(TeleManagement) There may be a genuine physiological basis for the male menopause.
Researchers at Penn State University in the US, wonders why so many men take Viagra and wonders if there may be widespread lack of testosterone among the middle-aged – comprising a ‘male menopause’.
They had been measuring testosterone levels and they found some interesting variations. Normal levels fall between 250 and 800 nanograms per decilitre (ng/dl) and below 250 is considered low. A study of Portuguese, American and Asian men showed the following average values: 500, 450, 400. Even wider variation was seen in DHEA, the compound which is turned into testosterone and has been hailed as an anti-ageing aid (though this hasn’t been proved scientifically).
Since prostate cancer is low in Asian men, researchers speculates that testosterone is a factor – as oestrogen may be a factor in breast cancer. This theory is backed by the observation that prostate cancer levels are higher in African Americans, who also have higher testosterone. “This is all preliminary evidence however,” says researchers, “and needs to be rigorously confirmed scientifically.”