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Weight Loss: An Added Benefit of Testosterone Therapy

By Shelly Sheppard, MA

A five-year study presented at the annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society by Dr. Farid Saad shows that testosterone therapy can help men with hormone deficiencies reduce body weight and waist circumference. 225 men were treated with long- term testosterone replacement therapy over the five- year study, and 90% lost an average of 36 lbs from their baseline weight and 97% saw a drop in waist circumference, with 46% of that reduction being greater than 3.5 inches. Not many therapies can boast a 90% success rate in patients, particularly when it comes to weight loss.

A second study by Dr. Youssef El Douaily of Maimondies Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, confirmed that men can experience significant weight loss. His seven- year compilation of data showed that (on average) men lost 13 % of their initial body weight and experienced an average loss of 4 inches in waist circumference.

A third 15-year study presented by Dr. Michael Zitzmann of the University of Munster in Germany also showed a significant reduction in metabolic syndrome among male patients, dropping from 88% to 52% within the first two years. Significant reductions in blood pressure, resting heart rate, body weight and body mass index, waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were also reported.

It is believed that the normalization of testosterone levels in men is relevant to the progressive weight loss because testosterone increases fat-free mass, and enhances vitality, virility and a patient’s drive to change. Men are motivated when they see their testosterone levels go up, their body mass go down; energy levels increase, depression decrease; alleviated erectile dysfunction and reduced frequent night urination. Testosterone deficiencies can be measured by a simple blood test administered by a physician.

The relationship between excess fat and decreased testosterone seems to be a vicious cycle. Some studies suggest that obesity (especially abdominal obesity) is associated with lower levels of testosterone and a reduction in muscle mass. It should also be noted that men with testosterone deficiencies are at a higher risk for osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Interestingly enough, the positive effects of testosterone therapy come with a reciprocal benefit. Natural testosterone production can actually recover itself after a deficiency is corrected because excess adipose tissue or fat is actually a powerful suppressor of testosterone production. Patients lose weight and testosterone levels can normalize.

None of the three studies focused on testosterone therapy as a treatment for weight loss. All of the men were being treated for hormone deficiencies and a range of problems from ED to fatigue and a related lack of energy. However, an added benefit of the therapy was weight loss.

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