The primary purpose of the human brain is to help people navigate their lives, and it achieves this by regulating many physiological systems. One such system is the production of hormones such as cortisol, sex hormone-binding globulin, testosterone, and estrogen. Between men and women, roughly twice as much testosterone is produced during adulthood as during infancy or childhood. This blog will discuss why you get tired and how testosterone might help.
1. Testosterone’s Role in Fat Loss
Testosterone plays an important role in fat metabolism. Three different forms of body fat affect our health: visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, and intramuscular adipose tissue. Intramuscular adipose tissue is the easiest type of body fat to lose. Visceral fat, stored around the organs, is also fairly easy to lose if one exercises regularly and diets sensibly. Subcutaneous fat is harder to lose, particularly with diet alone. Intramuscular adipose tissue is the third type of body fat to lose, which requires exercise in addition to proper diet.
Testosterone stimulates the breakdown of visceral fat cells. However, it acts on the lipolytic enzymes in fat cells responsible for breaking down both visceral and subcutaneous fat. Testosterone is also able to induce lipolysis in other tissues. In the muscles, some of the testosterone produced by androgen-sensitive cells is converted into estrogen, which binds to androgen receptors and activates lipolysis. Testosterone also reduces body fat storage.
2. Testosterone’s Role in Insulin Sensitivity
Testosterone is also associated with improved insulin sensitivity. In a study of over 100 men, those who suffered from low testosterone had impaired insulin sensitivity. It is believed that the rise in visceral fat creates a low-grade inflammatory state that lowers testosterone production and increases insulin resistance.
3. Testosterone and Insulin Resistance
The aforementioned fat storage leads to an increase of fatty cells and thus to an increase in the amount of estrogen produced by these cells. This estrogen stimulates androgen receptors, which in turn trigger increased testosterone production. This increase in testosterone induces the browning of white adipose tissue, which is the process that turns white fat into brown fat. White fat is stored in cooler body parts such as the neck and lower abdomen, while brown fat is stored around the organs and muscles where it acts to dissipate heat. It is believed that the browning of white adipose tissue is responsible for testosterone’s ability to improve insulin resistance. If there is more brown fat, there will be less of the harmful white fat.
4. Testosterone and Heart Health
Testosterone also reduces the chance of heart disease. Studies show that men with low testosterone levels are at higher risk for heart attack or stroke than men with normal testosterone levels. One study, in particular, looked at men with high testosterone levels, and the results showed that they were far less likely to suffer from heart disease than men who had low testosterone. Given that heart disease is closely tied to obesity, it is likely that fat loss also plays a role in heart health.
5. Testosterone is Good for Your Brain
Testosterone also has cognitive benefits. Testosterone is a chemical messenger that communicates with the brain through a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s believed that DHT is responsible for testosterone’s ability to improve cognition and memory. In men, low testosterone levels are associated with atrophy of the hippocampus, which triggers Alzheimer’s disease.
If your brain is not boosted, you might experience memory loss; it is important to manage your stress levels. Stress prevents testosterone from binding to brain cells that are responsible for concentration and focus. If you are stressed, one way of reducing the amount of testosterone converted to estrogen is to eat some walnuts. The Mediterranean diet is also known for reducing stress and improving memory, partly because walnuts are a staple food on the menu. Overall, it is important to eat nutritious foods and avoid refined carbs and junk food to reduce stress in your life.
6. Testosterone-Lowering Hormones
The hormone above is also used as a medication. The compound used to lower testosterone levels is called spironolactone, which is often used to treat high blood pressure, acne, and kidney problems. Spironolactone also has the side-effect of causing menstrual abnormalities. Due to these effects, people who are prescribed spironolactone are at risk for having sexual side-effects.
Call to Action
If you are worried about your testosterone levels, call us now at 205-352-9141. If you are worried about getting fat, it is more than likely that testosterone plays a role in your body composition. You might want to talk to us about how testosterone might help you !