Manufacturers of testosterone replacement treatments used aggressive marketing campaigns to sell their products as cure-all for a host of symptoms including weight gain, but a new study shows that men following a diet and exercise regime lose the same amount of weight on testosterone therapy as men taking a placebo.
The study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, involved 100 fairly healthy obese men ranging in age from 20 to 70. All reportedly had low testosterone levels, 20 percent had diabetes and 10 percent had heart disease.
For the first 10 weeks, the participants were told to follow a super-low calorie diet and told to abstain from alcohol and engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. From week 11 through week 56, the men were transitioned to a weight-maintenance diet based on the Australian Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Total Wellbeing Diet.
Every 10 weeks for the entire duration of the year-long study, 49 men received 1,000 mg injections of intramuscular testosterone. The remaining 51 men were given a placebo. At the end of the study, researchers found that both groups of men lost about 24 pounds. The men taking testosterone, however, lost more body fat and maintained muscle mass compared to the men on a placebo.
The study may make testosterone-boosting treatments an exciting option for men, but men should also consider testosterone side effects before seeking treatment. Recent studies have shown that men on testosterone replacement therapy are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die after three years of use. Another study showed that the risk of heart attack or stroke was significantly increased within the first 90 days of treatment.
Source: Men’s Fitness