Gents, if you've been less randy of late and think it's just a consequence of getting older, you may want to consider losing those love handles to get the fire going again.
According to a new study out of St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, overweight and pre-diabetic men who went on a weight loss program were able to reduce the prevalence of low testosterone levels by almost 50 percent. Men who carry extra weight have been shown to have lower levels of testosterone, the hormone responsible for men's sex drives. Low levels of testosterone can also cause conditions like erectile dysfunction.
For the study, presented this week at the The Endocrine Society's 94th annualmeeting in Boston, researchers observed about 900 pre-diabetic men who were also overweight, with an average age of 54.
Men were divided into three groups who received a prescription for either 150 minutes of exercise a week plus a low-calorie, low-fat diet, the diabetes drug metformin, or a placebo pill.
With exercise and a sensible eating plan, the prevalence of low testosterone decreased 46 percent throughout the year. The same couldn't be said for participants who were put on the diabetes drug or the placebo groups, as their levels of testosterone remained largely unchanged.
Men put on the lifestyle modification treatment lost an average of about 17 lbs (8 kg) over the year, which not only increased their body's production of testosterone but also reduced the risk of diabetic progression.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolismfound that older men with higher levels of testosterone have a reduced risk of losing muscle mass and lower body strength. Loss of muscle mass and strength are associated with falls, mobility limitations and fractures.