Middle-aged men with abdominal obesity were treated in a double-blind study with moderate doses of transdermal preparations of testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or placebo. This resulted in moderately elevated T concentrations and marked decreases in follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones in the group treated with T, while the DHT group showed elevated DHT, markedly lower T values, and less diminution of gonadotropin concentrations. In the group treated with T visceral fat mass decreased (measured by computerized tomography) without significant changes in other depot fat regions. Lean body mass did not change. In the group treated with T, glucose disposal rate, measured with the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp method, was markedly augmented. Plasma triglycerides, cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose concentrations as well as diastolic blood pressure decreased. There were no such changes in the DHT or placebo treatment groups. The men treated with T reported increased well-being and energy. In none of the groups did prostate volume, specific prostate antigen concentration, genito-urinary history, or urinary flow measurement change. It is suggested that supplementation of abdominal obese men with moderate doses of T might have several beneficial effects.