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Testosterone Raises Insulin Sensitivity

Posted Jul 19 2013 10:08pm

Giving testosterone to men with type 2 diabetes who are deficient in the hormone improved their insulin sensitivity, reports researchers from the University of Buffalo (New York, USA).  Paresh Dandona and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of 81 men with type 2 diabetes.  Men were randomized to treatment with testosterone or placebo for 6 months. At baseline, those with hypogonadism had a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher fat mass than those who didn't have low testosterone.  The team found that hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower insulin sensitivity than those who did not have hypogonadism; further, that association remained even when controlling for weight and age (P=0.017). As well, free testosterone rose dramatically (4.1 nmol/L to 12.4 nmol/L), while placebo subjects had no significant changes in this parameter. Commenting that there was a "dramatic" 25% increase in insulin sensitivity … after these men took testosterone for 6 months,” the study authors note total lean body mass increased significantly for testosterone patients while fat mass significantly diminished in this group.

Dhindsa SS, et al. "Testosterone replacement decreases insulin resistance in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes" [Abstract OR22-1.]  Presented at ENDO 2013 (Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society), June 19, 2013.

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