Life Extension Magazine®

Doctors reading study on total bioavailable testosterone for aging men

Liberate Your Free Testosterone

Bioavailable testosterone declines with age, even in men with adequate total testosterone. A clinical trial found that a non-drug formula increased free testosterone levels by 48%, reducing male aging symptoms by 19%.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: William Faloon.

William Faloon
William Faloon

Aging is accompanied by a disruption of critical hormones that are required to sustain life.

Restoring youthful hormone balance is a rejuvenation technique that enables most people to feel better.

In the 1990s, we advocated for natural testosterone approaches. We received many compliments for the improvements in well-being experienced by aging men.

But not all who tried testosterone enjoyed the feel-good benefits. One reason is they were unable to enhance their free testosterone to youthful ranges.

This prompted us to conduct our own research that was published in the June 2010 issue of Life Extension Magazine®.

We found a startling 86% of men studied had less than ideal (under 15 pg/mL) free testosterone.

Understanding "Free" Testosterone

Testosterone promotes youthful function by binding to receptor sites on cells throughout the body.

To perform its vital roles, testosterone must be in a "free" or "bioavailable" form to attach to testosterone receptors.

People are surprised to learn that 98% of total testosterone is bound to proteins in the blood. This leaves only 2% in the free testosterone form that is most biologically active.1

With age, free testosterone levels tend to decline.2

This age-related drop in free testosterone causes some men who may have benefited from testosterone creams, pellets or injections to no longer derive the same effects.

Impact of Low Testosterone

In men, testosterone deficits correlate with increased mortality risk.3,4

Heart disease,5,6 osteoporosis,7 and muscle wasting8 are linked to testosterone deficiency, along with chronic inflammation9 and neurodegeneration.10

Long before life prematurely ends, low testosterone can manifest in the form of depression, reduced sexual desire, and a loss of youthful well-being.11

There is a critical need to boost free testosterone blood levels in most aging men.

Achieving this has been elusive until a recent discovery.

The Decline of Free and Total Testosterone

After age 30, total testosterone drops at an average rate of about 1% per year.12,13

Free and bioavailable testosterone levels decline faster—by 2% to 3% each year.1

Free testosterone is regulated in the body by two blood proteins:

  1. Albumin
  2. Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)

Testosterone bound to albumin is bioavailable, whereas testosterone bound to sex hormone binding globulin is not.14

For testosterone to produce its beneficial properties, it must be in a free or another bioavailable form.

Impact of Low T in Aging Men

Robust research into the effects of declining testosterone levels began in the early 2000s.

Findings from hundreds of published studies associate low testosterone with many of the disorders afflicting aging men.

If you enter the terms "testosterone and aging men" into the National Library of Medicine database (, you'll find over 2,000 published studies.

The chart below is copied from the National Library of Medicine data base. It shows the exponential increase of studies about testosterone and aging males that began in recent decades.

Bar graph showing rise of published testosterone studies between 1956 to 2021

These published reports correlate low testosterone with multiple degenerative risks.

One of these reports contains over 10,000 words, making it long enough to convert into a book.14

The length of these scientific papers demonstrates the voluminous evidence linking testosterone deficits to common age-related conditions in men.

Advance in Boosting Total and Free Testosterone

Life Extension has extolled the benefits of optimal testosterone balance in men for decades.

Many of our testosterone-deficient male supporters go to doctors for prescribed creams, injections, or pellets to boost total testosterone levels when suffering from clinical symptoms of hypogonadism.

However, there is a large group of men who may not have very low levels of testosterone and/or strong symptoms of testosterone deficiency.

They nevertheless do not feel as vigorous and virile as they did in their youth. This may be due to suboptimal testosterone levels, both free and total.

Furthermore, for some men, despite adequate total testosterone levels, their levels of free testosterone remain inadequate.

Up until now, there was little we could recommend in terms of providing a solution to men with this type of clinical conundrum.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, men who received a non-drug nutrient formula increased their free testosterone levels by 48%.15

This 48% increase was sufficient to move free testosterone to optimal youthful ranges.

The response to this lift in free testosterone was accompanied by a:

  • 19% reduction in male aging symptoms (like mood disorders)
  • 25% increase in grip strength*
  • 25% increase in total testosterone

*Increased grip strength is an indicator of increased musculature of the arms and a marker of biological aging. Testosterone plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass

This study was conducted on 115 men, 34-56 years old.15

A second study on 119 men aged 21-35 yielded similar findings.16

We don't yet know if this nutrient blend will increase total testosterone in men over age 56 since the two studies were done in men aged 21-56.

The 48% improvement in free testosterone, however, provides a tantalizing opportunity for males to restore some of their vibrant health and longevity.

This nutrient blend is described on page 34 of this issue. It may enable many aging men to achieve free testosterone ranges typically seen in younger individuals.

My Experience with Natural Testosterone

The decline in testosterone is highly variable and can strike men in their 30s-40s.

This happened to me around age 43 when my total testosterone dropped below 250 ng/mL and I felt "old."

Within three weeks of initiating a prescription testosterone patch, I experienced a degree of youth restoration and it helped me shed a few inches of belly fat.

One of the many potential benefits of testosterone restoration in men is reduced waist circumference. Central obesity (belly fat) causes or contributes to many degenerative disorders.17

The personal benefits I enjoyed motivated me to research and write about the benefits men could achieve by restoring testosterone back to youthful ranges.

On the next page are a few reprints of the many covers of Life Extension Magazine® that advocated for natural testosterone replacement. Most of these articles recommended prescription testosterone topical creams.

