Obesity and Inflammation: Epidemiology, Risk, Factors, and Markers of Inflammation

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Endocrinology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2023) | Viewed by 38585

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Interests: reproductive toxicology; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; obesity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Obesity results from excessive fat storage due to an imbalance in energy intake and expenditure, and it has become an epidemic public health problem with an increased global prevalence. The obesity rate has increased three times compared to the 1970s worldwide. As per the 2016 WHO report, 1.9 billion adults are overweight, and among these, 650 million adults are obese, equal to 13% of the world adult population. An excess of macronutrients in the adipose tissue causes the release of inflammatory molecules, leading to a proinflammatory and oxidative stress environment. Increased risk of inflammation causes the development of many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Better insight into the underlying risk factors and markers are required to understand inflammation associated with obesity.

To emphasize the global importance of obesity and its associated pathological conditions, the journal Medicina is initiating a Special Issue entitled “Obesity and Inflammation: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Markers of Inflammation” to provide an update on obesity and its associated risk factors. We are inviting you and your colleagues to submit basic and clinical research articles and review articles with recent advances in the field.

Dr. Vaithinathan Selvaraju
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • obesity
  • inflammation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • biomarkers
  • diabetes mellitus
  • adipose tissue
  • metabolic disorders
  • insulin resistance

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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8 pages, 602 KiB  
Article
Clomiphene Citrate in the Management of Infertility in Oligospermic Obese Men with Hypogonadism: Retrospective Pilot Study
by Manesh Kumar Panner Selvam, Saradha Baskaran, Jacob Tannenbaum, Jacob Greenberg, Hosam Y. Shalaby, Wayne J. G. Hellstrom and Suresh C. Sikka
Medicina 2023, 59(11), 1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59111902 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Obesity is a significant risk factor for hypogonadism and infertility that is further associated with reduced semen quality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of clomiphene citrate (CC), prescribed for treating infertility, on serum testosterone and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Obesity is a significant risk factor for hypogonadism and infertility that is further associated with reduced semen quality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of clomiphene citrate (CC), prescribed for treating infertility, on serum testosterone and semen parameters, particularly in oligospermic obese hypogonadal men. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of data related to men (n = 53) who underwent CC treatment for infertility and hypogonadism (testosterone < 300 ng/dL) was performed. Patients with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and sperm concentration ≤ 15 × 106/mL were included for analysis. Results: The overall results showed that, in oligospermic obese men (n = 31), treatment with CC significantly improved baseline sperm concentration (4.5 ± 6.8 × 106/mL vs. 11.4 ± 15.5 × 106/mL, p < 0.05) and motility (31.5% ± 21.5% vs. 42.6% ± 14.7%, p < 0.05). Furthermore, subsequent examination of oligospermic hypogonadal obese men treated with CC (n = 13) revealed substantial improvements in baseline serum testosterone levels (193.8 ± 59.3 ng/dL vs. 332.7 ± 114.8 ng/dL, p < 0.05) along with an increase in sperm concentration, total motility, and normal morphology. Conclusions: The results of this retrospective study suggest that CC treatment not only improves chances of fertility outcomes by substantially improving semen parameters but also increases total serum testosterone levels in oligospermic obese men without any supplemental and expensive testosterone replacement therapy. Full article
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15 pages, 848 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Arterial Stiffness in Patients with Morbid Obesity. The Role of Echocardiography and Carotid Ultrasound Imaging
by Viviana Aursulesei Onofrei, Carmen Lacramioara Zamfir, Ecaterina Anisie, Alexandr Ceasovschih, Mihai Constantin, Florin Mitu, Cristina Andreea Adam, Elena-Daniela Grigorescu, Antoneta Dacia Petroaie and Daniel Timofte
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030428 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
