Does testosterone affect mental sharpness?
We know what naturally high levels of testosterone can do for us. Greater strength, higher sex drive, more energy, even better heart health. It keeps our body in peak shape, so it makes sense it would do the same for our brain, right?
Well maybe not. New research has now suggested the male hormone may not boost cognitive function quite as much as once thought.
A recent review of the trial ‘Testosterone Effects on Atherosclerosis in Aging Men’ reported that older men given T treatment for 3 years, saw no noteable increase in mental ability.
The study involved 280 males aged 60 or over with low or low to normal T readings. This was defined as 3.47 to 13.9 nmol/L, or free testosterone < 173 pmol/L.
The volunteers, who all had normal cognitive function, were split randomly into two groups. Over a 3 year period, one group regularly received 7.5 g of 1% testosterone gel while the other was given a placebo.
Users of the active gel on average saw their serum levels of total testosterone rise by 10.6 nmol/L to 19.7 nmol/L, and free testosterone (the hormone available for the body to use) went up from 222 pmol/L to 364 pmol/L. Those taking the placebo so no increase in either their total or free volumes.
Despite the hormonal differences though, in tasks designed to measure mental efficiency, men treated with testosterone failed to outperform the placebo group at any point during the study.
The tests included spatial awareness, verbal memory, verbal fluency, attention, executive function, and manual dexterity. They were adjusted to take account of each individuals’ age, education, and baseline ability.
What does this mean?
The authors claim this data points to T having little effect in mental function. In a joint statement Dr Bradley Anawalt and Dr Stephanie Page wrote:
This is just one trial, but these findings are disappointing.
It’s really important most of us that as we age we stay on point mentally. After all what good is being fit and healthy, with plenty of lean mass and stamina in old age, if all you use for is running about trying to remember where you parked the car or which house you live at?
A Noo Hope?
So if plenty of T won’t keep us on top of our brain game, what will? We all want to stay sharp, but don’t want to risk our health by taking just anything. Nootropics may be the answer.
Nootropics are supplements that use all-natural ingredients to increase and support overall brain health. They do this by stimulating neurotransmitters, increasing oxygen supply, encouraging important nerve growth and improving communication between areas of the brain. The goal is enhance focus, learning, memory, mood and understanding.
Nootropics are not smart drugs. Smart drugs are often knock off meds, usually a form of amphetamine, which speed your brain and body up faster than is safe. The brain is the most vital organ guys have got (okay maybe second most, but it’s top 2) you’ve got to look after it.
These supplements are popular because they are a safe alternative to dangerous drugs. They give your brain the nutrients it needs help its own natural chemistry, bettering performance without any side effects. You don’t have to be Breaking Bad to stay feeling good.
We don’t claim to be experts in Nootropics by any means, but to find out about the best natural ingredients for fighting cognitive decline you could do a lot worse than reading Mindlab’s ingredients explanation.