HealthDay News — Men adhering to low-fat diets have lower serum testosterone levels even when adjusting for comorbidities, age, body mass index, and activity levels, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.
Richard J. Fantus, M.D., from University of Chicago Medicine, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999 to 2000, 2003 to 2004, and 2011 to 2012) to assess the relationship between serum testosterone level and low-fat, Mediterranean, and low-carbohydrate diets. Men completed the two-day dietary history and underwent serum testosterone testing (3,128 participants; aged 18 to 80 years old).
The researchers found that 14.6 percent of men reported a low-fat diet, 24.4 percent met the criteria for a Mediterranean diet, and <0.1 percent met the criteria for a low-carbohydrate diet. Compared with men on a nonrestrictive diet, mean testosterone was lower among men following a low-fat diet (410.8 versus 443.5 ng/dL) and a Mediterranean diet (412.9 ng/dL). Men with a nonrestrictive diet had higher serum testosterone levels than those adhering to a low-fat diet even after controlling for age, body mass index, activity level, diabetes, comorbidities, and prostate cancer.
“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,” the authors write.