Article: “THE Cure for obesity in older men could lie with a steroid used to bulk up cattle.
Researchers from the Coast’s Griffith Health Institute are on a mission to crack obesity in men when they hit “manopause”.
To do this, researchers are trialling a testosterone replacement drug – Trenbolone – in overweight rats to see if the drug can then be tested on humans.
The drug is implanted in cattle on the way to slaughter to build up their muscle mass.
PhD student Daniel Donner, of the Heart Foundation Research Centre, said little research had been done to this point on the drug’s benefits for humans.
Mr Donner said the benefit of Trenbolone was it had little to no known side effects, compared to other testosterone replacement drugs on the market.
They are currently testing the drug’s affects on the heart.
“They use it on cattle to help improve the yield of meat as the cattle are taken to slaughter,” he said.
“The benefit of testosterone is that it does a lot of things that men in older age want – it pus on muscle and strips away fat.
“This could be a preventative measure for obesity without side effects.”
Mr Donner said the drug, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, was already abused among the underground bodybuilding community.
Trenbolone made a name for itself in the late 1990s when bodybuilders found it was possible to create an injectable out of the pellets implanted in cattle.
“It’s definitely out there, but in a very dangerous form, and without due process of medical research and critical medical supervision.” Mr Donner said.
Mr Donner said traditional steroid abuse (with testosterone) led to enlarged prostate and what was better know as “man boobs”. But these conditions are less likely in this class of new-age testosterone alternatives, which included Trenbolone.
“We’re trying to find an alternative treatment for testosterone decline without these side effects,” he said.
“If you can treat that with this drug, you might cure obesity in this older age[d population].
“We want to take it beyond the animal department [of Pfizer] and see it evaluated for consideration in the human department because they might be sitting on a gold mine therapy for age-related obesity.”
Mr Donner said little research was being done in Australia because of the stigma attached to anything labelled as ‘steroids’.
“Research has been very limited on steroids but there’s no reason, apart from politics not to pursue this (drug) as a potential treatment for a lot of diseases,” he said.
Written by Steph Bedo