Background and objective: Morbid obesity is accompanied by an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk, which justifies a multidisciplinary, integrative approach. Arterial stiffness has a well-defined additional role in refining individual CV risk. Given that echocardiography and carotid ultrasound are usual methods for CV risk [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Morbid obesity is accompanied by an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk, which justifies a multidisciplinary, integrative approach. Arterial stiffness has a well-defined additional role in refining individual CV risk. Given that echocardiography and carotid ultrasound are usual methods for CV risk characterization, we aimed to identify the imaging parameters with a predictive value for early-onset arterial stiffness. Material and methods: We conducted a study in which 50 patients (divided into two equal groups with morbid obesity and without obesity), age and gender matched, untreated for cardiovascular risk factors, were addressed to bariatric surgery or non-inflammatory benign pathology surgery. Before the surgical procedures, we evaluated demographics, anthropometric data and biochemical parameters including adipokines (chemerin, adiponectin). Arterial stiffness was evaluated using the Medexpert ArteriographTM TL2 device. Transthoracic echocardiography and carotid ultrasound were also performed. We also analyzed adipocyte size and vascular wall thickness in intraoperative biopsies. Results: Left ventricle (LV) mass index (p = 0.2851), LV ejection fraction (LVEF) (p = 0.0073), epicardial adipose tissue thickness (p = 0.0001) as echocardiographic parameters and carotid intima–media thickness (p = 0.0033), relative wall thickness (p = 0.0295), wall to lumen thickness ratio (p = 0.0930) and carotid cross-sectional area (p = 0.0042) as ultrasound parameters were significant measures in our groups and were assessed in relation to adipocyte size, blood vessel wall thickness and adipokines serum levels. Statistical analysis revealed directly proportional relationships between LV mass index (p = 0.008), carotid systolic thickness of the media (p = 0.009), diastolic thickness of the media (p = 0.007), cross-sectional area (p = 0.001) and blood vessel wall thickness. Carotid relative wall thickness positively correlates with adipocyte size (p = 0.023). In patients with morbid obesity, chemerin and adiponectin/chemerin ratio positively correlates with carotid intima–media thickness (p = 0.050), systolic thickness of the media (p = 0.015) and diastolic thickness of the media (p = 0.001). The multiple linear regression models revealed the role of epicardial adipose tissue thickness and carotid cross-sectional area in predicting adipocyte size which in turn is an independent factor for arterial stiffness parameters such as pulse wave velocity, subendocardial viability ratio and aortic augmentation index. Conclusions: Our results suggest that epicardial adipose tissue thickness, carotid intima–media thickness, relative wall thickness and carotid cross-sectional area might be useful imaging parameters for early prediction of arterial stiffness in patients with morbid obesity. Full article
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11 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
Laboratory Findings in Children with Excess Body Weight in Romania
by Bogdan Mihai Pascu, Victor Daniel Miron, Emanuela Rachel Matei and Mihai Craiu
Medicina 2023, 59(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59020319 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2780
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Childhood obesity has been increasing at a worrisome pace and emerging as a non-infectious pandemic in the pediatric population in recent years. Raising awareness on this problem is of utmost importance, in order to take action to control body weight [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Childhood obesity has been increasing at a worrisome pace and emerging as a non-infectious pandemic in the pediatric population in recent years. Raising awareness on this problem is of utmost importance, in order to take action to control body weight from an early age. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective study among overweight or obese children evaluated on an outpatient basis in the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology of a tertiary care hospital in Bucharest Romania in 2021 in order to identify laboratory changes occurring according to age and sex. Results: A total of 268 children were included in the analysis, with a median age of 10.9 years (IQR: 8.3, 13.3 years); 61.8% were obese and 38.2% overweight. We identified a subclinical pro-inflammatory status characterized by increased neutrophil count (12.7%) and increased C-reactive protein (16.4%). Biochemically, we identified the highest increases for uric acid (35.4%). More than half of the children included in the study had dyslipidemia-specific changes: high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) (50.0%), low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) (58.9%) and increased triglyceride levels (12.7%), especially children with a body mass-index (BMI) percentile above 95%. Increased thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was identified in 20.3% and low thyroxine (T4) level in 13.4%, especially in females. Conclusions: Early measures to control excess body weight are needed since preventing obesity is easier than treating it. However, this is often difficult to do in our country because parents frequently do not recognize the problem until it is advanced. Furthermore, doctors are not always adequately prepared and sometimes they do not have the support of the health systems to provide children in need with the adequate care. Educational strategies and awareness of issue should be revisited in current post-pandemic context that facilitates increase of obesity prevalence in children. Increase of efficient communication could be achieved by pointing to these objective findings. Full article
