Testosterone replacement therapy for type 2 diabetes?
In 2018, Chinese researchers showed in a meta-study that testosterone therapy can help control type-2 diabetes. Diabetologists should start using testosterone as a medicine, they concluded. However, we are not yet convinced. We think there is a safer, cheaper and more effective type 2 diabetes remedy.
Together with his colleagues, Jianzhong Zhang, of Beijing Union Medical College, collected 8 previously published medical literature studies in which a total of 596 men with type 2 diabetes and low testosterone levels received hormone therapy for 12 to 52 weeks. Most of the time, the men received a testosterone ester injection, but in a few studies, the researchers used testosterone gels or capsules.
In 6 trials, the researchers measured the effect of testosterone administration on insulin sensitivity and calculated the men's HOMA-IR. The higher the HOMA-IR, the lower the sensitivity to insulin. Conversely, the lower the HOMA-IR, the greater the sensitivity to insulin.
Testosterone therapy lowered HOMA-IR by 0.79 points.
The Chinese are content with the effects of testosterone. "We recommend testosterone therapy during the antidiabetic therapy in these patients," they write.
In 2017, researchers at Pusan National University in South Korea published a human study in Clinical and Experimental Hypertension that puts the anti-diabetes effect of testosterone into perspective. [Clin Exp Hypertens. 2017;39(6):546-52.]
The Koreans had obese teenage girls, with pre-stage type-2 diabetes, exercise for half an hour 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Each workout consisted of both strength training and aerobic exercises.
During this period, the girls' HOMA-IR decreased by an average of 1.4 points. Almost double the effect of testosterone in the Chinese meta-study...
World J Urol. 2018 Aug;36(8):1315-26.
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Testosterone & Other Anabolic Substances
Insulin & Glucose Metabolism