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Testosterone Tumbling in American Males 597

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the zomg-where-are-my-lead-pants dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo is running a story about a study that concludes that testosterone levels are falling across all age groups among American men. It says 'The testosterone-fueled American male may be losing his punch'" I leave it to you all to draw your conclusions about this, but I still wonder what my hours of laptop-fu does to me.
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Testosterone Tumbling in American Males

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  • because... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dexomn (147950) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:19PM (#16632974)
    It's all being sold in shops in WoW.
  • rising obesity?
    • Diabetes (Score:3, Informative)

      by Stickerboy (61554)
      Obesity is linked to increased risk of diabetes, diabetes is associated with lower testosterone levels. The article has it wrong - low testosterone does not cause diabetes, it's the other way around. Hypogonadism is a well-known effect of diabetes.

      There's your link [wikipedia.org].
      • by cnettel (836611)
        On the other hand (which I guess was the grandparent's original intent), wonn't human casthrates, just like many other mammals, frequently develop obesity, or at least a significant shift in the distribution of fat, compared to healthy/normal males?
        • by Stickerboy (61554)
          According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] castrated young boys tend to keep their slight build. I don't really know much about castration, since you don't see it very often anymore.
          • Re:Diabetes (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Thangodin (177516) <elentar&sympatico,ca> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:35PM (#16633828) Homepage
            Michael Jackson may be a reference point. His voice never changed, he never developed secondary attributes, and his baby had to be fertilized artificially, so there was some medical intervention at work there. Plastic surgery was probably not the first elective surgery he went through. I suspect that this is the root of most of his psychological problems. That's why I tend to give the guy a pass for a lot of his weirdness--the decision would have been forced on him by his father.
        • But they also statistically live longer, so I would presume that even if it did lead to obesity it doesn't also lead to increased diabetes or other obesity related diseases. Sorry can't really find any links - http://www.you.com.au/news/371.htm [you.com.au] is the best I can get (its down the bottom of the text).
      • From the article, it sounds like this study only considered old men, and not males in general. Could it be that today's better health care disproportionately helps low-testosterone people? Again from the article:

        Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and plays an important role in maintaining bone and muscle mass. Low testosterone levels have been linked to health problems, including lowered libido and diabetes.

        So maybe the average lower testerone just results from diabetes patients and others l

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by malsdavis (542216) *
      The article suggests a link is likely (although they don't quote an exact study into such). I think though, the drop in testosterone is among the least of fat people's worries.

      I don't understand why people go on and on so much about diseases like Aids in Africa when there is a disease killing millions here in America also, the only difference being it is caused by lack of self-control rather than a virus. Yet so many people treat obesity like it's no big deal unlike other diseases. I can understand Walmart
    • Re:Any link to... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Frangible (881728) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:11PM (#16633566)
      Quite probably, yes. Adipose cells make an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen for the fat cell's use. (estrogen actually makes fat more metabolically active, so it's not really a bad thing per se) This, however, has the effect of lowering free testosterone in the body as a whole. If you lose fat, your testosterone levels WILL increase.

      However, keep in mind humans are the only animal species that actually get overall, most of their testosterone from DHEA rather than free testosterone in the blood. In addition to stimulating androgen receptors directly, DHEA is also metabolized by local tissues into testosterone (and estrogen) as needed. So free testosterone is one part of the picture. Androgen receptor sensitivity and density also matter, but I'm uncertain as to what factors dynamically affect those in adults.
    • by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:11PM (#16633568)
      No, more like the incessant pussification of the male race and the metrosexual trend. The government should mandate that those who have low testosterone for no good reason must watch movies like Commando until their testosterone level rises to acceptable levels.
  • by tloh (451585) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:21PM (#16633004)
    ...welcome our new metro-sexual overlords?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tloh (451585)
      On a less lame note, does this mean young geeks are dealing with less of the aggressive bully types? And on a slightly more serious note still, I wonder if any study has been done on the role of male sex hormones in the sociobology of humans. It is a generally acknowledge (though AFAIK not yet understood) fact that women who live in the same dwelling eventually develop synchronized menstrual periods. But with regard to males, I can only think of examples in the animal kingdom where territorial males woul
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Or... could it be related to the increasing use of growth hormones in our food supply (for example female growth hormones [wikipedia.org]
        used to increase milk production in cattle)?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Perp Atuitie (919967)
        Not a study, but some interesting stories about testosterone and the lack of it as told by those who lived through some heavy changes. A This American Life radio broadcast you can listen to here. [thislife.org]
  • I wonder how representative it is across recent immigrands and Mayflower Americans...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      Let's see: the article says "Americans" One would presume this would be in comparisson to other countries?. Well, America is more a continent then a country. Comparing the USA to say Germany would give you somewhat weird results. Also, is there a breakdown by: ethnicity, other genetic factors, enviornmental or climate conditions, or Hat size? I could go on. "America" is a all inclusive non-homogenious term. The ONLY malady we all share in common is the IRS.
      • I think it was a comparisson to America males of today with American males of the past. I wonder if the Age of BabyBoomers has any effect on this?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:23PM (#16633026)
    The testosterone-fueled American male may be losing his punch.

