Lower testosterone levels are common in aging men, but why are some men far more affected by these signs of aging than others? A 2006 study tested 2,100 men over the age of 45 and found correlations between several health conditions and low testosterone levels in aging men.
Low testosterone levels were seen:
- 2.4 times more often in obese men
- 2.1 times more often in men with diabetes
- 1.8 times more often in men with high blood pressure
Ongoing research has not yet found a causal relationship between low testosterone and poor overall health, however, direct correlations have been noted between healthy males and higher testosterone levels.
Testosterone is what helps the body’s tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin and can explain why men with diabetes experience far lower testosterone levels. Nearly half of men with diabetes have low testosterone levels but scientists can’t figure out if low testosterone causes diabetes or vice versa.
The study explains, “fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, lowering testosterone levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG means less testosterone.” This explains the connection between obesity and low testosterone levels in aging men.
The correlations found between low testosterone and health conditions are tightly woven. If you are obese, testosterone supplements may also help reduce weight gain affiliated with hormone levels.