Testosterone replacement therapy is designed to treat symptoms of “Low T,” such as low libido, weight gain, and fatigue; however, the treatment doesn’t appear to work on aging, obese men with type 2 diabetes, a new study shows.
The new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that testosterone supplements do not improve erectile dysfunction or general health in this population because testosterone levels are not the only issue causing their symptoms. The findings raise even more question about the controversial hormone supplements.
Prescriptions for testosterone therapies, such as the widely used Androgel, Axiron and Testim, have skyrocketed in recent years in response to aggressive marketing campaigns waged by pharmaceutical companies. The benefits of treatment, however, come at a price.
Recent studies have shown that the drugs increase a man’s risk of blood clots, heart attacks, strokes and death. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing safety risks associated with testosterone therapy. Now the treatment’s effectiveness is being called into question.
The new study, which was funded by Bayer Pharma AG, maker of the testosterone supplement Nebido, involved 88 men aged 35 to 70 with type 2 diabetes who also reported mild to moderate aging symptoms and erectile dysfunction. The men were randomly assigned to 40 weeks of intramuscular testosterone treatment or a placebo.
The men answered questionnaires at the beginning of the study, at week 18, and at week 40 measuring their general and sexual health symptoms. Researchers also measured their testosterone levels and other biochemical markers through fasting blood tests at the same intervals. The researchers found that there were no substantial improvements in men using the placebo compared to men using the testosterone treatment.
Researchers summarized that comorbidity causes symptoms that cannot be treated by simply taking testosterone supplements. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression can drive down testosterone levels in men, and researchers suggested that treating those symptoms may ultimately improve overall health, including boosting testosterone levels.
Source: Drug Watch