Men who consume high-fat fast food may have to worry about a drop in testosterone, according to a new study. In particular, obese or overweight men may have an immediate negative reaction on testicular performance and testosterone production.
Previous research has shown that obesity is linked to impaired testicular function, potentially resulting in androgen deficiency and sub-fertility. This new study is the first to show this immediate impact that fast food can have on testicular endocrine function.
While there are many facts involved in the underlying cause of obesity-related male hypogonadism, researchers from Flinders University and UniSA have shown that a high fat intake from fast food meals has an immediate negative effect on serum testosterone levels. The study has been published in the journal Andrologia.
The research showed that the consumption of a high-fat fast food meal produced a 25% fall in serum testosterone within an hour of eating, with levels remaining below fasting baseline for up to four hours.
Post-Prandial Fall in Testosterone
These alarming results suggest that the passage of fat through the intestinal tract creates a response that indirectly causes a post-prandial fall in testosterone. The research only investigated the impact on overweight or obese men, and therefore may not apply to lean men.
Professor Kelton Tremellen, Gynaecologist and Strategic Professor of Reproductive Medicine, who undertook the research with Dr. Karma Pearce from UniSA, spoke about the findings. “The observed falls in serum testosterone (25% decline from baseline, 2–3 nmol in absolute terms) are likely to be clinically significant for the obese or older man with low baseline levels of testosterone.”
“These men are likely to be placed into a continuous hypogonadal state during waking hours if they frequently consume meals and snacks high in fat. This will clearly have an adverse impact on both their physical and mental wellbeing, plus possibly their fertility potential.”
“Our results suggest that these men should minimize their fat intake and avoid inter‐meal snacking in order to optimize testicular function.”
Overall, we are aware that fast food isn’t healthy for anyone and should be avoided. But for men who are overweight or obese and want to conceive, this study helps to outline the importance of healthy eating. Researchers hope this new information will help physicians to guide their patients into looking at dietary patterns if they have diagnosed with hypogonadism.