Low testosterone is bad news. Worse, thanks to age related T loss, it’s bad news for us all eventually.
Luckily, a new weapon in the battle for our hormones may be just around the corner, now that scientists have successfully used stem cells to restore those all-important levels.
Symptoms of low T can include fatigue, low mood, loss of sex drive, impotence, reduced strength and muscle mass, along with increased body fat. No picnic, eh? Especially when you consider that the male sex hormone naturally drops by about 1% a year after the age of 30.
Until now the best solution science has had to offer is Testosterone Replacement Therapy. This involves topping up natural T with an artificial, lab built copy of the hormone. The problem is it’s an incredibly expensive option. Plus the long term effects of interfering with your body’s natural processes in this way aren’t known.
The latest discovery made by a team from Jinan University, China opens up the possibility of a new medical treatment. One without the side effects of TRT.
Something called Leydig cells are key here. These are cells, found in the testicles, which produce androgens, the hormones that the body converts into T. Stem cell researchers Yadong Huang and Zhijian Su came up with the idea of using Direct Cell Reprogramming to turn adult skin cells into Leydig cells.
These would then be implanted into subjects with hypogonadism (low T)
To test the theory, the Chinese scientists first attempted to reprogram skin cells and transplant them into rats. The trial was successful. Not only did the rodents survive, but the converted Leydig cells restored their low T to healthy levels.
The hope is that the same technique can be applied to humans in the future. Zhijian Su said of the study,
So far only rats have seen the benefits of this new breakthrough (those furry little brutes have all the luck) but with more research planned hopefully our slice of the action isn’t too far away.
Until such times as we’re all knocking back Leydig cells like M&Ms there are plenty of risk free things you can do to keep your T in it’s prime.
Smart diet and exercise choices, along with a well chosen natural booster supplement will all keep you feeling and looking in great shape for longer. Much longer.