Low T Due to Low Cholesterol? Any Suggestions Looking at my Labs?

Do you guys think it is possible that low cholesterol could be causing low testosterone? I know that testosterone is derived from cholesterol but I am unsure if low cholesterol could be affecting this process.
Let’s get to the numbers: The last time I was tested my TT was at 332 mg/dl (180-827), my FT was at 7.670 ng/dl (2.000-14.000), my cholesterol was 133 total, HDL 30, LDL 86. I can post a number of other values, but they all seem to be in at least what the physician considers normal range.
I am on a vegan diet and therefore don’t add any cholesterol with the food I am eating. I read that the body produces all the cholesterol it needs itself. A diet pretty low in fat may have caused my low cholesterol numbers. I am now eating much more fat, but have not checked my numbers since.

The denial of healthcare coverage by insurance companies is based on the requirements to meet specific testosterone threshold, representing a transparent desire on the part of the insurance companies to deny treatment and thereby reduce costs. This <300 ng/dL cut off point wasn’t chosen not based on studies, but chosen to make it easier to deny treatment to save on health care costs.

In reality your doctor has no clue what normal levels look like on paper, normal is whatever the insurance companies says it is based of your insurance coverage. We have men in here with top rate insurance and get covered for TRT scoring in the middle 400 ranges, doctors before your visit take a look at your insurance coverage and this ultimately determine whether you get covered for TRT.

Those are disease level states according to a 10 year study of men with testosterone below 440 ng/dL, often unskilled, untrained doctors in the field of TRT will cling to the normal ranges because doctors are mostly idiots who lack analytical thought and critical thinking and can’t think of their own. Normal is an obese population who is mostly sedentary and sits for 8 hours at work and then returns home to rest for the next day of work, that’s the new normal.

Testosterone Threshold for Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men:

The normal ranges were decreased last year (348-1198 to 264-916) and that’s somehow alright and we should never accept it.

Are you on statins?

“I know cars need gas to move, but I’m unsure if my car’s not moving because the gauge is on E.”


Yes, that would be the most obvious cause. Not sure when you last got checked, but stay with the higher fat diet for a consistent month or two and then get re-tested.

What fat sources are you including?

Thanks for your feedback. I agree that my T levels are not optimal, but I want to see whether I can improve the numbers myself before considering TRT.

Thanks for your response.

I now include a lot of olive oil and coconut milk in my diet, as well as avocados and nuts.

Would it make sense to consider including for example eggs to raise cholesterol, if the current diet change doesn’t have an effect? I would probably be ok doing this for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference.

Yup don’t they call chokestoral the master hormone or something. I would Stay on top of vitamins and don’t forget to keep the thyroid healthy. My friend was on a vegan diet and got sick. For months he saw specialists: finally he realized he had a bad thyroid from his diet. He was loosing energy and cramping every time he’d go for a long ride. Anyways he went back to a normal diet with chicken or meat here and there. That fixed him. So yes it’s torally possible if diets an issue.

I would figure out where I lack in Vitamins and etc

Not to sidestep the question, but that would depend more on your reasons for being vegan in the first place and weighing them against any effects you are or aren’t feeling from the lack of eggs.

If you’re comfortable adding eggs, then having a few whole eggs every day would be a great addition.

Yes, that’s a good point. I am on the vegan diet for ethical reasons. However, I feel like I might be experiencing syptoms of low testosterone. I follow a healthy lifestyle, no smoking, not overweight, basically no alcohol, I work out regularly, supplement B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and sometimes iron. My thyroid looks fine, again according to “normal ranges”.
I am just trying to figure out if there is something missing and at this point the cholesterol is the only factor that really makes sense to me. I am curious to see what would happen if I add dietary cholesterol to raise my levels. It is something I would consider of raising my fat intake does not make a difference.
Also, how about bypassing the cholesterol step by supplementing DHEA and/or pregnenolone? Does this sound like it may work?


Which are?

Make one change at a time. You increased dietary fats first, so give that some time and track what happens.

cholestoral is needed to produce hormones. There’s no other better answer for why your having this issue.

If chokestoral is the master hormone , then fixing that issue should give your body what it needs to start producing all the hormones and whatever else is needed.

No offense , but this is the problem with choosing a diet. We need balance. We have a guy in here that went on a keto diet and never recovered. I saw others as well with the same issue: allot had to do with genetics: if you are Indian I can see one being vegan because the body is built for that: a Texan family could probably live off red meat and chicken and never have issues an Indian would have with too much meat.

Be careful and if it’s ethical - try halal meat. It’s much better than the Tyson’s torture chicken.

Like Chris said, what are these symptoms? And have you had other systems checked? What does your blood profile look like? How are your iron and ferritin? How does your thyroid look? If you have them, put up your labs so we can get a better picture.

The clear symptoms for me are a low libido, some ED issues that I think I related to low libido, no morning erections (but very frequent nocturnal erections). The other symptoms are fatigue and a lack of motivation/drive. However, those are in a different category to me since these could have other causes. The sexual symptoms to me are clearly due to my testosterone levels, at least that’s how I see it.

