Are your workouts at the gym not producing the muscle mass and muscle tone it used to? Are you getting a spare tire around your waist despite all the exercising you do? Has it become more difficult to get rid of excess fat? You may be asking yourself “What’s going on?” One of the ways to know that you may have a hormone deficiency is when you are doing everything right but not getting the same results you use to. In this case, these signs indicate a testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone is one of the androgen hormones produced by the testes. It is the principle male hormone and is responsible for the development of the male sex characteristics. Testosterone is also the hormone of desire. Men produce testosterone primarily from the testes and also from the adrenal glands, while women produce smaller amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Optimal testosterone levels positively affect muscle tone, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, the immune system, weight, moods, bone health, skin, libido, sperm production, sleep, as well as heart, liver and brain health.
Testosterone Helps Build Strong Muscles
Testosterone improves muscle mass, strength and tone, and increases stamina and endurance. Research shows that testosterone, especially when combined with strength training, increases fat-free mass and muscle size and strength in normal men.(1) Research concludes that testosterone replacement in men with low testosterone enhanced skeletal muscle mass. (2) Research also demonstrates positive effects on body composition and muscle strength were reported in testosterone therapy studies of males diagnosed or identified as low testosterone, including increases in lean body mass (also termed fat-free mass), muscle volume and area, and muscle strength. (3) Research studies suggest that testosterone increases muscle mass by increasing muscle protein synthesis.(4)
The Importance of a Healthy Body Weight for Optimal Testosterone Levels
Being way over your ideal body weight can negatively affect muscle mass and muscle function because overweight and obese men have lower testosterone levels. Research shows that obesity contributes to loss of muscle mass and function. (5)
One research study demonstrated that obese men have 30 % lower total testosterone levels compared to lean men, and 40 % have levels lower than 12 nmol/L, the lower limit reported for healthy young men. This reduction in total testosterone levels is in part due to the obesity-associated lowering in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). However, especially with more marked obesity, free testosterone levels are also reduced due to obesity-associated suppression of the gonadal axis at the hypothalamic level. This bidirectional relationship between lowered testosterone and obesity is supported by clinical studies – weight loss increases testosterone proportionally to weight loss and testosterone treatment reduces body fat. (5)
Testosterone Helps Men to Lose Weight and Decrease Fat
The major findings in a research study demonstrated that, among obese men with low to low-normal testosterone who were put on a weight loss program, testosterone treatment decreased total fat mass and visceral adipose tissue, and protected against loss of total and appendicular lean mass. Among obese men with a low to low-normal testosterone typical for the majority of obese men, testosterone treatment augmented diet-induced loss of total fat and visceral fat mass, and preserved lean mass so that, in contrast to placebo-treated men who lost both lean and fat mass, diet-induced weight loss during testosterone treatment was almost exclusively due to the loss of body fat. (5)
Research shows that long-term testosterone therapy in men with testosterone deficiency produces significant and sustained weight loss, marked reduction in waist circumference and BMI and improvement in body composition. Further, testosterone therapy relieves components of the metabolic syndrome. The aforementioned improvements are attributed to improved mitochondrial function, increased energy utilization, increased motivation and vigor resulting in improved cardio-metabolic function and enhanced physical activity.(6)
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Loss of muscle mass, strength and tone may be only your first clue that you are not making enough testosterone. Here are some other symptoms to look out for:
- Low libido
- Lack of initiative, assertiveness and drive
- Decline in sense of well-being and self-confidence
- Depressed, irritable moods
- Increased body fat around the waist
- Decline in sexual ability
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Lessened stamina and endurance
- Sleep apnea
- Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts)
Bioidentical Testosterone vs Synthetic Testosterone
Please note that the type of testosterone supplementation we are talking about here is NOT the dangerous anabolic steroids, or synthetic testosterone. We are talking about simply replacing your God-given natural testosterone and restoring levels to normal. Bioidentical testosterone is identical to the testosterone made by your body.
Synthetic indicates that a variation of a hormone is created that does not chemically match the hormone as naturally made by the body. An example of a synthetic hormone is methyltestosterone because it is a substance that has been modified in chemical structure from how it would occur naturally and has an added methyl group to its structure. Methyltestosterone is a synthetic anabolic steroid that is abused by many bodybuilders and it is not without dangerous side effects. Besides the well known side effects of big, bulky muscles and aggressive behavior, it can also increase risk of death from premature heart disease or cancer, especially prostate cancer. It can also lead to an increased blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack or stroke. Drugs such as methyltestosterone can also cause prostatic hypertrophy, prostate cancer and liver damage and cancer. (7)
Tom Can Work Out Like He’s in His Twenties Again
Tom shares how he got his energy back and how he can work out again like he did when he was young. “Today I feel great. I’m 57 years old. I can do as many push-ups, pull-ups and sit ups as a senior in high school.”
Do You Have Low Testosterone?
Are you wondering if you have a testosterone deficiency? Take our symptom checker quiz now to find out. By restoring your testosterone levels to normal with bioidentical testosterone, you can improve muscle mass and tone, lose weight, and regain your energy and sense of well-being.
1. The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men
2. Effects of Testosterone Replacement on Muscle Mass and Muscle Protein Synthesis in Hypogonadal Men–a Clinical Research Center Study
3. Additional Studies of Testosterone Therapy
4. Effect of Testosterone on Muscle Mass and Muscle Protein Synthesis
5. Effects of Testosterone Treatment on Body Fat and Lean Mass in Obese Men on a Hypocaloric Diet: A Randomised Controlled Trial
6. Testosterone and Weight Loss: The Evidence
7. 17-Methyltestosterone – Human Health Effects