View Full Version : Diet and Testosterone Levels

Saturday, February 19th, 2005, 04:17 AM
Lately I have been doing some light research on testosterone and its relationship to race and subrace. I had always assumed that nordics and UPs
were blessed with considerable t-levels and that meds and alpines had much smaller levels. I based this upon casual observation. The people of northern europe have always appeared to be stronger and more robust and historically it seems they were considered rather "brutish" by med populations. You can then imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this thread yesterday:

According to that thread med men have somewhat higher t-levels than the anglo men of America. I'm not doubting the research but it still doesn't add up in my mind. Most of the med men I know including my own family (i'm 1/2 sicilian) have a very fit appearance but are not as capable of "bulking" up as nordoid men and were generally weaker.

I started thinking about it and I recall hearing that the typical med diet promoted high test levels where as the typical American diet (high carb) was actually detrimental to ones masculinity. This article would seem to confirm that:



</FONT>Do you remember Lynne?s comment about how her husband?s triglycerides skyrocketed on the Ornish diet (very low fat, high carbohydrates), and "within weeks his curly hair straightened and his skin hung from his arms" (CHW#4)? To me, these symptoms suggested a dramatic drop in testosterone levels.

What correlates best with a man?s physiological age is his level of free testosterone. Physiological youthfulness is synonymous with high free T. The ratio of muscle to fat is a rough indicator of that, since muscle mass correlates with T levels.

There are many ways in which a man can increase his natural T production. Enjoying lots of sex and sexual fantasy is the most obvious and pleasurable way, though here of course we encounter the typical endocrinological chicken-and-egg quandary: it?s the men who already have high T who experience more sexual pleasure (T heightens sexual sensation) and have the most sex dreams and fantasies.

Diet has a lot of influence also. A vegetarian friend of mine told me that the main reason for vegetarianism was to lower sex drive; monks discovered this centuries ago. A vegetarian diet is typically a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet?essentially the Ornish diet. Now Reuters (June 16, 1997, Reuters Internet Site) brings the news of a study conducted at Penn State University Center for Sports Medicine. Dr. William Kramer and Dr. Jeff Volek monitored T levels of 12 healthy young men in relation to the diet they consumed. Their studies confirmed earlier studies: people who derive 20% of their calories from fat have significantly lower testosterone levels than people who derive 40% of their calories from fat.

Kramer and Volek found that it was specifically the consumption of saturated and MONOSATURATED fat which correlated with higher resting T levels. I stress monosaturated, since this is one of the pivotal components of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, typically containing 40% fat from olive oil, seafood, cheese, and moderate quantities of meat.

There was no correlation of T levels with the consumption of polyunsaturated fats. (Translation: you can?t raise your T levels by eating more margarine. Throw out the margarine and turn to olive oil; a small amount of butter won?t hurt either.)

One interesting finding was that excess protein consumption correlated with lower T levels. Too much steak is definitely not recommended.

I can already hear the chorus of voices concerned about the cardiovascular aspect of higher fat consumption. I see no reason to worry as long as the emphasis is on monosaturated fat, and other components of the Mediterranean diet are included: seafood (a source of zinc, iodine, and selenium, also important for prostate health), red wine, tomatoes, and so forth?and the joy of life that goes with being a Latin lover or equivalent, as opposed to low-T depression (the "grumpy old men" syndrome).

As for the continuing debate as to whether testosterone is good or bad for the cardiovascular system, there is now mounting evidence that it?s low-T men who are most prone to heart disease (and many other disorders); in addition, testosterone has been found to lower the levels of apolipoprotein (a), a known cardiovascular risk factor, by up to 50%.

Source in addition to Reuters:

Morley J et al. Potentially predictive and manipulable blood serum correlates of aging in the healthy human male: Progressive decreases in bioavailable testosterone, DHEA-S, and the ratio of IGF-1 to growth hormone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1997; 94:7537-42)

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that the higher med t-levels could be diet related or do nordic men just naturally have lower masculinity? And if they do have lower masculinity what would explain their greater size and strength? Perhaps higher human growth hormone levels?

Dr. Solar Wolff
Saturday, February 19th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Yes, I think diet will alter hormonal levels but testosterone is just one hormone. Diet will or should alter them all. They all work in a balanced way. This is why human growth hormone is such a hot ticket--because it controls so many in a more or less balanced way.

Each race has a different hormone balance. Coon discussed this in his Living Races of Man. So just because someone is large and strong doesn't necessarily mean that they have a highter testosterone level than you do but it could be so.

Nordic Dream Maiden
Saturday, February 19th, 2005, 07:32 PM
The japanese are getting taller and bigger due to more western diet influences; it would be interesting for such a study if they have some data decades back to present and then another two decades from know. Some of the study makes sense and the rest doesn't--though, I'm no scientist.