or not to supplement. A lot of guys say they feel much better (less lethargy, more sexual zip) when they take the hormone. In fact, men 40-plus have tripled their use of these supplements in the past three decades.

But before you head to the doc and ask for the Big T, here's our tip: If you're overweight, lose it! Extra fat, especially around your belly or abdomen, acts like a sponge, taking testosterone out of the blood, reducing libido, energy and other male-related characteristics. So, ditch the Five Food Felons, shoot for 10,000 steps a day and build muscle with resistance training two or three times a week. Then ask your doc if supplements are for YOU. And guys, let us know how you feel about the risk from T supplements to your heart versus the benefit of feeling better; drop us a line at youdocs(at sign)gmail.com.

© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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