May 15, 2013
Testosterone Therapy Increases Insulin Sensitivity in Males With Type 2 Diabetes

Phoenix, AZ—While testosterone therapy is most commonly prescribed to treat sexual dysfunction in hypogonadal men, it appears to have another important effect when type 2 diabetes (T2D) also is present: It can significantly increase insulin sensitivity.

That’s according to a presentation at a recent meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). Researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo found that males with type 2 diabetes with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism who received testosterone therapy had a 25% increase in insulin sensitivity after 24 weeks of treatment compared with patients who received placebo therapy.

The presentation is abstract 280 on the AACE’s abstract Web page.

Compared to the control group, those men who received testosterone therapy also had a slight, yet significant improvement in lean mass, total fat, C-reactive protein, and free fatty acids.

The presentation abstract notes that one-third of men with T2D have hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH), and that testosterone concentrations are inversely related to body mass index.

The randomized, placebo-controlled trial involved 26 men, average age mid-50s, with T2D and HH, defined as mean total testosterone 247 ± 82 ng/dL; free testosterone 4.2 ± 1.1 ng/dL, and 24 men with normal total and free testosterone concentrations (means 527±205 and 7.3 ± 2.0 ng/dL). The HH group, which tended to have more fat mass, was randomized to receive intramuscular injections of 250 mg of testosterone or placebo every 2 weeks for 6 months.

The glucose infusion rate increased by 30% after 6 months of testosterone therapy but did not change in the placebo group, according to the presentation. The placebo group, meanwhile, had no change in weight, fat mass, or lean mass.

“Our data show for the first time that men with T2D and HH are more insulin resistant than those with normal T, and insulin resistance is reversed following T replacement,” according to the presentation abstract.

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect