T Nation

Fiber and T


Thx to you guys, I can feel my T-levels increasing rapidly. Can't thank you guys enough for all the great advice on this site.

But I want to go to the next level and the road is leading to certain dietary questions. I've been reading a lot of great Fitness Rx articles on the latest research regarding how T-levels are effected by diet.

This is fascinating to me because I had low normal T-levels (which at age 45 was causing me all kinds of problems) and I think most of it was caused by my diet! Ironically, I was doing all the right things: limiting fat, eliminating red meat and eggs, increasing fiber. Little did I know, I was whacking my T-levels!

Anyway, I?ve been reversing all that: in particular adding saturated fats, total fat, red meat and ? oo la la! ? what a difference (along with serious lifting) that that has made! I don?t feel a day over 32 now. :slight_smile:

But here?s what I?m hoping someone will know. The studies seem to have a threshold of 20g of fiber or less for higher T-levels. But I know standard nutritional thinking is keep fiber above 30g. Are there any negative consequences to going to 20g of fiber?

I?ve just got a layman?s knowledge of fiber and don?t really understand this in depth. Right now I think I?m consuming around 30g of fiber a day. Are there any big consequences for a middle aged guy to lower that down to something near 20g?


Low fiber can cause or contribute to several problems:

  1. Elevated cholesterol (fiber can take it out of your body - without it, it can get re-absorbed and recycled). As this is often associated with heart problems, you may want to check your starting levels.

  2. Can cause your bowels to become clogged, which in turn can result in a distended abdomen, but perhaps more importantly, it can result in greater levels of waste-products not being removed from your body, which makes your liver, kidneys and lungs work harder - not good if you have a predisposition of some kind.

The good news is that the typical American diet is low in fiber, and as bad as it is, people don't drop-dead that easily.

Personally, I would not pursue a low-fiber diet, but I don't think it's as big an experiment as others do to hemselves in pursuit of the perfect body. :slight_smile:

Also, type "low fiber problems" in your search engine and have-at it.



Actually, what I think I'd like to pursue is a "medium fiber" diet: about 20g a day or maybe 25 g. Right now I eat about 6 helpings of whole grain, 2 veges and 3 fruit per day. I'd like to just scale that back a little. Most of the studies look at about 20 g/day for higher T levels. And I would think, would still clean out the colon sufficiently?

Let me know what you think...


I'll echo what he said....fiber is essential...

I think the only problem with fiber, and the one you were probably inadvertantly thinking about, is its ability to suck up nutrients like minerals from digestion. And we all know that minerals, like zinc and magnesium, are critical to proper test levels..


Going along with what another poster said, low fiber diets are generally not indicated for optimal lipids and health. But if you feel that having higher cholesterol is worth whatever benefits you feel you derive from it, go for it. It's your body. I'm sure whatever you're thinking about doing is still much better than the average American anyway. What I would do if I were you is to check your lipid panel before and after your changes in diet, and see if there are any deleterious effects.


When you say "clean out", are you hoping to perform what is typically called a colonic cleanse? If so, then I think you should look at some of the many products available that can achieve that specific (and admirable!) goal. They typically use Psyllium husk seeds (loaded with fiber) and lots of herbs (various potions - all claiming to be better than the rest...good luck with that!), but they all end up INCREASING fiber to cleanse.

However, if you're just hoping to attain levels that can enable the "normal digestive functioning" then I suspect your diet as stated is probably reasonably sufficient - fruits, veggies and some grains - yep, can't argue that. :slightly_smiling:

Personally, I can't help but recommend the use of products like milled flax organic seed, because in my view the benefits are compelling: oustanding source of excellent oils, fibre and nutrient to-boot. But they would certainly quickly get you above your 20-25g / day fiber goal.

Given that you feel so much better on your revised diet (your words at start of this thread), I continue to wonder if you should spend any energy trying to reduce fiber at all? Frankly, as a guy of the same age as you, I'm more concerned about other health issues than I am about my 'T' levels, which I've never measured and don't plan to.

Good luck whichever direction you take, and post an update on here if you notice anything with your diet (good or bad). :slightly_smiling:



First of all, what I'm really thinking is "medium fiber", not low fiber. I wasn't too clear about that. Right now, the studies are indicating that 30g + decreases T. The problem is that the studies usually contrast high fat, low fiber (20g or so) with low fat, high fiber, so it's tough sometimes to conclude which is the primary cause of the decreased T.

Anyway, my strategy is probably more a higher fat (but the right kinds of course), medium fiber diet. Monos and saturateds increase T and polys decrease it in general, so I think that's a key to watch.

I just wanted to know if anyone has dealt with this issue. Gotta run - Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Absolutely! Sometime after the first of the year, I am going to have T-levels and lipids checked. It will be interesting. My stats have been excellent on the lipids and low normal on the T. And, to be honest, I'd rather die early and have above average T. I've been there with low T and it's like being half-dead.

Of course, what I'm really hoping to find the Holy Grail, i.e. the balance point where one can have optimal health and high T. Looks like Jack La Lanne did it - maybe someone else can too!



I wouldn't reduce the fibers no matter what. Just supplement whatever you feel necessary - minerals, certain fats, etc.


Colonic cleanse? You'll have to pardon me, but that sounds a little intimidating. I don't know anything about this?


Btw, natural fibers are known to bind to androgens. The worst "offender" are the lignans 87% followed by wheat and oat brans at 45%. One study showed that a low fat, flax seed (which is a rich source of lignans) and omega 3 fatty acid diet resulted in a significant loss of T.

For more information, see Fitness Rx Nov 2005 p 172.


Btw, the same article talks about how another study showed that vegetarians with 50 g/day of fiber excreted 2X as much T in the stools as meat-eaters eating 20 g of fiber per day. And it lists study after study that shows the direct impacts on T from low fat or the polys as well. Of course, there are many positive aspects of a vegetarian diet and I know some people do it for moral reasons. I'm just saying that such diets, according to what I've read (and experienced) whacks T and you have to be aware of it...


Do you have a website for Fitness RX ?



Actually, what I think I'd like to pursue is a "medium fiber" diet: about 20g a day or maybe 25 g. Right now I eat about 6 helpings of whole grain, 2 veges and 3 fruit per day. I'd like to just scale that back a little. Most of the studies look at about 20 g/day for higher T levels. And I would think, would still clean out the colon sufficiently?

Let me know what you think... [/quote]

Why not switch that to 6 helping veggies (cruciferous: cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprout- as the clear estrogens), 2 fruits and 3 grains


Now why didn't I think of that?


No. They're in certain mag racks but are hard to find otherwise.

Pm me if you're interested: I do have their phone number. (I am in NO way associated with them - I just think it's a great magazine if you're scientifically minded. They cite all their sources, etc.)


You guys want to jack your T levels up no matter what you eat? Just mosey on over to the "Asian Vixens" thread. If that doesn't do it, you're hopeless.