Iron Man December 2007 Excerpt: Testosterone & Growth Hormone, Part 2.

Part 1 was all about growth hormone, what it does and the pros and cons of hormone-replacement therapy. This installment covers testosterone.

This month check out a gym tale from Eric Broser. It's a challenge worth its weight in muscle, with size-building applications you can use to get huge. We also have an Arthur Jones memorial feature, complete with a look back at his training principles-and a unique high-intensity program to go with it. You'll also gain insight from our Legends of Bodybuilding interview with Roger Callard, former IFBB pro-his workout included.

The following is an excerpt from the December 2007 issue of Iron Man magazine:

Testosterone & Growth Hormone, Part 2
Strength, Muscle & Extended Living Through Chemistry?

Part 1 was all about growth hormone, what it does and the pros and cons of hormone-replacement therapy. This installment covers testosterone.

Does Testosterone Prolong Life?

In 1993 a group of researchers from Germany, noting that women usually outlive men, attempted to determine why. They analyzed more than 277 years of records of the life spans of castrati, who produce little or no testosterone, and uncastrated male singers. They found no significant difference between those with low and normal testosterone levels in relation to life span.

A recent longitudinal study, however, found that having low testosterone increased the risk of death in men over age 50. For 18 years, beginning in the 1970s, researchers tracked the causes of death in 800 men aged 50 to 91 living in Rancho Bernardo, California. In the early 1980s a third of the men had low testosterone.

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Over the term of the study that group had a 33 percent greater death rate than the men who had higher testosterone levels. The difference in death rate wasn't explained by negative habits, such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise or even such diseases as diabetes and heart disease.

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Strength, Muscle & Extended Living.

The men with low T had more cytokines, which are markers of body inflammation. They also had larger waistlines, a marker of the visceral abdominal fat that is linked to insulin insensitivity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Indeed, the amount of visceral fat is proportional to testosterone levels and inflammation-more fat equals less testosterone and more inflammation. Men with low T are three times as likely to have the metabolic syndrome, characterized by insufficient high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol), high blood fat, hypertension and elevated blood glucose.

When men age, T tends to decline and body fat to increase. That leads to an increase of estrogen levels because of the presence in peripheral fat stores of aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens such as testosterone into estrogen. An imbalance between T and estrogen can lead to insulin insensitivity, which boosts abdominal fat and its attendant health problems.

Testosterone-deficient men experience a reduced quality of life and such symptoms as heart disease, high blood pressure, lower bone density, fatigue, depression, insomnia, erectile dysfunction and diabetes. Recent studies directly link low T levels to insulin insensitivity and diabetes in men. Some studies link lack of testosterone with the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Bodybuilders are particularly affected by testosterone levels. One study found that having low testosterone resulted in a decrease in strength and muscle endurance of 90 to 100 percent.

    Forum Threads:

    • Raising Testosterone. - Started By seish
      "Best supplement for raising testosterone? For men over 30."
    • Had My Testosterone Levels Checked. - Started By Bupolo
      "According to my Doc, I'm a 'little low' at 229. However, I'm 'normal' at 2.5% Free testosterone. He also said something about 57 picka-grams, or something along those lines (sorry, results are probably in the mail)."
    • Question About Testosterone And HGH. - Started By Ironman2005
      "So for the 1st time ever in my life I had blood work done to check my test and HGH levels. I'm getting a lil' older and things are starting to slow down a tad. Well, I got my test results back and I'm 50% lover then the norm!"

Testosterone maintains the function of beta-adrenergic receptors in fat cells, without which fat oxidation is severely blunted. That explains the frequent emergence of potbellies in men over 40-along with bad eating and not getting enough exercise. Conversely, testosterone reverses that process, enabling a man to reduce both dangerous, deep-lying visceral fat and superficial, subcutaneous fat.

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Strength, Muscle & Extended Living.

Dropping subcutaneous fat may even return abdominal muscle definition when combined with judicious exercise and a good diet. Testosterone inhibits a fat cell enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which advances the cellular uptake and production of fat. It also keeps fat-cell precursors from morphing into full-grown fat cells.

For the complete story, get the December 2007 issue of Iron Man or visit