There are few reports of the change in sex hormone levels accompanying a weight change in men, although an excessive decline in testosterone (TESTO) has been described as an associate of stress-induced weight loss. Plasma levels of cortisol, TESTO, dihydrotesosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), androsterone glucuronide (ADT-G), and androstane-3α, 17β-diol glucuronide (3αDIOL-G) were measured in seven pairs of sedentary male monozygotic twins (age, 21.0 ± 0.8 years; body mass index (BMI), 26.2 ± 5.5 kg/m 2 ) before and after 93 days of standardized submaximal (50% to 55% maximum oxygen consumption) cycle-ergometer exercise. A total energy deficit of 244 ± 9.7 MJ induced significant changes ( P < .0001) in body weight ((BW) −5.0 ± 2.2 kg) and body fatness measures. Plasma TESTO and DHEA-S increased and 3αDIOL-G decreased. The increase in TESTO was a significant inverse correlate of loss in all measures of body fat, particularly central adiposity ( r = −.58 to −.86, P < .001, fat loss-adjusted). Lower postexercise levels of 3αDIOL-G correlated positively with decreased body composition measures ( r = .65 to .68, P < .01). The increase in plasma TESTO accompanying the loss of abdominal visceral fat (AVF) was greater in men with lower fasting insulin levels ( P < .0001). The baseline within—twin-pair resemblance in TESTO and 3αDIOL-G (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) = .83 and .78, respectively, P < .01) was lost with intervention. Cortisol, DHEA-S, and ADT-G developed within—twin-pair similarity (ICC adjusted for fat loss: cortisol, .72; ADT-G, .62, P < .05; DHEA-S, .85, P < .002). We conclude that a steroid profile characterized by high TESTO and low androgen metabolite levels accompanied the changes in body composition and body fat distribution generated by the exercise-induced negative energy balance. Furthermore, these changes were characterized by a significant resemblance within identical-twin pairs.
Metabolism – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 1999
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