Dr. Gary Donovitz Responds to Dr. La Pluma's NY Times Op-Ed

Feb 14, 2014, 14:30 ET from BioTE Medical

DALLAS, Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In his February 3, 2014 Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, Dr. John La Pluma says "men feel the loss" if their testosterone is lower than 220 to 350 ng/dl.   La Pluma's misstatement of laboratory values is consistent with his glaring lack of knowledge relative to testosterone deficiency.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140214/DA65642)

As the Medical Director for the largest hormone replacement company in the country with more than 500 highly trained and certified practitioners, I am abhorred that Dr. La Pluma has the nerve to call such an important problem a "trumped up disease".   The fact is that 40 percent of males over the age of 45 have low testosterone. Moreover, this deficiency alone puts them at increased risk for heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, prostate cancer, and osteoporosis.  

Men who see providers with proper training to interpret lab work can begin the process of hormone optimization and individualized therapy. Through hormone optimization, which includes testosterone, thyroid and nutraceuticals, men can actually reduce their risk of heart disease Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, type-2 hypothyroidism and prostate cancer.

To compare proper hormone optimization in males with bio-identical testosterone to the Women's Health Initiative, where women were treated with harmful synthetic hormones, is ludicrous. There are numerous studies showing the cardiovascular benefits of properly administered testosterone therapy. The coronary arteries receive greater blood flow, plaques are diminished, and inflammation in the coronaries is reduced.  Men with low testosterone have increased insulin resistance and higher incidence of type-2 diabetes. They also have difficulty losing "belly fat" even with diet and exercise. Testosterone is protective to the nerves in the brain and can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Proper hormone optimization also reduces the development of osteoporosis and can protect against prostate cancer.

The big pharmaceutical companies are not helping us combat these diseases.   The heavily marketed testosterone creams and gels cannot achieve adequate blood levels to achieve disease prevention. They are winning by advertising their way into the pocket books of millions of American males who are in search of healthier aging. The pharmaceutical balance sheets are doing well but their patients are not. In the most recent study reported in PLOS ONE, they reported an increase in non-fatal myocardial infarctions in elderly males.   There was no lab work done, most patients were on creams and gels, and no optimization was done.

Regarding the side effects of testosterone purported by Dr. La Pluma, I again challenge his accuracy.   At BioTE Medical we optimize over 1,000 males per month. Approximately 1 percent has increased red cell mass necessitating blood donation.  There is a reduction in sperm count but this is reversible and not a common complaint in aging males.   And the 10-15 percent shrinkage in testicular size is not a common complaint of the patient.  And, we have had no increase in cardiovascular events.

I would suggest that men who want to have better energy levels, sleep better, increase muscle mass and have better sexual performance would benefit from having their testosterone tested by an expert. In the long run, why wouldn't men want to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis?

I urge Dr. La Pluma to check the facts, understand the obvious flaws of the research he cited and truly learn the difference between the Big Pharma synthetics and bio-identical testosterone therapies.  With this understanding, he'll be better equipped to make viable recommendations.

Dr. Gary Donovitz 
Founder & Medical Director 
BioTE Medical  

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SOURCE BioTE Medical