A JAMA report published in 2016 revealed alarming statistics about the increase of testosterone therapy in the US. The researchers compiled data from 2010 to 2013 to find that the prescriptions for testosterone therapy increased twofold in the space of three years.
The report reflected on a major physiological trend: Lower testosterone in men today compared to men of the same age in the previous generation. Understanding why men's testosterone levels are dropping involves examining complex social, environmental, and behavioral factors.
It is possible that the general perception that age-related factors are not the only cause of decreasing testosterone in men.
Factors Leading to Men’s Testosterone Levels Dropping
Studies show that men’s testosterone levels have been declining for several years. The most significant study revealing this worrying discovery was published in 2007. It highlighted a drop in male testosterone levels over the last few decades by an average of 1% per year.
It means that an average 60-year-old make in 2004 had a 17% lower testosterone level than someone aged 60 in 1987. The reasons for this downtrend are quite complex, but there are a few factors we can determine.
1. Higher obesity rates
Obesity has been linked with decreasing testosterone levels in men. Obesity rates in men today are significantly higher than those a few decades ago. Higher obesity rates are connected with an overall decrease in testosterone levels in men. However, low testosterone due to obesity is a reversible condition that requires extensive weight loss to return testosterone to healthier levels.
2. Lifestyle factors
Another crucial factor that could be playing a role in decreased testosterone levels is how we work and live. Younger men today are far less likely to hold jobs that involve manual labor. It means they are no longer required to be as physically strong as the previous generation. Regular exercise has a strong link with an increase in serum testosterone levels. If men have increased periods of physical inactivity, it could lead to lower production of testosterone.
3. Environmental factors
Many observers are also emphasizing the effect of increased exposure to toxins in the environment for being a reason for declining testosterone levels in men. Humans today are more at risk of exposure to toxins like parabens, pesticides, and chemicals in common household products. Smoking has also been linked to lower rates of testosterone in men.
Studies have found that nicotine is a potent aromatase inhibitor. It essentially means that nicotine found in cigarettes can encourage the conversion of the testosterone into estrogen.
The Need to Counteract Decreasing Testosterone Levels
Various factors are contributing to men's testosterone levels dropping compared to men of the previous generation. However, it is essential to note that the factors we do understand are also reversible. Making positive changes to our lifestyle, increasing our activity, and minimizing exposure to harmful toxins can possibly help men boost their serum testosterone to healthier levels.
If you have concerns about low testosterone levels, you should consult with your physician to devise a useful strategy to increase your testosterone through natural ways.