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Testosterone Loss with Age in Women
The thought of women taking supplemental testosterone conjures up images of facial hair, big muscles, and masculine aggressiveness, but few realize that testosterone is the first hormone to become deficient in women, followed by progesterone and estrogen.
In fact, according to hormone expert Kathy Maupin, MD, the author of The Secret Female Hormone–How Testosterone Replacement Can Change Your Life, testosterone is the primary sex hormone for women and is three times more abundant than estradiol (good estrogen) throughout a women’s life.
According to Maupin, most women over the age of 40 are actually deficient in testosterone. By supplementing her patients with testosterone, Maupin is having a 95 percent success rate in helping women overcome low libido, fatigue, sleep issues, declining cognitive function and brain fog, memory loss, weight gain, poor immune system response, sadness, worry, lack of motivation, irritability, hopelessness, migraines, cellulite, thinning skin, weakness, dry skin, dry eyes, slow healing, bone-density loss, blood sugar issues, cardiovascular issues, blood lipid imbalances, and premature aging.
To date, few studies have looked at testosterone deficiency for women outside the issues of low libido and sexual function. On the other hand, testosterone research on men is abundant.
For example, in a meta-analysis of 36 randomized controlled studies that looked at more than 8,000 women, researchers determined that testosterone replacement caused dramatic changes in sexual function, sexual satisfaction, sexual frequency, sexual desire, sexual pleasure, sexual orgasm, sexual responsiveness, sexual arousal, and self-image, along with less sexual stress and fewer concerns in postmenopausal women. But the analysis didn’t look at other potential health concerns that are clinically common in women with low testosterone.
To make matters worse, even though studies exist for using testosterone replacement for sexual concerns, there is still not a drug available for testosterone replacement for women.
Women have to use off-label testosterone, meaning they’re using drugs designed for different reasons to help them balance testosterone.
In fact, testosterone prescriptions are still not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Human Evolution and Testosterone
During human evolution, life expectancies have never been as long as they are today—in the 80s! In one report of 80 skeletons from about 10,000 years ago, the average lifespan was only 25-30 years of age.
This helps to explain why women lose testosterone, and often their sex drive, as they approach menopause.
Way back in the day, most women had children early in their lives. Somehow nature decided that women approaching mid-life didn’t need sex (since on a primal level it is for procreation only).
Similar testosterone declines happen in men as well. Nature even has a way of getting rid of us once we have borne our children. By lowering our levels of testosterone and melatonin after 50, age-related degeneration accelerates. Having old men and women hanging around into their 80s thousands of years ago consuming already scarce resources would have jeopardized everyone.
Evolution can be brutal—it is about survival of the species. Today, with supplemental testosterone and melatonin, we can hack some of the age-related degeneration we have been programmed to experience.
Ayurvedic Herbal Solutions for Testosterone Deficiency
According to Ayurveda, addressing these hormone deficiencies is done through herbs that act as hormonal precursors and encourage the body to produce more of the deficient hormones. In other words, Ayurveda does not recommend hormone replacement therapies.
In the case of testosterone, there are two Ayurvedic herbs that in combination have been successfully studied to raise testosterone levels in both men and women: shilajit and Malaysian ginseng, both found in LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost.
Shilajit (PrimaVie): More than 50 studies on shilajit suggest that it has a positive effect on testosterone levels through its adaptogenic, antioxidant, cytokine-balancing, immunomodulatory, and antidyslipidemic activities. Fulvic acid, the main bioactive component in shilajit, blocks tau protein self-aggregation, suggesting it may have a role in supporting cognition.
Eurycoma longifolia (Malaysian ginseng) root: This herb is considered a tonic and an adaptogen for supporting healthy libido, energy, sports performance, and weight management.
Studies show Malaysian ginseng promotes healthy testosterone levels. Two studies, one in middle-aged and one in senior males and females, demonstrated the herb’s promotion of healthy fitness, vitality, and vigor concomitant with an increase in free testosterone and a decline in sex hormone binding globulin.
Try these herbal solutions and let us know what you think!