Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and worldwide. It provides a safe, scientific treatment option for men who have low testosterone levels. In the US alone, almost 5 million men are hypogonadal (have low testosterone) and most males over 65 have testosterone levels below normal values.
TRT doesn't only increase your testosterone levels, it can also provide other benefits, particularly to those who are obese and struggle with type 2 diabetes. Keep reading to discover a few studies that back up the idea that testosterone replacement therapy can improve your diabetes symptoms.
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Discovering the Effects of TRT on Men with Fatty Liver (NAFLD)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a liver inflammation that could advance to life-threatening conditions if left untreated. This type of disease is caused by various factors and not by drinking too much alcohol.
NAFLD is characterized by an accumulation of fat and toxins around the liver. This restricts blood circulation to this organ and prevents it from doing its job properly. NAFLD usually has little to no symptoms and could advance to liver cirrhosis and even liver cancer.
One of the main reasons people develop NAFLD is poor diet. Junk food in combination with a sedentary lifestyle could cause NAFLD in men of all ages. With that being said, studies have shown that long-term administration of exogenous testosterone could improve NAFLD and prevent it from advancing to more dangerous stages.
Study 1 - TRT Improves NAFLD Grade in Obese Men
For example, a study done on 55 obese men shows how beneficial TRT can be for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This study was performed over 2 years. All 55 men had testosterone test to prove that they had functional hypogonadism and were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The 55 patients were split into two groups. The first group of 28 men was given 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate every 3 months for two consecutive years. The second group contained 27 patients who received a placebo for the first year and 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate for the second year.
This was a comprehensive study that looked at multiple parameters and important health signs. For example, both total and free testosterone levels were measured at the beginning and the end of the study. Other important measurements taken were fasting glucose, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, blood count, creatinine, electrolytes, liver enzymes, and more.
After two years, the testosterone levels for all 55 men showed impressive changes. The administration of 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate normalized testosterone levels in both groups.
Liver measurements also revealed that NAFLD grade was improved and patients no longer experienced significant symptoms associated with this type of liver infection. The improvements began immediately after starting TRT.
Another impressive finding is that no side effects were observed as a result of administering TRT for 2 years. The patients didn't experience cardiovascular damage or prostate carcinoma. They report having more energy and self-confidence as a result of taking TRT.
This study basically concludes that 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate might be enough to quell the symptoms of low testosterone in men. Additionally, it can reduce NAFLD grade and prevent major liver complications that could be life-threatening.
Additionally, the medication adherence was 100% for all study participants. They received testosterone injections in a clinical setting and under medical supervision.
Study 2 - Long Term TRT Improves Lipid Profile in Men
Let's take a look at another study that reflects how beneficial TRT might be on overweight or obese men who struggle with low testosterone levels. A 12-year study analyzed the lipid profiles of 723 who were diagnosed with hypogonadism. These patients were either overweight or obese.
Losing weight seems to be a problem especially in the United States. Carrying extra pounds of fat can lead to multiple life-threatening cardiovascular diseases, not to mention that it can augment some of the symptoms of hypogonadism.
Luckily, some studies show that the administration of exogenous testosterone might be able to reduce the amount of fat hypogonadal men carry. This works best when coupled with healthy changes in diet and adhering to basic exercise regimens.
In most cases, a short-term administration of testosterone usually lowers HDL levels. HDL is the "good cholesterol" while LDL is the "bad" one. However, more recent studies on long-term administration of testosterone undecanoate might have an inverse reaction. It can improve the lipid profile of patients and increase the levels of HDL.
The group of 723 men who participated in this study was split into two categories. The first group contained 367 men and they received 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate for 12 weeks, followed by a pause of 6 weeks. This is the T group.
The second group included 356 men and they received no exogenous testosterone. This is called the Control group. All lipid measurements were done before starting the administration of testosterone. For example, the measurements looked at a lipid panel including HDL, LDL, other cholesterol particles, triglycerides, waist circumference, etc.
These patients were tested a few times per year and their lipid profile was recorded for comparison. These tests were done over 12 years. The results were clearly advantageous for the testosterone group.
For example, HDL cholesterol increased significantly in the T group and decreased in the Control group. The LDL cholesterol decreased in the T group and increased in the Control group. Triglycerides were also measured and they increased in the Control group and significantly decreased in the T group.
These results were seen consistently and the adherence to medication is 100%. All testosterone undecanoate injections were administered in a clinical setting under the strict supervision of a medical professional.
In conclusion, long-term TRT can improve the lipid profile of overweight or obese men who also struggle with hypogonadism. It will also normalize testosterone levels and bring other benefits to a man's quality of life such as increased libido, more stamina, etc.
Study 3 - Effects of TRT on Body Measurements
Anthropometric parameters refer to measurements of the human body, particularly dimensions and shape. It's a science that looks at the particular measurements of an individual concerning other individuals in the same group. For example, it tackles waist size and circumference, length of feet, arms, height, weight, and more.