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20 pages, 50455 KiB  
Article
Bioinformatics and Next-Generation Data Analysis for Identification of Genes and Molecular Pathways Involved in Subjects with Diabetes and Obesity
by Prashanth Ganekal, Basavaraj Vastrad, Satish Kavatagimath, Chanabasayya Vastrad and Shivakumar Kotrashetti
Medicina 2023, 59(2), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59020309 - 07 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2591
Abstract
Background and Objectives: A subject with diabetes and obesity is a class of the metabolic disorder. The current investigation aimed to elucidate the potential biomarker and prognostic targets in subjects with diabetes and obesity. Materials and Methods: The next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: A subject with diabetes and obesity is a class of the metabolic disorder. The current investigation aimed to elucidate the potential biomarker and prognostic targets in subjects with diabetes and obesity. Materials and Methods: The next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of GSE132831 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Functional enrichment analysis of DEGs was conducted with ToppGene. The protein–protein interactions network, module analysis, target gene–miRNA regulatory network and target gene–TF regulatory network were constructed and analyzed. Furthermore, hub genes were validated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. A total of 872 DEGs, including 439 up-regulated genes and 433 down-regulated genes were observed. Results: Second, functional enrichment analysis showed that these DEGs are mainly involved in the axon guidance, neutrophil degranulation, plasma membrane bounded cell projection organization and cell activation. The top ten hub genes (MYH9, FLNA, DCTN1, CLTC, ERBB2, TCF4, VIM, LRRK2, IFI16 and CAV1) could be utilized as potential diagnostic indicators for subjects with diabetes and obesity. The hub genes were validated in subjects with diabetes and obesity. Conclusion: This investigation found effective and reliable molecular biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis by integrated bioinformatics analysis, suggesting new and key therapeutic targets for subjects with diabetes and obesity. Full article
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10 pages, 1732 KiB  
Article
Adiponectin/Leptin Ratio as an Index to Determine Metabolic Risk in Patients after Kidney Transplantation
by Karol Graňák, Matej Vnučák, Monika Beliančinová, Patrícia Kleinová, Margaréta Pytliaková, Juraj Miklušica and Ivana Dedinská
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111656 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Background and Objectives: It has been confirmed that adiponectin/leptin (A/L) ratio correlates better with cardiometabolic risk factors than hormone levels alone. The aim of our study was to determine the risk of developing post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) and other metabolic conditions depending on [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: It has been confirmed that adiponectin/leptin (A/L) ratio correlates better with cardiometabolic risk factors than hormone levels alone. The aim of our study was to determine the risk of developing post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) and other metabolic conditions depending on A/L ratio after kidney transplantation (KT). Material and Methods: In a prospective analysis, the studied samples were divided into three groups: control group, prediabetes and PTDM group. Pre-transplantation, at 3, 6 and 12 months after KT, we recorded basic characteristics of donor and recipient. We also monitored levels of adipocytokines and calculated A/L ratio. Results: During observed period, we recorded significant increase in A/L ratio in control group (p = 0.0013), on the contrary, a significant decrease in PTDM group (p = 0.0003). Using Cox regression Hazard model, we identified age at time of KT (HR 2.8226, p = 0.0225), triglycerides at 1 year (HR 3.5735, p = 0.0174) and A/L ratio < 0.5 as independent risk factors for prediabetes and PTDM 1-year post-transplant (HR 3.1724, p = 0.0114). Conclusions: This is the first study to evaluate the relationship between A/L and risk of PTDM and associated metabolic states after KT. We found out that A/L ratio <0.5 is independent risk factor for prediabetes and PTDM 1 year post-transplant. Full article
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9 pages, 998 KiB  
Article
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disrupts Glycemic Control in Obese Individuals
by Christopher Seifen, Johannes Pordzik, Katharina Ludwig, Katharina Bahr, Cornelia Schupp, Christoph Matthias, Perikles Simon and Haralampos Gouveris
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111602 - 05 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
The link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity, and their common comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus (DM) or cardiovascular diseases, is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association of OSA severity in obese individuals with [...] Read more.
