Testosterone may be the hormone associated most with strength, but it is no match for the powerful punch of modern life. The effects of our fast-paced lives have already begun to take a toll on our health as a nation. Heart disease, stroke and cancer are the leading killers in the United States, and may point directly at lifestyle as a public enemy number one. Now we can add one more downside to living the "good life": low testosterone levels.
A recent study from Finland confirmed what Danish researched already suspected: testosterone levels in young men have dropped significantly over the past 50 years. Testosterone levels of the average 30-year old man are 20% lower than 30-year-olds from their father's generation. And with these lower testosterone levels comes an increased risk of osteoporosis. Approximately 2 million men in America are currently diagnosed with osteoporosis, which researchers agree is most likely a low estimate. Canadian data suggests that the number may be much higher, estimating that 1 out of every 8 men over the age of 50 is living with the skeletal disease.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The above are all symptoms of low testosterone levels in men- a syndrome being termed "male menopause" or andropause. Just as women's sex hormones, progesterone and estrogen, decline with age, so do men's testosterone levels. Experts argue over the semantics of referring to a man's declining testosterone levels as a version of menopause; however the reality remains the same no matter what you call it: sexual hormone levels in both men and women decrease as we mature.
The Chemical Revolution
The worst offender when it comes to testosterone is the almighty chemical. Since World War II, tens of thousands of new chemical compounds have been created to improve our lives; yet since the beginning of this chemical revolution, we've managed to pollute the entire planet with dangerous toxins, most of which have never been tested for human safety or how they interact with one another. Of the thousands of chemicals released into our environment every year, several groups have been identified as hormone disruptors. These chemicals enter your body through the air that you breathe, the foods that you eat and the water that you drink and invade the endocrine system, mimicking and blocking vital hormonal processes.
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