The biggest study on testosterone in men is finally over and the results are astonishing. Based on these results, the researchers are assuming that testosterone-based therapy can finally save men from diabetes type 2, which has no treatment or prevention otherwise.
This study is called “Testosterone for the Prevention of Diabetes Mellitus” or T4DM. It was a collaborative project of research teams from the University of Adelaide and six other research centers in Australia.
It was two years long, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial. The complete results of this trial are now published in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
1000 men from the ages 50 to 74 were made a part of this T4DM study. All of them were either overweight or obese. All of them shared the same thing that they were all enrolled in a weight loss program called ‘Weight Watchers’ or DD. This new study targeted them as a group and provided help through the website or through the phone app. As a part of this program, nearly 500 of them were given a long-lasting form of testosterone after every three months. While the remaining 500 were injected with a placebo solution.
Two years later, 87 men out of the 413 from the group which received a placebo injection were diagnosed with diabetes type 2. Their diabetes was confirmed through an oral glucose tolerance test. On the other side, 55 men from the 443 in the testosterone therapy group were also diagnosed with diabetes type 2.
Both these groups reported that their members have lost between 3 to 4 kgs of weight during this period. 43% of men from the placebo reported a normal blood glucose tolerance and 52% of men from the testosterone therapy group also reported a normal blood glucose tolerance.
This testosterone group also experienced a much lower fasting blood sugar, decrease in fat, improvement in handgrip, skeletal muscles, and sexual health. However, there was no difference reported in the overall well-being or the life quality of both these groups.
The only adverse effect which hit nearly 22% of participants from the testosterone group was an increase in the red blood cells concentration. This increase is typically linked with some health complications and not a healthy thing.
These results also revealed that a moderate weight loss through a healthy diet and physical activity has added benefits when testosterone is injected into a man. Based on testosterone’s effect on blood sugar, it appears that it can lower the risk of diabetes type 2 in men or it may also reverse it if it is newly diagnosed in a patient.
But it doesn’t mean that testosterone should be immediately used as a diabetes prevention plan. this link between diabetes type 2 in men and testosterone has to be re-evaluated. It is obvious that this link was not built overnight. The men who are at a greater risk of diabetes are over a healthy weight and there is not much information collected about their dietary and lifestyle habits.
It requires more research to determine whether these benefits of testosterone take two years or more to show up or also help at early stages. Research should also determine the safety levels, forms of testosterone, and dosage to lower the risk of diabetes type 2.
Writing a testosterone prescription at this moment would be a hasty decision and may not bring the estimated benefits, without determining the link.