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Men of the same age testosterone levels are decreasing each decade - Why?

Quite an unusual phenomena that several studies have confirmed as of the recently is that the mean testosterone level in men (of the same age) has been decreasing over time. Studies have ..”revealed a “substantial” drop in U.S. men’s testosterone levels since the 1980s, with average levels declining by about 1% per year. This means, for example, that a 60-year-old man in 2004 had testosterone levels 17% lower than those of a 60-year-old in 1987.

Lower testosterone is associated with a bevy of undesirable things such as:

  • Depression

  • Low sex drive

  • Decrease in muscle mass

  • Increased fat distribution

  • Overall decrease in energy and quality of life

Understanding the cause of such a decline is difficult, as it is a lot like predicting the weather, there are so many variables involved it’s hard to pinpoint. However there are quite a few trends that have occurred over the past few decades that may be explain the decline quite a bit:

  • Obesity continues to rise (Since the early 80’s, while the number of overweight men has

remained relatively stable, the fat have gotten fatter, with extreme obesity increasing from 20% to 35% of the male population)

  • Environmental toxins increasing ( Varied toxins in our environment and households continue to increase)

  • Smoking decreasing -(Oddly, Nicotine is a potent aromatase inhibitor, which means it plays a roll in boosting testosterone levels) The % of people who smoked in 1980 was 33%, which has been cut in half to 16.5% today)

  • Prescription drug use way up – Namely SSRI’s (antidepressants) – a drug class that didn’t exist 35 years ago has skyrocketed to over 10% of the population using them. These and other drugs have a detrimental effect on testosterone levels, and are most likely a huge culprit in the collective decline of males test levels

Overall pretty interesting that not only are they declining, but declining so much. Good ways to keep your testosterone higher are exercise, good diet, vitamin D/sun exposure, and staying away from stress.

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