Healthy Testosterone Levels Protect Against COVID
Healthy Testosterone Levels Protect Against Severe COVID Complications
The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world. Certainly not since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and perhaps never before in human history, have we seen such a huge public health response to a viral threat.
What better time than now to explore the connection between testosterone and immune system health? Do Healthy Testosterone Levels Protect Against COVID? Yes!
Higher testosterone levels protect against the worst outcomes of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. To check your own testosterone levels, contact the hormone specialists at TRT Miami today.
Should you require testosterone replacement therapy, Miami is where you want to be: TRT Miami offers affordable, high-quality, vetted therapy with a track record of success.
What Role Does Testosterone Play in the Immune System?
Before we get into the specific data regarding COVID-19 risk and testosterone levels, let’s survey the critical role that testosterone plays in the immune system.
While the average person might associate testosterone only with sexual health, the male sex hormone actually interacts with nearly every major organ and gland in the human body by way of androgen receptors (ARs). As illustrated below, these ARs are strategically located throughout the body – in the brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, etc.
When the human body encounters a pathogen like COVID-19, the key to defeating the infection and achieving full recovery is a balanced immune response. In the event of too weak of an immune response, the virus is allowed to replicate and spread unchecked. On the other hand, if the immune reaction is too strong, dangerous conditions like the cytokine storm develop (more on that later).
As the chart below illustrates, the sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) are at the center of regulating the immune response:
Source: Frontiers in Immunology
Accordingly, testosterone’s activities extend beyond maintaining fertility and libido – including its various effects on immunity:
“Immune regulation by androgens such as testosterone impacts the immune system by augmenting Th1 response and activation of CD8 cells while down-regulating natural killer (NK) cells response, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory IL-10.”
Critically, the researchers noted that “exogenous supply of estradiol and castration in male mice led to an increase in autoimmunity” – meaning that, in the absence of enough testosterone or when too much estrogen is present, autoimmunity develops.
The term “autoimmunity” refers to a pathological process in which the immune system targets healthy human tissue, mistaking it for a foreign invader.
What Is the Connection Between Testosterone and COVID-19 Risk?
One of the major risk factors for severe illness or death resulting from COVID-19 infection is the “cytokine storm” that we referenced earlier. From the New England Journal of Medicine:
“Cytokine storm and cytokine release syndrome are life-threatening systemic inflammatory syndromes involving elevated levels of circulating cytokines and immune-cell hyperactivation.”
What this basically means is that, under stressful conditions (like attack by the SARS-CoV-2 virus), the immune system overreacts and creates potentially lethal amounts of inflammation.
Via the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer: the various symptoms of COVID-induced cytokine storms, many of them life-threatening
Enter testosterone to the rescue:
“T exerts a significant effect on the regulation of adipose tissue accumulation, and in the glucose and lipids metabolism. Adipocytes are the primary source of the most important adipokines responsible for inflammation and chronic diseases… T exerts a significant inhibitory effect on adipose tissue formation and the expression of various adipocytokines, such as leptin, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1, and is positively correlated with adiponectin level.”
Conversely, “a low T level is correlated with increased expression of markers of inflammation… An inflammatory status due to proinflammatory cytokines is particularly evident in the elderly, and in patients with low T levels and obesity.”
The data on testosterone levels and cytokines that trigger the cytokine storm, in particular, is clear: “cytokine responses to T-cell mitogens are downregulated in higher testosterone males.”
The bottom line: lower testosterone levels increase the risk of cytokine storms. In contrast, higher testosterone levels are proven to protect against this type of runaway immune response and increase the chances of a full recovery.
TRT Miami Can Help Fortify Your Immune System
By restoring healthy T levels via testosterone replacement therapy, Miami patients with hypogonadism (low T) can fortify their immune system defenses against attack by dangerous pathogens like COVID-19.
Contact TRT Miami today to get your T count tested. If results indicate a need, we will begin your individualized therapy protocol to strengthen your immune system ASAP. Since Healthy Testosterone Levels Protect Against COVID, this is something one needs to consider immediately.
Remember: time is of the essence – you never know when you might encounter the virus simply going about your daily life.