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Testosterone therapy may reduce NAFLD in males with obesity

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 10:58
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Testosterone therapy may help men with obesity with functional hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes reduce the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study presented at the 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology (e-ECE 2021). The two-year study found that therapy with testosterone undecanoate normalised testosterone levels, reduced NAFLD and suppressed the symptoms of hypogonadism in men living with these conditions.

In the presentation, ‘Effects of testosterone therapy on morphology and grade of NAFLD in obese men with functional hypogonadism and type 2 diabetes (Abstract 481)’, by Dr Kristina Groti Antonic from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, explained that her team carried out a large study on the effects of testosterone therapy on glycaemic control, metabolic parameters, vascular function and morphology in obese men with hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes mellitus.

The study evaluated the effects of testosterone therapy on morphology and grade of NAFLD in this population. The two-year clinical trial saw 55 males with functional hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes participate. The first year focused on a double blind, placebo-controlled study and the following year was used for follow-up.

During the study, the participants were randomised into two groups: the first group received testosterone undecanoate during both years of the study and the second group received a placebo in the first year and testosterone therapy in the second year. A range of tests including testosterone levels, prostate specific antigen and routine blood tests were assessed at the beginning of the trial, 12 and 24 months. Liver ultrasounds for NAFLD grade assessments were performed at the beginning and after two years, which showed an improvement in NAFLD grades after two years of the trial.

"Improvement of NAFLD grade was a result of improved insulin resistance, reduction in body mass index and body weight, along with changes in body composition. As we know, testosterone increases lean body mass at the expense of fat mass, either alone or in combination with behavioral and lifestyle modifications” explained Antonic. “Testosterone with its anti-inflammatory effects also reduced chronic inflammatory state in the liver. Our study shows that testosterone therapy could be used as a suitable therapy for obese men living with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and therefore the findings can be used to tackle this growing pandemic."

This knowledge could help men with obesity and living with functional hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes experience normalised testosterone levels and reduced prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.