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Testosterone Doses in Men Could Be Linked to Weight Loss

Update Date: Jun 25, 2012 03:32 PM EDT

Researchers in Germany found that men with men low testosterone who are given replacement doses of the hormone shed weight steadily for years. An average of 36 pounds was lost among the overweight and obese men who took part in the five yearlong study.  

"This was an unintended effect," said study coauthor Farid Saad, a research endocrinologist at Bayer Pharma in Berlin. "The big surprise was that when we analyzed the data [we found] that these men had lost weight continuously...year by year." The men didn't diet as part of the study, and any increase in their activity was voluntary, Saad said.

Nearly 120 men who had low testosterone levels were used for the study. The men ages averaged at 61 years old. Each received quarterly injections of the hormone for five years. At the start, 71 percent were obese and another 24 percent were overweight.

After the five years, 97 percent of the men showed a reduction in waist size, losing three to four inches from the waist, on average. The average weight dropped from 236 pounds to about 200.

"This definitely offers some insight that we can apply to our clinical practices," said Vineeth Mohan, a clinical endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston.

According to Saad, men received testosterone in doses just high enough to bring them back to normal levels. Three men in the test group were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study, a rate lower than the incidence found in routine screening programs for men that age.

This loss is not greatly factored by age. An Australian study also linked testosterone decline more closely to obesity, diabetes and depression than aging.

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