Testosterone is responsible for some of the typical male characteristics. It also promotes muscle growth in both genders.
Most men are full of testosterone. However, a few suffer from a deficiency, a problem that seems to predispose them to excessive fat gain.
This article discusses the potential role of this hormone in weight loss and obesity.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone. It is mainly produced by the testicles in men and ovaries in women.
Testosterone exerts complex effects on your body that extend beyond regulating fertility and bone mass.
It also plays a role in fat distribution and how much muscle mass you’re able to build and maintain. Low levels negatively impact you in various ways, some of which influence your weight.
Testosterone levels decline naturally as you age. However, at Superior Genetix we see men who have lower-than-normal testosterone levels even for their age. If you’re in this situation, you may be an ideal candidate for hormone replacement therapy.
Hormones are messenger molecules that play a vital role in all body systems. They are released into the bloodstream, which carries them to their target cells.
When hormones come in contact with compatible cells, they bind to receptors on their surface and affect their function.
Testosterone’s main role is to promote male characteristics like a deeper voice, increased muscle mass, stronger bones and facial and body hair growth.
Adequate levels are also essential for the maturation of sperm cells and the maintenance of male fertility.
Unsurprisingly, testosterone levels are much higher in men than in women. Yet the hormone plays several vital roles in women too.
One of its most important functions in both genders is to maintain muscle mass and promote muscle growth and bone strength. Your levels decline with age, partly explaining age-related muscle and bone loss.
Not only does deficiency suppress muscle growth and maintenance, but it may also promote weight gain.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It promotes muscle growth as well as other typical male characteristics, such as a deep voice and body hair growth.
Deficiency May Lead to Weight Gain
Testosterone promotes muscle growth. At the same time, it may suppress fat gain. As a result, some testosterone-deficient men tend to gain fat more easily than their healthy peers
Muscles burn far more calories than fat tissue. Lack of muscle mass thus puts people at a higher risk of eating too much and storing the excess calories as fat
In fact, some researchers believe that reduced muscle mass is the primary reason deficiency leads to weight gain in men.
Obesity itself may also suppress testosterone levels, as explained in the next chapter.
Low testosterone levels reduce muscle mass and calorie expenditure. For this reason, deficiency may promote weight gain over time.
Obesity Is Linked With Low T Levels
On average, obese men have 30% lower testosterone levels than those who are normal-weight.
All those crunches in the gym may be going to waste if you have low testosterone, and if you think it’s uncommon, guess again.
Approximately one in four men over the age of 30 has low testosterone, and many are completely unaware of it. If your libido has tanked and the scale continues to rise, low testosterone may be the culprit.
The good news is, with proper diagnosis and treatment, you can lose weight and restore your vitality.
More than 70% of morbidly obese men suffer from male hypogonadism, or testosterone deficiency, a disorder characterized by abnormally low levels of this hormone. Male hypogonadism may reverse with weight loss.
Scientists are not entirely sure why levels are lower in obese men, but most studies point toward the following processes.
First, belly fat contains high levels of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen, the female sex hormone. This explains why obese men have higher estrogen levels than normal-weight men.
Second, high aromatase and estrogen activity reduces the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH). Lack of GRH leads to lower levels of luteinizing hormone, which in turn reduces the production of testosterone. Put simply, excessive belly fat appears to suppress testosterone levels.
Obese men tend to have lower levels of this hormone than normal-weight men. Most research suggests that excessive belly fat reduces these levels.
Some bodybuilders misuse testosterone for the amazing muscle building and fat loss effects. Long-term abuse of high doses may lead to serious health problems.
“TRT” Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone injections, gels, and even capsules are often legally prescribed to treat testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) or other medical conditions.
The treatment is known as testosterone replacement therapy and is performed under medical supervision. It can be administered as a supplement, skin patch, cream or injection.
There is some evidence that replacement therapy can lead to fat reduction in obese patients with testosterone deficiency.
One 56-week study in 100 obese men on a reduced-calorie diet found that injections improved weight loss by 6.4 pounds (2.9 kg) compared to those who didn’t receive any treatment.
While both groups lost muscle mass as well as fat mass on a low-calorie diet, testosterone caused significant muscle regain during the weight maintenance period.
It leads to weight loss by promoting muscle growth, which in turn increases the number of calories burned.
It may also reduce fatigue, enhance motivation and promote greater physical activity. All of these factors play a major role in weight loss
Keep in mind that these studies examined the effects of replacement therapy in deficient men under medical supervision.
There is no evidence that replacement therapy causes weight loss in healthy men with normal testosterone levels.
Testosterone replacement therapy promotes fat loss in obese, testosterone-deficient men.
Testosterone boosters enhance the natural production of testosterone within the body. Studies suggest that certain boosters may benefit men who are deficient.