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Testosterone Gel May Help Older Men Improve Their Libido But Has No Effect On Vitality

Update Date: Feb 19, 2016 12:17 PM EST

A recent landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that testosterone gel treatment does not result in increased youth-like vitality but confirms that it does result in modest enhancement of sex drive and mood of based on a clinical trial involving a select group of aged men.

Supplemental testosterone and their effects on better sexual function and vitality has been controversial for a long time as there were quite a few and often inconclusive past studies that looked into its benefits and risks.

Recent findings are only confined to use of testosterone gel by nearly 800 men aged 65 and above with low sex hormone levels and symptoms of declining libido across 12 centers nationwide. The government-sponsored study involved answering of survey questionnaire and a 6-minute walking test.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, 20% reported greatly improved sex drive, 30% reported a slight improvement, and nearly half reported no change at all. About less than a third of those who used a placebo gel reported minimal improvement in their libido. In the walking test, 21% of testosterone gel users showed achieving their walking goal compared to just 13% of those who used fake gel. The figures on walking test suggest no hormone-induced improvement on vitality.

"The testosterone concentrations in the men in this trial [who got the active treatment] were increased, on average, to just the middle of the normal range for young men," remarked lead author Dr. Peter Snyder of the University of Pennsylvania as quoted in a report by NPR.

However, the researchers themselves admitted that the study requires more trials to as the main issues regarding the widespread use of testosterone supplement remain unanswered.

"Sometimes the best studies raise more questions than they answer. The jury is still out. I don't think the study shows testosterone should be used liberally," said study co-author Dr. Thomas Gill of the Yale University School of Medicine as mentioned in an article by MedPage Today.

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