Serum estrone (E1) and 17beta-estradiol (E2) were noted to be 2-fold elevated in a group of morbidly obese men. Urinary E1 and E2 production rates were elevated in proportion to the degree of obesity, with values as high as 127 and 157 micrograms/day, respectively. Although serum testosterone (T) concentrations were reduced in obese men, averaging 348 +/- 35 vs. 519 +/- 42 ng/dl in lean controls, the dialyzable T fractions were elevated and, hence, the calculated free T concentrations were normal in obese men. Further, the obese men exhibited normal serum LH, FSH, and T responses to clomiphene citrate, indicating intact hypothalamic-pituitary-Leydig cell axes. MCRs of T and peripheral conversion of T to E2 and androstenedione (delta) to E1 were all increased in obese men in proportion to the percentage above ideal weight. Although the obese mean exhibited increased blood levels and production rates of estrogens, there were no signs of feminization, increased T-estrogen-binding, globulin levels, or suppressed basal gonadotropin levels, suggesting a lack of biological effect. We postulate that obese men exhibit defective estrogen receptors, leading to decreased T-estrogen-binding globulin, increased clearance of androgenic hormones, and elevated estrogen production rates.
Blood production rates of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and 3 alpha-androstanediol (3 alpha-diol) were found to be approximately 2-fold elevated in morbidly obese, nonhirsute, normally menstruating women. Values were intermediate between those found in normal women and those in a group of nonobese normally menstruating women with idiopathic hirsutism. Elevated androgen production rates in obese women were associated with 2- to 3-fold increases in MCRs, presumably due to decreased levels of sex hormone-binding globulin. Thus, increased production rates were offset by increased MCRs, resulting in plasma testosterone, DHT, and 3 alpha-diol concentrations that were similar in the obese and normal women. By contrast, women with hirsutism had increased production rates associated with elevated plasma androgens as well as increased MCRs. Urinary excretion of testosterone glucuronide and 3 alpha-diol glucuronide (3 alpha-diol G) were elevated in both obese and hirsute women, paralleling the increased androgen production rates. Despite increased production rates and excretion of androgens, obese women exhibited no menstrual abnormalities, hirsutism, or other signs of virilism. To explore the apparent ineffectiveness of increased androgen production to produce virilizing symptoms, we measured plasma 3 alpha-diol G levels as a measure of peripheral androgen action. The mean +/- SE plasma 3 alpha-diol G was 53 +/- 8 ng/dl in obese women and 36 +/- 6 in normal women; by contrast, women with idiopathic hirsutism had levels of 440 +/- 99, a 12-fold elevation. Plasma testosterone glucuronide in obese and hirsute women were only 2- to 3-fold elevated, while plasma DHT glucuronide was not increased in obese women and was only 2-fold elevated in hirsute women. Thus, obesity is a state of increased androgen production and accelerated clearance. 3 alpha-diol G levels in obese women were only minimally elevated, in contrast to values in the hirsute women, perhaps reflecting the apparent androgen ineffectiveness.
We have previously shown that fructose and sorbitol given with a standard meal cause less increment in plasma glucose than sucrose and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in patients with NIDDM. However, there was no direct comparison of sucrose with HFCS. Sixteen men and one woman aged 54-67) with NIDDM were given either 35 g sucrose, 35 g fructose, or 43.75 g HFCS containing 35 g carbohydrate as part of a 400-calorie test meal. Blood samples were obtained at frequent intervals up to 3 h and were analyzed for glucose and insulin. As compared with a fructose meal, the mean increment in plasma glucose (delta PG) after a sucrose meal was significantly higher at 45 min and after an HFCS meal it was significantly higher at 30 and 45 min, but sucrose and HFCS meals did not differ. When delta PGs were compared in nine patients with basal PG greater than 140 mg/dl and in eight patients with basal PG less than 140 mg/dl, differences in delta PG after sucrose and HFCS versus fructose meals became more significant but still did not differ from each other. The integrated total areas under the delta PG curves after sucrose, HFCS, and fructose meals were not statistically different. However, the areas under the curves up to 90 min after sucrose and HFCS meals, which did not differ, were greater than the fructose meal. The mean delta IRI after sucrose meals was markedly elevated at 45, 60, and 75 min (P less than 0.05) and after HFCS meals at 45 min as compared with fructose meals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Sucrose, sorbitol, and fructose (35 g) were fed to normal and diabetic subjects as a component of a 400-calorie breakfast. In both normal and diabetic subjects, the mean peak increment in plasma glucose was highest after the sucrose meals (44.0 mg/dl for normal subjects; 78.0 mg/dl for diabetic subjects); lowest after sorbitol meals (9.3 mg/dl for normal subjects; 32.3 mg/dl for diabetic subjects); and intermediate after the fructose meals (29.0 mg/dl for normal subjects; 48.0 mg/dl for diabetic subjects). In normal subjects, the mean peak increment of plasma immunoreactive insulin followed a similar pattern, but in diabetic subjects there was no significant difference between the three groups. We conclude that fructose or sorbitol, given as part of a meal, results in lower glucose levels in both normal and diabetic subjects, but that the latter is not related to a difference in insulin release.
The rat, an animal without testosterone-estrogen-binding-globulin, was treated with L-T4 to the point of hyperthyroidism in order to study the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis during this condition. Hyperthyroidism led to a significant decline in serum FSH, a fall in serum LH which was not satistically significant, and no change in serum levels of testosterone or estradiol. Testes of hyperthyroid rats produced significantly more testosterone during in vitro incubations than did the testes of control animals. We conclude that hyperthyroidism in the rat leads to a fall in FSH levels either via direct pituitary suppression or via accelerated FSH metabolism. In addition, in vitro studies suggest that excess thyroid hormone may stimulate intratesticular 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
In brief Thirty-two professional female ballet dancers were studied by means of a gynecological questionnaire to determine the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction. Thirty-seven percent had a history of amenorrhea (p <.01 compared with controls). Forty-seven percent had a history of menstrual dysfunction manifested by delayed menarche, amenorrhea, or oligomenorrhea (p <.001 compared with controls). Menstrual dysfunction was related to both strenuous physical exercise and diminished body weight, and it was reversible, often disappearing with significant weight gain or intervals of less intense exercise. Thirteen women had pituitary hormone levels measured before and after exercise, and both were within the normal range.
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