Testosterone gel is used to treat men who have low testosterone levels. The application of testosterone gel to theskin helps to supply testosterone to the blood stream, when it is absorbed. The main goal of the testosterone gel is to restore the level of testosterone to the normal range.
A recent study helped to gain more facts about testosterone benefits. In this study, it was noticed that – older men who use testosterone gel might see small improvements in their muscle-to-fat ration but they are unlikely to gain any benefits when it comes to flexibility, endurance and general ability to get around.
This study was conducted on men who were at least 60 years old and had low to normal testosterone level. Researcher reported that – it is still unclear how long-term use of testosterone might affect frailer and more disease-prone elderly men. Dr. Kerry Hildreth – University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora says – “There may be specific populations of men for whom testosterone supplementation or replacement may be beneficial. But it’s really not clear that in otherwise healthy, functional men in that low-normal physiologic range that using testosterone either alone or in combination with exercise added much.”
She further points out that testosterone is widely being used in people where it is not even appropriate to use or where it may not provide the benefits that people are assuming.
As testosterone levels decline naturally as men age, researchers speculate that if treating older, healthy men with the hormone/gel could help to slow down changes in body composition and loss of strength. To find the answers for the above query, a testosterone gel, which is approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, was used. The gel known as Androgel, which is used to treat men who make too little testosterone was used by Hildreth and her colleagues on some 167 older men. They were advised to use hormone-free placebo gel each day and to do strength-training three times a week or not.
It was found that use of testosterone was tied to a two-pound decrease in fat mass and a two-pound increase in muscle mass. Besides, men who weren’t advised to exercise, saw improvements in upper body strength during a year of testosterone use, compared to placebo gel users.
The researchers found that exercise alone led to improvements in body composition, whereas testosterone usage and strength training did not appear to have any additional benefits. It was also found that with or without an exercise program, testosterone gel did not improve men’s daily functioning in tasks like climbing stairs or getting up from a chair.
Hildreth’s team noticed that the above study has come to a contradictory conclusion on the effect of extra testosteroneon men’s health and physical ability. She says – “A number of studies have shown consistent improvements in body composition… but they don’t seem to translate into significant improvements in function.”