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Testosterone to aid diabetes?

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

Testosterone therapy may be able to improve diabetes symptoms and reverse its progress in some men, a European conference has heard.

A study led by Dr Farid Saad of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Berlin, Germany, recruited 311 men with type 2 diabetes and low testosterone. About half chose to have testosterone injections every 12 weeks, and the remaining half did not.

Results are presented today (3 October) at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held in Berlin, Germany.

Follow up measurements and blood samples were taken one to four times a year for ten years. After this time, average fasting blood glucose levels fell in the testosterone group from 7.7 to 5.3 mmol/L, but rose in the control group from 6.3 to 8.2 mmol/L.

Those on testosterone were able to reduce their dose of insulin significantly, whereas the group without extra testosterone needed to increase their average insulin dose.

The testosterone group also saw a drop in weight and waist size measurements. This remained the same in the non-testosterone group.

The authors explain that some patients went into remission after as many as ten years of testosterone treatment.

They conclude: "Long-term testosterone therapy can support diabetes treatment in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes. Its use improved the control of blood glucose, while it deteriorated in patients who had opted not to receive testosterone. There were also significant reductions in both weight and waist size in the testosterone-group, which we suggest could have contributed to the observed effects."

They add that: "Since all injections were administered in the doctor's office and documented, we know that there was 100% adherence to the testosterone therapy used in this study."

Tags: Diabetes | Europe | Men's Health | Pharmaceuticals

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