The People's Perspective on Medicine

Losing Weight Boosts Testosterone

Losing weight may have a surprising benefit for middle-aged men. A study of nearly 900 men at risk of type 2 diabetes compared the effects of diet and exercise in one group, metformin in another group and a placebo control in the third group. Both metformin and lifestyle changes were able to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, however, men who controlled their blood sugar with diet and exercise were much less likely to have low testosterone. At the beginning of the study, 20 percent of them had low levels of this important hormone. After a year of lifestyle modification that resulted in weight loss, only 11 percent had low testosterone. This male hormone is related to muscle and well-being as well as to sexual interest and performance. There was no change in the incidence of low testosterone in either of the other two groups.
[The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston, June 25, 2012]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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My husband has been losing weight for almost 2 years. He is 6’1″ and usually weighed 165 to 175 lbs. Never was he overweight. He was very active physically. His weight went down to 135. In the course of the past several years he has had a pacemaker, taken statins, developed type 2 diabetes and had some complications from a swallowing nerve being damaged during an operation to clean out his carotid artery. The nerve is reviving but he still has muscle problems. Right now he gets his nourishment directly to his stomach.
Several doctors have said his weight loss is a mystery and could do nothing to help. Finally a new endocrinologist did a test that showed he was severely depleted in testosterone. Another doctor had a different kind of blood test done and found he was severely anemic. Now he uses Androgel and takes Iron. His weight has gone from 132 to 139. His blood sugar is stable. I wonder if he would even be alive today if he hadn’t persisted in not only second opinions but third and fourth.

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