Low Testosterone Accelerates Cognitive Decline
A Chinese study suggests that older men with low levels of testosterone are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The study, which was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, included 153 Chinese men age 55 and older. Thankfully, research has been done on how to increase testosterone levels and vitamin supplements for men have been developed.
Levels were measured before the study and a year later. The men with lower amounts of testosterone at the beginning of the study were more likely to experience cognitive decline over the course of the year. The study suggests that low testosterone may be one predictor of rapid cognitive degeneration in older men. The study is not the first to suggest a protective role for testosterone in Alzheimer's Disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, five million American men suffer from low testosterone levels and most of them never seek treatment for it.
Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States overall and the 5th leading cause of death for those age 65 and older. The number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will grow as the U.S. senior population continues to increase. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million, a 40 percent increase from the 5 million who are currently affected.
Produced mainly in the testes and also in the adrenal glands, testosterone is the most important male hormone. It is critical for maintaining libido and keeping muscle and bones healthy and strong. Research confirms that the male brain requires adequate levels of testosterone in order to function properly.
For an older man or whoever wants to prevent cognitive decline, adequate testosterone levels may be achieved through holistic methods. Some natural ways to boost testosterone levels include:
Healthy Diet: Reduce your intake of saturated fats, sugar and processed foods. Eat foods that boost testosterone production such as eggs, tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables. Foods that are rich in zinc such as shellfish, prawns and oysters are also good choices.
Exercise: Regular exercise can help increase testosterone levels. Decreasing body fat helps decrease estrogen while raising the testosterone level in men. Twenty minutes of physical activity at least four times a week can have a major impact on hormone production. Exercise also helps with stress management and stress is closely linked to cognitive decline.
Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin B5, folic acid and Vitamin B12 help boost testosterone production. These nutrients are important in protein and fat metabolism for the manufacture of this hormone. Men looking to ensure they get all these nutrients daily should consider taking a Vitamin-B supplement.
Adequate Rest: Don't scrimp on sleep. Make a point to get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation increases the body's stress hormones and lowers testosterone production.