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Low Estrogen Levels Tied To Men's Expanding Waistlines, Study

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Joseph

Declining steroid hormone levels have a greater effect on weight gain in middle aged men than previously thought, a new study shows. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, estrogen, a steroid hormone which is commonly associated with weight gain in middle-aged women has been proven to lead to weight gain in men, too.

Dr. Joel Finkelstein and colleagues learned about estrogen's effect on middle-aged men in a study where researchers sought to understand the consequences that declining levels of testosterone and estrogen have on the human body.

To this end the researchers recruited 400 healthy men for a study wherein levels of testosterone would be decreased for a total of 16 weeks. The men whom were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a group that received either a gel which suppressed natural testosterone convesion to estrogen production or one that received varying levels of testosterone.

What they learned was that men who didn't receive enough testosterone gained weight. In fact, the study showed that men with loss testosterone not only gained weight, they also lost lean mass, muscle mass and strength and decreased sexual desire.

Testosterone regulates muscle mass and strength while estrogen is involved in fat storage. Most men witness a decline in testosterone with age.

Heavy weight training can help stave off the effects of aging in men.

Lifting heavy weights forces the body to produce more testosterone which stimulate muscular growth; the hormone also increases mental alertness, confidence, and libido. This is why men who participate in intense physical exercise tend to be more assertive, energetic and more physically fit than men whom are less active.

Finklestein and colleagues wrote "Androgen deficiency accounted for decreases in lean mass, muscle size, and strength; estrogen deficiency primarily accounted for increases in body fat; and both contributed to the decline in sexual function."adding that their findings "support changes in the approach to evaluation and management of hypogonadism in men."

While further research is necessary, the results of the current study help to explain the changes in physical strength and appearance and sexual drive common to millions of middle-aged men.

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Article Sources

Finkelstein JS, Lee H, Burnett-Bowie SA, Pallais JC, Yu EW, Borges LF, Jones BF, Barry CV, Wulczyn KE, Thomas BJ, & Leder BZ (2013). Gonadal steroids and body composition, strength, and sexual function in men. The New England journal of medicine, 369 (11), 1011-22 PMID: 24024838

 

"Low Estrogen Levels Tied To Men's Expanding Waistlines, Study" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). Are you?

 

 

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