Testosterone and metabolic syndrome - Full Text Article

Controversies surround the usefulness of identifying patients with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Many of the components are accepted risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although the MetS as defined includes many men with insulin resistance, insulin resistance is not universal. The low total testosterone (TT) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels in these men are best explained by the hyperinsulinism and increased inflammatory cytokines that accompany obesity and increased waist circumference. It is informative that low SHBG levels predict future development of the MetS. Evidence is strong relating low TT levels to CVD in men with and without the MetS; however, the relationship may not be causal. The recommendations of the International Diabetes Federation for managing the MetS include cardiovascular risk assessment, lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, weight reduction and treatment of individual components of the MetS. Unfortunately, it is uncommon to see patients with the MetS lose and maintain a 10% weight loss. Recent reports showing testosterone treatment induced dramatic changes in weight, waist circumference, insulin sensitivity, hemoglobin A1c levels and improvements in each of the components of the MetS are intriguing. While some observational studies have reported that testosterone replacement therapy increases cardiovascular events, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has reviewed these reports and found them to be seriously flawed. Large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are needed to provide more definitive data regarding the efficacy and safety of this treatment in middle and older men with the MetS and low TT levels.

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Cunningham GR   Are you the author?
Departments of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, 6624 Fannin, Suite 1180, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Reference: Asian J Androl. 2015 Mar-Apr;17(2):192-6
doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.148068

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25652634