Boost Your Testosterone With a Low-Calorie, Ketogenic-Focused Diet

Posted by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on December 27th, 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most men these days are looking to boost their testosterone levels, either naturally or with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Many try the natural way first before starting hormone replacement. In fact, testosterone levels in men are the lowest we’ve ever seen, even in young men. Is there something in our food? Water? Are we not exercising enough? We do not know the answer but there are several natural ways that have been found to boost testosterone in many men. One of these ways is to eat a low-calorie and ketogenic-based diet.

Low-Cal and Ketogenic Diet Dramatically Affects Testosterone Levels

A small study was recently presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology. It was looking at the effects of a very low-calorie ketogenic diet on insulin and testosterone levels in overweight or obese men. Unfortunately, obesity is on a rampage across America and several other countries around the world. According to the researchers, this type of diet had a “dramatic and early effect” on both insulin resistance and testosterone levels for the men.

During a presentation, Dr. Angelo Cignarelli, MD, made the point that the findings of the study demonstrated a strong relationship between glucose regulation, hepatic (relating to the liver) and testicular function.

Dr. Cignarelli stated, “Functional hypogonadism is seen frequently in obese adults, and we know a low-calorie ketogenic diet may rapidly affect body weight. We also know that weight loss is associated with a rise in testosterone level; however, whether this recovery may be due to weight loss itself or some other precocious mechanism is still a matter of debate.”

Lose Weight and Boost Testosterone With Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet

In the study, 17 men who were overweight or obese but were not diabetic were assigned to a very low-calorie ketogenic diet for four weeks. The average age was 41 years and the average BMI was 36.4. The tests that were administered were oral glucose tolerance tests, bioelectrical impedance analysis and blood tests to assess glycemic response and insulin levels, total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and luteinizing hormone (LH) at one and four weeks.

The baseline levels of testosterone were averaged at 2.5 ng/mL and the baseline level of SHBG was averaged at 24.2 nmol/L.

After the four weeks, the average weight loss was 20.5 lbs, fat mass loss was 14.3 lbs and BMI reduction was 3.1. At one and four weeks, mean total testosterone rose by 0.49 ng/mL and of 0.89 ng/mL, respectively. There were mean increases of 3.47 ng/mL and 10.94 ng/mL in serum SHBG levels at one and four weeks, respectively.

The group of 17 men, after the four weeks, were divided into high and low responders to the diet, with the high responders differing only their level of insulin sensitivity.

The researchers noted that the low responders were more insulin resistant than the high responders, despite a comparable level of glycemia during their oral glucose tolerance test.

Cignarelli also stated, “We found a significant increase in testosterone level at the end of the study, and almost half of this rise was observed after only one week of nutrition intervention in parallel with a dramatic reduction of insulin levels. Therefore, low-calorie ketogenic diet could be safely used to improve hypoandrogenemia, and possibly to rescue obese patients from functional hypogonadism.”



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