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New evidence testosterone therapy is effective obesity treatment in men

New evidence testosterone ther...
Research suggests, for some men, testosterone therapy could be as effective a treatment for obesity as bariatric surgery
Research suggests, for some men, testosterone therapy could be as effective a treatment for obesity as bariatric surgery
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Research suggests, for some men, testosterone therapy could be as effective a treatment for obesity as bariatric surgery
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Research suggests, for some men, testosterone therapy could be as effective a treatment for obesity as bariatric surgery

New data presented at the recent European and International Congress on Obesity suggests testosterone therapy may be a helpful treatment for some men suffering from obesity. The research finds long-term testosterone therapy can, in some cases, be as effective as bariatric surgery in morbidly obese subjects.

Low testosterone levels have consistently been detected in severely obese men, and obesity has also been noted as a common symptom of hypogonadism, a clinically diagnosed condition where men cannot produce average levels of testosterone. This complicated bidirectional relationship between obesity and low testosterone has been referred to as a “vicious cycle” by some researchers.

Farid Saad, from the UAE’s Gulf Medical University School of Medicine, has been investigating the relationship between testosterone and obesity for over a decade. His latest research examines 15 years of data from a German registry tracking men with hypogonadism.

Saad and his colleagues looked at data from 471 obese men with hypogonadism, 276 of whom received long-term testosterone therapy, while 195 chose not to undergo hormone treatments, thus serving as a functional control group.

Across a follow-up period of about eight years, the data shows the testosterone group dropping 23 kg (50 lb) in weight, on average. The men in the control group not receiving testosterone therapy showed an average increase in weight of 6 kg (13 lb).

Waist circumference, body mass index, and visceral fat measurements all improved in the testosterone group compared to the control. Even more strikingly, the overall mortality rate of the testosterone group was significantly lower than the control by the end of the follow-up period: 7.6 percent vs 32.3 percent. Plus, over 20 percent of men in the control group developed type 2 diabetes across the study period, whereas no men in the testosterone group developed the metabolic disorder over the same timeframe.

"Long-term testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men resulted in profound and sustained weight loss which may have contributed to reductions in mortality and cardiovascular events,” says Saad. “Untreated men with hypogonadism gained weight."

Zooming in on those most obese subjects, the researchers found 76 men could be classified in the highest risk “class 3” category of obesity. This category is occasionally referred to as “morbid” obesity, and bariatric surgery is often recommended as an effective treatment.

Of the 76 men in this category, 59 received testosterone therapy, and the remaining 17 served as controls. In this sub-group, the testosterone cohort lost an average of 30 kg (66 lb), while the control group gained an average of 5 kg (11 lb). Saad notes the weight loss and general metabolic improvements seen in this morbidly obese cohort following long-term testosterone therapy resemble benefits seen with bariatric surgery, suggesting this may be a useful alternative treatment option.

"Long-term testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism and the most severe level of obesity resulted in profound and sustained weight loss in a magnitude comparable to that achieved with metabolic (obesity) surgery,” says Saad. “Side effects and complications may be in favor of testosterone therapy.”

These results of course need broader validation before testosterone therapy can be widely recommended as a treatment for obesity in men. The data gathered in this new research is limited to a very specific cohort of older men with clinically diagnosed hypogonadism.

The new research was recently presented at the European and International Congress on Obesity.

Source: European Association for the Study of Obesity via Eurekalert

5 comments
Edward Watson
Great, now you tell me. I have low T and have had testosterone shots in the past but stopped. I have gained a lot of weight.
The timing of this article sucks - I’m currently at the airport awaiting a flight to have bariatric surgery to get rid of this excess weight. And if all I needed was a regular T shot, then I’m quite annoyed.
Daishi
It's interesting data that warrants other studies but it's interesting stuff. The results are a slam dunk but there are probably other factors that influence them. The men with low testosterone that opted not to take it (the control group) may not be as motivated to take better care of themselves than the men who chose to take it. Testosterone impacts muscle mass which contributes to burning more fat but it's probably likely that the men that took T are more likely to also work out than the men who didn't. I have heard that it's worth getting your testosterone checked if you are over 40. I don't think treatment is covered under most health insurance plans in the US but if you are severely obese it's probably a safer and less intrusive alternative than bariatric surgery.
Karmudjun
Nice synopsis. I haven't even checked the source article as yet because I am familiar with the therapy and the risk factors. Testosterone therapy - like the use of any steroids - can cause hypogonadism, lower sperm count, a return of acne & oily skin, increased risk of blood clots and can worsen congestive heart failure, it can worsen obstructive sleep apnea (which seems contradicted by the study as a 50 kg weight loss might IMPROVE sleep apnea if it is weight related)
If anyone just takes this study (which again, I haven't read the source article) as a reason to insist on testosterone supplementation, you need to be closely monitored by your physician or health care provider.
buzzclick
Edward Watson...bro, make the best of your situation. Have the surgery and start doing T shots again, but consult your doc first.

A good friend of mine had a medical checkup a while back and remarked that the doc told him he had an unusually high testosterone count. Needles to say he is quite thin and has a higher energy level (but exercises very little). The conclusions of this study make sense. It's also a good idea to have your levels verified in your next blood tests with your yearly medical checkup.
Geoffo
I wonder about my T count, everything still works but I struggle with weight going up and down in the same range . I had the test. The doc said hmmm it is a little low. I said what should it be. He responded actually for your age (70) we don't have specific value they normally stop counting after 60 ? Anyway , I would like a pill option please