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
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
2
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
3
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sat
4
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
Wed
8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
#IAMACCEPTANCE Let's Talk Mental Health with Hakeem Rahim
Thu
9
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training
Fri
10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Whipping In The Kitchen
Sun
12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
Tue
14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
Wed
15
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Thu
16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
A Day of Rising Strong
Fri
17
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sun
19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Cuban Heritage Festival
Tue
21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 50% Refund
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Wed
22
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
TGIT with SAB
Thu
23
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Fri
24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
25
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Sun
26
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Let's Talk!
Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
Tue
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
Business Internship & Career Fair
Women In Technology Gala event for UK undergraduate women
NSE (National Student Exchange) Information Session
Wed
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
Thu
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 

Tue, 09/27/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Wed Dec 14 2016 .
Wed, 09/28/2016

Repeats every week every Wednesday until Wed Oct 05 2016 .
Wed, 09/28/2016

Wed, 09/28/2016

Reset Page