How Helpful Is Testosterone In Weight Loss?
People suffering from obesity are generally very responsive to any type of advertisements that may help in losing weight. But the question is, of all the things in this world, does testosterone have super powers to burn body fat? And even if it does wonders for overweight people, can it possibly help if you are hypogonadal?
Pathophysiology Of Weight Gain
Weight gain or weight loss is not an overnight event. In order to gain or lose weight, a lot of factors may play a major role; such as calorie intake, calorie expenditure, biological and chemical factors, overall physical or hormonal health etc. If you are looking to lose weight, it is highly recommended to consume fewer calories. In addition, make sure you are burning sufficient calories via exercise, workout and other healthy activities. When the number of calories consumed is lower than the number of calories burned, the body begins to utilize its own reserves in order to function well.
In the light of numerous studies, science has silenced all gibberish and balderdash theories regarding weight loss through various fad diets and supplements. To prove it, Mark Haub, a professor, went all the lengths to put on weight by eating junk food like Doritos, Twinkies, Oreos for a period of 2 months. However, during the same period of time, he made sure that he loses 800kcal each day. After the completion of study period, despite high calorie gain Mark lost 27 pounds and the percentage of his body fat dropped from 33.4% to 24.9%.
To conclude Mark’s experiment, losing weight is only possible if fewer calories are consumed and more are burned. This also leads us to our main question; whether testosterone, in either high or low levels, have an impact on weight loss?
As long as the major principles of weight loss are under check, things will go accordingly regardless of the testosterone levels. But high levels of testosterone are believed to facilitate the weight loss. In simple words, testosterone speeds up the basal metabolic processes.
- With high levels of testosterone, it becomes easy to put off weight as testosterone helps in burning fat accumulated in adipose tissues rather than burning the muscle mass.
- It also accelerates the metabolic rate thereby increasing basal expenditure of calories.
- Elevated testosterone levels also restricts the formation of new fat cells.
For a clearer picture, a study was conducted on healthy humans with testosterone levels fluctuating between 250 to 1200ng/dl. GnRH antagonist was administered which caused the drop in testosterone levels from 600- 300ng/dl and resultantly elevated fat mass up to 36%. This shows that:
- The greater the loss of fat mass, the greater the preservation of lean mass on a low calorie count.
- The greater the gain of lean mass, the lesser the gain of fat mass on a high calorie count.
- Likewise, when you lose extra weight, your testosterone levels also return to normal levels without any treatment (or supplements).
After establishing what testosterone actually does for weight loss, following conclusion may be drawn:
Testosterone does not help in reducing weight if the calorie consumption is greater than the number of calories being burned. But it will surely enhance the process of lipolysis and will retard new fat cells formation. In short, boosting testosterone levels naturally may assist in losing weight.
- Niskanen, L., Laaksonen, D. E., Punnonen, K., Mustajoki, P., Kaukua, J., & Rissanen, A. (2004). Changes in sex hormone‐binding globulin and testosterone during weight loss and weight maintenance in abdominally obese men with the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 6(3), 208-215.
- Traish, A. M. (2014). Testosterone and weight loss: the evidence. Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, 21(5), 313-322.
- Corona, G., Rastrelli, G., Monami, M., Saad, F., Luconi, M., Lucchese, M., … & Maggi, M. (2013). Body weight loss reverts obesity-associated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Endocrinology, 168(6), 829-843.