For the many men diagnosed with testosterone deficiency, losing weight can help increase testosterone levels. But certain diets - specifically a low-fat diet - may be associated with a small but significant reduction in testosterone, suggests a study in The Journal of Urology ® , Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The Journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer .
"We found that men who adhered to a fat restrictive diet had lower serum testosterone than men on a nonrestrictive diet," according to the report by Jake Fantus, MD, of the Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine and colleagues from the Department of Urology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Department of Surgery, NorthShore University Health System. "However," the researchers add, "the clinical significance of small differences in serum T across diets is unclear." Best diet for low testosterone? No single right answer yet
Dr. Fantus and colleagues analyzed data on more than 3,100 men from a nationwide health study (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES). All participants had available data on diet and serum testosterone level.
Based on two-day diet history, 14.6 percent of men met criteria for a low-fat diet, as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA). Another 24.4 percent of men followed a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but low in animal protein and dairy products. Only a few men met criteria for the AHA low-carbohydrate diet, so this group was excluded from the analysis.
The average serum testosterone level was 435.5 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). Serum testosterone was lower in men on the two restrictive diets: average 411 ng/dL for those on a low-fat diet and 413 ng/dL for those on the Mediterranean diet.
The associations were adjusted for other factors that can affect testosterone, including age, body mass index, physical activity, and medical conditions. After adjustment, the low-fat diet was significantly associated with reduced serum testosterone, although the Mediterranean diet was not. Related Stories
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