June 28, 2024 10:15 pm

Ever wondered why testosterone is crucial for your overall health?

In this podcast episode, I sit down with professor Abdul Traish, an expert from Boston University. We will explore what testosterone really is and its essential role in maintaining different bodily functions. Professor Traish also debunks pervasive myths about this hormone, including its alleged link to prostate cancer. He explains how maintaining proper levels can significantly enhance your quality of life.

Dive into this episode to uncover the truth about testosterone and its profound impact on your health!

Episode Video

A Deep Dive on Testosterone with Professor Abdul Traish

Testosterone is not merely a hormone associated with male sexuality; it is a pivotal chemical messenger essential for various physiological processes. Professor Traish emphasizes that testosterone acts like fuel for our body cells, underpinning functions that span from muscle maintenance to cognitive health.

Physiological Functions of Testosterone

  • Muscle Function – Essential for muscle cell functionality and maintenance.
  • Fat Regulation – Prevents cells from converting into fat cells.
  • Central Nervous System – Critical for the optimal functioning of the brain and nerves.
  • Reproductive Health – Supports reproductive organs and functions.
  • Sexual Health – Vital for sexual desire and erectile function.
  • Hair and Skin Health – Promotes healthy hair growth and maintains skin integrity.
  • Liver Health – Contributes to overall liver functionality.

Benefits of Testosterone

Metabolic Regulation

Testosterone is a key regulator of metabolism, influencing how the body metabolizes sugar and fat. It plays a significant role in preventing the accumulation of abdominal fat and supporting muscle mass, thereby reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Mental Health

Low T levels have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. By maintaining adequate levels, men can support cognitive function and mental health, potentially reducing the risk of these debilitating conditions.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Testosterone is indispensable for sexual health, driving libido and enabling erectile function. It also plays a crucial role in reproductive health, affecting sperm production and overall vitality.

Physical Health

Beyond sexual and reproductive health, testosterone is crucial for various physical health aspects. It supports liver health, promotes hair growth, and helps maintain healthy skin. By acting as a comprehensive bodily fuel, this hormone ensures the optimal functioning of multiple systems.

The Decline of Testosterone with Age

As men age, testosterone production declines naturally. Starting around age 40, men experience a yearly decrease of 1% to 2% in testosterone levels. This decline is primarily due to the reduction in the number of Leydig cells in the testes, which are responsible for the hormone’s production. Additionally, the responsiveness of these cells to signals from the brain diminishes over time.

Compounding this issue, the liver produces more sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) as men age. SHBG binds to testosterone, making it unavailable for use by the body, thereby reducing the effective levels of free testosterone.

Understanding Free vs. Total Testosterone

Professor Traish highlights the crucial distinction between total and free testosterone. Total refers to all the testosterone present in the blood, while free is the fraction not bound to proteins like SHBG and is readily available for the body to use. Free testosterone is a more accurate marker for diagnosing testosterone deficiency, though it is more challenging and expensive to measure.

Misconceptions About Testosterone and Prostate Cancer

One of the most pervasive myths about testosterone therapy is its purported link to prostate cancer. Professor Traish dispels this myth, referencing the recent Traverse Trial, a comprehensive study mandated by the FDA. This trial, involving 5,000 men over four years, found no increase in prostate cancer incidence among men receiving testosterone therapy. Additionally, the study showed no significant changes in benign prostatic hyperplasia or urinary function, further confirming testosterone’s safety profile.

Hormone Therapy for Women

Professor Traish also addresses the often-overlooked role of testosterone in women’s health. Women produce more of this hormone than estrogen, and it plays a vital role in their physical and mental health. Despite its importance, there is a significant lack of FDA-approved testosterone treatments for women, highlighting an area in need of further medical research and development.

Lifestyle and Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone

Professor Traish emphasizes that lifestyle modifications can significantly enhance testosterone levels. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress reduction, and adequate sleep are essential components of a healthy lifestyle that supports hormonal balance.


Engaging in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, weight training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can naturally boost your T levels. Aim for 30 to 45 minutes of exercise daily to optimize health benefits.


Adopting a balanced diet rich in nutrients is crucial. The Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins, is particularly effective in supporting overall health and T levels.

Stress Reduction

Chronic stress elevates cortisol levels, which can negatively impact testosterone’s production. Incorporating stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and regular relaxation practices can help maintain a healthy hormonal balance.


Quality sleep is vital for hormone production, including testosterone. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to support overall health and well-being.

About Professor Abdul Traish

A Deep Dive on Testosterone with Professor Abdul Traish
12/2/09 3:00:16 PM — Boston, Massachusetts

Office Portrait of MED Prof. Dr. Abdulmaged Traish

Photo by Vernon Doucette for Boston University Photography | Photographer: Vernon Doucette | Copyright: © 2009 Boston University – All Rights Reserved

Abdulmaged Traish is an Emeritus Professor of Urology at the Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. He holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Botany from the University of Tripoli and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University.

Over three decades, professor Traish has significantly contributed to reproductive and sexual medicine, particularly in developing experimental models to study the endocrine regulation of sexual arousal and the mechanisms of sex steroid hormones on erectile physiology.

He has authored over 185 research publications, earned seven patents, and has been a mentor to numerous students and physician-scientists worldwide. Recognized for his excellence in teaching and research, professor Traish has received multiple awards, including Boston University's Metcalf Prize for Teaching Excellence. He also serves as the Research Director of The Institute for Sexual Medicine and is an active member of various academic and editorial committees.

Final Thoughts

Professor Abdul Traish’s insights provide a comprehensive understanding of testosterone’s critical role in health. Far from being merely a sexual hormone, testosterone is integral to metabolic, mental, and physical health. The conversation underscores the importance of accurate diagnosis and treatment of low T levels, debunking myths and emphasizing the need for both lifestyle changes and medical interventions where necessary.

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