Correcting Misconceptions About Testosterone

Most doctors are surprised to learn that low testosterone is associated with increased prostate cancer incidence.19,20

For decades, the fear that testosterone may cause prostate cancer hampered clinical progress in this field.

Even after considerable knowledge was acquired that this concern is unsubstantiated, many doctors remained hesitant to utilize this approach to treat men who suffer testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism).

To alleviate concerns that testosterone increases prostate cancer risk, please understand that prostate cancer cells thrive even when testosterone levels are very low.

When treating men with active prostate cancer using testosterone ablation, the goal is to temporarily drive testosterone down to virtually ZERO and block testosterone receptor sites on cells using several drugs. The side effects of this testosterone deprivation therapy can cause horrific conditions, including bone fractures, cognitive impairment, depression, negative impact on cardiovascular health, and more.21

Men being treated for active prostate cancer need to exercise caution (in consultation with their treating physician) in utilizing any kind of testosterone-boosting approach.

Once one understands that prostate cancer cells do not require high levels of testosterone to proliferate, there should be no concern about correcting low testosterone in men without active prostate cancer.

But this is not a simple topic to succinctly convey, which is why we offer free access to our extensive Male Hormone Restoration Protocol at

In this month's special issue…

Curcumin is one of the most popular plant extracts with which Americans supplement. New findings described on page 54 of this month's issue reveal how it can promote healthier lifespans.

Aging brain cells lose youthful function, but as described on page 22, PQQ boosts energy generation in cells throughout the body.

AMPK is an enzyme involved in the regulation of body fat. Boosting cellular AMPK improves insulin sensitivity and helps shrink inches around the waistline. Learn about this on page 12.

Our body benefits by maintaining vitamin C levels throughout the day and night. Rather than taking supplements three or more times daily, the article on page 44 describes a one-per-day formula that enables steady-state vitamin C blood levels.

Rapid Advances to Combat Aging

There may already be ways to significantly rejuvenate elderly people.

I say this based on soon-to-be published findings showing significant telomere elongation in response to a combination of therapies being pioneered by an outside medical group.

The collective emphasis from all researchers is that older people need to retain as much of their youthful functionality as possible to derive optimal regenerative benefits.

Please follow all steps to protect your precious health today so you can benefit from these emerging biomedical advances.

I'll update readers about some of this research in the next issue of Life Extension Magazine® you'll receive.

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon, Co-Founder

Life Extension Buyers Club


  1. Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, et al. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Feb;87(2):589-98.
  2. Yeap BB. Are declining testosterone levels a major risk factor for ill-health in aging men? Int J Impot Res. 2009 Jan-Feb;21(1):24-36.
  3. Laughlin GA, Barrett-Connor E, Bergstrom J. Low serum testosterone and mortality in older men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1): 68-75.
  4. Shores MM, Smith NL, Forsberg CW, et al. Testosterone treatment and mortality in men with low testosterone levels. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun;97(6):2050-8.
  5. Goodale T, Sadhu A, Petak S, et al. Testosterone and the Heart. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2017 Apr-Jun;13(2):68-72.
  6. C MW, Collins P. Role of Testosterone in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease. Eur Cardiol. 2017 Dec;12(2):83-7.
  7. Mohamad NV, Soelaiman IN, Chin KY. A concise review of testosterone and bone health. Clin Interv Aging. 2016;11:1317-24.
  8. Saad F, Rohrig G, von Haehling S, et al. Testosterone Deficiency and Testosterone Treatment in Older Men. Gerontology. 2017;63(2):144-56.
  9. Mohamad NV, Wong SK, Wan Hasan WN, et al. The relationship between circulating testosterone and inflammatory cytokines in men. Aging Male. 2019 Jun;22(2):129-40.
  10. Bianchi VE, Rizzi L, Bresciani E, et al. Androgen Therapy in Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Endocr Soc. 2020 Nov 1;4(11):bvaa120.
  11. Halpern JA, Brannigan RE. Testosterone Deficiency. JAMA. 2019 Sep 17;322(11):1116.
  12. Brawer MK. Testosterone replacement in men with andropause: an overview. Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 6(Suppl 6):S9-S15.
  13. Kazi M, Geraci SA, Koch CA. Considerations for the diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency in elderly men. Am J Med. 2007 Oct;120(10):835-40.
  14. Stanworth RD, Jones TH. Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1): 25-44.
  15. Laila Nutraceutical Internal Study. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a novel herbal composition improving aging males' symptoms. Data on file. 2018.
  16. Laila Nutraceutical Internal Study. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of a Novel Herbal Composition Improving Testosterone Level in Healthy Young Males. Data on file. 2019.
  17. Available at: Accessed September 3, 2021.
  18. Chiavellini P, Canatelli-Mallat M, Lehmann M, et al. Aging and rejuvenation - a modular epigenome model. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Feb 24;13(4):4734-46.
  19. Morgentaler A, Rhoden EL. Prevalence of prostate cancer among hypogonadal men with prostate-specific antigen levels of 4.0 ng/mL or less. Urology. 2006 Dec;68(6):1263-7.
  20. Hoffman MA, DeWolf WC, Morgentaler A. Is low serum free testosterone a marker for high grade prostate cancer? J Urol. 2000 Mar;163(3):824-7.
  21. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2021.

Life Extension Pioneered Natural Testosterone Restoration Decades Ago

12 past Life Extension magazine covers between 2000 to 2015 on testosterone

Long before testosterone replacement went mainstream, Life Extension pioneered meticulous protocols to enable aging men to optimally balance their sex hormones.

Below are some past covers of Life Extension Magazine® describing the benefits of restoring testosterone to youthful physiological levels: