When men gain weight — the bad kind — a metabolic change happens that drops the hormone levels in the body. Researchers from the University of Buffalo over in the US of A recently determined that obese men have lower levels of testosterone, and when that male hormone drops, one of the biggest victims is bedroom performance.
The study shows that 40% of obese men have abnormally low levels of testosterone,
How obesity hits below the belt
The most important way that excess weight drags down a man’s sex life is by affecting the health of his blood vessels.
An erection occurs when the blood vessels leading to the penis dilate, causing it to fill with blood. This process begins when the inner lining of the vessels (known as the endothelium) releases nitric oxide, a molecule that signals the surrounding muscles to relax. (Viagra and similar drugs work by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the endothelium.)
The role of testosterone
Blood vessel problems are responsible for the vast majority of ED cases in obese men over 40, experts say, but another common culprit is low testosterone, which is also linked to obesity. Adequate levels of this male sex hormone are necessary to maintain sex drive and get erections
Losing even a little weight can improve blood vessel function (as the new study shows), but the effect of weight loss on testosterone levels may not be as rapid or as direct. Men who have persistently low testosterone levels and ED despite losing weight may need to consider testosterone gels, shots, or patches, Tamler says.
Weight loss can turn things around
You can make some changes to your body to enhance your libido. You can:
- Lose a little weight, even 10 pounds, to stimulate sex hormones
- Eat more nutritious foods, which control cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Key your workouts to getting blood flowing to the pelvic area
- Accept your body at any size
- Believe in your sensuality
Some men who have relied on pills like Viagra or Cialis to get erections can toss them once they start exercising, eating right, and losing weight.