Obesity wreaks havoc on the sexual, reproductive, and hormonal systems of both men and women.
Extra fat, especially intra-abdominal (visceral) obesity, aka “beer belly” (or “soda belly”) is metabolically active and damages the body by ramping up inflammation. It also tends to convert testosterone to estrogen. Therefore, many obese men have low levels of testosterone. This also occurs because the high levels of estrogen produced tell the brain to stop producing sex hormones, including testosterone. Low levels of testosterone in men have been associated with heart disease, depression, low libido, low sperm counts and infertility.

How to break the vicious cycle of “feminization” of men:
1. Do resistance training to build muscle. This may also (especially lower body weight training) help to raise testosterone levels as the body seeks to repair the muscle that’s been worked.
2. Consume fewer simple carbohydrates (beer, soda, sugar added to almost all prepared foods) to reduce abdominal fat.
3. Get adequate sleep. That includes getting evaluated for and possibly treated for sleep apnea. Men with sleep apnea are particularly prone to having low testosterone.

Some physicians have prescribed testosterone therapy for men with documented low blood levels of testosterone. It can help reduce visceral fat and improve mood and improve erectile dysfunction. However, its long-term safety is unclear, and it can promote growth of some tumors. Prescribed testosterone can also make sleep apnea worse. I have lost weight without testosterone supplementation.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.



  2. Physician’s First Watch for July 1, 2010
    David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief

    Testosterone Therapy Linked to Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Older Men with Limited Mobility

    Use of testosterone gel in older men with mobility problems might increase risk for cardiovascular events, according to a small study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Some 200 community-dwelling men aged 65 or older with low serum testosterone levels and impaired mobility were randomized to use a testosterone gel (10 mg) or placebo daily for 6 months. The trial was stopped early because of an excess of cardiovascular events with testosterone compared with placebo (in 23 vs. 5 subjects). In addition, testosterone recipients developed more respiratory and dermatologic disorders.

    The elevated risks persisted after adjustment for baseline risk factors, including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension.

    The authors note that their findings may not be generalizable to younger men or to those without impaired mobility.

    NEJM article (Free)

  3. Pingback: IS TESTOSTERONE A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? - How I Lost 100 lbs

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