Biomedical Updates


Testosterone and Alpha Lipoic Acid for Erectile Function

E rectile dysfunction (ED) is the incapacity to acquire and/or retain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. This is especially the case for diabetic men, 28–75% of who manifest ED, with the percentage increasing with age and duration of diabetes. In a recent study, researchers sought to determine the effects of testosterone and alpha lipoic acid on ED and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D).1

The study was a randomized, prospective, open clinical, comparative study in which the researchers measured body weight and body mass index (BMI), albumin, lipids, HbA1C, testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and microalbuminuria levels. It was designed to evaluate ED and quality of life before and after 12 weeks of treatment with alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg, parenterally, for 7 days, followed by 600 mg taken orally) or with transdermal testosterone in a dose of 50 mg daily.


The patients treated with alpha-lipoic
acid had their BMI, HbA1C, total
cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and
triglycerides significantly reduced.


Testosterone treatment decreased BMI significantly, increased testosterone concentrations and raised the SHBG levels, improved the glycemic control and lipid profile (consisting of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides). The patients treated with alpha-lipoic acid had their BMI, HbA1C, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides significantly reduced. The pointers for ED in both groups were also statistically significantly improved. There was improvement for all patients’ self-assessment score for “physical functioning,” for “role limitations due to physical health,” and for “general health perception.”

Transdermal testosterone and alpha-lipoic acid both have a tangible beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction and on metabolic disorders in T2D patients and can be used to treat such patients.

Reference

  1. Mitkov MD, Aleksandrova IY, Orbetzova MM. Effect of transdermal testosterone or alpha-lipoic acid on erectile dysfunction and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2013 Jan-Mar;55(1):55-63.

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