Possible Mechanisms for Suppression of Testosterone Concentrations with Long Term Exercise

In female athletes menstrual disturbances have been found in association with lower bone density particularly at trabecular sites.Furthermore, stress fractures seem to be more common in women with amenorrhoea or oligomenorrhoea with a relative risk that is between two to four times greater than that of their eumenorrhoeic counterparts. There are few studies investigating the relation of testosterone levels to bone density and stress fracture risk in young male athletes. A recent case report described the clinical features of a 29-year-old male distance runner who presented with a pelvic stress fracture, greatly decreased bone density and symptomatic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism." Using this case as an index, the authors hypothesised that exercise– induced hypogonadotropic hypogonadism could be identified in male athletes by the presence of one or more specific risk factors which included the presence of sexual dysfunction, a history of fracture, and the initiation of endurance exercise before age 18 Years.

They compared concentrations of free testosterone and luteinising hormone in 15 male runners with one or more of the above risk factors and 13 runners with none of the risk factors. Only one of the runners in the first group was identified as having primary hypogonadism and there was no significant difference between groups for hormone concentrations. Bone density, however, was not measured in these runners and correlated with testosterone concentrations. From a clinical perspective, it is important to clarify that although some male athletes do present With reduced testosterone concentrations, these concentrations are generally still within the normal range for adult men. Therefore, detrimental effects on bone density may not be as dramatic as those described for women with athletic amenorrhoea in whom oestradiol concentrations are well below normal.

Healthy skin from the inside

Nature has provided us with an amazing selection of vegetables, fruits and nuts. All are great for your skin, providing essential phytonutrients (nutrients found in fruit and vegetables) (see page 111), vitamins and antioxidants.

You need fat in your diet; your skin would look lifeless and dull without it. Good-quality fats like the omega fats are the building blocks for healthy cells. So make sure you include these good fats in your diet. Good sources are fish, nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils.

Excess sugar and refined foods such as cakes, biscuits and confectionery play havoc with your skin and can slow the whole body‘s healing system. Limit your intake and make sure you include good sources of protein to help balance blood-sugar levels that can lead to sweet cravings.

There is nothing like a good workout that makes you sweat to eliminate toxins from the skin. The increased blood flow also brings nourishment out into the skin and encourages your skin to breathe. Your skin will take on that healthy glow!

Living in our modern-day society exposes our bodies to a lot of stresses: pollution, excessive radiation exposure (sun and computers), inadequate diets, overworking, over-exercising, smoking, drinking … the list goes on. To supply your body and skin with optimum nutrition we recommend taking a good quality antioxidant that supplies natural vitamins and minerals at optimum levels, and in a natural form as they would be found in a healthy diet.

Everyday stress is a part of life. But when stress turns to anxiety and worry, it starts to affect your health and skin. When you are under excess stress this affects your hormonal system, which often triggers skin problems and sensitivities, as well as lowering your immune system. Strain and worry is also worn on your face, so start to relax. Recognise when you need time out, and nurture yourself.

Sleep is vital to good health. During those hours you spend in bed your body goes about repairing damaged tissues, and there is a surge of your growth hormone, which stimulates cell renewal. There are also some studies that show that a lack of sleep speeds up the aging process. So flick off the TV and go to bed!