Elizabeth Adams

By

College: Medicine

UK Researchers Find Correlation Between Unhealthy Diets and Testosterone Levels

Published: Apr 22, 2014

This column first appeared in the April 20 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 22, 2014) -- For years, doctors have advised patients about the relationship between diet and health risks for conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Now, as community health researchers, we are seeing a correlation between a self-reported unhealthy diet and reduced levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older.

 

Testosterone is a androgenic hormone found in men and in lower concentrations in women. In addition to playing an important role during male puberty and sexual development, testosterone serves important functions and affects multiple organ systems. Studies have indicated that men with lower levels of testosterone have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes, obesity and all other causes of mortality. Testosterone serves an important function in developing muscle mass, especially in the face and upper body, and building bone density. Probably the most commonly known function of testosterone is its role as a sexsteriod, which means it increases libido and improves sexual function.

 

Our team at the UK HealthCare Division of Community Medicine in collaboration with the University of North Texas Health Science Center found a correlation between poor diet and low levels of testosterone in men ages 45 and older. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, analyzed testosterone levels and lifestyle factors of 147 men in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

 

All participants underwent a one-hour interview in addition to having blood drawn to measure testosterone levels. Participants were asked whether they had a healthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish, or an unhealthy diet, which was classified as having high amounts of red meat, fried food and fast food. The study found reduced testosterone levels were related to the increased age and unhealthy diets self-reported by participants. The study implicates that diet, in addition to advanced age, is a possible risk factor for developing reduced testosterone levels.

 

Testosterone levels among men decline by 1 percent per year starting at age 40. Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms/deciliter. Our study found that 39 percent of participants had levels below 300 nanograms/deciliter. According to an unaffiliated 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health, five million men have low testosterone.

 

While low levels of testosterone won't threaten a man's life, the condition can lead to a reduction in quality of life. Testosterone deficiency is typically only treated for symptoms as therapies to treat low testosterone levels are still under testing and review. Only a small percentage of men in the study exhibited symptoms of lower levels of testosterone. More research will be required to fully understand the relationship between diet and testosterone levels. Still, our findings point to evidence diet is a major indicator when it comes to overall health and wellness. 

 

Dr. Roberto Cardarelli is the chief of the Division of Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Jason Meyer is a combined MD/Ph.D student at the University of Kentucky. 

cardarelli_roberto.jpgjason_meyer.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Garba Night
Swing Dancing!
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital
Tue
 
 
 
 

Tue, 09/23/2014

Repeats every day until Wed Sep 24 2014 .
Tue, 09/23/2014

Reset Page