Gizmorama: Life in the tech age

By WES STEWART, United Press International  |  April 16, 2002 at 4:45 AM
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Men produce testosterone. There's no big secret there. Some men have too much, some too little; there are supplements and such to control almost every aspect of this hormone level in the human body.

There's good news and bad news when it comes to testosterone products.

The bad news, first: testosterone is the leading cause of prostate cancer. While not a carcinogen, the hormone assures that every man, if he lives long enough, will get prostate cancer.

You may remember some of the good news from a previous article in which researchers are closing in on the timing factor for this sort of cancer. Effectively, if they can manipulate the onset of the prostate cancer to 120 years of age, then there's a pretty good chance of the onset not interfering with the living patient.

More good news: men's bodies tend to produce less testosterone as they age. For those that produce less, the chances of getting the prostate cancer are less. Some doctors are OK with prescribing supplements of the hormone to increase libido and treat some other age-related problems in men, like cognition. (OK, nothing to do with cars.) Cognitive tests measure thinking capability.

Back to some bad news: doctors do not recommend that men begin taking testosterone to improve cognition and the research (to date) doesn't prove that testosterone supplements can prevent cognitive decline.

Thinking of taking some over-the-counter supplement? Think again. Such supplements may have some nasty side effects, such as an increased risk of prostate cancer, an increase in total cholesterol levels, acne and male pattern baldness. Yikes!


Vocabulary is such a wonderful thing. We thought it might be nice to provide some column-related "wordage" for your reading pleasure.

Codger: used affectionately to refer to an eccentric but amusing old man or used to indicate a miser or mean person.

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