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How Being Overweight Affects Testosterone Levels

How Being Overweight Affects Testosterone Levels

November 15, 2018

Overweight Affects Testosterone LevelsCarrying around a few extra pounds is not only bad for your health, but it is also detrimental to your hormones. In this article, we will discuss how being overweight affects testosterone levels.

There is a significant link between obesity and low testosterone. How does being overweight affect testosterone? Obesity decreases the amount of the protein sex Trusted sourceWhat is an SHBG blood test?Medline PlusGo to sourcehormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that carries testosterone through the bloodstream. With reduced SHBG, less testosterone reaches androgen receptors.

Low testosterone often leads to insulin resistance, causing the pancreas to overproduce insulin in response to blood glucose levels. Too much insulin makes the cells resistant to its effects, and they do not take in circulating glucose. Instead, that glucose is stored away and fat retention increases.

How else does being overweight affect testosterone levels?

Obesity can suppress testicular function, decreasing the amount of testosterone the testes produce. Since testosterone is also fat-soluble, it tends to store away in fat tissue. When you have increased fat, more testosterone leaves the bloodstream to enter the fat cells.

Here are some crucial statistics:

  • Overweight men have a 2.4 times greater incidence of low testosterone
  • Diabetes increases the risk of Low T by 2.1 times

Being overweight can greatly increase the risk of low testosterone.

Link Between Testosterone Deficiency and Weight Gain

The link between Low T and weight gain is also due to the activity of aromatase and estrogen on the hypothalamus. To understand this connection of how overweight affect testosterone levels, let us take a look at some of the functions of testosterone.

Testosterone is an androgen hormone that has many functions in the body, three of which can significantly impact weight:

  1. Some of the body’s free testosterone converts into estradiol. As the most abundant form of Trusted sourceEverything you need to know about estrogenMedical News TodayGo to sourceestrogen in the body , estradiol increases fat retention. The higher the amount of estradiol, the more weight gain is likely.
  2. Testosterone directly influences the metabolism of food, helping to convert it to fuel rather than fat. Low testosterone levels inhibit food metabolism, leading to weight gain.
  3. Uptake of glucose (blood sugar) by the body’s cells is, in part, influenced by testosterone, as previously discussed.

How being overweight affects testosterone levels via the Trusted sourceHypothalamus OverviewHealthlineGo to sourcehypothalamus is through the action of aromatase and estrogen. Aromatase comes from belly fat which is influenced by estradiol. It is aromatase that converts testosterone to estradiol. Elevated levels of estradiol and aromatase inhibit the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in the hypothalamus. GnRH is responsible for stimulating luteinizing hormone (LH) in the pituitary gland that signals the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone.

Low testosterone can lead to weight gain.

Can Increasing Testosterone Lead to Weight Loss?

By increasing testosterone levels, you can have a direct impact on weight loss. We have seen how being overweight affects testosterone levels. The effect of each on one another can have mutual benefits. If you lose weight, you will decrease belly fat and reduce aromatase conversion of testosterone into estradiol. Less testosterone conversion means more testosterone in the bloodstream.

Conversely, if you increase testosterone levels, you will have a higher testosterone to estrogen ratio. Testosterone will improve the sensitivity of the cells to the influence of insulin, allowing them to use glucose for energy rather than turning it to fat.

Since testosterone impacts metabolism, it will help your body process the food you eat into energy rather than fat. Testosterone therapy has been shown to be beneficial in not only the burning of stored body fat but also the increase of lean muscle. Since muscle increases caloric expenditure, you burn fat more efficiently.

For further information on how being overweight affects testosterone levels, please contact our hormone clinic. We provide free consultations, diagnostic testing, and affordable hormone replacement therapy to men and women throughout the US.

Increasing testosterone levels can lead to weight loss.

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    Mark Ng Tang Fui, Philippe Dupuis, and Mathis Grossmann Published online 2014 Jan 20
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