New research by University of Sheffield scientists has found that higher levels of testosterone could reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in men.

In the world of wrestling, an industry with more than a splash of testosterone to go round, the term ‘face turn’ is common. It’s generally used when a competitor, once considered bad, suddenly becomes a force for good and is championed by crowds.

Testosterone used to be blamed for a higher rate of some health problems in men compared to women, but the Sheffield team told the Endocrine Society in March 2015 that T in fact has a ‘major impact’ on helping the body to process sugars and fats. Sounds like a face turn to me.

Prof Ashley Grossman, an endocrinologist at the University of Oxford, said:

“We used to think that testosterone was one of the ‘bad guys’ and accounted for the adverse metabolic phenotype of men compared to women, and their tendency to more heart disease. Now the field is turned upside down as testosterone is seen to have majorly positive effects.”

Type 2 diabetes is a huge problem across the world and is often linked to obesity.

Excess weight can have a negative effect on a man’s hormones. Fat not only sends a signal to the brain slowing production of T, it also actively changes what’s already there into the female hormone, estrogen.

Many male type 2 diabetics show one or more symptoms of low T, such as tiredness, low mood or reduced sexual performance.

Dr Daniel Kelly was given the Endocrine Society’s presidential award for the findings. The lack of T harmed the liver and muscles’ ability to take in sugar, meaning fat was taken from under the skin and clogged up the liver and arteries, raising the risk of heart problems.

“We know men with low testosterone are at greatly increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well.” said Kelly.

Diabetes is a huge problem. Recent data estimates that 382 million live with it and that number is expected to rise to 592 million by 2035. A further 175 million people are thought to have it without a diagnosis. The worst affected countries according to the International Diabetes Federation are China, India and the United States.

Prof Hugh Jones of Barnsley Hospital was also involved in the study and described diabetes as the “cancer of the 21st century”. He warned that if action wasn’t taken it is going to be a “massive” strain on healthcare.

A study in 2011 found that middle aged men are twice as likely to suffer type 2 diabetes as women of the same age. The same is true of heart disease, which is between 2 and 5 times more likely to strike males than females.

Prof Jones continues;

“What we’re trying to show is that testosterone significantly affects the way sugars and fats are used within the body and has a positive effect when you return testosterone to normal.”

So now that it’s one of the good guys, keeping T levels up isn’t just for competitive Bodybuilders. It’s something everyday Bodyowner should think about too.

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