Men: prevent diabetes with a little testosterone

Researchers in Australia are looking to an unlikely substance as a preventative measure for diabetes: testosterone.

A $4.8 million study is set to assess the potential benefits of giving testosterone doses--in conjunction with a weight-loss program--to older men who may be at risk for developing diabetes.

"We know that as men get older and gain weight - especially when they become large around the belly - they often suffer from reduced testosterone levels," said lead study author Gary Wittert from the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine.

Testosterone and health

Wittert noted that low testosterone is associated with a reduced motivation to exercise, decreased sexual function and type 2 diabetes.

About 1,500 Australian men between the ages of 50 and 74 are being recruited for the study. In addition to being given testosterone supplements, they'll have free access to the weight-loss program Weight Watchers, which they can participate in online or via meetings.

"By giving testosterone supplements to men in that critical pre-diabetes stage, and by putting them on a dedicated weight-loss program, we expect to see sustained reductions in weight and a reduced chance to develop type 2 diabetes," said Wittert.

The study is called "Testosterone 4 the prevention of Diabetes Mellitus (TD4M)," and it's funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Source: News Medical

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