Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced in the testicles. Normal male sexual development and function rely on testosterone hormone levels. During puberty, testosterone aids boys in developing male characteristics such as body and facial hair, a deeper voice, and muscle strength. But what kind of diets decrease testosterone in men?
A low carbohydrate but high protein diet significantly lowers resting testosterone levels in men.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is commonly referred to as the “masculine” hormone. This hormone, however, is produced by both men and women. Hormones are chemicals that help the body regulate itself. They are often formed in one site and spread to other organs. Growth hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone are two other hormones found in the body.
Androgen hormones include testosterone. It causes the body to develop male traits. Testosterone is produced in the following organs:
- Male testes
- Female ovaries
- The adrenal glands are positioned above the kidneys in both men and women.
Men have higher testosterone levels in their bodies than women. Adverse symptoms can arise in either sex if testosterone levels become unbalanced. (Source: Healthline)
What is the Role of Testosterone in Men and Women?
Throughout a man’s life, testosterone is responsible for various functions in the male body. It aids in developing a male fetus’s exterior and interior organs. Male reproductive organs, such as the penis and testicles, are included. During puberty, testosterone is in charge of:
- Rapid growth
- Amplification of the voice
- Hair growth in the pubic region, face, and underarms
Testosterone is also linked to aggressive and sexually motivated behavior. Men require testosterone to produce sperm for reproduction.
In women, testosterone also plays a role in sex drive. It also aids in the secretion of vital hormones in a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Testosterone also has roles that are shared by both sexes. The hormone, for example, boosts the body’s production of new red blood cells. Testosterone can also influence men’s bone density, fat distribution, and muscle strength. (Source: Healthline)
A High Protein But Low Carb Diet
A meta-analysis published in Nutrition and Health shows that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets can drastically lower testosterone levels.
Researchers discovered that moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diets had no consistent influence on resting total testosterone in a study that included data from 27 studies. However, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets significantly reduced resting testosterone levels. According to scientists, this indicates a 37% drop in average testosterone levels.
Under normal conditions, the body regulates protein intake via appetite. On the other hand, extreme dieting and bodybuilding might result in uneven intakes of low carbs and high protein.
Most people consume approximately 17% protein, and the high-protein diets that resulted in low testosterone were all above 35%, which is exceptionally high. So, the average person has nothing to be concerned about. On the other hand, people on high-protein diets should keep protein at no more than 25% of their daily calories.Joseph Whittaker, Lead Researcher
The researchers also examined cortisol levels and diets and saw no significant connections. (Source: Wiley Clinical Healthcare Hub)