Even healthy Calgary men as young as 21 have seen antidepressant benefits of testosterone replacement, according to one study about testosterone replacement. The authors cite that: “It has been shown that depression is associated with a reduction in serum total and free testosterone concentrations. In addition, psychological and physical symptoms in depressed patients are significantly reduced after androgen stimulation.“
The authors conclude the study saying: “Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyse the effects of testosterone (T) substitution on mood and quality of life in hypogonadal men with depression”.
Testosterone Replacement Research
“…Treatment with Testosterone resulted in a significant increase in SF-36 scores and a significant reduction in BDI and HAMA scores. Treatment with T was also associated with a significant improvement in PASAT scores.” A previous article writes about the warning signs of low testosterone in men.
The above study compared the effect of testosterone and fluoxetine (Prozac) on depression in hypogonadal men, both hormonal treatment groups had significant improvement in their scores after 16 weeks. Their baseline scores were similar: SF-36: 42.2; BDI: 34.4; PASAT: 109 seconds all considered abnormal for this young age group.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and help depression, with or without TRT. The mood improvements were so strong that the hormonal treatment group had a profound improvement of 62% in their BDI score, while the antidepressant group was only improved by 8.1%. While this was not a double blind placebo controlled study, this is not the first study to conclude that testosterone is an effective antidepressant.
A meta-analysis of testosterone replacement for hypogonadism including a review and meta-analysis of placebo controlled trials) showed that men with depression can experience remarkable improvements in mood after TRT. The study observed that “15 studies have shown the beneficial effects of testosterone replacement on mood and depression in hypogonadal men”. In fact, improvements ranged from 29% to 75% according to various measurements. The authors concluded that “These findings support previous studies showing an improvement in depressive symptoms during testosterone treatment of hypogonadal men.”
Testosterone and mood in aging men
Although depression is the most frequently reported side effect of TRT, several studies have found that TRT can improve mood and even reduce depressive symptoms. One study of men with hypogonadism and depression, showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms. The authors stated that “This preliminary study suggests that some depressed hypogonadal men may experience improvements in mood when given testosterone replacement.”
Other studies have also reported significant improvements in depression symptoms after TRT, including one study that found “a significant improvement in depressive symptoms from baseline to the end of treatment.” There are also several studies that conclude TRT can improve mood and reduce depression in men. One study found that “Testosterone replacement significantly reduced Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) scores and improved quality of life.”