Middle-Aged Men Are Getting Fat Because They Need More Estrogen

For years, the conventional wisdom has held that men's declining "vitality" in later life—pot bellies, loss of muscle tone, sexual difficulties, etc.—was due to their falling levels of testosterone. But new research indicates that estrogen may play a more prominent role in male development than previously thought. Once men reach middle age, and Lady Gaia begins calling her estrogen blessings home to the great sky yoni, men begin to accumulate fat around the midsection in a phenomenon known (hopefully, in the future, by me) as the "misandry spread."

Here's the NYTimes:

The new frontier of research involves figuring out which hormone does what in men, and how body functions are affected at different hormone levels. While dwindling testosterone levels are to blame for middle-aged men’s smaller muscles, falling levels of estrogen regulate fat accumulation, according to a study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, which provided the most conclusive evidence to date that estrogen is a major factor in male midlife woes. And both hormones are needed for libido.

“Some of the symptoms routinely attributed to testosterone deficiency are actually partially or almost exclusively caused by the decline in estrogens,” said Dr. Joel Finkelstein, an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School and the study’s lead author, in a news release on Wednesday.

...As for sexual desire and performance, both require estrogen and testosterone, and they increase steadily as those hormone levels rise. Researchers say it is too early to make many specific recommendations, but no one is suggesting that men take estrogen, because high doses cause feminine features like enlarged breasts.

It's an appealing chauvinistic fantasy to pretend that all male weakness is the result of too much estrogen—because, as we all know, MAN PENIS STRONG, COOTIES BAD—but, as in all things, the proper balance is key. You need estrogen flowing through your boday just as much as you need testosterone.

Embrace the estrogen, dudes. Embrace it. Say yestrogen. It's good for you.

Image via iroha/Shutterstock.