Testosterone Calculus: Part 1

Menno Henselmans's in depth critique of BIOSIGNATURE hormone profiling can be found here.

Is it actually possible to optimize hormones to redistribute body fat? It's an interesting question - and the Biosignature technique certainly contains grains of truth, but ultimately, the answer is probably no. 

Photo by portishead1/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by portishead1/iStock / Getty Images

The story goes that by taking skin-fold measurements at various sites around the body, you can determine which of your hormones is out of balance. For example, fat deposits on the subscapular region indicates you produce too much insulin. By knowing this, you can in turn target that specific region with a variety of dietary and exercise interventions. 

But it's already very well established that fat distribution is genetically determined by gender, age, and ethnicity, and even as that is the case, I question whether it is at all biologically useful to redistribute excess fat in lieu of attempting to lose it.

That being said, my personal interest here lies in attempting to understand some of the biology of testosterone calculus, as T collapse has had a profound negative impact on Western civilization, and may in fact lead to its ultimate demise.

(Note: Only certain elements of this apply to women. For the whole story on women, see Menno's full article linked at the top.) 

The details are interesting, but the most important elements of this topic are for me the interaction between cortisol and testosterone, as well as cortisol and growth hormone.

Testosterone and cortisol are antagonistic to one another. If your T is high, your cortisol will be low, and vice versa. 

Cortisol - that wrecking ball - acts on a receptor that is found primarily on and around the viscera. Through this receptor, (GCR) it activates an enzyme (LPL) that prepares your fat cells to begin storage.

The good news is, if your T is high enough, it will inhibit the action of that LPL enzyme. Thus, you will not store visceral body fat. But that's the key, you're T must be high enough. 

Growth hormone has similar implications in that it shrinks fat cells, and antagonizes cortisol. 

Growth hormone is also a cortisol antagonist and it increases the anti-cortisol activity of testosterone in men and estrogen in women. High growth hormone levels will therefore preferentially burn abdominal fat, followed by fat on the torso and lastly fat on the lower body.
— http://propanefitness.com/biosignature/

Two papers in support of this: (1) (2)

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Aaron TanasonComment