Sunday, July 29, 2012

Good news for men taking metformin

Metformin ( glucophage) Has been used for years in the treatment of women with polycystic ovary disease. One of the effects in these women is a reduction in testosterone levels.  There is good evidence documenting the above effect in women.
What about us guys ? Lower testosterone levels may not be in our best interest.

What is the effect of metformin on testosterone levels in men?

Good news for us guys according to the abstract below. Read the yellow highlighted area .

Have Fun , Be Smart  and remember metformin is still the first drug of choice for treating Type 2 Diabetes.
                                                                                                                  David Calder,MD

 2010 Sep;35(3):145-51.

Effects of metformin and short-term lifestyle modification on the improvement of malehypogonadism associated with metabolic syndrome.


Section of Endocrinology, University Hospital of Brasília, Faculty of Medicine, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil.



The metabolic syndrome is associated with male hypogonadism, but specific studies about the mechanisms and treatment of the testosteronedeficit are scanty. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of metformin combined with diet and physical activity on the testicular function of men with metabolic syndrome.


Thirty-five men (40.4 ± 13.3 years old) with metabolic syndrome were evaluated before and after a four-month period of therapy withmetformin 850 mg twice daily, associated with a balanced normocaloric diet and subtle improvement in physical activity. The subjects were divided in two groups: 21 males with normal plasma testosterone levels (≥ 300 ng/dL) and 14 males with low plasma testosterone levels (< 300 ng/dL).


There was a significant decrease in fasting insulin levels and HOMA-IR after treatment (P = 0.01 and P = 0.06), which was more pronounced in the hypogonadic group (for the effect of absence or presence of hypogonadism, P = 0.04). The mean total and free testosteronelevels increased significantly after treatment in both groups, similarly. The increase in FSH levels was more pronounced in the hypogonadic group than in the eugonadic group.


In this series of males with metabolic syndrome, treatment with metformin associated with healthy dietary modifications and a mild physical activity increment resulted in significant improvement of insulin sensitivity and increase in total and free testosterone levels, regardless of the presence of hypogonadism.


  1. Testosterone deficiency is common in men with diabetes, regardless of the type. Testosterone levels are partly influenced by insulin resistance, which may represent an important avenue for intervention, whereas the utility of testosterone replacement remains to be established in prospective trials.

  2. Testosterone and Insulin are in antagonism to each others. If Metformin lowers glucose and insulin also it improves testosterone level in men. Low testosterone is common in obese men with high insulin level!

  3. Thank you! You often write very information articles Testosterone Therapy . You improved my mood.

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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD