Low testosterone levels could raise diabetes risk for men

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 5th, 2018
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Public release date: 4-May-2012 [ | E-mail | Share ]

Contact: Tara Womersley tara.womersley@ed.ac.uk 44-131-650-9836 University of Edinburgh

Low levels of testosterone in men could increase their risk of developing diabetes, a study suggests.

Scientists have found that low testosterone levels are linked to a resistance to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.

The study is the first to directly show how low testosterone levels in fat tissue can be instrumental in the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Testosterone is present throughout the body. Low testosterone levels are linked to obesity, a known risk factor for diabetes.

It acts on fat cells through molecules known as androgen receptors. These enable the testosterone to activate genes linked to obesity and diabetes.

The research showed that mice in which the function of testosterone in fat tissue was impaired were more likely to be insulin resistant than mice in which the role of testosterone was not hindered.

The study showed that insulin resistance occurred in mice when the function of testosterone was impaired regardless of body weight.

The findings from the University of Edinburgh could also help explain why older men are more at risk of developing diabetes, because testosterone levels fall in men as they age.

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Low testosterone levels could raise diabetes risk for men

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