According to a new study conducted at the University of Worcester and published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Low testosterone levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Healthy testosterone levels are also essential for athletic performance, mental health, and men’s sexual health.
Hypogonadism since 1970
The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis, combining the results of six well-controlled studies with a total of 206 participants. These studies first put men on a high fat (40% fat) diet, then switched them to a low fat (20% fat) diet and found that their testosterone levels decreased by 10 to 15% on average. The low-fat vegetarian diets that led to a decrease in testosterone by up to 26% were especially bad.
A high intake of monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts can increase testosterone production. However, omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are mainly found in vegetable oils, can impair the ability of cells to produce testosterone. This is because highly unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, are more prone to oxidation, which damages cells.
Since the 1970s, there has been a drop in average testosterone levels in men and rates of hypogonadism (medically low testosterone) have increased.