Scientists have completed a clinical trial evaluating different therapeutic strategies for low testosterone levels in obese men.
The trial was carried out by a team from the Center for Network Biomedical Research on Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN) in Spain. Team members work from the Málaga Biomedical Research Institute and Nanomedicine Platform (IBIMA BIONAND Platform) and the Regional University Hospitals of Málaga and Virgen de la Victoria.
Previously, the team showed that obesity causes a drop in levels of testosterone, the main male sex hormone in men, and that there is an inverse relationship between the degree of obesity and testosterone levels, ie higher degrees of obesity lead to lower testosterone. .
Among the authors of the study are José Carlos Fernández García, an endocrinologist and clinical researcher at the Regional University Hospital of Malaga, a CIBEROBN researcher, Francisco Tinahones, Scientific Director of the IBIMA BIONAND Platform and Head of Endocrinology and Nutrition at Virgen de la. Victoria University Hospital, as well as other members of the ‘Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology’ and ‘Endocrinology and Nutrition, Diabetes and Obesity’ groups, both from IBIMA.
With regard to testosterone levels, José Carlos Fernández indicates that “the detection of low testosterone concentration in men is not an insignificant matter, as it is associated with poor body composition (more fat mass and less muscle mass), type greater risk type 2 diabetes, a greater propensity for erectile dysfunction, a decline in quality of life, and a greater propensity for cardiovascular mortality”.
Jose Carlos Fernandez and Francisco Tinahones. (Photo: CIBER)
Although the exact reasons for low testosterone in obese men are not known, Francisco Tinahones assures that “insulin resistance plays an important role, as it reduces testosterone production by the testicles”.
Typically, the treatment of low testosterone levels is usually the administration of exogenous testosterone. However, the research team has conducted a new clinical trial (in which more than 100 men with obesity and low testosterone levels have participated), where for the first time metformin has been used – an antidiabetic drug that treats insulin resistance. Lowers – both as monotherapy and in combination with testosterone, to assess whether it is able to reduce insulin resistance and increase testosterone concentrations.
The main results of the study show that both metformin and testosterone, as well as the combination of metformin and testosterone, reduce insulin resistance compared to placebo, but the combination of metformin and testosterone therapy produces the greatest increase in testosterone concentrations.
The team emphasizes that “although more studies are needed in this area of work, the obtained results provide us with very valuable information on the usefulness of the combination of metformin and testosterone in men with obesity and low testosterone levels.”
The study is titled “Metformin, testosterone or both in men with obesity and low testosterone: a double-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial.” And it has been published in the academic journal Metabolism. (Source: CIBER)