New Study Shows That Men With Diets High In Pro-Inflammatory Foods May Have Lower Testosterone Levels.


A new study, published in the April 2021 Journal of Urology, claims that eating a diet that is high in what it calls ‘pro-inflammatory foods” may raise the risk of developing a testosterone deficiency in some men.

Lead researchers Qiu Shi, MD, and Zhang Chichen, MD of West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, studied the association between the patient’s diet and testosterone deficiency in 4,151 men as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Scientists used the Dietary Inflammation Index (DII) to benchmark each patient’s diet. All subjects completed a 24-hour dietary interview and underwent sex hormone testing before and after the study.


The Dietary Inflammation Index as a Predictor of Lower Testosterone

It’s pretty well understood that your diet can impact your health. The saying “You are what you eat” has been around for a while and is as accurate today as when the term was coined. But this study indicated that certain diets could have a significant impact on your Testosterone Levels (T-Levels) as well.

The Dietary Inflammatory Index was developed to provide a quantitative way to assess the role of diet in various health outcomes. The DII has become a popular tool to evaluate the inflammatory potential of a person’s diet and, in this case, how it impacts testosterone levels in men. A diet that is considered is pro-inflammatory (bad) may include processed meats, foods high in sugar, and some fast food.

Patients in this study had calculated DII scores that ranged from -5.05 (most anti-inflammatory) to +5.48 (most pro-inflammatory). Men with the lower scores/most anti-inflammatory diets had a Total Testosterone level of 422.71 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter of blood). The men with the most pro-inflammatory diet had an average lower Total Testosterone Level of 410.24 ng/dl.

These results meant that men with the most pro-inflammatory diet had about a 30% higher chance of having a testosterone deficiency when compared to men with the most anti-inflammatory diet. These findings remained consistent even after researchers adjusted for other characteristics, including body mass index and smoking.

The Link Between Inflammation and Lower Testosterone

One of the key findings in this study further confirmed what researchers had suspected for some time – that inflammation is harmful for the healthy human body in general – and that in particular, it can play a role in reducing testosterone levels in men. Studies in both humans and animals have linked Testosterone deficiency with increased levels of inflammation in the body.

Men with Low-T are often found to have higher levels of pro-inflammatory proteins called “cytokines” in blood tests. These small proteins are released by cells during injury, infection, or as a natural response to inflammatory factors in the environment. Cytokines are not bad per se, but the presence of high levels of cytokines in an otherwise healthy person can trigger unwanted impacts on a patient’s health in many ways.

Obese Men At Higher Risk of Testosterone Deficiency

The study also found that the risk of Low-T is greatest in men who are obese and consume a refined diet that scores high on the DII.

“Our results suggest men who eat a pro-inflammatory diet, particularly those who are obese, are more likely to have testosterone deficiency,” researchers concluded.

The risk of testosterone deficiency was most significant in men who had a higher DII and were considered obese. Among these men, the odds of testosterone deficiency were nearly 60 percent higher than other men with obesity but with a lower DII.

The Importance of Testosterone for Men

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and plays a vital role in the normal healthy development of men, including reproduction and sexual function, muscle development, fat loss, and several other important factors in men’s health and well-being.

Of the 4100+ men studied, 26% exhibited some sort of testosterone deficiency. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and various other unhealthy behaviors can lead to lower T—levels (as mentioned above.) In fact, experts estimate that between 20 to 50 percent of men in the U.S. have a testosterone deficiency that is even lower and meets the clinical diagnosis for a condition called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism (commonly called Low-T) is defined as a testosterone level less than 300 ng/dL.

Symptoms of Low-T can be significant and wide-reaching. They include low libido, decreased energy, poor concentration, and depression. Testosterone deficiency has also been linked with other, more severe conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Diagnosing Low-T in Texas

The symptoms of Low-T can be caused by several other conditions, so it is crucial to have a blood test to get a full picture of your Total Testosterone levels. Texas Men’s Health Group can help you coordinate a simple blood draw at one of the hundreds of locations our lab partners have located throughout Texas. One call to our professional staff at 214-499-9158 can help you find a location and time that is most convenient for you.

Your results will be transmitted securely to our medical director, Dr. Michael Zachareas, for review. “Dr. Z” is a board-certified urologist and has spent the past decade helping hundreds of patients with Low-T, impotence, and other men’s health issues.

Dr. Z will set up a time for a private and secure telemedicine consultation with you to discuss your results and, if appropriate, discuss options for treating Low-T, including Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Growth Hormone Peptide Therapy.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Low-T

Texas Men’s Health Group offers some of the most advanced treatments for Low-T, including TRT injections and Growth Hormone Peptide injections that can be shipped directly to your home. There are no unnecessary office visits, no long pharmacy lines, and you can maintain both your privacy and social distance with our personalized treatment options. Our streamlined process is efficient and respects the value of your time. Many of our patients begin treatment as quickly as the same week that they are diagnosed.

Get Started with TRT in Texas Today

If you are looking to get that spring back in your step, improve your love life, have better workouts, or just have more energy for work and family time, call 214-499-9158 today and learn more about how you can raise your T-Levels with Texas Men’s Health Group. We make it safe, discreet, and convenient for men to get the help they need.