Obesity May Lower Testosterone Levels in Teenage Males
A new study published in the Journal of Endocrinology found that obesity may have an adverse effect on the testosterone levels of teenage males. The study was headed by Paresh Dandona, who heads the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at medical school at the University of Buffalo.
Dandona and his team studied more than 50 male subjects between the ages of 14 and 20. Half of the subjects were classified as obese, ranking in at least the 95th percentile for body mass index. The other half were of normal weight, ranking in the 85th percentile or lower. Researchers drew blood samples of all patients to measure testosterone levels.
Previous studies have shown that older men suffering from obesity and type II diabetes were between 25-33% more likely to have lower testosterone levels. Other studies also found that men who underwent weight loss surgery ended up increasing their testosterone levels in the long-term.
Dandona and his colleagues wanted to research how obesity affected younger males of healthier weights. They found that the impact was even more profound. Obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 were reported to be 50% more likely to have a lower testosterone level than men in the same age group with healthier weights.
Dandona said that the study shows concerns for obese males as they enter adulthood. Significantly lower testosterone levels raise the likelihood that they will have sexual performance difficulties. This can have a negative impact on their self-esteem.
However, the study doesn’t necessarily indicate that obesity impacts testosterone levels. Lower testosterone levels could also be a contributing factor to obesity. Additional studies will need to be conducted to confirm and explain any correlation.
Dandona said additional studies will need to be conducted to understand how the pituitary gland is activated to increase testosterone levels. Those studies might explain how they can turn the gland back on to increase hormone levels in men with insufficient levels.
Males who lose weight without undergoing weight loss surgery could also increase testosterone levels in overweight males. However, few studies have been conducted to explain how the phenomenon may hold with teenage males. Additional studies will need to be conducted on adolescents to better explain the relationship and propose relevant treatment procedures.
[box type="important"]Physicians said that the best way to prevent these health problems is for people to make weight loss a priority. Many studies have found a number of concerns for patients suffering from obesity. Weight loss will always be the first line of defense against heart disease and diabetes. This study indicates that may hold for sexual maturation as well.[/box]