Last week in Houston, Texas some of the world’s top endocrinologists met at ENDO 2012, and one interesting presentation (yet unpublished) discussed an important relationship between male testosterone levels and weight.
Testosterone levels in men peak in the late teens and early 20s, and after age 30 blood level drops an average of 1% per year. This gradual decrease in testosterone (T) is quite variable, but it is not uncommon for men in their 50s and 60s to suffer symptoms of low T levels such as decreased interest in sex, fewer and softer erections, insomnia, increased body fat and decreased muscle mass, decreased energy, even depression and hot flashes.
Women progress through menopause, so they are generally much more attuned to their hormone levels, and many middle-aged men experiencing these symptoms think they are just part of normal aging, when the cause can be abnormally low T levels, and thus reversible.
Testosterone supplementation in middle-aged men is now common in the United States, but it is controversial (will address in a future post), as well as expensive. In the U.S. a one-month supply of T gel can cost several hundred dollars, yet typically the therapy is effective, and many men feel stronger physically and mentally.
There are few proven ways to boost man’s testosterone level in a sustained way without medication, but this week’s ENDO 2012 presentation from Andrew Dwyer, M.D. of the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard University) gives a clue; that is: overweight men with low testosterone levels, if they lose weight, can move their T levels back into a normal range.
His study showed that after a year of a low-fat diet combined with 150 minutes weekly of physical activity, men who were able to lose 7.7 kg of weight, showed an increase of 15% in their T levels. This increase is significant, especially since the normal trend after a year would be a lower T level. Half the men who lost the weight moved from a low T level into the normal range.
This gives men—and their partners who often notice the effects of the low T levels as well—another great reason to lose weight if they are sedentary or out-of-shape. And beyond feeling better with rising T levels, the men who successfully lose weight will enjoy all the other benefits of being normal weight again, such as a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)