Since we first launched our website, we’ve been reporting on the modern world’s low testosterone epidemic and the dreadful effects of eating processed food, so the importance of this new study should be clear to anybody who has been keeping up with our articles on these subjects.
Pro-inflammatory foods: a cause of low testosterone in men
Although falling testosterone levels are a fact of life for all men as they age – after the age of 30, a man can expect to lose 1% of his natural testosterone every year for the rest of his life – this natural reduction pales in comparison with the society-wide collapse in T levels that has occurred over the second half of the twentieth and the first quarter of the twenty-first century.
Men today have considerably less T than men of the same age even a single generation ago. A 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a significant reduction in the T levels of men since the 1980s. A 60-year-old American man in 2004, for example, had 17% less testosterone than a 60-year-old American man in 1987. These findings were corroborated in a study of Danish men, who displayed a two-digit decline between the 1920s and the 1960s.
It’s estimated that anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of American man have low levels of testosterone, with levels below 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). A low libido, reduced energy, impaired focus, and depression are all associated with decreased levels of testosterone. A lack of testosterone has also been linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and even obesity.
A number of factors seem to be at work in causing this collapse in levels of the master male hormone. As well as pervasive xenoestrogen pollution, diet is clearly one of the most important factors at work. This new study, out of China, focuses on the role of diet, and in particular pro-inflammatory foods.
In animal and human research, testosterone deficiency had already been related to higher levels of inflammation throughout the body. Men who have low testosterone are known to have greater amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines, tiny proteins produced by cells when they react to damage, illness, or inflammatory stimuli in the environment.
An estoteric test-booster too far?
The likelihood is that, even if you don’t know what toxoplasma gondii is, you’ve got it. About half of all men do. And the longer you live, the greater the chance you’ll get it. One study from Holland claims that while just 20% of men in their twenties host the parasite in their bodies, that figure rises to 90% of men in their seventies.
Another thing you’re unlikely to know is that toxoplasma gondii infection appears to be associated with higher testosterone levels. Whether it actually causes them, however, is an open question.
And what is one of the primary sources of infection? The picture above should be a giveaway…
Click here to read more about the fascinating studies that link this parasite to increased testosterone levels in men
A scale known as the “Diet Inflammatory Index” (DII) had already been developed to help investigate how food impacts one’s risk of inflammation, particularly in relation to other health indicators, and the Chinese researchers used this index as a central part of their research.
The researchers decided to investigate the relationship between the DII and testosterone deficiency in 4,151 males from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
All the male subjects submitted a 24-hour nutritional questionnaire and were tested for sex hormones. The DII of each participant was estimated according to his food history questionnaire. In all, approximately 26% of the males had low testosterone.
The researchers discovered that the risk of low testosterone was nearly 30% greater in men who ate the most pro-inflammatory foods than in those who ate foods with lower rankings on the DII scale. After controlling for other factors such as BMI and smoking, the correlation remained significant.
Obese men who scored high on the DII – eating more pro-inflammatory foods – were 60% more likely to have low testosterone compared to those who scored lower.
“While these findings do not prove causation, they do support previous research suggesting a pro-inflammatory diet can contribute to testosterone deficiency, among other potentially debilitating health issues,” the authors say .
They add that further research is needed to confirm the causal connection between DII and testosterone levels, but they believe that eating fewer pro-inflammatory foods “could be a feasible method to reduce the accumulated inflammatory burden, [potentially] leading to an increased testosterone level.”
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