Men with low or low-normal testosterone assigned to testosterone replacement vs. placebo did not experience improvements in insulin sensitivity, suggesting that testosterone supplementation may not be effective in improving insulin sensitivity, study data show.
Grace Huang, MD, of the section on men’s health, aging and metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues evaluated data from the Testosterone Effects on Atherosclerosis in Aging Men trial on 134 men (mean age, 66.7 years; mean BMI, 28.1 kg/m2) with low or low-normal testosterone (total testosterone, 100-400 ng/dL; free testosterone, < 50 pg/mL) without diabetes randomly assigned to placebo (n = 60) or testosterone (n = 74). Participants had a baseline and at least one post-randomization assessment of insulin sensitivity by an octreotide suppression test. Researchers sought to determine the effects of long-term (3 years) testosterone administration in insulin sensitivity.
At 36 months, mean on-treatment testosterone concentrations increased from 330 ng/dL at baseline to 477.1 ng/dL in the testosterone group, whereas they did not change significantly in the placebo group.
Steady-state plasma glucose increased during the 36 months in the placebo group (P = .03), whereas there were no significant differences observed in the testosterone group.
From baseline to 36 months, no significant changes were observed between the two groups for body weight or BMI.
“Testosterone replacement for 3 years in men with low or low-normal testosterone levels did not significantly improve insulin sensitivity,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, our findings do not support the use of testosterone supplementation to improve insulin sensitivity in older men with low-normal or slightly reduced testosterone levels.” – by Amber Cox
Disclosures: Huang reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.