Can being overweight lower my testosterone levels?

Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Yes. Being overweight causes testosterone levels to fall for several reasons. Firstly, testosterone is converted to the female hormone estrogen in fat tissue, and when there is too much fat there is a high rate of this conversion. Secondly, obesity is thought to suppress testicular function. Finally, testosterone is a fat-soluble hormone and is stored in fat tissue, so in an overweight man there may be too little testosterone in the blood because a higher-than-normal percentage is being stored in body fat. It is not clear in this setting whether the testosterone in the fat can be mobilized into the bloodstream as needed, or whether it is effectively prevented from being used. The good news is that all of the issues can be reversed with weight loss and obese men who lose weight often see a big rise in their blood testosterone levels, along with an improvement in their sexual interest and function. 
Lionel M. Bissoon, MD
Sports Medicine
Men who are overweight will typically have low testosterone. Low testosterone is related to low production by the testicles or conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Overweight men tend to have a combination of both. Low testosterone and high estrogen equals weight gain.
Being overweight is the number one risk factor for a man having low testosterone levels. In this video, I will explain why the bigger a man's belly is, the lower his testosterone level is, and how it may also cause "man boobs."

Continue Learning about Endocrine System

Endocrine System

Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.