Not so happy meals: Fast food lowers testosterone

Eating a high-fat ‘fast food’ meal can reduce testosterone levels by 25% within an hour of ingestion in overweight and obese men, Australian research shows.

And the effect can last for up to four hours, say the South Australian study authors in a recent issue of Andrologia.

The new finding goes some way to explain, at least in part, the well-known link between male obesity and androgen deficiency and impaired fertility. If an obese man regularly consumes high fat meals and snacks throughout the day he will be constantly reducing his testosterone level to 75% of normal, and given that he is likely to be low in testosterone already (given his obesity) he can ill afford this further reduction if he wants to father a child.

It is known that testosterone levels fall after eating a meal, but what this study shows is that it is actually ingesting a high fat meal that has the greatest effect on Leydig cell function.

Study participants who received the equivalent fat intravenously rather than eating it, did not have lower testosterone levels. This suggested ‘that fat must traverse the ...

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