This type of information is useful in various industries and fields. For example, experts in ergonomics and clothes designing need to know the general body measurements of individuals to create better and more efficient products and services.
At the same time, anthropometric parameters need to be studied in relation to weight loss/gain as a result of following fitness programs or TRT protocols. This helps medical professionals come up with improvements and adjustments to help patients achieve their desired body shape, composition, and body mass index (BMI.)
Multiple studies show that long-term administration of testosterone undecanoate can help improve anthropometric parameters in men with hypogonadism. For example, a 12-year study performed on hundreds of hypogonadal and obese men proves this fact.
476 men with low testosterone levels and obesity were selected for this long-term study. Their body measurements, dimensions, and shapes were recorded at the beginning of the study. This data was also updated with each visit for more than 12 years in a row.
281 men decided to receive 1000mg of testosterone undecanoate for 12 weeks, followed by a pause of 6 weeks. 195 men decided not to take exogenous testosterone and they were part of the control group.
Some of the measurements recorded by medical experts were age, height, weight, waist circumference, BMI, fasting glucose, blood lipids, and more. A special emphasis was put on anthropometric measurements since this was the purpose of the study.
The study results are impressive. Waist circumference decreased in the group who received testosterone undecanoate and increased in the control group. Weight decreased in the group who received exogenous testosterone and increased for patients who weren't on TRT.
The BMI also decreased for the testosterone group and increased slightly for the control group. The waist-height ratio decreased for those who took testosterone and increased for the control group. Visceral adiposity is a parameter that measures the amount of visceral fat in a person.
Visceral fat is a type of fat that envelops the organs. It's one of the most dangerous types of fats since it can promote the accumulation of toxins and reduce organ function. In the testosterone group, visceral adiposity decreased. It increased for the control group.
In conclusion, the group who received testosterone undecanoate frequently experienced major improvements in anthropometric measurements. Apart from having higher testosterone levels after 12 years of TRT, they achieved better body composition and increased libido.
It's important to note that medication adherence was also 100%. All testosterone injections were administered in a clinical setting, similar to the other studies mentioned in this article.
Study 4 - TRT Effects on Diabetic Patients
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a prevalent and life-threatening disease. Almost 50% of hypogonadal men experience problems with processing sugar or are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This type of disease can be controlled with medicine, but it causes other health complications and decreases the quality of life.
Luckily, multiple studies start to reveal the benefits of testosterone therapy for people with diabetes. Administering exogenous testosterone seems to improve the health of the patients, particularly their ability to process sugar. The positive results are best seen in long-term studies.
For example, a 12-yearlong study performed on 865 men shows how a frequent administration of testosterone undecanoate can improve glycemic control, diabetes tests and the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. 361 of these men were previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
183 of them received a regular dose of 1000mg testosterone undecanoate for 12 weeks. 178 men decided not to take exogenous testosterone. All of the study participants had documented low levels of testosterone and many of them were also obese.
Multiple parameters were measured for the study participants such as their glucose levels, waist circumference, blood pressure, and more. These measurements were done at the beginning of the study and on a regular basis for 12 years.
The study findings are clearly advantageous for the group that received testosterone. For example, glycemic control improved significantly for those on TRT. This means that the participants received less and less insulin or anti-diabetes medications to stabilize their glucose levels.
On the other hand, 22 patients from the control group started taking insulin during the 12 years. Fasting glucose and A1c also decreased in the testosterone group and increased for those who decided against TRT.
Another important finding is that weight and waist circumference decreased for the testosterone group while increased for the control one. This is another proof that TRT can improve anthropometric measurements in hypogonadal and obese men who struggle with type 2 diabetes.
Since all the testosterone injections were administered in a clinical setting, it's impossible to ignore the validity and impressive findings of this study. This prompts more health experts to look at the potential benefits of long-term testosterone for hypogonadal men.
On top of that, the combination of lifestyle changes coupled with a frequent administration of testosterone undecanoate might be able to reduce the mortality rate in hypogonadal men. Some of these lifestyle changes involve physical exercises and a clean diet, free of junk and processed foods.
Interestingly, pre-diabetics who follow a TRT protocol might also experience significant improvements in their blood glucose levels. This means that it might be possible to prevent diabetes altogether by administering the right amount of testosterone to individuals who need it.
Expand Your TRT Knowledge
Although there is much to be learned about testosterone and TRT in general, there is a significant body of evidence available online for those who want to learn more. For example, the Excelmale.com Forum contains hundreds of answers to questions about testosterone.
This TRT forum is backed up by scientific studies and it can help you learn more about why some men have low testosterone levels and how they can mitigate this problem. You can get answers to your questions from experienced medical doctors, healthcare professionals, and TRT patients who have followed testosterone protocols for years.
1- Endocrine Abstracts (2021) 73 PEP7.1
2- Endocrine Abstracts (2021) 73 AEP162
3- Endocrine Abstracts (2021) 73 AEP162
4- Endocrine Abstracts (2021) 73 OC2.3