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Could Female Hormones Contribute To Male Obesity?

Bodybuilding, Fitness, Health

Could Female Hormones Contribute To Male Obesity?


Could female hormones contribute to male obesity?

Isn’t dealing with obesity a daily struggle? It often compels you to justify your body weight. Most of my friends who are overweight or obese, always have answers ready. “You see, I have a weak metabolism” or the most exploited of all the answers would be, “It runs in the family!” and then the chapter is closed, right?

Could there be any other less exploited reason?  Well, I certainly have one for you which until recently was  left unexplored.

Did you know that female hormones[1] could have something to do with obesity in men?

Recently, I came across some interesting research and found surprising answers to questions dealing with high level of obesity[2] in men today.

Secret of the sex hormone revealed

Just so you know, in order for our body to function properly, a proper balance between hormones needs to be maintained .

According to a recent research from the University of Adelaide, it was found that [3] imbalance of female sex hormones, estrogen, in men could contribute to high levels of obesity . Similar results were found by research conducted by Dr Alvin M Matsumoto, a testosterone and geriatrics researcher at the Washington University’s School of Medicine [4].

Produced in the ovary, estrogen performs sexual and reproductive functions in women. You know what? It performs the same function in men as well. Yes, you guessed it right. In men it is generated in the testes.

Though the hormone plays an important role in human reproduction; however, it has also been found to be a major cause of weight gain amongst men around the world today. Its excess production could take a toll on the body weight, thus resulting in obesity.

With ageing, the count of the male sex hormone, namely testosterone, decreases [5]while the estrogen level remains same or tends to increase. Also, testosterone increasingly converts into estrogen. This disturbs the hormonal balance and elevates the chances of in obesity in men.

Here’s another tidbit for you. Fat cells produce estrogen too by synthesizing enzymes called aromatase enzymes which converts male hormones to estrogen which causes weight gain. [6]

Weren’t natural estrogens enough?

Today, several food products and pharmaceuticals contain xenoestrogens. These are artificially created chemical compounds that imitate the properties of estrogen. Apparently, we have been consuming them in our daily diet. We happily take them in  through vegetables, fruits, cereal grains.

Let me also tell you that xenoestrogens also find easy access to our body through cosmetic products like lotions, perfumes, and even detergents, paints [7] ! Yes, its presence is ubiquitous. They are in the air you breathe!

How do we control it?

I think the best way to achieve maximum immunity against excessive estrogen count and curb male obesity is to live a healthy life style by making the right choices in your diet.

  •  Boost your immune system by increasing your intake of nutrients. You could take mineral supplements like zinc, as it helps to curb aromatase function which generates fat cells [8] ; however, do consult a doctor.
  • If you are a hard drinker, you need to bring down your alcohol intake, also avoid drug use. It is important that you keep your liver strong so that it can destroy toxins easily and eliminate excess estrogen .
  • Avoid unfermented soy products like soy milk, it contains high amount of xenoestrogens .
  • Replace your set of cosmetics, if you haven’t already. Go herbal! Exposure to substances like these and other chemical and non-biodegradable products will increase your estrogen intake.
  • Relax yourself. Stress could generate irregular eating habits. You could end up gaining more.
  • Stay physically active no matter what. Take up Yoga, jogging, gymming or anything. Try and sweat as much as you can. I would say it is one of the easiest and naturally the best way to release unwanted toxins.
  • Also, aging men  should go to the doctor and conduct proper tests to check for any kind of hormonal imbalance.

I have seen many of my family members and friends’ family going through the same plight and I have seen them come out of it by going healthy. I know you can too. While you are it all I wish for you is to stay healthy and curb obesity!


[1]Tchernof, A., & Després, J. (2007). Sex Steroid Hormones, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, and Obesity in Men and Women Hormone and Metabolic Research, 32 (11/12), 526-536 DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-978681. ^Back to Top^
[2]Pouliot, M., Despres, J., Nadeau, A., Moorjani, S., Prud'Homme, D., Lupien, P., Tremblay, A., & Bouchard, C. (1992). Visceral Obesity in Men: Associations With Glucose Tolerance, Plasma Insulin, and Lipoprotein Levels Diabetes, 41 (7), 826-834 DOI: 10.2337/diab.41.7.826. ^Back to Top^
[3]Grantham, J., & Henneberg, M. (2014). The Estrogen Hypothesis of Obesity PLoS ONE, 9 (6) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099776. ^Back to Top^
[4] Wang, C., Jackson, G., Jones, T., Matsumoto, A., Nehra, A., Perelman, M., Swerdloff, R., Traish, A., Zitzmann, M., & Cunningham, G. (2011). Low Testosterone Associated With Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome Contributes to Sexual Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Men With Type 2 Diabetes Diabetes Care, 34 (7), 1669-1675 DOI: 10.2337/dc10-2339. ^Back to Top^
[5]Tan, R., & Pu, S. (2003). A pilot study on the effects of testosterone in hypogonadal aging male patients with Alzheimer's disease The Aging Male, 6 (1), 13-17 DOI: 10.1080/713604736. ^Back to Top^
[6]Cohen PG (1999). The hypogonadal-obesity cycle: role of aromatase in modulating the testosterone-estradiol shunt--a major factor in the genesis of morbid obesity. Medical hypotheses, 52 (1), 49-51 PMID: 10342671. ^Back to Top^
[7]Yoon, K., Kwack, S., Kim, H., & Lee, B. (2014). Estrogenic Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Molecular Mechanisms of Actions on Putative Human Diseases Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 17 (3), 127-174 DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2014.882194. ^Back to Top^
[8] Askary, V., Jahan, N., Sabbagh, A., Jahani, F., Dourandish, N., & Kamachali, A. (2011). A potential medicinal importance of zinc in human health and chronic diseases Clinical Biochemistry, 44 (13) DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.08.795. ^Back to Top^

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Last Updated: June 20, 2014

Next Scheduled Update: August 21, 2014

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