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
May
1
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
2
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Final Examinations
Massage On The Go #2
Mon
3
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Final Examinations
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Tue
4
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Final Examinations
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Wed
5
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Final Examinations
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Thu
6
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Final Examinations
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
End of the Spring 2016 Semester
Fri
7
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Friends Plant Exchange
Sat
8
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
9
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Mon
10
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
First Day of Classes of the Summer I 2016 Four-Week Intersession
Tue
11
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Virtual Dementia Tour
Wed
12
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Thu
13
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Fri
14
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sat
15
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
16
One + One
Mon
17
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Community Gardens
Tue
18
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Wed
19
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Thu
20
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Fri
21
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Addie's Day: Kentucky Children's Garden
Sat
22
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Founders Day
Sun
23
 
Mon
24
 
Tue
25
 
Wed
26
UK Appreciation Day
Thu
27
 
Fri
28
 
Sat
29
 
Sun
30
Memorial Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
31
 
Tue
 
 
 
 
May 26
UK Appreciation Day 05/26/2016
Reset Page