The link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and obesity, and their common comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus (DM) or cardiovascular diseases, is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association of OSA severity in obese individuals with polysomnography-based sleep parameters, as well as C-reactive protein (CRP) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) serum levels. Polysomnographic recordings and blood samples were retrospectively compared between a group of 23 adult obese individuals with mild OSA (apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) = 7.5 (5.5–12.5)/h, age = 42.57 ± 11.44 years, 16 male, 7 female, body mass index (BMI) = 37.35 ± 3.88 kg/m2) and an age-, sex-, and BMI-matched group of individuals with moderate or severe OSA (AHI 41.5 (25.7–71.8)/h, age = 43.43 ± 11.96 years, 16 male, 7 female, BMI = 37.87 ± 4.74 kg/m2). All respiratory sleep-associated parameters were significantly higher in individuals with moderate and severe OSA compared to those with mild OSA. CRP levels did not differ between the two OSA severity groups. However, serum levels of HbA1c were significantly higher in the moderate/severe OSA group. Therefore, OSA severity may have a significant impact on glycemic control in obese individuals. Additionally, OSA severity did not appear to be further associated with systemic inflammation in obese individuals. Obese individuals may benefit not only from lifestyle modification, but also from OSA screening and treatment, particularly to prevent DM-associated disorders and conditions. Full article
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13 pages, 1477 KiB  
Article
Endothelial Microparticles as Potential Biomarkers in the Assessment of Endothelial Dysfunction in Hypercholesterolemia
by Nik Nor Izah Nik Ibrahim, Razlina Abdul Rahman, Maryam Azlan, Aniza Abd Aziz and Aida Hanum Ghulam Rasool
Medicina 2022, 58(6), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58060824 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Endothelial microparticles (EMP) particularly CD31+/42/AV+, CD144+/AV+ and CD62e+/AV+ have been reported as having increased in cardiovascular-related diseases, making them potential biomarkers for endothelial dysfunction. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Endothelial microparticles (EMP) particularly CD31+/42/AV+, CD144+/AV+ and CD62e+/AV+ have been reported as having increased in cardiovascular-related diseases, making them potential biomarkers for endothelial dysfunction. This study aimed to compare these EMPs in patients with hypercholesterolemia and healthy controls and to correlate their levels with endothelium-dependent vasodilation (EDV) assessed via pulse wave analysis (PWA); an established method of assessing endothelial function. Materials and Methods: EMPs from 88 subjects (44 hypercholesterolemia patients and 44 controls) were quantified from whole blood using flow cytometry analysis. Endothelial function was determined using PWA combined with pharmacological challenge. Results: CD31+/42/AV+ (3.45 ± 4.74 count/µL vs. 1.33 ± 4.40 count/µL; p = 0.03), CD144+/AV+ (7.37 ± 12.66 count/µL vs. 1.42 ± 1.71 count/µL; p = 0.003) and CD62e+/AV+ (57.16 ± 56.22 count/µL vs. 20.78 ± 11.04 count/µL; p < 0.001) were significantly elevated in the hypercholesterolemic group compared with the controls, respectively. There was a significant inverse moderate correlation between all circulating EMPs and EDV: CD31+/42/AV+ (r = −0.36, p = 0.001), CD144+/AV+ (r = −0.37, p = 0.001) and CD62e+/AV+ (r = −0.35, p = 0.002). Conclusions: All EMPs were raised in the patients with hypercholesterolemia, and these values correlated with the established method of assessing endothelial function. Full article
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13 pages, 3233 KiB  
Article
Plasma Concentrations of New Biochemical Markers of Atherosclerosis in Patients with Dyslipidemia—A Pilot Study
by Michał Kosowski, Marcin Basiak, Marcin Hachuła and Bogusław Okopień
Medicina 2022, 58(6), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58060717 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The process of atherosclerotic plaque formation and its destabilisation is a process in which many proteins and cytokines are involved. Examples of such proteins are osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegerin (OPG), metalloproteinases (MMPs) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). The aim of our study [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The process of atherosclerotic plaque formation and its destabilisation is a process in which many proteins and cytokines are involved. Examples of such proteins are osteopontin (OPN), osteoprotegerin (OPG), metalloproteinases (MMPs) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). The aim of our study is to compare the concentrations of the above-mentioned markers in the plasma of patients with the confirmed presence of rupture plaque in comparison with the plasma of healthy people. Materials and Methods: The study included people suffering from dyslipidemia in whom the presence