Here are my most recent labs, not sure which of those are relevant:

Vital Signs
Blood Pressure: 143/79
Heart Rate: 76 bpm
Respiratory Rate: 20 br/min
Oxygen Sat Value: 99%
Weight: 224.4 lbs

General Chemistry
Sodium: 140 mMol/L (133-145)
Potassium: 4.4 mMol/L (3.1-5.1)
Chloride: 103 mMol/L (97-108)
Bicarbonate: 31 mMol/L (22-32)
AGAP: 6.0 mMol/L (4.0-16.0)
Glucose Level: 93 mg/dL (70-100)
BUN: 17 mg/dL (5-22)
Creatinine: 1.0 mg/dL (0.7-1.3)
GFR Calc: > 60 mL/min/1.73 m2
Calcium: 10.0 mg/dL (8.4-10.4)
Protein: 7.7 gm/dL (6.0-8.3)
Albumin: 5.0 gm/dL (3.7-5.5)
Bili Total: 0.9 mg/dL (0.3-1.4)
Bili Direct: 0.2 mg/dL (0.0-0.3)
Bili Indirect: 0.7 mg/dL
Chol: 133 mg/dL (100-200)
Tg: 123 mg/dL (40-150)
HDL: 30 mg/dL
LDL: 86 mg/dL

Alk Phos: 58 units/L (37-117)
ALT: 25 units/L (7-52)
AST: 23 units/L (12-39)

Special Chemistry
HGB A1C: 5.1%
eAG: 100 mg/dL
FT4: 1.23 ng/dL (0.62-1.57)
TSH: 1.509 mcIntUnits/mL (0.350-5.500)
TSH (Thy Stim Horm): 1.815 mInt-unit(s)/mL (0.450-5.330)
Vit B12: 344 pg/mL (180-914)
VitD 25OH: 68 ng/mL (20-100)
Test Total: 332 mg/dL (180-827)
Free Test Calc: 7.670 ng/dL (2.000-14.000)
Free Test %: 2.31% (1.45-3.21)
SHBG: 25 nMol/L (10-57)

WBC: 4.70 10^3/cmm (4.00-11.00)
RBC: 4.96 10^6/cmm (4.40-5.80)
Hgb: 14.8 gm/dL (13.5-58)
Hct: 44% (39-50)
MCV: 89 fL (80-96)
MCH: 30 pg (27-33)
MCHC: 34 gm/dL(32-36)
Platelet: 268 10^3/cmm (150-400)
RDW: 13.8 % (11.0-16.0)
MPV: 8 fL

I think you can have an unbalanced diet as a meat eater as well as a vegan. I don’t think you necessarily need meat in order to have a balanced diet. My mistake was that I did not include sufficient amounts of fat in my diet. Whether this is the reason for my low T numbers? I don’t know. The “egg experiment” would just be to see if this makes a difference in T levels and in how I feel. I am still unsure if dietary cholesterol is really needed or if the body can (in all cases) produce what it needs.

Yes you are right. Proper Nutrition is hard living in Mericaaa… lolll. I believe everything in moderation. I usually eat less and my meat in take is very little. Man red meat can be bad for me so I eat that once a month now.

Good luck let us k nowme how it goes.

@enackers: Yes, I am from Germany and moved to the US a few years ago. Bad food is definitely more easily available here.

Does anybody have any thoughts on my labs posted above? @NH_Watts maybe?

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Low cholesterol, what is your fat intake like? what is your diet like? There is no iron or ferritin in your blood work so don’t know about that. Low iron will cause weakness and fatigue.

I would not just randomly raise cholesterol that could be dangerous. I would look into what that cholesterol turns in to like DHEA ( dehydroepiandrosterone ) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. Researchers are certain that DHEA is used as a building block to make the hormones testosterone and estrogen.

There are other supplements/vit like Pregnenalone and Vit D3,C zinc I am sure there are others. I would not OD on any of these but adding a small amount might be the T boost you need.

If that is your real chest pict in your avatar I can’t believe you have a low T. Best of luck to you.

Iron should be ok now as I am supplementing it for several months now, and I also eat a more food that contains iron. My fat intake is high now, I would estimate at least 35%. Sometimes I even drink olive oil mixed in orange juice as my “first meal of the day”. I also go through a can of coconut milk every other day. You can see, I do whatever I can to raise my fat intake.

Thanks for your input. I started supplementing with DHEA and I also started to take Boron. However, I would prefer to fix the most basic building blocks of T, cholesterol, and then everything after that should hopefully fall into place. I am not too worried about raising my cholesterol too high as it is pretty low now and there is a lot of room.

I am already taking Vit D, Magnesium, and Zinc. I may experiment with Pregnenolone, but as I said, I would like to fix the Cholesterol first. Which one would make more sense though, DHEA or Pregnenolone, or both?

Yes, that’s me. I train twice a week for about 40 minutes, high intensity, always to failure, including negative and partial reps. This somehow seems to work for me. But I am still experiencing symptoms of low T that I would like to fix, if possible.