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Keywords:

  • obesity;
  • testosterone;
  • blood glucose;
  • blood lipids;
  • blood pressure

Abstract

The effects of testosterone treatment of abdominally obese men have been assessed by evaluating the following parameters: The metabolic activity of different adipose tissue regions in vivo (using lipid label as a tracer) and in vitro (measuring lipoprotein lipase(LPL) activity), the total and visceral adipose tissue mass, insulin sensitivity, fasting blood glucose, blood lipids, and blood pressure as well as prostate volume.

Middle-aged men with abdominal obesity were treated with transdermal administration of testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or placebo (P) during 9 months. The study was double-blind.

Treatment with T was followed by an inhibited uptake of lipid label in adipose tissue triglycerides, a decreased LPL-activity and an increased turn-over rate of lipid label in the abdominal adipose tissue region in comparisons with the DHT and P groups. These effects on adipose tissue metabolism were not detected in the femoral adipose tissue region in any of the groups.

T treatment was also followed by a specific decrease of visceral fat mass (measured by CT-scan), by increased insulin sensitivity (measured with the euglycemic glucose clamp), by a decrease in fasting blood glucose, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides as well as a decrease in diastolic blood pressure. In the DHT group an increased visceral mass was detected. No other changes in these variables were found in the DHT and P groups.

There were no detectable changes in prostate volume (measured by ultra-sound), prostate specific antigen concentration, genito-urinary history or urinary flow measurements in any of the groups.

It is suggested that T substitution to a selected group of men results in general metabolic and circulatory improvements. The prostate area needs further careful attention.