A Response to the PLOS One Testosterone Study from Gary Donovitz MD
You may have read a recent report in the medical journal PLOS One that found an increased risk of heart attack in men given a testosterone supplement. I believe that this study is inaccurate, disingenuous and riddled with errors.
My name is Gary Donovitz MD, and I am the Medical Director of BioTE Medical, the largest hormone replacement company in the United States. My position gives me a unique understanding of the science and application of testosterone replacement supplements, which is why I find the PLOS One study to be erroneous at best and potentially dangerous at worst.
Here is just a selection of the biggest issues with the efficacy of the PLOS One study:
* Collection Method: This so-called testosterones study involved absolutely no lab data pre or post therapy, leading to a large possible margin of error.
* Previous Data: The authors of this study cite Veterans Administration Study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2013). This is a problem as the conclusions of that study are misstated. Notably, men with testosterone levels exceeding 300 ng/dl were not included in the study, massively swaying the data.
* Delivery Method: By far the biggest issue with the PLOS One study is that it looked only at men receiving testosterone supplements via oral pills, topical creams, gels and synthetic injections. The study thusly ignored subcutaneous bio-identical testosterone pellet therapy.
There have been many sound, alternate studies that demonstrate the usefulness of natural testosterone therapy, when delivered subcutaneously. These studies show that bio-identical testosterone pellet therapy can be used to reduce the risk of many conditions, including:
* Prostate Cancer
* Alzheimer’s Disease
* Type-2 Diabetes
* Prostate Cancer
By ignoring this data, the study in question is extremely flawed. An important part of testosterone supplementation is the careful following of the patient’s laboratory values. The PLOS One study ignored this segment of data complete. Proper bio-identical testosterone pellet therapy takes care to monitor this data and the patient’s hormone levels. These hormone levels can indicate numerous health conditions, many of which can’t be treated without optimal dosage. Optimal dosage is impossible with creams and gels.
Even more studies have demonstrated increased blood flow to coronary arteries in men receiving natural testosterone supplementation. This increased blood flow can lead to a decrease of plaque and inflammation. BioTE Medical has treated over 10,000 male patients; based on this data the balancing of testosterone levels in hypo gonadal males from 35 – 75 did not cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
If one thing is taken from this response, it should be this: there is a major difference between the synthetic testosterone supplements that are provided by “Big Pharma” and natural, bio-identical hormone replacement story. Until medical journals like PLOS One recognize this and incorporate it in to their data, their studies will remain incomplete.
Gary Donovitz MD
CEO & Medical Director