Why is Higher Testosterone Levels Good to Fight COVID-19?
2020 and the virus that is most popular on social media have made medical world and our researchers busy and they have learned a great deal.
Of note and interest to this article and physician specialty is the role of testosterone as it affects the SARS-CoV-2 Virus but also the disease state known as COVID-19.
The medical world went into a frenzy about what medication can help this disease process, and we heard the list of meds that include and are not limited to Z-pack, Dexamethasone, Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, Baricitinib, convalescent plasma, monoclonal antibodies, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc, etc.
But the most interesting was the involvement of testosterone and the journal article that concluded that men with low testosterone levels had a higher rate of becoming ill or death from Covid-19.
Let us dissect this situation and discuss the role of testosterone and why it is known to be a savior against COVID’s ill effects.
Elementary Background Info:
- The virus enters our lungs via a gate called ACE-2 enzyme
- The virus gets prepared for entry by another enzyme called TMPRSS2
- Apparent danger and main cause for demise of individual is not the direct affect of the Virus, but from “Cytokine Storm”
- Cytokine Storm is an over-boost and exaggerated inflammation That happens in our body to combat the virus entry, yet it is the underlying cause behind our respiratory failure and demise of the individual infected by the virus.
- Therefore, the danger with COVID-19 is not the direct infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but it is the reaction of our own body’s inflammation response.
- Men display a higher rate of infection and mortality to this virus.
With the above facts under your belt, we now can discuss how testosterone is related to this picture. Testosterone hormone is an up regulator of the ACE-2 and TMPRSS2 enzymes which explains why men have a higher chance of being the host to this virus. Hence, men have the higher rates of being infected.
BUT THAT CONFUSING? So how does that make higher testosterone levels better in this disease state? Well remember factoid #5 above mentions that getting the virus is not what is causing hospitalizations nor death. It is the Cytokine Storm that causes those problems.
Testosterone hormone’s main role in this disease process is that it suppresses the inflammatory markers and cytokines that produce the deadly Cytokine Storm.
It is because of this role that TESTOSTERONE LEVELS in men contribute to the severity of this disease. Men with higher testosterone levels were less apt to require hospitalizations after being infected with the virus, and conversely most the men that suffered the extremes COVID-19 were found to have hypogonadism or have lower than necessary testosterone levels.
Testosterone Optimization Therapy or “Testosterone Replacement Therapy” aka “TRT” has been shown to be advantageous because of the the below facts:
- TRT helps suppress the over exaggerated Inflammatory response WITHOUT lowering the cellular immune response to the virus.
- This offers a great advantage to the use of Dexamethasone or Corticosteroids (as they suppress all immune response)
- TRT enhances lung function
- This includes increase of respiratory muscle activity, exercise capacity, lung volume.
- This also includes peak oxygen consumption and respiratory function
What else is Testosterone Optimization Therapy good for? When monitored and planned by a specialized physician in Testosterone Optimization Therapy, there are numerous benefits that you can read further articles. But, the best method to know whether you are an appropriate candidate is to have an appropriate consultation that includes appropriate lab testing.