    At this point, I think it's really more of a "forceful slap" than anything.
  • Obvious Reson (Score:2, Interesting)

    by turgid (580780)

    What whith the ubiquity of pr0n, avaliable readily for free and without embarrassment on the Intarweb Tubes, the testosterone no longer has a chance to build up in the male body.

    Can I have a PhD please?

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:26PM (#16633054)
    testosterone drops in a body that doesn't excercise (true for male and for the much smaller amount the female has), it drops in an obese body and moreover body fat produces a female-hormone like steroid
    • Common plastics used to package convenience foods have estrogenic side-effects. If you buy cabbages and beets and bread in paper bags, and stuff in cans, that's great. But buy and store cabbages and beets in plastic bags, plastic refrigerator cartons and it's like getting a little dose of estrogen. Buy microwave dinners in plastic, sitting in plastic-lined little plates, and it's like getting a little dose of estrogen. Buy bread in plastic, soda in plastic, milk in plastic-lined cartons, meat wrapped in pla
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by LearnToSpell (694184)
        My steaks are wrapped in plastic, but I eat them raw, so it's ok right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iggymanz (596061)
        yup, google estrogen and "nonyphenol" or "bisphenol A" (there's others too) heating in microwave ovens likely increases the dosages, never thought of that until now. crap.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cherita Chen (936355)
        "...and it's like getting a little dose of estrogen."

        Here's the obligatory link [scienceagogo.com] to more info on the estrogen-plastic issue.

        In light of this revelation, it is important to note that according to research, the amount of estrogen one would ingest from plastic doesn't compare to the rate of testosterone aromatization in a young healthy male (let alone a steroid laden jock). The bottom line is that a body needs both estrogen and testosterone (though amounts do differ between M&F).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mr. Slippery (47854)

        Common plastics used to package convenience foods have estrogenic side-effects.

        Indeed, polycarbonate - which is in pretty much everything - is made from a chemical originally used as a synthetic estrogen, bisphenol A [wikipedia.org]. Bisphenol A will leech from polycarbonate food or drink containers, especially ones cleaned with very hot water, or with bleach. (Some plastics are safer: #1 PETE, #2 HDPE are fairly safe from leaching and are easy to recycle, #4 LDPE and #5 PP are also said to be safe for food storage.)

      • by SnowZero (92219) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:30PM (#16633778)
        Clearly we need to start adding testosterone to plastic. Then we can have male and female versions of soda bottles. The companies can charge extra for the "man's drink bottle" to offset the extra expense, as men won't want to be caught with the "women's drink bottle"[1]. I think I had better patent this...

        [1] this logic might not work on male Mac users.
    • by lixee (863589)
      I recently discovered a supplement that goes by the name of ZMA. It is a non-hormonal (plain magnesium and vitamin B6) and gives an substantial testosterone boost. I cannot recommend it enough. Side effects include wild vivid dreams along with a propensity to wet yourself at night.

