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    Low Testosterone and Cholesterol

    Posted: May 9, 2024

    As men age, it’s common for both testosterone levels and cholesterol profiles to change. Testosterone levels naturally decline, while unhealthy cholesterol levels tend to creep up. Could these shifts be linked? Research indicates there may be a connection between low testosterone and cholesterol problems.

    If you’re a man experiencing symptoms like fatigue, low libido, mood changes, or difficulty concentrating, it might not just be “getting older.” These can be signs of low testosterone. Additionally, knowing your cholesterol numbers is crucial for assessing your cardiovascular health.

    Feeling like your best self means taking charge of your health. Get your testosterone levels checked at Low T Center. We can diagnose and treat low testosterone, helping you regain vitality and optimize your health.

    Good and Bad Cholesterol

    Cholesterol is a crucial substance produced by your liver. Your body needs it to build cells, make hormones, and perform other vital functions. The problem arises when there’s an imbalance between the two main types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL.

    • LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol throughout the body, depositing it in the arteries. Excess LDL leads to plaque buildup, a thick, hard substance that narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    • HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein is like a cleanup crew for your bloodstream. It picks up excess cholesterol, including LDL, and carries it back to the liver for processing and removal. Higher HDL levels are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

    Typical Cholesterol Levels in American Men

    Knowing your cholesterol numbers empowers you to take proactive steps to protect your heart health. It’s important to target not just lowering LDL, but also boosting your HDL levels. These two factors work together to reduce your overall cardiovascular risk.

    Your optimal cholesterol levels might differ depending on individual risk factors like family history, blood pressure, weight, and lifestyle habits. In addition, even if you fall within the typical ranges, your doctor might recommend a lower LDL target, especially if you have heart disease or other risk factors.

    The average numbers indicate that a significant portion of men in the US are at increased risk for heart disease due to their cholesterol profiles. The average total cholesterol level for men in the US is around 191 mg/dL. At the same time, their HDL levels are very low, below 40 mg/dL, meaning their bodies don’t have enough good cholesterol to combat the bad.

    • Green light zone: Normal total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), a healthy cholesterol level. 
    • Yellow light zone: Borderline high total cholesterol, measuring 200 to 239 mg/dL. Your cholesterol is slightly elevated, but it’s not a cause for immediate panic.
    • Red light zone: High total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL and above puts you at a significantly higher risk of heart problems.

    The Testosterone-Cholesterol Connection


    older couple playing golf after treating low testosterone

    Treating low testosterone benefits your overall health so you can keep doing the things you enjoy.

    Declining testosterone levels may create an environment where cholesterol problems can develop. Some research suggests that maintaining healthy testosterone levels might help prevent the buildup of harmful cholesterol in your body.

    Testosterone plays a significant role in maintaining your cardiovascular health, which in turn impacts cholesterol’s impact on your body. It influences several key aspects of this system, including:

    • Blood Vessel Health: Testosterone supports the health of blood vessels by promoting relaxation and flexibility. This healthy dilation is crucial for optimal blood flow. Some studies suggest that testosterone influences how cholesterol is transported through blood vessels. Healthy testosterone levels may help promote the movement of cholesterol out of the bloodstream into the liver for breakdown.
    • Blood Pressure Regulation: Studies suggest a connection between low testosterone and increased risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure damages blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to cholesterol buildup. 
    • Red Blood Cell Production: Testosterone helps stimulate the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Adequate oxygenation is vital for heart function. 
    • Fat Metabolism: Testosterone influences how the body stores and utilizes fat. Low testosterone can disrupt healthy fat metabolism, potentially contributing to weight gain and associated cardiovascular risks. Excess weight strains the heart and disrupts cholesterol levels. In addition, low testosterone can lead to increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen. This type of fat is linked to higher LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

    Causes of High Cholesterol and Low Testosterone

    Several factors can contribute both to unhealthy cholesterol levels. Understanding these factors is vital because high cholesterol often has no obvious symptoms. Many of them are also underlying causes of low testosterone, having an even greater negative effect on your body than you may realize.

    • Diet: Eating a diet high in saturated and trans fats promotes LDL production while hindering HDL function. A poor diet often leads to gaining excess weight, especially when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
    • Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle lowers HDL and can contribute to increased LDL. It is also one of the leading causes of low testosterone in younger men, and can cause even further deficiencies in older men.
    • Weight: Excess weight, particularly around the abdomen, often correlates with high LDL and low HDL levels. Extra body fat also causes your body to slow down testosterone production.
    • Age and Sex: Men generally have a higher risk of unhealthy cholesterol profiles than most women. They also experience a steady decline in testosterone levels by decade due to the natural aging process.
    • Genetics: Family history can strongly influence your predisposition to cholesterol problems.

    Treat Low Testosterone and Improve Your Health – Low T Center

    The potential link between low testosterone and cholesterol is a reminder of how interconnected various aspects of your health can be. The existing evidence suggests that maintaining healthy testosterone levels may offer a degree of protection against heart health issues related to unhealthy cholesterol profiles.

    If you are concerned about your testosterone levels or your heart health, don’t ignore the potential connection. Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management are always your first line of defense, but sometimes they’re not enough, especially if you have low testosterone.

    We specialize in diagnosing and treating low testosterone. Our team can check your hormone levels, discuss your symptoms, and offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs. Take charge of your health today — schedule a consultation at Low T Center.

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    Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.