Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Viscous Circle: Low Testosterone > Increased Visceral Fat > Insulin Resistance > Even Lower Testosterone

E.J. Hamilton and colleges (Hamilton. 2010) investigated the effect of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in prostate cancer patients on subcutaneous and visceral fat. There results are far from being surprising:
Twelve months ADT increased visceral abdominal fat area by 22% (from 160.8 ± 61.7 to 195.9 ± 69.7 cm2; p<0.01) and subcutaneous abdominal fat area by 13% (from 240.7 ± 107.5 to 271.3 ± 92.8 cm2; p<0.01). Fat mass increased by 14% (+3.4 kg; p<0.001) and lean tissue mass decreased by 3.6% (-1.9 kg; p<0.001). Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) increased by 12% (2.50 ± 1.12 to 2.79 ± 1.31, p<0.05).
All that by itself is bad enough, but in the end, by the medical suppression of androgens doctors put their poor patients in a viscous circle, from which it will be very difficult to escape, as obesity and insulin resistance will further reduce testosterone production and overall metabolic health regardless of whether they are secondary to low testosterone, come from bad eating habits or whatever.