Let's Look A Little Deeper...
Last week, a friend of mine shared a Tweet that really got me thinking. Here it is:
"Here's a cherry Friday fact. An average 22 year-old male today has roughly the same testosterone levels as a 67 year-old had in the year 2000. Average testosterone has fallen close to 50% in the last 2 decades, and nobody is talking about it."When you see that, what do you think? My first thought was "What is going on?" Why would there be such a drastic change in testosterone levels in such a short period of time? Before we take this Tweet as fact, I wanted to do a little more research.
First, let's find out a little more about Justin Mares. To be honest, I am not familiar with his name, but Twitter gave him a little blue checkmark, so he must be legit right? After Googling his name, I came upon his blog. He writes about a variety of topics, but states that he is "on a mission to improve the health and wellness of 1mm+ people over the next decade." The blog post that this Tweet seemed to be based on was relatively easy to find (LINK) and did include links to his sources for this information. Rather than simply take his word for it, I went to the sources...
The most informative source that he provided was from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (LINK) In that paper from 2007, the authors were focused on population-level changes in testosterone levels in men over time. The results of the study revealed that we have "seen a substantial and as yet unrecognized, age-independent, population-level decrease in T in American men..."
After reading through this paper, I am a little suspect regarding the accuracy of the statistic quoted in the original Tweet from Justin Mares. However, based on the paper from JCEM, regardless of the accuracy of the statistic, I do believe that there is a reason for concern about population-wide decreases in testosterone levels. After finishing reading the paper, I was left with a couple of questions though.
What could possibly explain this decrease? The authors from the JCEM paper propose that the cause is most likely multi-factorial. Possibly from our nationwide increasing BMI. Possibly some other unknown environmental factors. Possibly due to the number of prescriptions medications taken at earlier ages. You can see why it is so difficult to narrow down a specific cause.
What are the long-term implications of these decreasing testosterone levels? What will the impact be? Unfortunately, this is an even tougher question to answer.
Rather than focus on those lingering questions, I would suggest that we do all that we can to take matters into our own hands. What can you do to increase your testosterone levels? Three really easy answers (that you have probably heard me say before...)
Eat more protein
Lift more weights
Get more sleepIf we can't control our environment, prescription medications, or any other external factors, then we need to focus on what we can control!
Movement is my medicine,