Low Testosterone Therapy More Effective, Safer With Injections Rather Than Gels and Creams, Study Finds

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New research shows that of the various kinds of low testosterone therapy options, testosterone injection is the most effective as well as the safest method.

Newsmax Health reports that a new study led by Dr. Stephen Borst of the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida found that the injectable form of low testosterone (or “low T”) therapy is much stronger and less risky than its skin-application counterparts. The other methods, such as gels, patches, and creams applied to the skin, do not show as promising of results as injection.

“Our study finds that when testosterone is injected, the effects are stronger in terms of boosting muscle strength and bone density,” Borst said. “There are also indications that it could be safer in terms of cardiovascular risk as well.”

Associate Director for Geriatric Research at Malcom Randall, Borst led the first study of its kind to determine whether cardiovascular risks change with different applications.

Low T therapy is controversial. Some doctors and researchers claim that the therapy can cause cardiovascular and other health issues. However, the study found palpable improvements in the health of the patients involved.

Testosterone is known to peak in men around age 30 and subsequently declines by 1-2% every year. Some estimates show that up to 30% of men over 40 have low T. If left untreated, low T can lead to serious medical issues such as decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, chronic fatigue, sexual problems, issues with sleeping, and depression.

The study, which appears in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, included about 3,700 men undergoing low T therapy via several methods of administration. The patients that received injections saw larger increases in muscle strength than the patients who used gels, creams, or patches.

In addition, the men who received injections experienced less damage to their cardiovascular system. When testosterone is ingested, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), another kind of hormone, increases as well. DHT is known to cause damage to the heart in large amounts but the study found that DHT levels are higher in patients that use skin-based methods as opposed to injections.

“If you administer testosterone through the skin…the DHT is elevated a lot more, and it’s our hypothesis that it is the DHT that is causing the heart problems,” Borst said.

He cautions, however, against jumping to definite conclusions, preferring instead to do more research in order to verify his results.

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