Hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical testosterone may be among the best natural remedies for depression in middle aged and older men who have symptoms of low testosterone. It’s long been recognized that depression is a common symptom of testosterone deficiency, but so far only a few studies have looked specifically at whether treatment with testosterone effectively treats symptoms of depression. Most studies have focused on the physical and sexual symptoms of low testosterone, such as weakness and low libido, rather than on the psychological. A new study, however, indicates testosterone can successfully treat depression associated with testosterone deficiency in men.
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Trial confirms relationship among depression symptoms and testosterone deficiency
Researchers from the Department of Urology at Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing, China found that replacement therapy resulted in statistically significant improvements in depression in men over 50 years of age with testosterone deficiency (Zhang et al. 2012). The clinical trial, conducted to examine the interrelationship among symptoms of testosterone deficiency, psychological well-being, and quality of life, confirms the findings of previous smaller studies.
The trial was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study examining the effects of either testosterone therapy or placebo in 160 middle-aged and elderly men. To qualify, the men had to be older than 50, have low blood levels of testosterone, and have symptoms of testosterone deficiency defined as a positive score on the Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males (ADAM) Qestionnaire:
Screening Test for Testosterone Deficiency in Males Over 40:
Scoring: If you answered “Yes” to question 1 or 7, or if you answered “Yes” to any 3 questions in total, you may have a low testosterone level that could benefit from treatment.
The subjects were treated for 6 months with either placebo or oral testosterone undecanoate, 120–160 mg on a daily basis, according to the baseline testosterone level. Before and after the treatment period, they were given standardized questionnaires to determine depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, physical symptoms, overall subjective stress levels, and health-related quality of life. As baseline, the men scored high on the depression symptom questionnaire. They also had high amounts of anxiety, subjective stress, sexual symptoms, and poorer measures of general well being and quality of life.
Reduction in depression symptoms reached statistical significance after testosterone treatment
After treatment, those in the testosterone group had a statistically significant reduction in depression symptoms compared to baseline and compared to those in the placebo group who experienced no such benefits. Physical and mental health-related quality of life, sexual symptoms, anxiety, and subjective feelings of stress also significantly improved for those receiving testosterone, but not for those in the placebo group.
Thirty percent of adult men thought to have testosterone deficiency
Testosterone deficiency is becoming increasingly recognized as a problem in aging men. The latest estimates indicate as many as 30% of men aged 40–79 years may have a testosterone deficiency. Testosterone is a hormone with an enormous impact on quality of life. Not only does it affect sex drive and energy levels, it is a brain-boosting hormone known to improve mood, memory, motivation, and overall cognitive function. A complete list of testosterone deficiency symptoms can be found here:
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency in men include:
The symptoms of testosterone deficiency are known to vary greatly, with some men experiencing no symptoms at all, while other men with only borderline-low levels may suffer from severe symptoms (Amore et al. 2012).
Additional studies find “antidepressant” effects of testosterone
Other studies have found that men with the lowest testosterone levels have three times the odds of being depressed compared to men with the highest levels (Almeida et al. 2008). Additional testosterone replacement studies have found that the “antidepressant” effects of testosterone lead to immediate and dramatic improvements in mood in a substantial number of depressed men who subsequently relapsed when treatment was discontinued (Seidman et al. 2001; Wang et al. 2000).
Bio-identical testosterone may be among best natural remedies for depression in aging men with low testosterone
The scientific evidence is finally confirming the relationship between testosterone and depression, just as more and more men entering their 50’s are being diagnosed with testosterone deficiency and looking for the best natural remedies for depression and other symptoms . As clinical trials continue to highlight the mood-boosting effects of testosterone replacement therapy, men will continue to demand natural, bio-identical versions of testosterone in their quest to use natural remedies for depression symptoms rather than synthetic drugs. Natural bio-identical hormones are hormones that are synthesized to be identical on a molecular level to that found in the human body.
You don’t have to let a testosterone deficiency keep you from experiencing complete recovery from your depression. One of the best natural remedies for depression symptoms in men with testosterone deficiency is bio-identical testosterone. Although the trial was not conducted to look specifically at bio-identical versions of testosterone as natural remedies for depression symptoms, these forms of testosterone replacement therapy would be expected to have the same beneficial effects.
If you believe your depression may be related to a testosterone deficiency and are determined to use only the best natural remedies for depression, you will need to work with an integrative physician experienced in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. You will first need some lab tests to determine your testosterone levels. This is a highly complex area that absolutely requires an experienced physician to help you. The complementary directories on this website can assist you in finding the help you need.
 Almeida OP, Yeap BB, et al. Low free testosterone concentration as a potentially treatable cause of depressive symptoms in older men. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2008;65:283–9.
 Amore M, Innamorati M, et al. Partial androgen deficiency, depression, and testosterone supplementation in aging men. Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:280724.
 Morley JE et al. Validation of a screening questionnaire for androgen deficiency in aging males. Metabolism. 2000;49:1239-1242.
 Seidman SN. Testosterone deficiency and depression in aging men: pathogenic and therapeutic implications. J Gend Specif Med 2001; 4: 44-48.
 Wang C, Swerdloff RS, et al: Transdermal testosterone gel improves sexual function, mood, muscle strength, and body composition parameters in hypogonadal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2000; 85: 2839–2853.
 Zhang XW, Liu ZH, et al. Androgen replacement therapy improves psychological distress and health-related quality of life in late onset hypogonadism patients in Chinese population. Chin Med J (Engl). 2012 Nov;125(21):3806-10.