      In case you wanna know more http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459250 [t-nation.com]
    • by evilviper (135110)
      Nice try, but no. If you read the article, you'd see:

      "This analysis deals with men who were born between 1915 and 1945,"

      The "obesity epidemic" doesn't exactly apply to men in that age range.
      • by iggymanz (596061)
        oh?, tests were done in late 80's, late 90's and then recently, for 40 year olds and up obesity has been a growing problem (and diabetes too) just as with other age groups, and decreasing physical activity.
    • by tloh (451585)
      Note to self: going to gym regularly to try picking up girls may have additional health benefits.
  • by Lank (19922) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:27PM (#16633062)
    Is that I guess I'm not alone! Now I can point to this study and tell my girl, "See? It's happening to all the guys my age -- you're not cool unless you have a reduced libido!"
  • Testicular cancer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skiron (735617) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:28PM (#16633068) Homepage
    Having being diagnosed, and having surgery and chemotherapy for this (like Lance Armstrong et al), there is a worrying trend. There is no known cause of this cancer scientifically proved, but after getting this cancer, and speaking 'hear say' to consultants, doctors. etc. one theory is that estrogen (oestrogen), the female hormone, is being dumped into the environment from products (baby products, nappies etc.). This chemical doesn't break down in nature - so drinking water, cows milk, fish, meat... all contain this bumped chemical up that would not otherwise be there. Too see how bad it is, there are even scientific reports of fish changing sex in estrogen rich rivers - do a google on this. This is not a subject to laugh at.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by NFN_NLN (633283)
      I indeed found several articles on: "Estrogens are changing the sex of fish". In fact here is a link to a pdf. The dude on the cover looks like he must have drank a lot of estrogen laden water himself, hahhaha. http://www.cualum.org/coloradan/Dec2005/troubledwa ters.pdf [cualum.org]
  • Don't worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:29PM (#16633088)
    Health-related news is almost always wrong. It'll get contradicted in another study next year.

    Remember when everyone got that bird flu? (I was coughing up feathers for weeks.)
  • Cure ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by foobsr (693224) * on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:34PM (#16633160) Homepage Journal
    As a web-page of NYUMC [nyu.edu] suggests, Tai Chi may be of help.

    Quote: Enhanced Endocrine and Immune System
    One study found that tai chi was associated with increased blood levels of a number of hormones, including thyroid hormone, testosterone, and estradiol. Another study found that tai chi was associated with an increased number of T cells (cells involved in the immune response).


    CC.
  • Soldiers will soon demand all their weaponry be color co-ordinated with their uniforms and the massively expensive development of an assault handbag. Enemies will initially be engaged with cutting criticism of their weigh/dress sense or design of thier formations and many soldiers will be just too emotionally distraught to engage the enemy unless they can take them dancing afterwards.
    • by iggymanz (596061)
      "it's NOT a handbag, you insensitive brute, it's my assault MANPURSE! Booohoooohoooooo *sob* *sob*"
    • by pjt33 (739471)
      No need to spend lots of money on an assault handbag. Just talk to Margaret Thatcher.
  • Blame MTV! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mike Savior (802573) <mercury4063.gmail@com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:48PM (#16633308) Homepage
    It's all that crappy emo music that's hitting it big. The guys are becoming even more fragile than us nerds! (And scoring twice the women, still)
  • Simple evolution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamacat (583406) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:50PM (#16633330)
    If you fight you are put in jail, if you ask someone out at work you are fired and sued, if you are perceived to be an insensitive clod who wants to sit in a bar rather than wash dishes, you are unlikely to get married or have an offspring - thanks also to birth control/abortion. The evolution is selecting against "manly men". Maybe it's time for the society to wake up and move away from extremes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bmajik (96670)

      Maybe it's time for the society to wake up and move away from extremes.

      I think that's exactly what's happening. I think that over the last 1000 years Western Society has moved away from the model of "women as property of the most violent male" and "rape to procreate", and that these extremes are best left behind.

      I don't think that's what you meant.

      The selection criteria of today are clearly different than they were in the recent past. Women have some basic right-of-refusal and thus the selectivity criteri

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)

        I think that's exactly what's happening. I think that over the last 1000 years Western Society has moved away from the model of "women as property of the most violent male" and "rape to procreate", and that these extremes are best left behind.


        What the fuck, man?

        You're reading too many "women's studies" books or something. Western society was never based on these principles. You are seriously fucking twisted.
  • by Yonder Way (603108) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @01:50PM (#16633334)
    Kim du Toit explained this phenomenon some time ago in this essay [theothersideofkim.com]. I think he hit it right on the head.
    • by moe.ron (953702) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @03:56PM (#16634586)
      Well this is getting off topic I think, but...

