Testosterone therapy may reduce non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in men

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Testosterone therapy may reduce non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obese men with functional hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes, according to a new study published in European Abstracts, which was presented at the 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology last month.

Researchers carried out a large study on the effects of testosterone therapy on glycemic control, metabolic parameters, vascular function, and morphology in obese men with hypogonadism and type-2 diabetes mellitus. They presented a part of this study in which they 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 randomized into two groups. The first group received testosterone undecanoate during both years of the study, while 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.

The study found that therapy with testosterone undecanoate normalized testosterone levels, reduced NAFLD, and suppressed the symptoms of hypogonadism in men living with these conditions.

NAFLD is emerging as a public health issue worldwide. It is estimated that prevalent cases will increase 21 percent by 2030, from 83.1 million to 100.9 million. NAFLD is more commonly found in people with type-2 diabetes, and is linked to obesity, insulin resistance, and atherogenic dyslipidemia, the researchers said. NAFLD refers to excess fat accumulation in the liver, in the absence of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption of less than 30 grams per day for men is used as the cut-off to diagnose NAFLD.

As an increasing global health issue, this study and its findings may be a promising area for further research, the researchers said.