In an international collaboration with the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts, Professor Gary Wittert, Director of the Freemason’s Foundation Centre for Men’s Health has been looking at community survey data from Boston to examine whether hormonal levels can be blamed for fat mass in men, or whether in fact the vice-versa is more likely to be the case.
For this study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Investigators examined a cross-section of 821 men aged 30 to 79 and also examined them over time to determine the associations between hormone levels (estrogen, testosterone, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone), sex hormone binding globulin and body composition (fat mass, weight, waist/hip circumference).
They found that, after controlling for other influencing factors, testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin were inversely correlated with all body composition parameters. Estrogen and the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, on the other hand was positively associated with these parameters.
Importantly, there were no associations between baseline hormone levels and change in body composition over an average of 5 years of monitoring implying that body composition affects hormone levels and not the reverse.
Therefore blaming weight gain on hormone levels no longer cuts it. Testosterone and other sex hormones play a critical role in many aspects of male physical and mental health and well-being. Therefore this study reinforces the importance of a healthy, physically active lifestyle to maintain weight and healthy testosterone levels.
Go to http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthyactive/publishing.nsf/Content/healthyweight for a healthy weight guide.