Q. I recently learned through testing that I have borderline low testosterone. My doctor suggested medication but the possible side effects concern me. Are there natural ways to increase testosterone levels? I am 66 and not overweight. I exercise regularly and take Crestor.
A. Statin-type drugs like Crestor can lower testosterone levels (BMC Medicine, Feb. 28, 2013). You might ask your doctor whether adding medication to counteract this possible side effect is warranted, or whether it might make sense to control your heart attack risk in other ways.
A new study suggests that testosterone replacement therapy increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes (JAMA, Nov. 6, 2013), which would be exactly the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish by taking Crestor.
The possibility that testosterone is being overhyped, and possibly overprescribed, is beginning to get some attention, as in this recent article published in The New York Times (No. 23, 2013).
Some research indicates that a low-carb diet that leads to weight loss may improve sexual and urinary function (Journal of Sexual Medicine, Oct. 2011). Although you are not overweight, it may be helpful to consider this type of eating plan. You will find more natural recommendations in the forthcoming book from John La Puma, M.D. It is called Refuel: A 24-Day Eating Plan to Shed Fat, Boost Testosterone and Pump Up Strength and Stamina.