Diabetes Q&A

Testosterone No Help With Glycemic Control

Testosterone therapy does little to improve glucose metabolism in obese men with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.1

Men with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely as healthy men to suffer from low testosterone, yet the condition often goes undiagnosed due to its unremarkable symptoms.2

In order to determine the effect of testosteronetherapy on obese men with type 2 diabetes, researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind study of 88 men between 35 and 70 years old with HbA1c of 8.5% or less. The men’s total testosterone levels were 12.0 nmol/L or less.

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Participants were randomly assigned 40 weeks of either intramuscular testosterone undecanoate or placebo. Seven testosterone and 6 placebo participants did not complete the study. 

Overall, testosterone therapy did not improve insulin resistance (mean adjusted difference [MAD] for HOMA-IR compared with placebo −0.08 [95% CI −0.31 to 0.47; P = 0.23]) or glycemic control (MAD HbA1c 0.36% [0.0, 0.7]; P = 0.05), compared to placebo, despite increases in lean mass and decreases in fat mass. It also reduced subcutaneous, but not visceral, abdominal adipose tissue.

The study was published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

Michael Potts

  1. Gianatti EJ, Dupuis P, Hoermann R, et al. Effect of testosterone treatment on glucose metabolism in men with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2014 May 7 [epub ahead of print] doi: 10.2337/dc13-2845
  1. American Diabetes Association. Living with diabetes: low testosterone. 2014 Mar 28. Accessed May 9, 2014.