London: Obese teenage boys have up to 50 percent less testosterone than their leaner pals - increasing their risk of infertility later in life, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher has warned.
Researchers said that the results were a “grim message” for overweight young adults.
The study by scientists at the University at Buffalo in the US, shows for the first time that obese young men aged 14 to 20 have around half the total testosterone than normal weight youths, the Daily Mail reported.
The same research team first reported in 2004 that the presence of low testosterone levels, known as hypogonadism, in obese, type 2 diabetic adult males and confirmed it in 2010 in more than 2,000 obese men, both diabetic and non-diabetic.
“We were surprised to observe a 50 percent reduction in testosterone in this paediatric study because these obese males were young and were not diabetic,” the study’s first author Dr Paresh Dandona, distinguished professor in the Department of Medicine, said.
“The implications of our findings are, frankly, horrendous because these boys are potentially impotent and infertile. The message is a grim one with massive epidemiological implications,” he added.
Dr Dandona said in addition to the reproductive consequences, the absence or low levels of testosterone that were found also will increase the tendency towards abdominal fat and reduced muscle, leading to insulin resistance which contributes to diabetes.
The study is published online in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.