London, May 6 (IANS) Low testosterone levels in males could elevate their risk of developing diabetes, says a new study.
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.
Kerry McInnes, from the Edinburgh's endocrinology unit, said: "This study shows that low testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes no matter how much a person weighs," according to an university statement.
The study showed that mice, which did not have androgen receptors in fat tissue for testosterone to attach to, were more likely to show signs of insulin resistance than other mice and also became fatter than other mice and developed full insulin resistance when fed a high-fat diet.
Researchers found that levels of RBP4, a protein which plays a crucial role in regulating insulin resistance, were higher in mice in which the role of testosterone was impaired.
The Edinburgh team say that its findings could lead to the development of new treatments that regulate production of RBP4 and reduce the risk of diabetes in men with lower levels of testosterone.