Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old levels

Discussions about the most common form of male hair loss - androgenetic alopecia
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cantbenormal
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Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old levels

Post by cantbenormal » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:59 pm

I've read a study somewhere that said that long distance running lowered testosterone to levels approaching that of a 15 year old.

Now Tom, I know your opinion is that marathon running is detrimental to our health in the long run..but what about for hair loss?

Wouldn't lowering test levels, lower DHT, thereby having the same effect as propecia?

Tom Hagerty
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by Tom Hagerty » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:23 am

You're an engineering student and most likely solve intricate problems using an engineering model. I usually give pat answers to the questions many people ask without getting into the biochemistry involved. (The biochemical model and the engineering model are dissimilar.)

So here is the pat (standard) answer: People who do long-distance running or swimming have a temporary drop in serum testosterone; people who engage in sprinting or heavy weight lifting often have a temporary rise in testosterone. These temporary drops or rises in T have little or no effect on the hair follicles.
Wouldn't lowering test levels, lower DHT, thereby having the same effect as propecia?
Propecia does not lower T levels; it usually raises the level. Propecia inhibits an enzyme called type II, 5 alpha-reductase. This is the enzyme that converts some testosterone into DHT. (DHT is a metabolite of T.) Therefore when not as much T is being converted into DHT, there are higher serum levels of testosterone.

But these few sentences are telling you very little. The biochemistry involved is highly complex and would take pages to detail and make clear.

A question for you. Have you taken any chemistry or an introductory course in molecular biology? By the way, the biology textbook used at Ohio State, near where I live, costs over a hundred dollars. Without some basics in chemistry and cell biology, it's hard to really understand the dynamics of hair growth or hair loss. I try to keep the pages of my website accurate but simple. I don't want to scare too many people away. But I still get emails complaining that my writing style is too technical.

Beeblebrox
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by Beeblebrox » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:04 pm

I read about it too a long time ago.
I found no statistics that show marathon runners have more hair. I did it also for other aerobic sports as cycling, swimming and even soccer (look at Wayne Rooney, he just has done a hair transplaint just a month ago, and he's not only one balding in this sport). It's mostly a skill sellection during the career, which determines who we see on TV. I think the idea of marathon running is not worth an effort to try beat balding unless you want it anyway. But's true, it's lowering testosterone levels which means if at the same rate of conversion to DHT, it lowers DHT levels also.

cantbenormal
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by cantbenormal » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:57 am

28 year old runner Alan Webb is also balding pretty badly too.

it's very confusing.


Propecia lowers DHT, but increases T --> hair growth
Heavy Weight lifting increases T --> hair loss
running to endurance -> lower free t
MPB is associated is with metabolic syndromes such as hypogonadism (low t) --> hair loss......(on this note i've noticed many very thin young and older men with no significant musculature that have heavy NW 6/7 balding. Disproportionately so)


i've read something somewhere (probably just a forum) about the dht/t ratio being important. As opposed to solely their individual levels.


Tom,

I see where my thinking was flawed. So our aim should be on reducing 5AR. Is anything known to regulate its expression and activity?

I've taken everything from organic chem to biochem and some pretty advanced human physiology courses. This seems to help when reading the scientific literature. but honestly this topic is quite a beast - with many gaps in our understanding.

Tom Hagerty
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by Tom Hagerty » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:34 pm

I see where my thinking was flawed. So our aim should be on reducing 5AR.
If it's possible, I'd rather use foods to alter the chemical action of 5AR. The side effects of the prolonged use of drugs scare me. For one little piece of the food puzzle, read the Wikipedia article on Beta Sitosterol. Some studies, although perhaps not too convincing, suggest that this phytonutrient might reduce 5AR. A good natural source of beta sitosterol is avocados. I like them and eat a few each week.

TexasMedicine
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by TexasMedicine » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:33 pm

I had some blood tests done and apparently I have low testosterone, which the naturopath suggested is why one of my symptoms is diffuse thinning hair. Of course, everyone's cause of baldness is different, but just because DHT and T are linked, don't assume lowering T is beneficial - it's ideal for a man to have high levels of testosterone to maintain health. As men age, their T levels lower which is why you see a larger proportion of balding older men than younger men.

Tom Hagerty
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:16 am

I had some blood tests done and apparently I have low testosterone...
Do you happen to be a vegetarian? Vegetarians sometimes have low testosterone levels but also have low serum ferritin levels. There is much research that shows a correlation between low serum feritin levels and hair loss.

What are you going to do to raise your testosterone level? Is your naturopath suggesting some remedy? Low testosterone not only loweres your libido, it also lowers you intellectual vitality.

TexasMedicine
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by TexasMedicine » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:08 am

Tom Hagerty wrote:
I had some blood tests done and apparently I have low testosterone...
Do you happen to be a vegetarian? Vegetarians sometimes have low testosterone levels but also have low serum ferritin levels. There is much research that shows a correlation between low serum feritin levels and hair loss.

What are you going to do to raise your testosterone level? Is your naturopath suggesting some remedy? Low testosterone not only loweres your libido, it also lowers you intellectual vitality.
I eat plentiful meat, fish, eggs, chicken and my diet is quite varied (with limited processed foods) but the condition of my gut is quite poor. So I'm definitely not absorbing a lot of nutrients, which may be why I am also quite thin (always have been actually).

I've got another naturopath appointment next week and we will be looking into some possible testosterone therapy among other things to do with gut healing. You're also correct in that I don't feel or think as sharp as I once did. On the bright side, I have an idea of what areas to look into for improvement, even though they seem hard to rectify.

Tom Hagerty
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:56 am

but the condition of my gut is quite poor.
A few months ago I read The Probiotics Revolution by Gary Huffnagle. In this book, which I'm sure you can get at the library, he writes about yogurt and what positive changes this food brings about in your gut. But he says that the only really beneficial yogurt is the kind with "live and active" cultures. I get the plain, low-fat Blended yogurt from Kroger with the seal of the National Yogurt Association on the carton. I wish you would try this for a while. This might change the condition of your poor gut into an excellent one.

bobchzpuffz
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Re: Long distance running lowers testosteron to 15 yr old le

Post by bobchzpuffz » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:14 am

Low T. isn't necessarily bad; it's important to have T. especially if you are 15 years old and likely going through puberty. The main reason people go bald is because a hormone called DHT interacts with androgen receptors in your hair; normally your body produces enough globulin to bind to free T. which prevents it from metabolizing into excess DHT.

When people lose hair, their first thought is that they need to lower T. and DHT. This is counter-productive and can have adverse effects on the body. In fact, did you know that people with MPB typically have lower-levels of T? The real reason people bald isn't because of the amount of T they have, but rather the amount of T. that is converted into DHT. People with higher levels of DHT usually have lower-than-normal levels of SHBG.

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