The Testosterone-Obesity Link

We already know that being obese puts people at risk for heart disease, some cancers, high blood pressure and stroke. With 65 percent of American overweight or obese, this is a growing concern. Now a new study by the University of Virginia is showing that obese men and teenage girls may have abnormal levels of testosterone.

A sex hormone present in all men and women, testosterone is responsible for maintaining muscle mass and bone density, as well as keeping energy and sex drive on par. Although people think of testosterone as a “male” hormone, it is present in lower amounts in females.

The obese men from the study were found to have low levels of testosterone. While some testosterone loss is normal in older men, those who gained a small to moderate amount as they aged experienced lower levels.

Obese teenage girls had the opposite problem. When compared to girls with a normal body mass index, the obese girls had two to nine times higher levels of testosterone. Problems from this increased amount include:
-Impaired fertility
-Higher risk for diabetes
-Androgenic effects like excess hair growth

Strangely enough, many female bodybuilders use synthetic testosterone to get an “edge.” In light of this study, supplementing with testosterone in any form could be potentially dangerous. Hopefully more studies will be done as we continue to learn more about this.

Let me know, thanks. Hopefully more studies will be done as we continue to learn more about this.

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