Exercise boosts sex drive in middle-aged men
The research found that the effect of losing spare tyres and beer bellies, among men in their fifties, is a boost to their sex drive, a higher sperm count and stronger erections.
Losing weight reduces the chances of low testosterone levels by up to 50 percent in more mature males.
The findings come from a study by Dublin doctors of 900 men with an average age of 54 taking part in a US diabetes prevention programme.
Weight loss can delay or avoid the onset of diabetes among those men who are most susceptible to the disease.
But scientists insisted that the boost to their sex lives could be the added incentive men need to exercise and diet.
The 900 midlife volunteers were split into three groups to receive a year of treatments designed to help ward off diabetes.
A third were told to modify their lifestyles by dieting and 150 minutes a week of exercise, a third were given the diabetes drug metformin and the rest were given a placebo.
The number of men with low testosterone levels remained almost identical among those taking metformin or the placebo.
But in the group making lifestyle changes, the proportion with low testosterone fell significantly from 20 percent at the beginning of the study to just 11 percent a year later.
Researcher Dr Frances Hayes of St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin said that low testosterone levels were common among overweight men before they got diabetes.
“Doctors should first encourage overweight men with low testosterone levels to try to lose weight through diet and exercise before resorting to testosterone therapy to raise their hormone levels,” a major newspaper quoted her as saying.
The study found that levels of testosterone went up in direct proportion to the number of pounds lost and the decrease in waist size.
“Losing weight not only reduces the risk of prediabetic men progressing to diabetes but also appears to increase their body’s production of testosterone,” Dr Hayes added.