Testosterone is an important hormone especially in male as it is responsible for variety of functions. Masculine features, both physical and psychological are due to this hormone. It also maintains the metabolic mechanism in the body and increases muscle mass.
Does Testosterone Make You Lose Belly Fat?
Several studies show that there is link between the testosterone and belly fat. Testosterone is an important hormone and is responsible for maintaining the muscle mass. It also helps in improving the insulin sensitivity. Further, low levels of testosterone also result in the uneven storage of fat especially on the belly. Thus, this hormone helps in maintaining the body in proper shape.
Low levels also reduce muscle gain and thus the excess fat results in weight gain. It is interesting to note that in some people, the weight gain is primary reason for reduced testosterone concentration while in some people the reduced concentration results in obesity. The reason for obese people having low levels of testosterone is due to the presence of high quantity of aromatase in the belly fat which catalyzes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Thus, the people with high belly fat have lower levels of testosterone and high levels of estrogen.
Further, high level of estrogen and high aromatase activity reduces the activity of luteinizing hormone which acts as trigger for the production of testosterone.
One mechanism postulated for reduction in belly fat by testosterone is that it reduces the activity of Lipoprotein lipase, which helps in reducing the belly fat. There are very few studies available to conclude the positive effect of testosterone on belly fat. Further, increase in the concentration of testosterone also reduces triglycerides level and increases the insulin sensitivity. Further the study also concluded that there is a reduction of overall fat, and waist to hip ratio.
The testosterone levels may be reduced due to various reasons such as injury, infection, cancer or due to various drugs. The condition may be congenital or acquired. Maximum concentration of testosterone is reached at 19 years of age and after that it starts declining. Once below a certain level, it leads to the condition termed as late-onset hypogonadism.
Side Effects Of Testosterone
Although testosterone has been used in variety of indications, some are approved, and others are its off-label use. There are certain side effects associated with this drug which can be sometime life-threatening. Thus, prior to use this drug, a risk-benefit analysis should be done, and this drug should be administered under the advice of an expert endocrinologist. Following are the side effects associated with the testosterone replacement therapy:
Acne Or Oily Skin: Treatment with testosterone causes activation of sebaceous gland. Activated sebaceous glands secrete sebum which causes oily skin. Further, this sebum blocks the skin pores making the skin prone to acne.
Fluid Retention: Testosterone also causes fluid retention in the body. The patients who are suffering from chronic kidney disease should not take testosterone.
Thrombus Formation: Testosterone increases the quantity of red blood cells and increases hematocrit values. Thus, the risk of blood clot is also increased with testosterone.
Prostate Complications: It is contraindicated in the patient of prostate cancer and in those patients, who are at high risk of prostate cancer. Further, it stimulates the tissues and increases the frequency of urination.
Cardiac Effects: Testosterone increases the blood pressure and also raises the risk of myocardial infarction. Care should be taken for administering the drug to cardiac patients.
Changes In Testes: Testosterone reduces the size of testes.
Laboratory Reports: Various laboratory parameters such as lipid profile and hematocrit values are also altered by testosterone.
Some people have high belly fat due to low testosterone and some have low testosterone due to belly fat. Testosterone is responsible for maintain the metabolism of fat and helps in even distribution of the fat. Further, it reduces the triglyceride level and also improves insulin sensitivity. Some studies suggest the positive effect of testosterone on belly fat, but testosterone should be administered after making a risk-benefit analysis as this therapy has some serious side effects.
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