Researchers from the University of Adelaide in South Australia (SA) have found that testosterone can prevent diabetes in men.
The study, published on Wednesday, was the largest investigation of testosterone treatment ever undertaken.
After two years of treatment, it found that 21 percent of 413 men receiving a placebo developed type 2 diabetes compared to 12 percent of men who received testosterone.
Those who received testosterone also experienced a greater decrease in body fat, an increase in skeletal muscle mass and a lower fasting blood sugar.
However, lead researcher Gary Wittert, director of the Center for Male Health and Wellbeing at the University of Adelaide, said that further research was needed into the long-term safety of testosterone treatment.
“The results of the study show that, on top of modest weight loss achieved with healthy eating and increased activity, testosterone has some added benefit to prevent or reverse newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes,” he said in a media release.
“However, the results do not necessarily mean that a script for testosterone should be written.
“We know that men at risk of type 2 diabetes are usually overweight and either have, or are at risk of, other chronic disorders that have not been detected or adequately managed. Not infrequently these men are also drinking too much alcohol and have sleep or mood disorders. Weight loss achieved through healthy lifestyle behaviors remains the benchmark.
“Writing a prescription might be quick and easy but it does not replace the need for undertaking a comprehensive assessment and providing holistic management towards improving men’s health.”