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Hormones & Weight Gain

June 19th, 2012

Millions of Americans struggle with weight gain, and the inability to lose excess weight. There are many diet and exercise programs available that promise results, but what few people realize is that gaining weight involves much more than just the amount of food one eats, or how much one exercises. The human metabolism is very complex, and a number of hormones are responsible for its proper functioning. Any imbalance in hormone levels, even a small imbalance, can result in weight gain. Hormone levels in men shift and decline as they age. When a person’s hormones decline or fluctuate, their metabolism becomes less effective at regulating how calories are stored and burned.Men often see their body shape begin to change in their mid 30’s, with the first sign usually being an increase in abdominal fat. It’s no coincidence that this weight gain coincides with declining testosterone levels, and higher estrogen levels.

Scientific studies have found a strong link between declining testosterone levels and excess abdominal fat in men. Other studies have discovered that testosterone replacement therapy can greatly counteract the weight gain that men experience as they age. Regulating testosterone levels has the added benefits of increasing sex drive and overall energy levels. Testosterone is not the only hormone that has an effect on the male metabolism. DHEA, thyroid hormone, and cortisol also play important roles in how the male body regulates weight. DHEA is a steroid hormone that declines sharply in both men and women around the age of 35; and low levels of DHEA have been directly linked to weight gain. Studies have found that using a DHEA supplement can actually reverse age-related weight gain, and change the way the body stores fat. The thyroid gland is considered the “master” controller of a person’s metabolism, because the hormone produced by the thyroid greatly affects how the body burns energy. Low levels of thyroid hormone go hand-in-hand with aging, and often result in weight gain and fatigue. Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone”, is produced by the adrenal glands. While this hormone is essential to survival, chronically elevated levels of cortisol have been directly linked to weight gain in men. The body makes higher amounts of cortisol in response to stress, whether it be physical stress or mental stress. Various supplements can help control the overproduction of cortisol, but the most effective way to achieve lower levels, and thus avoid any associated weight gain, is to lower stress as much as possible. A balanced diet and sufficient physical activity are important for overall good health; but diet and exercise alone do not guarantee that a man will remain in good shape and keep extra weight off as he ages. Any man concerned about weight gain as he gets older should also make sure his hormones are balanced and at healthy levels. For more information about healthy hormones for men, contact reNEW MAN™.

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