Life Extension Magazine®

Lab technician studying effects of testosterone and CoQ10

In The News: Low Testosterone Linked to Higher Mortality Rate

Low testosterone linked to higher mortality rate; plant foods associated with gut microbes that lower disease risk; CoQ10 improves mild, daily fatigue; and more.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Low Testosterone Linked to Higher Mortality Rate

Businessman supplementing for low testosterone

Men with low levels of testosterone have a greater mortality rate from any cause, compared with those who had higher levels, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reported.*

The study included 149,436 men between the ages of 40 and 69, who enrolled in the UK Biobank from 2006 to 2010. Blood samples collected at enrollment were analyzed for serum testosterone. The subjects were followed from recruitment through April 2020.

During the follow-up period, 10,053 deaths were documented, including 1,925 from cardiovascular disease and 4,927 from cancer.

Compared to men whose testosterone levels were among the top 20% of participants, those whose testosterone levels were among the lowest 20% had a 14% greater risk of dying from any cause and a 20% greater risk of dying from cancer during the follow-up period.

Editor’s Note: “Serum testosterone concentrations decline with age, while serum sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations increase,” the authors stated. They concluded that, “Lower serum testosterone is independently associated with higher all-cause and cancer-related, but not CVD-related, mortality in middle-aged to older men. Lower SHBG is independently associated with lower all-cause, CVD-related, and cancer-related mortality.”

*J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Feb;106(2): e625-637.

Healthy Diet Connected to Good Gut Microbes, Lower Disease Risk

Platter of plant-based food with good gut support

In the largest, most detailed study of its kind, researchers found that diets rich in plant-based foods encourage the presence of gut microbes that are connected to a lower risk of diseases like heart disease and type II diabetes, according to an article in Nature Medicine.*

Researchers performed deep metagenomic sequencing of 1,203 gut microbiomes from 1,098 people enrolled in the PREDICT 1 study, which included long-term diet information, plus fasting, and same-meal postprandial cardiometabolic blood-marker measurements.

The researchers found significant associations between gut microbes and specific nutrients, foods, and dietary practices. They identified strong microbiome-based markers of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and impaired glucose tolerance.

Editor’s Note: People who consumed healthy, plant-based foods were more likely to have high levels of good gut bacteria, while people consuming diets with more processed foods were more likely to have bad gut bacteria, the authors stated.

* Nat Med. Feb;27(2):321-332.

CoQ10 Provides Relief from Fatigue

Older couple going for a walk with no fatigue

Results from a study published in Nutrients reveal a benefit for supplementing with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) against mild, daily fatigue.*

The study enrolled men and women aged 20 to 64 who experienced fatigue during their daily lives for at least one month and for no longer than six months.

Twenty participants were given 100 mg of the form of CoQ10 known as ubiquinone, 22 participants received 150 mg of the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 and 20 received a placebo daily for 12 weeks.

At the end of the study levels of serum ubiquinol, which is the reduced form of CoQ10, were significantly higher in the group that received ubiquinol compared to levels measured in those who received a placebo.

Subjective levels of sleepiness or fatigue following cognitive tasks significantly improved in both CoQ10 groups compared with the placebo group.

Editor’s Note: Participants who received ubiquinol additionally experienced improvement in subjective relaxation following the completion of cognitive tasks, sleepiness before and after tasks, task motivation and serum oxidative stress levels, compared to the placebo group.

* Nutrients. 2020 Jun 2;12(6):E1640.

Fewer Adverse Effects After Heart Attack in Those with Greater Omega-3 Intake

Man having heart listened to by physician

An association was found between increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids and a lower risk of clinical adverse effects in patients who experienced a heart attack, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported.*

The study included 944 patients treated for heart attack with coronary artery stents and/or balloon angioplasty.

Blood samples were analyzed for levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (obtained from fish), and ALA (alpha linolenic acid), a precursor to EPA/DHA found in plants.

Compared to subjects who had lower levels of EPA at the time of their heart attacks, those who had higher levels had significantly reduced risks of experiencing major adverse cardiovascular events and hospital readmission for cardiovascular causes during the three-year follow-up period. Higher levels of ALA were associated with a significantly reduced risk of mortality from all causes during follow-up.

Editor’s Note: Consumption of foods rich in these fatty acids might improve the prognosis of heart attack patients, the authors concluded.

* J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Nov 3;76(18): 2089-2097.