of unstable atherosclerotic plaque was confirmed by ultrasound. The concentrations of OPN, OPG, MPO, metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), and metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in the plasma of these people were determined and compared with the concentrations of these proteins in the plasma of healthy people. Results: Levels of MMP-2, MMP-9 (p < 0.001), OPN, and OPG (p < 0.05) were statistically significantly lower in the group of healthy people than in the study group. Differences in MPO concentration were not statistically significant (p = 0.073). Conclusions: In the plasma of people with confirmed presence of rupture plaque, the concentrations of OPN, OPG, and MMPs are higher compared to the group of healthy people, which may suggest the use of these proteins as novel markers of the presence of unstable atherosclerotic plaque. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 1385 KiB  
Review
Epigenetic Regulation of Obesity-Associated Type 2 Diabetes
by Hairul Islam Mohamed Ibrahim
Medicina 2022, 58(10), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58101366 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2892
Abstract
Obesity is becoming more widespread, and epidemics of this condition are now considered present in all developed countries, leading to public health concerns. The dramatic increases in obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and related vascular difficulties are causing a public health crisis. [...] Read more.
Obesity is becoming more widespread, and epidemics of this condition are now considered present in all developed countries, leading to public health concerns. The dramatic increases in obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and related vascular difficulties are causing a public health crisis. Thus, it is imperative that these trends are curbed. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of these diseases is crucial to aiding in their detection or even management. Thus, understanding the mechanisms underlying the interactions between environment, lifestyle, and genetics is important for developing effective strategies for the management of obesity. The focus is on finding the vital role of epigenetic changes in the etiology of obesity. Genome and epigenome-wide approaches have revealed associations with T2DM. The epigenome indicates that there is a systematic link between genetic variants and environmental factors that put people at risk of obesity. The present review focuses on the epigenetic mechanism linked with obesity-associated T2DM. Although the utilization of epigenetic treatments has been discussed with reference to certain cancers, several challenges remain to be addressed for T2DM. Full article
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Other

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11 pages, 1660 KiB  
Systematic Review
Eurycoma longifolia (Jack) Improves Serum Total Testosterone in Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials
by Kristian Leisegang, Renata Finelli, Suresh C. Sikka and Manesh Kumar Panner Selvam
Medicina 2022, 58(8), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58081047 - 04 Aug 2022
Viewed by 19829
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Male hypogonadism is a clinical disorder characterized by reduced serum testosterone in men. Although treatment using herbal medicines, including Eurycoma longifolia, has been investigated, the benefits remain unclear. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of E. longifolia as [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Male hypogonadism is a clinical disorder characterized by reduced serum testosterone in men. Although treatment using herbal medicines, including Eurycoma longifolia, has been investigated, the benefits remain unclear. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of E. longifolia as a sole intervention to increase testosterone levels in males. Materials and Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) according to the PRISMA guidelines. Relevant articles were retrieved from the databases PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane, Ovid/Embase, and Google Scholar. Results: After literature screening, a total of nine studies was included in the systematic review. Five RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. A significant improvement in total testosterone levels after E. longifolia treatment was mostly reported in both healthy volunteers and hypogonadal men. The random model effect revealed a significant increase (SMD = 1.352, 95% CI 0.565 to 2.138, p = 0.001) in the total testosterone levels in men receiving E. longifolia supplementation, which was confirmed in the hypogonadism subgroup. Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature supports the possible use of E. longifolia supplementation for enhancing testosterone production. Although more research is required before its use in clinical practice, this may represent a safe and promising therapeutic option, particularly in hypogonadal men. Full article
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