(STUDY FINDS) -- CHICAGO — It’s been shown that losing excess weight can help men diagnosed with low testosterone raise their levels of the essential male sex hormone. However, a new set of research performed in Chicago finds a low-fat diet probably isn’t the best choice for many men looking to lose weight and raise their testosterone. Researchers say such a diet is associated with a small, but significant decrease in testosterone levels.
“We found that men who adhered to a fat restrictive diet had lower serum testosterone than men on a nonrestrictive diet,” comments Jake Fantus, MD, of the Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine, in a release. “However, the clinical significance of small differences in serum T across diets is unclear.”
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Using data collected from a nationwide health survey, the research team analyzed over 3,100 men, including information on each man’s dietary habits and serum testosterone level. In all, 14.6% of included men fit the criteria for a low-fat diet (per American Heart Association guidelines), while 24.4% followed a Mediterranean diet (lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains & low amounts of animal protein and dairy). Additionally, only a small number of analyzed men followed a low-carbohydrate diet, so they weren’t included in the subsequent analysis.