Testosterone is the male hormone that dramatically increases upon puberty and declines after the age of 30. It is responsible for secondary sex characteristics of the male -increased facial and body hair and a deepening of the voice. It's what makes a man a man.

Testosterone builds muscle. Remember, muscle builds metabolic rate. While not approved for weight control because it does not work like traditional drugs (decreasing appetite or stimulating the nervous system) testosterone could be used to alter the muscle to fat ratio in the body. In a study in The New England Journal of Medicine (July 4, 1996) 40 men were divided into 4 groups. One received 600 mgs of testosterone a week. The second group received a placebo, a "fake". The third group received 600 mgs of testosterone and exercised. The final group received a placebo plus exercised. The study lasted for 10 weeks. Those who took the testosterone and exercised added more muscle than the other 3 groups. No surprise there. Those using testosterone and did not exercise also gained lean muscle weight. Quite a surprise. The implication here is testosterone can increase muscle mass without exercise and muscle mass is the single greatest factor that increases metabolism and caloric expenditure. Remember, an individual who adds just 10 pounds of muscle to a 140 pounds frame will increase resting metabolic rate by 7% daily.

According to Richard Strauss, MD of Ohio State University, severe weight loss programs in male collegiate wrestlers lowers testosterone levels. This serves as a double whammy on fat control. We know severe dieting causes a shedding of muscle mass and an overall adaptation in metabolism which makes fat loss more problematic. Now we learn serve dieting pushes down testosterone levels which are important in maintaining muscle mass and metabolism.

Side effects include low sperm count, water retention, changes in HDL or LDL levels, possible high blood pressure and depression upon cessation.

Keep Your Weight In Check During The Holidays

Keep Your Weight In Check During The Holidays

A time for giving and receiving, getting closer with the ones we love and marking the end of another year and all the eating also. We eat because the food is yummy and plentiful but we don't usually count calories at this time of year. This book will help you do just this.

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