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03 December 2015 07:38
Boosting testosterone may help some diabetes patients
Male hormone replacement therapy may play a key future role for type-2 diabetic men, a new study suggests.
Testosterone boosts have been found to markedly increase the insulin sensitivity of volunteers originally lacking in it.
Type-2 diabetes patients typically fail to react to insulin.
Five years ago, the same US researchers discovered that low levels of the hormone are closely linked to the disease among male patients.
What the study found
The Buffalo-based New York State University's Paresh Dandona led the research, which analysed 44 diabetic men with low male hormone rates.
They were split into two groups over 24 weeks: one receiving dummy placebo injections, the other getting male hormone jabs.
Prof Dandona's team found that testosterone injections resulted in men:
- seeing their body reaction to insulin rising by nearly a third (32%). This was measured by glucose tissue uptake
- losing over 6lbs in body fat
- gaining over 6lbs in muscle
- experiencing a greater activation of insulin-signalling genes
The Diabetes Care journal has printed the study's results.
Regular medication at the recommended times is key to sound management of the condition.
Sufferers going on foreign holidays can be reassured that 24/7 emergency health cover and replacement medication are offered by diabetes travel insurance.
What the experts say
Prof Dandona says that no other study in the past has conclusively revealed that testosterone sensitises insulin, making it a so-called metabolic hormone.
He says his team worked on the assumption that the male hormone may not only be an insulin-sensitising agent, but an anti-inflammatory too.
Prof Dandona says that it has long been established that the hormone raises the amount of skeletal muscle, while lowering body fat.
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