      For a man's man, Kim sure feels the need to censor himself quite a ####### lot. What the #### is up with that? Either find an eloquent way to say what you're trying to say, or just fucking say it, but having all these ####'s in place of fucks and shits makes him look like an uneducated pussy.

      Pardon my ####'s, but what the fuck is this:
      When women got the vote, it was inevitable that government was going to become more powerful, more intrusive, and more "protective" (ie. more coddling), because women are hard-wired to treasure security more than uncertainty and danger.
      I am supposed to believe that the women voters in this country are to blame for our heavy handed, civil rights trampling, fear mongering, war-hawking government? That all the men voted to live dangerously and with uncertainty, and the women were all like, "No, we need a large, over powered, fascist government to protect us".

      Well that and this:
      Speaking of rap music, do you want to know why more White boys buy that crap than Black boys do? You know why rape is such a problem on college campuses? Why binge drinking is a problem among college freshmen? It's a reaction: a reaction against being pussified. And I understand it, completely. Young males are aggressive, they do fight amongst themselves, they are destructive, and all this does happen for a purpose.
      Is he seriously trying to rationalize rape and alcohol abuse by saying those actions are simply unavoidable, natural expressions of the human male? What about self-control, integrity, and discipline?

      Oh, and:
      Donald Rumsfeld ... He's a Real Man. No wonder the Euros hate and fear him ... We'd better get more like him, we'd better become more like him, because if we don't, men will become a footnote to history.
      Umm...what? I'm sorry but the argument that being assertive and aggressive is an appropriate replacement for being intelligent and diplomatic does not hold water with me. You can't use Rumsfeld as an example of what people should be like until you can prove that Rumsfeld isn't a complete idiot. People fear Rumsfeld because he is irrational and has the world's most powerful military at his disposal. So many people have died unnecessarily as the direct result of this man's actions and we're supposed to be more like him?
    • Amazing as it may seem, I actually RTFA, and I can't say I believe the study to be particularly accurate (too wide of an age range, baseline measures taken too recently, too small and too localized of a sample, etc), but that's not why I decided to resond to this. Rather, I'm responding to Kim du Toit's essay (the article YonderWay pointed to). My step-father is the very model of the macho hard-liner type that's seemingly called for in the essay, and he is, by far, NOT the sort of man this world needs mor
    • by TerranFury (726743) on Monday October 30, 2006 @12:29AM (#16638415)

      But "real" isn't the swaggering jock: He is exactly like his counterpart the flamboyant "metrosexual" (how I detest that word -- but it communicates): He is affecting a style of behavior that is not truly his own. I have no respect for him.

      Do not be like Napolean, who fought wars to make up for his small stature. It takes the bigger man to show restraint. Master yourself before you seek to master others. Violence is weakness.

      Du Toit is correct that the TV-sitcom "man" is weak, hen-pecked, and impotant -- as are too many real life men. But this is not because they do not drink enough beer, and it is not because they do not watch enough football. It is because, chained by guaranteed sex to relationships they do not want, they do not have the strength to hold their principles above their libidos. Restraint is strength.

      Take a punch. Stand tall. Do not strike back, but speak clearly: "You will leave now."
      Meet a girl. She is drunk, and on top of you. Quietly say, "no." Put her to bed. Close the door behind you.

      Whence disappeared "to be a man?" Strength. Respect. Honor. Real men are not pigs. Real men are good men.

  • Thank God for this adolescent raging hard-on White House, who have pledged the preserve the sanctity of our precious bodily fluids! Now with Martial Law!
  • Genetically enhanced food at its best...
  • How about the fact the goverment (schools) drugs young boys? (ADD treatments, ect). I am sure this has NOTHING to do with it at all.

    Add in hormones in foods, obesity, no exercise. call me fucking shocked that testosterone is on the slide.
  • I think the reason why our testosterone levels are reduced across all age groups is because we use lots of hormones, [unnecessary] medications, artificial products in our food stuffs.

    On a recent trip to East Africa, the food I ate over there tasted different and better! The bananas and all other fruits had a good aroma to them. Contrast that with the fruit section of most of our supermarkets and you'll hardly smell any presence of fruits nearby!

    In the part of East Africa I visited, monkeys smell these frui

  • Red Meat (Score:3, Funny)

    by AVryhof (142320) <avryhof&gawab,com> on Sunday October 29, 2006 @02:52PM (#16633982) Homepage
    It's because people keep bitching about how unhealthy red meat is.

