Does Testosterone Supplementation Reduce Obesity In Men?

Does Testosterone Supplementation Reduce Obesity In Men?

Billions of people throughout the globe are considered obese. It is a growing concern with both health and financial implications.

LAST UPDATED: April 2019 by Ben.

This article features 10 scientific references which are cited at the bottom of the page.

Obesity is a growing global concern

It has a negative impact on quality of life and shortens life expectancy.

Obesity itself is a chronic disease, and, itself is a catalyst to further disease that will accelerate mortality.

Research has discovered that lifestyle changes are not a wholly effective treatment by itself.

This is due to the patient relapsing in to old habits and not wishing to continue with a new regime, as a result medical measures are required. [1]


However, medical treatments such as drugs are limited in their effectiveness and are not without negative side effects.

Therefore, this has lead to a reduced usage among patients over the long term.

As a result, there is a demand and requirement for a safe and effective treatment of obesity.

A treatment that can also be incorporated with a lifestyle change.

This is then to ensure maximum results and a large reduction of weight which can then decrease associated co-morbid risk factors such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure


With this in mind, there have been a number of studies which have researched the effects of increasing testosterone levels in men.

This should then demonstrate whether the results include a long term reduction of body fat and improvements in body composition.

obese man in green tee shirt clutches his stomach


Numerous studies inform us that men who suffer from hypogonadism also see an increase in associated morbid conditions. Obesity being one of them.

The number of contributing factors for obesity and low testosterone levels are down to abnormal levels of the following:

  • luteinizing hormone
  • adipocyte dysfunction
  • androgen resistance
  • insulin resistance

In particular, research tells us that with a loss of androgen receptor function it in turn increases the number of adipocytes.

In response, this can increase the accumulation of visceral fat which is a layer of fat beneath your stomach muscles.

Visceral Fat

This visceral fat will put increased pressure on your internal organs as the space is reduced.

Furthermore, studies demonstrate that as men’s waist circumferences increased testosterone levels decreased.

Men with diabetes demonstrate a similar trait.

It is then theorized that if testosterone levels are increased, it should reduce the risk of obesity and other diseases…[2]

As low testosterone can be used as a predictor for mortality, (you can read more, here) it can also predict obesity in men.


This has been illustrated in tests when testosterone has been increased from supplementation in patients who suffer from low hormone levels.

These patients saw an improvement and reduction in the following areas:

  • Fat mass
  • Lean body mass
  • Weight
  • Waist circumference
  • Body mass index
  • Cardiac ageing

Likewise, once testosterone levels have increased, this is associated with weight loss. [3]

Testosterone’s Effects

These results were reported consistently amongst varying studies.

In addition, the treatment also saw long term health improvements and none of the men saw a reversal in their progress or gave up with the treatment. [4]

This is partly due to the fact that testosterone is able to regulate fat metabolism and that of proteins and carbohydrates, too.

It is known that a deficiency of testosterone also diminishes energy levels and energy production.

This upsets the balance of hormone and physiological function, not withstanding an increase of metabolic risk syndrome factors. [5]

Quality of Life

It has also been established that with low testosterone comes fatigue. This can have a overwhelming effect on quality of life.

Fatigue is due to alterations of the production of energy via mitochondrial function.

Yet, when levels of testosterone were increased, participants of numerous studies have seen an improvement in the following areas:

  • levels of vigor
  • energy, motivation
  • libido
  • erectile function
  • reduction of their waist circumference

These improvements ensured that their physical activity levels increased.

Thus saw an increased energy expenditure, an increase of lean muscle mass which lead to a loss of body fat and an improvement of their quality of life. [6]

Muscle Building

Testosterone is able to increase lean body mass. The more lean body mass you have the more calories/energy you will expend during rest.

With increases in testosterone, studies demonstrate that lean body mass increases which then contributes to a reduction of fat mass. This is possible even with no additional physical activity.

It is interesting to note that increases of testosterone have a positive effect (not just on fat mass) with no extra physical activity. [7]

Artery Diameter

A reduced thickness of the innermost two layers of artery walls have been demonstrated.

This is from just an increase of testosterone alone, and have not been effected by diet or exercise when under study conditions.

Liver fat has also been noted to reduce in obese men.

Thus suggesting that with these results combined there is a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. This has been written about, here. [8]

average man in shirt and tie overweight and looking sad


There is a historical body of thought that associates increasing testosterone levels with stroke and prostate growth and cancer.

These risks are largely unfounded and have been been debunked in studies. [9]

Further study including numerous patients over a period stretching for more that forty years have also contraindicated any concern over the increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

In fact, studies show that increased testosterone decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. [10]


So what does this leave us with?

As a result of these studies, it could be suggested that treatment to increase levels of testosterone should to be used as a method to treat the three grades of obesity in men.

However, this should always be alongside and in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.

As already noted, lifestyle changes alone are often not successful for the treatment and reduction of the growing concern of obesity.

That coupled with the modest return of weight loss for such a large input of effort is not particularly sustainable.

Final Words

Increased testosterone levels, have, in studies proven to offer significant health benefits. These contribute to weight loss that overall increases your quality of life and reduces mortality risk.


[1] Taubes G. Treat obesity as physiology, not physicsNature 2012; 492:155.

[2] Mulligan T, Frick MF, Zuraw QC, et al. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM studyInt J Clin Pract 2006; 60:762–769

[3] Camacho EM, Huhtaniemi IT, O’Neill TW, et al. Age-associated changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular function in middle-aged and older men are modified by weight change and lifestyle factors: longitudinal results from the European Male Ageing StudyEur J Endocrinol 2013; 168:445–455

[4] Saad F, Haider A, Doros G, Traish A. Long-term treatment of hypogonadal men with testosterone produces substantial and sustained weight lossObesity (Silver Spring) 2013; 21:1975–1981

[5] Corona G, Rastrelli G, Monami M, et al. Body weight loss reverts obesity-associated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: a systematic review and meta-analysisEur J Endocrinol 2013; 168:829–843

[6] Francomano D, Bruzziches R, Barbaro G, et al. Effects of testosteroneundecanoate replacement and withdrawal on cardio-metabolic, hormonal and body composition outcomes in severely obese hypogonadal men: a pilot studyJ Endocrinol Invest 2014; 37:401–411

[7] Pourhassan M, Bosy-Westphal A, Schautz B, et al. Impact of body composition during weight change on resting energy expenditure and homeostasis model assessment index in overweight nonsmoking adultsAm J Clin Nutr 2014; 99:779–791.

[8] Zitzmann M, Vorona E, Wenk M, et al. Testosterone administration decreases carotid artery intima media thickness as indicator of vascular damage in middle-aged overweight menJ Androl 2008; 29Suppl.:54–55

[9] Morgentaler A, Traish AM. Shifting the paradigm of testosterone and prostate cancer: the saturation model and the limits of androgen-dependent growthEur Urol 2009; 55:310–320

[10] Traish AM, Guay AT, Morgentaler A. Death by testosterone? We think not!J Sex Med 2014; 11:624–629

Obesity and testosterone
Article Name
Obesity and testosterone
This article covers the impact of testosterone on obesity.

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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