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Anti Aging News & Technologies

Low Testosterone Can Be High Risk

By Joe Mantone
January 17, 2010, 7:59 am
The Wall Street Journal - Health Blog

So why do older ballplayers turn to steroids?

One reason is to replace testosterone that drops off as men reach middle age, Dr. Benjamin Brewer reports on This can lead to “slower recovery from activity, less tolerance of long hours and less muscle flexibility.” Brewer references a 20-year study that says testosterone concentrations dropped about 1.2% per year.

Brewer commends his childhood baseball hero Rich “Goose” Gossage (pictured) for making the Hall of Fame and not using steroids during his 22-year career. Earlier this month Gossage ripped players associated with performance-enhancing drugs: “These guys are getting better the older they get? Nah. The body doesn’t work that way. And baseball is a young man’s game.” Still he conceded that he probably would have used steroids if they had been available to him in the twilight of his career.

But losing miles per hour off your fastball or inches off the break on your slider aren’t the only reasons to be concerned about declining testosterone levels. Brewer says a patient of his fell and broke his arm. It turned out to that the patient had osteoporosis due to low testosterone and he developed type 2 diabetes, also associated with low testosterone.

The doctor adds that some 2 million to 4 million U.S. men have a significant testosterone deficiency and less than 5% of them are getting treatment. Brewer thinks steroids should be banned from baseball but do have their place in medicine.