Role of androgens in energy metabolism affecting on body composition, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and longevity: lessons from a meta-analysis and rodent studies

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Oct;82(10):1667-1682. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2018.1490172. Epub 2018 Jun 29.


Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by testicular Leydig cells in males. Blood testosterone concentrations increase at three time-periods in male life-fetal, neonatal (which can be separated into newborn and infant periods), and pubertal stages. After peaking in the early 20s, the blood bioactive testosterone level declines by 1-2% each year. It is increasingly apparent that a low testosterone level impairs general physical and mental health in men. Here, this review summarizes recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies in males (including cross-sectional, longitudinal, and androgen deprivation studies, and randomized controlled testosterone replacement trials) in relation to testosterone and obesity, body composition, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and longevity. Furthermore, underlying mechanisms are discussed using data from rodent studies involving castration or androgen receptor knockout. This review provides an update understanding of the role of testosterone in energy metabolism. Abbreviations AR: androgen receptor; CV: cardiovascular; FDA: US Food and Drug Administration; HFD: high-fat diet; KO: knockout; MetS: metabolic syndrome; RCT: randomized controlled trial; SHBG: sex hormone binding globulin; SRMA: systematic review and meta-analysis; TRT: testosterone replacement therapy; T2DM:type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: Testosterone; androgen; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes; systematic review and meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / blood
  • Androgens / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Rodentia / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Androgens
  • Testosterone