testosterone booster side effects.
A NEW drug which offers weedy men a short cut to the perfect body could also be a short cut to cancer, worried doctors have warned.
A gel version of the hormone testosterone – dubbed male HRT – will soon be available in the UK but medics fear men, desperate for bulging biceps and increased sex drive, will be tempted to overdose.
The health risks of too much testosterone are considerable.
They include liver damage, prostate cancer and dangerously high cholesterol levels.
The hormone also speeds up growth of any existing tumours.
Caveman-types abusing the rub-on drug to boost their masculinity could also be hit by a very unfortunate side effect as too much of the hormone also encourages breast development.
Professor Robin Leake, an expert on hormones at Glasgow University, said: “Who’s to say that someone who has applied a little bit of this gel and felt great benefits wouldn’t be tempted to apply a bit more… and a bit more?
“Older men who have no real clinical problems will find that exercise and healthy living will release testosterone in their bodies.
“I’m all in favour of HRT, and I would say the same for testosterone, if used carefully.
“But it is a very potent ingredient, and we must be aware of the risks that young men may try to get their hands on it, to use as an anabolic steroid, and do great damage to their bodies over the years”.
Prof Leake added: “It’s the same with any of these treatments – they can have great advantages but you’ve got to be very careful with the dose.” AndroGel, which received US regulatory approval last month, will be available over here by the autumn.
Playing heavily on the Adonis complex – young men’s desperate desire for physical perfection – it promises increased libido, greater muscle mass, reduced body fat, high energy levels and better memory and concentration.
But doctors fear the gel formulation, which can be applied as easily as rubbing on suntan lotion, makes the new version of the drug much easier to misuse than hormone pills, injections of patches.
The makers of AndroGel, Illinois-based United Pharmaceuticals, claim that a more even distribution of the hormone will come from their product, which is a synthetic version of the hormone using extracts of the Mexican yam plant.
And because it is administered through the skin, it alleviates many of the health risks of the other products.
Aside from the physical risks, experts are also concerned at the hormone’s links with increased aggression.
Specialised medical journal Paediatrics recently reported how a two-year- old boy entered puberty 10 years too early after accidental contact with a muscle-building cream containing the drug. Studies in animals have repeatedly shown that testosterone and violence go hand in hand.
This was recently demonstrated by the rampaging elephant in Thailand which killed British nurse Andrea Taylor. The attack has since been blamed on the beast’s high T-level.
And this kind of behaviour is not uncommon in men claim doctors.
In America reports told how one man put on 9kg of muscle after his testosterone fix but confessed to feeling more potent and aggressive.
The new gel comes hot on the heels of a similar product called Andractim, manufactured in Belgium, which is already being offered by private male health clinics.
Dr Michael Perring, of the Optimal Health clinic in London, has been offering testosterone supplements in various forms for the past five years.
The clinic offers treatment to anyone who has less than the `optimal’ amount of the hormone, but even Dr Perring is forced to admit that this is a grey area.
“Some would say it is normal for a man of 70 to have half the testosterone levels of another in his 30s. …