Maximum Wellness, Episode 95: Diet May Play a Part in Lower Testosterone in Men

In the February 2020 online issue of the Journal of Urology, a study – “The Association Between Popular Diets and Serum Testosterone Among Men in the United States” – concluded that, “men adhering to low fat diets had lower serum testosterone levels, even when controlling for comorbidities, age, body mass index, and activity levels.”

It was further noted that, “as differences in serum testosterone between the diets were modest, the avoidance of fat restrictive diets should be weighed against the potential benefits on an individual basis.”

This conclusion reached by the Illinois medical researchers came, as a result of a review of the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 2000, 2003, 2011, and 2012 – involving 3128 men, age 18 to 80, who completed a 2-day dietary history and testosterone testing. Inclusion criteria included following the American Heart Association low fat and Mediterranean diet.

The AHA low fat diet limits the daily saturated fat intake to less than 7 percent of calories, trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories, and sodium to 1500 mg a day. It encourages balancing the food intake over three meals, which are consumed at regular intervals

The Mediterranean diet is composed of extra virgin olive oil, seafood, legumes, like lentils or chickpeas, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, a moderate amount of red wine, and herbs and spices, such as oregano.

“Multivariable analysis controlling for age, body mass index, activity level, diabetes, comorbidities and prostate cancer showed that men with a nonrestrictive diet had higher serum testosterone than those adhering to a low-fat diet,” noted the study.

It’s important to point out that a proposition of the men in the study group were at an age, where serum testosterone may have been declining. says that, “overall about 2.1% (about 2 men in every 100) may have TD (testosterone deficiency). As few as 1% of younger men may have TD, while, as many as, 50% of men over 80 years old may have TD.”

The symptoms of TD include low sex drive, fatigue, reduced lean muscle mass, irritability, erectile dysfunction, and depression. Should you suspect that low T is a factor in your lifestyle, then check with personal physician for guidance.

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