Take the 2-minute tour ×
Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This link claims that eating meat increases testosterone:

Eating meat, which is high in protein, helps build muscle and stimulates the secretion of the hormone glucagon, both of which contribute to raising testosterone levels. ...

Is this claim true, and would this help a person increase their testosterone levels?

share|improve this question
2  
thanks again Randolf –  YUASK Nov 17 '11 at 6:29
1  
I note an implicit assumption that people would want to increase their testosterone levels. Other dietary concerns may weigh more heavily. –  Oddthinking Nov 18 '11 at 10:53
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

There have been a few studies conducted on this. The summary is that meat protein contributes more to Total Testosterone than a vegetarian diet.

This link quotes from a book by Lou Schuler - "The Testosterone Advantage Plan" Rodale: USA, 2002.

1985 study found when it looked at a large cross-section of omnivores and vegetarians ... The meat-eaters actually had 36 percent more T than the guys who stuck to rabbit food

A 1989 study found pretty much the same thing: The meat-eaters ate more fat, more cholesterol, more saturated fat, and less fiber than the vegetarians and had 31 percent more testosterone (Schuler, p.86).

A Dutch study published in 1992 looked at changes in T levels on these two diets. A group of young male endurance athletes ate and trained on each diet for 6 weeks. (Half started on the meat-rich diet, half on the vegetarian diet; then they switched.) Total testosterone declined 35 percent when the athletes used the vegetarian diet (Schuler, p.76).

From the same link

Men's Health magazine declared, "Perhaps the ideal diet to drop your testosterone is high fiber and vegetarian-and the ideal way to raise it is the red-meat approach" (Jim Thorton, p.154). " Maximum Testosterone." Men's Health. April, 2005, pp. 146-155,182

An abstract of the 1992 Dutch study is available here

Sample size of 8 male endurance athletes, in summary the Total Testosterone is less on a Vegetarian diet compared to Meat diet, but Free Testosterone does not differ significantly.

Serum sex hormones and endurance performance after a lacto-ovo vegetarian and a mixed diet.

Raben A, Kiens B, Richter EA, Rasmussen LB, Svenstrup B, Micic S, Bennett P. SourceAugust Krogh Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The V diet resulted in a lower total T level (13.7, 9.8-32.4 nmol.l-1) (median and range) compared with the M diet (17.4, 11.8-33.5 nmol.l-1). During exercise after 6 wk on the diets total T was also significantly lower on the V than on the M diet

Given that most of the advice on this concentrates on eating red meat, your mileage may vary with other meats and fish protein.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.