February 1, 2023

There is no denying the importance of testosterone in regulating muscle mass, bone density, and libido. But did you know that testosterone might impact your heart health as well? At least, that is what recent trends in testosterone studies suggest. 

Is there any scientific evidence backing this statement, or is it just some theory blown out of proportion? Let’s analyze the available research to find out!

What role does testosterone have in regulating heart health?

The primary connection between testosterone and heart health involves red blood cells. In-depth research shows how testosterone levels have a direct correlation with red blood cell production

While this poses no issues under normal T levels, any deviation from this normal can be problematic. 

Higher than normal testosterone levels can cause erythrocytosis; a disease in which your body produces more red blood cells than normal. Severe erythrocytosis can, in turn, show symptoms like blurred vision, headaches, and high blood pressure. 

On the other hand, testosterone deficiency can slow down red blood cell production. This reduces the concentration of oxygen in your blood and can cause anemia

Another way testosterone impacts heart health is through a process called vasodilation. Testosterone acts as a vasodilator and expands your blood vessels, which improves blood flow. These effects are most noticeable during exercise, where improved blood flow makes the workout easier and less tiring. 

Low testosterone and heart health

Excluding the connection with red blood cell production we established earlier, the effects of low T on heart health are not as clear as we’d hoped. 

Two 2018 studies by Corona G et al. and Chunhua Deng et al. both show men with testosterone deficiency have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular issues. These studies also mirror the findings of an earlier 2013 review by M Kelly et al., which also showed a link between low T and increased risk of ischaemic cardiovascular diseases.

The issue is none of these studies were able to determine if low testosterone levels were the cause of this increased risk or just an indication. 

Other issues with low testosterone

Testosterone deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, including:

Low Libido & Sexual Function

Low testosterone can lower your libido, sexual desire, and satisfaction from intimate activities. Studies also link serum testosterone deficiency with a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.

Decreased Muscle Mass

Testosterone plays a critical role in regulating muscle mass by increasing muscle protein synthesis in men. Testosterone deficiency throws off this delicate balance and can lead to reduced muscle mass and strength.


Low testosterone levels can lead to symptoms of depression and other similar mood disorders. Studies also show that testosterone therapy and oral T boosters can improve the mood of hypogonadal men.

High testosterone and heart health

We’ve already discussed how excess testosterone levels can cause secondary erythrocytosis, especially through testosterone therapy, but that is not all. Researchers also believe that higher than normal T levels can increase the risk of issues like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. 

According to a 2019 study by Shan Luo et al., high T levels are also linked with an increased risk of major heart issues like myocardial infarction or complete heart failure. Unfortunately, this study does not include evidence of whether high T levels are the definitive cause of these issues or just an indication. 

Other issues with high testosterone

Testosterone excess is just as detrimental as its deficiency. The most common symptoms of high T include:

Hair Loss

High testosterone levels increase the concentration of dihydrotestosterone which is the primary cause of baldness. Constant testosterone excess can accelerate baldness and do irreparable damage to hair follicles. 


Sebum is an oily substance your skin produces for protection and moisturization. Unfortunately, high testosterone levels boost its production, increasing acne in both men and women. 


Studies show that high testosterone levels can interrupt sleeping patterns, increase the risk of insomnia, and lead to sleep apnea in older men. 

How do testosterone boosters impact heart health?

The effects of testosterone supplements on your heart health are a bit mixed

Some reports claim that taking T boosters increases the risk of heart disease, while others state that T boosters can actually improve heart health. The reality of the situation is there is no scientific evidence to back either of these claims. 

That said, quality oral T boosters contain natural nutrients & herbs like vitamin D, Fenugreek extract, and Ginseng — making them generally safe to use. 

Side effects

Testosterone boosters shouldn’t have a direct impact on your cardiovascular health. Some of them even contain ingredients that help improve it. 

Still, in severe cases of testosterone deficiency, supplements might not be enough. There’s also the question of continuous use and the possibility of going into overproduction of testosterone. None of these options seem to be likely, but users should monitor their testosterone levels so they can control their intake. 

On the other hand, anabolic steroids, which are usually injected directly into your blood, are a whole different ball game.

To put it bluntly, Androgenic Anabolic Steroids are not good for cardiovascular health. Studies show that AAS use can lead to major heart issues like ventricular hypertrophy, reduced left ventricular function, pulmonary embolism, and sudden cardiac death.

The researchers at the University of California San Francisco also recommend against the use of AAS. According to their findings, these steroids are linked with a significantly higher risk of heart attack and serious liver damage.


The connection between testosterone and cardiovascular health is a complicated one.

On the one hand, testosterone improves oxygen delivery to your organs by regulating red blood cell production. It is also responsible for a process called vasodilation which widens your blood vessels — improving blood flow and lowering the risk of heart issues.

On the other hand, this connection relies on the delicate testosterone balance. If your T levels go below the normal 300 ng/dL amount, you can lose red blood cell concentration, which can cause anemia. Conversely, if your T levels rise above 1000 ng/dL, you’re at risk of erythrocytosis and high blood pressure.

So, make sure to keep your testosterone levels balanced through proper diet, exercise, ample sleep, and even supplements if necessary


Can testosterone cause a stroke?

Yes and no. The natural testosterone produced in your body is unlikely to cause a heart stroke. Some reports claim that testosterone replacement therapy can increase the risk of a stroke, but studies on the matter find contradicting results

That said, boosting testosterone with Androgenic Anabolic Steroids does increase the risk of a stroke alongside other major issues like a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Does testosterone treatment clog arteries?

Yes, it does. A 2017 study by J. Budoff et al. observed increased coronary artery plaque volume after 1-year testosterone treatment in older men with hypogonadism.

Does testosterone affect heart rate?

Low testosterone levels are usually associated with a slower heart rate. Simultaneously, increasing testosterone levels through TRT or T booster can actually shorten the heart-rate-corrected QT interval.

About the Author Tim Rockwell

Tim Rockwell is a highly skilled and knowledgeable fitness expert. With a background in exercise science and years of experience in the fitness industry, Tim is passionate about sharing his expertise with others through his writing. He currently contributes articles to Eurasc, where he shares practical tips and strategies for leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

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