T Nation

Testosterone and Diet

Interesting article, things I already knew for the most part but needs to be repeated:

Men with low-normal T have more ways to tweak their testosterone, especially if they’re willing to challenge the commonly held assumptions about what constitutes a “healthy” lifestyle. For example, despite the anti-fat message we’re bombarded with, it turns out that diets too low in dietary fat are actually harmful to healthy T levels. “Our studies show that by limiting fat to only 10 percent or less of your total kilojoules, you can significantly reduce your testosterone levels,” says kinesiology researcher Dr William Kraemer. In fact, many of the classic dietary commandments - restrict your overall kilojoules, eat a lot of roughage, avoid animal flesh - are a virtual recipe for lowering T.

“We’ve observed a direct relationship between kilojoule intake and testosterone level,” says researcher in reproductive physiology and exercise Dr David Cumming. “Perhaps the ideal diet to drop your testosterone is high fibre and vegetarianism - and the ideal way to raise it is the red-meat approach.”

Note that this is not an endorsement for Atkins or any of the other carbophobic fad diets, but rather, it’s an admonition to avoid going to nutritional extremes. To that end, keep your consumption of kilojoules from fat - preferably in the form of monounsaturates and omega-3s - up around 35 to 40 percent, the amount research shows to be optimal for robust T levels. Also, aim to derive at least 35 percent of your kilojoules from protein, with much of it from lean red meat, Cumming suggests; Dutch research shows that athletes had higher testosterone levels when eating meat-based protein, compared with other sources, such as dairy and eggs. (As for the recent Journal of the American Medical Association study linking red meat to an increased risk of colon cancer, the researchers didn’t differentiate between steak and fast-food burgers, which means saturated fat, not meat per se, may be the key.)

But your diet will only help your T levels so much if you down too much booze. “Alcohol wreaks havoc with a man’s sexual-response cycle,” says Spark. It does this in many ways, including by inhibiting T production in the testes themselves. In a study by the New York Medical College, andrologists gave moderate amounts of alcohol - just one glass of wine or beer per day - to male volunteers with normal T. In only four weeks, this resulted in measurable reductions in the testosterone secreted from the testicles - and in a concurrent reduction of testosterone in the blood. If a month of light drinking can cause a detectable dip, think about the nosedive your testosterone would take if you were to really tie one on. So when you decide to imbibe, try to at least set a two-drink limit. You’ll help conserve the commodity your twins worked so hard to create.

Another stay-healthy strategy that can undermine your T is intense exercise. If you’re a hardcore runner, swimmer, cyclist or the like, you may well be suffering from mild to moderate “gonadopause” - the male equivalent of female athletes’ failure to menstruate during periods of heavy workouts. In a study of men who run 130km or more per week, Cumming found significantly lowerthan- average T levels - in the bottom 20 percent of the normal range. The study indicates that this drop was related not to any type of impaired testicular production, but rather to a decrease in the pituitary gland�??s ability to signal the testicles to make testosterone. “The signals in high-mileage runners were less frequent and less concentrated,” says Cumming.

http://www.menshealthsa.co.za/index.php?cat=1189&art_id=2217

“anti-fat diets produce low testosterone”

that pretty much sums it up

when i went from a diet consisting of 50+ % starchy carbs to a diet consisting of veggies, high protein and 40%+ fat my energy levels and general well-being went way up along with healthier skin, hair, etc.

low carbs would help many in western society far more than low fat

[quote]cyph31 wrote:
“anti-fat diets produce low testosterone”

that pretty much sums it up

when i went from a diet consisting of 50+ % starchy carbs to a diet consisting of veggies, high protein and 40%+ fat my energy levels and general well-being went way up along with healthier skin, hair, etc.

low carbs would help many in western society far more than low fat[/quote]

No kidding. So much for that whole food pyramid idea.

take the food pyramid from the 80’s (extreme low-fat craze), swap the “meats, fats, oils, etc.” section with the “grains section” and it would be way more healthy

in the more recent food pyramid (where the veggies/fruits have more priority than grains or anything else) once again put grains at the top and lean protein + fats right above fruits/veggies

the vast majority of people in western society are just way too sedentary which is inevitable as society moves towards requiring many specialist careers requiring lots of education, which means that the vast majority of people in western society should stay away from sugars and starchy carbs like the plague because they definitely do not deserve them