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What estrogen does for women, testosterone does for men. Simply put, both are sex hormones for the female and male genders, respectively. Now, a research conducted by the University of Edinburgh has revealed that depleting levels of testosterone could signify risk of diabetes in men.

Apparently, low levels of this male hormone are associated with obesity, which is one of the causal factors for diabetes. Basically testosterone acts on fat tissues via androgen receptors, after which obesity and diabetes-related genes are activated in the body.

“We know that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to become obese, and as a develop diabetes. This study shows that low testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes no matter how much a person weighs,” commented Dr Kerry McInnes University of Edinburgh’s endocrinology unit.

Mice prototypes in which testosterone did not work seemed to manifest insulin resistance, as compared to mice with the hormone intact. Basically, these mice did not seem to carry androgen receptors that testosterone could attach itself to. This appeared to be one reason why they showed resistance to insulin, thereby leading to diabetes.

Moreover, mice devoid of androgen receptors were fatter than their counterparts with the receptor. Published in the journal diabetes, the research showed that a protein called RBP4 played a primary role in insulin regulation. Subjects with low levels of testosterone and impaired androgen function apparently carried high proportions of RBP4.

The scientists asserted that the diabetes risk seen in mice was independent of their body weights.