Hormones are your body’s most important biochemical messengers. Hormones stimulate or regulate almost every vital biological function – including how well your immune system responds to disease or trauma.
All of your hormones must be in proper balance for optimal health, including to maintain a strong immune system. In men, this is particularly important when it comes to the levels of two critical hormones – testosterone and human growth hormone, or HGH. Both testosterone and HGH play a vital role in immune health. However, it is an unfortunate fact of life that both of these hormones decline as males age.
One of the many negative impacts of age-related hormone decline is a suppressed immune response. Hormone replacement therapy for men can strengthen your immune system.
Can Low Levels of HGH and Testosterone Cause Low Immunity in Men?
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense system. Its mission is to protect you from disease and infections. Today, with flu and COVID-19 running rampant, maintaining a healthy immune system is more important than ever – particularly for men who seem to get hit harder by both infections.
We all know that as we get older, we are more susceptible to disease and illness. The elderly seem to catch colds and flu easier; these infections hit harder and are that much harder to recover from. This is because of the general declining strength of your immune system as you get older.
There are many things that can lead to a weakened immune system as we age, but one of the most important ones is the impact of age-related hormone loss. In women, that is largely a problem with the loss of estrogen. In men, two hormones that are very critical to their immunity – testosterone and human growth hormone – both decline significantly as men age. This age-related hormone loss can lead to a number of health issues, not the least of which is a weakened immune system.
Can High Levels of HGH and Testosterone Weaken Your Immune Response?
There is some confusion about testosterone and its impact on a man’s immune response. This is because there was a Stanford University study that indicated that men with excessively high testosterone levels seemed to gain less of an immunity from a flu vaccine than their female counterparts. The scientists could not really say why testosterone, in this one particular case, seemed to suppress the immune response in males; however, they believe that it has something to do with testosterone somehow inhibiting the way that antibodies bind with or react to invading microbes.
This has led to the mistaken belief that, somehow, testosterone replacement therapy can depress immunity in men. However, it is important to point out that the Stanford study found the suppressed immune response occurred in males with “high testosterone levels” – the goal of testosterone therapy is to bring your testosterone levels into the normal range, not above it. Furthermore, there have been many other studies that have indicated that low testosterone leaves men with a weakened immune system and more susceptible to infections, including COVID-19.
As far as HGH goes, there is also no reason to believe that HGH replacement therapy does anything to weaken your immune system. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As you are maturing from a child to an adult, HGH plays an important role in the initial development of your immune system as it does every other vital system, organ, or tissue of the body. Once you are grown, HGH continues to play an important role in your immune response as HGH is involved in:
- How well your body responds to inflammation.
- The regeneration of bone and tissue after injuries or trauma.
- Stimulation of the thymus gland to produce T cells, the “foot soldiers” of your immune system.
How Does HRT Affect the Immune System in Males?
- HGH – Studies have shown that growth hormone therapy can boost a man’s immune system in a number of ways. The relationship between HGH and a healthy immune system in males begins with the thymus gland. The thymus is a key player in your body’s ability to fight off disease and infections. The thymus gland is your body’s main source of T cells. T cells are the “foot soldiers” of your immune system that attack and fight off invading pathogens. Human growth hormone, or HGH, is essential for the healthy development of the thymus as you grow, and for maintaining its function once you are an adult. Several recent studies have found that HGH can boost your immune system by encouraging T-cell production.
- TRT – The relationship between the immune response and testosterone is not quite as straightforward as it is with HGH. Testosterone has various impacts on a man’s immune system. Testosterone has interesting and varied impacts on the male immune system. As mentioned above, there is some evidence to suggest that an increased presence of testosterone can have a bit of a suppressant effect on the male immune system. Yet, there are also studies that have shown that testosterone can increase or enhance the immune response. What this seems to suggest overall is that maintaining a balanced testosterone level – one that is not too high, nor too low – is essential for good immune health in males – and that is something that testosterone therapy can help to achieve.
Men must strive to keep their hormones in balance for optimal health. Any imbalance in hormone levels – particularly imbalances that can be caused by age-related loss of testosterone and HGH, can lead to a suppressed immune system as well as any number of other health issues.
If you are a man over the age of 40, feeling tired, have little energy, and are seemingly catching colds or flu more often – you may be feeling the effects of that age-related hormone deficiency can have on your immune system. But, the only way to be sure is to have your HGH and testosterone levels checked. If they are low, you may be qualified to join the thousands of men who are living healthier, stronger lives thanks to hormone replacement therapy.
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