Testosterone and Blood Pressure
Well, like I always say:
"Testosterone affects EVERYTHING in men."
Sure, that's an exaggeration. But not by much and a great example of that
is blood pressure. A muscle-building, libido-increasing hormone androgen like
testosterone might seem completely unrelated to arterial blood pressure but
nothing could be further from the truth. Testosterone not only can lower
your blood pressure a little in the short term but can definitely protect it
long term and the studies show this quite clearly.
Now we'll discuss just why in more detail, but let me say that if you have
hypertension (or prehypertension), testosterone is not going to be a miracle
cure for you. Getting your testosterone to respectable levels will probably help
though, but for much more powerful solutions, see my pages on
Natural Ways to
Lower Blood Pressure and
How I Lowered High Blood Pressure.
However, if your testosterone is low and you boost it sufficiently, you can lower your
blood pressure. The reason is that testosterone boosts the activity of eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide
synthase) and, if you'll recall, eNOS is the same enzyme that Viagra and Cialis
affect. While testosterone does not have as powerful of an effect as these
pharmaceauticals, it does make a difference. And this effectively means higher
nitric oxide levels which means more relaxed arteries and lower blood pressure.
Is there any evidence for this phenomenon?
One 1988 study found that the higher the testosterone, the lower the blood
pressure. Of course, the first thing one might suspect is that the
this relationship had only to do with the weight of the participants
of the study. However, the researchers had the foresight to look at this
and found that not all of the decrease in blood pressure with
increasing testosterone could be explained by BMI (obesity levels).
 A follow-up study year later verified the
same result: testosterone was strongly correlated with blood pressure and
only part of it could be explained by extra body fat levels. 
One test that researchers have done is looking at the reverse direction, that is
whether or not testosterone therapy can improve blood pressure. If testosterone
impacts blood pressure directly, then lower testosterone men who receive HRT
should find their blood pressure lowered. One older (1992) study on obese men
therapy noted that "insulin resistance ... improved and blood glucose,
diastolic blood pressure and serum cholesterol decreased." 
A follow-up study a few years later found similarly remarkable results, which
included "decrease of visceral fat mass..., by increased insulin sensitivity...,
by a decrease in fasting blood glucose, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides as
well as a decrease in diastolic blood pressure." 
Notice the incredible changes in multiple cardiovascular risk factors that were
improved with testosterone therapy, including the lowering of blood pressure.
Blood pressure is dangerous to many tissues of the body, because even small
increases can lead to "scarring" of arteries and damage to smaller blood vessels
and even connective tissue. The kidneys, eyes and brain are very vulnerable and
often incur long term damage.
NOTE: See my link on
Hormone Replacement Therapy for more information on the pros
and cons for men with low testosterone.
A more pronounced effects is testosterone's ability to protect men from high blood pressure and hypertension
in the long term. The reason is simple: testosterone is inversely
correlated with arteriosclerosis and hardening of the arteries.  Again, one
might not think that testosterone would protect arteries, but that is, in fact,
the case. Testosterone's ability to raise nitric oxide levels helps protect arteries.
Just as important, it also 1) lowers insulin levels,
which significantly reduces the risk for insulin resistance and 2) helps men maintain and even
lose weight. Both #1 and #2 are good for the entire cardiovascular system
and help prevent hypertension and prehypertension. It also can help
prevent erectile dysfunction as well.
NOTE: Hormone levels, especially T and E, can powerfully affect a man's sex life and
much of it centers around how this hormone affects our blood pressure: for more information, see my link on
Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction.
Testosterone exerts its magic powers by
lowering blood pressure, raising nitric oxide, boosting libido - see
Testosterone and Libido - and decreasing arteriosclerosis, the penile arteries
are protected and enhanced and passion is properly boosted. Again, the biggest
signs of low testosterone have been found to be sexual in nature, as I document
in my link on
Hypogonadism and Testosterone.
CAUTION: Not all researchers are as positive about testosterone and blood
pressure. In fact, one recent study coming from the standpoint of the
kidneys, which are front and center in the regulation of blood pressure, stated
that "in sum, net effects of androgen action seem to be vasoconstriction,
atherosclerosis and stimulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system."
1) Journal of Hypertension, 1988, 6(4):329-332, "Blood pressure and
endogenous testosterone in men: an inverse relationship"
Eur J Endocrinol, Jan 1 2004, 150:65-71, "Association of endogenous testosterone
with blood pressure and left ventricular mass in men. The Tromso Study"
3) The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Feb 1 1997, 82(2):682-685,
"Association between Plasma Total Testosterone and Cardiovascular Risk Factors
4) International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of
the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 1992, 16(12):991-997,
"The effects of testosterone treatment on body composition and metabolism in
middle-aged obese men"
5) Obes Res, 1995 Nov, 3 Suppl 4:609S-612S, "Testosterone and regional fat
6) Kidney and Blood Pressure Research, 2008, 31(2), "Testosterone and Blood