    What happened to the days when a guy could fix his car in his garage, build something in the basement, then eat a nice big juicy steak with a potato for dinner, then go watch the news about a war?

    This war on terror isn't a real war, there's no good healthy warmongering in it...it's all about "protect the children" rather than my bombs are bigger and faster than yours.

    We need to stop stomping out countries on the verge of becoming competitive world powers. We need another cold war, where men can be paranoid until they're real men.

    We also need a new generation of muscle cars, and more lumber yards cropping up, these "home centers" make me want to puke.

    In the infamous words of George Carlin, later repeated by Denis Leary and others (which I will poorly misquote)... A man needs to sit home eating red meat and watching the war on TV!

    Real men drink Pabst blue Ribbon beer, and punch holes in the wall to prod their ego.... and thats what a real man is... Flesh, Blood, Muscle and ego!

    Now I'm off to play with my dollies.
  • nuisance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @03:31PM (#16634300) Homepage

    Having a high testosterone level is a hormonal nuisance, sort of like when women get cramps during their period, or hot flashes during menopause. I'm 40 now, but I still remember what it was like being 15-25. Thank God that's over with! It's no fun when the presence of a nubile female gives you an erection that hurts, and lasts as long as she's nearby. I have my own personal list of embarrassing things I did under the influence of testosterone, and I'm sure every other male past puberty has a similar list.

    As an individual, this whole thing is also a nonissue, because natural differences in hormone levels bewteen one man and the next are probably huge -- much bigger than the effect being claimed.

    What's really scary about this is not the effect it's having on adult males (and the rest of society), which may be positive. What's scary is:

    1. We don't know what's doing it.
    2. Whatever's doing it may have other, unknown, effects on us (men, women, and children).
    3. The development of a fetus is very sensitive to the presence of hormone-mimicking chemicals in the environment, which could be what this is. I can't imagine anything more sad than having a kid born with a serious birth defect -- it makes the teenage hormonal suffering seem pretty meaningless by comparison.
  • by A_Non_Moose (413034) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @04:54PM (#16635172) Homepage Journal
    Then I realised a few things:

    I may not excercise much beyond walking the mutt around the block, but playing
    games that up the adrenalin levels and has even forced a girlfriend or two to
    leave the room, saying "Too much testosterone for me".

    So deathmatch may not be a full contact sport, but the chemical effects are similar.
    Guys being guys; talking smack, killing their friends virtually and having a blast being
    assholes. Good times.

    Quote:I leave it to you all to draw your conclusions about this, but I still wonder what my hours of laptop-fu does to me.

    I'd ask two questions:

    When was the last time you did something that made you say "Hell, yeah" or do/say something non-PC or trash talk.

    When was the last time you used a chainsaw (doom 1/2/3 sorta counts, electric chainsaws don't) or any power tool?

    If it's been more than a month or so, LAN party and make some noise, buy a fucking overpowered tool for your needs, go to a gun range, paintball war, BB gun and shoot *SOMETHING*, FFS.

    Or, hell, if that's too much, too soon and you're worried your missing your favorite cooking
    show or some shit, at least go out an BBQ something. Men don't cook unless there is fire or danger involved, eh? Plates, knives and forks and eat.
    If you are worried about place settings or matching whateverthefuck... it's hopeless, so just take one of those Sony batteries that needs a recall, short the contacts and place down your trousers where your balls might be located and wait. It'll all be over soon.
  • estrogen (Score:3, Funny)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @06:36PM (#16635992) Homepage
    Estrogens are to blame for this behavior.

    No, not the natural estrogens that women produce, but the man-made estrogens present in pretty much every product you can purchase today: soda bottles, laundry detergent, hand soap, gasoline - pretty much anything that is derived from petrolium in some way. These estrogens (IIRC) block the production of testosterone as well as the natural production of estrogen. In women, it contirbutes to fuglyness (hairy lips, etc.) and things like ovarian cancer; in men it contributes to femininity and general lack of testosterone.

    And let me be the first to say: this is why there are so many liberals.
  • Corn Syrup and Soy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Sunday October 29, 2006 @10:32PM (#16637796)
    Is it a coincidence that our processed foods became inundated with huge amounts of corn syrup and soya fillers starting in the 80's?

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