A study conducted in China has found that eating polyunsaturated fats, sugar, carbs, and other items that cause inflammation could lower testosterone in men.
Men experience testosterone deficiency when their levels are below 300ng/dL. About 20-60% of men in the U.S have low levels. Testosterone controls sex drive and sperm production. Therefore, a deficiency could cause low libido. It could also lead to depression, impaired focus, and low energy. A lack of the hormone could also cause obesity and heart disease.
Obese men are more likely to have a testosterone deficiency
Results state that obese men that eat pro-inflammatory foods are more likely to have lower testosterone.
According to Zhang Chichen and Qiu Shi, physicians from the West China Hospital of Sichuan University, obese men commonly have chronic inflammation. For this reason, doctors should look into factors like their diets that could worsen the inflammation and cause heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.
Previous studies on humans and animals have linked testosterone deficiency to high inflammation. Moreover, men with low testosterone have more cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that cells produce during inflammatory stimuli, illness, or damage.
How researchers conducted the experiment
Scientists came up with the Diet Inflammatory Index (DII) to assess the impact of food on inflammation. The researchers gathered data from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They analyzed the link between testosterone deficiency and the DII in 4151 males who had taken part in the study. The men had undergone sex hormone tests. They also filled 24-hour questionnaire on their diets. The researchers estimated the volunteers’ DII based on their food questionnaires. Moreover, about 26% of the participants had a testosterone deficiency.
Men who are more pro-inflammatory food were 30% more likely to have lower testosterone. Moreover, obese men with a higher DII score had a higher risk of low testosterone than those with a low DII score.
Despite their findings, the researchers note that they faced significant challenges during the study. For example, they computed the DII with a limited amount of pro-inflammatory dietary and inflammatory factors.
The study doesn’t show causation. However, it proves that a pro-inflammatory diet could increase the likelihood of testosterone deficiency and other health issues.