Hormone could treat low testosterone

Men whose low testosterone levels leave them more vulnerable to heart disease could be helped by treatments based on a hormone named after a chocolate.

University scientists have found that men’s testosterone levels increased when they were given a hormone called kisspeptin.

Kisspeptin

The hormone was discovered in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and is named after Hershey’s chocolate kisses.

The study builds on previous research linking low testosterone to diabetes, owing to a resistance to insulin - the hormone that controls blood sugar levels.

At least one- third of men with type-2 diabetes, which is also implicated in heart disease, havelow testosterone.

Study

Researchers gave kisspeptin to men with both type-2 diabetes and low testosterone.

The hormone, which is also produced by the body, was administered over a 12-hour-period using a drip.

The study found that raising kisspeptin levels in the blood triggered testosterone production.

Low Testosterone

Researchers gave kisspeptin to men with both type-2 diabetes and low testosterone.

The hormone, which is also produced by the body, was administered over a 12-hour-period using a drip.

The study found that raising kisspeptin levels in the blood triggered testosterone production.

We know that low testosterone leads to an increased risk of heart disease. This treatment shows that kisspeptin can stimulate the body’s own production of testosterone, without testosterone levels becoming too high. We hope that, with further research, kisspeptin could potentially be used to treat testosterone deficiency.”

Dr Jyothis George

MRC Centre for Reproductive Health

The research was carried out on five male patients with diabetes, low testosterone levels and an average age of 34.

Healthy volunteers served as control subjects. Researchers plan to carry out a larger study with a broader range of participants.

They also plan to investigate ways that kisspeptin could be administered over a longer-time period, such as a slow-release injections under the skin.

The research has been published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology

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