Keto Diet Shows Promise Helping Overweight Guys Boost Testosterone

Written by Dr. Chris Smith, Updated on January 12th, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A recent study aimed to assess the potential for a low-cal ketogenic diet to help men overcome obesity and boost Testosterone. While small in scope, the results were promising. Participants lost weight and experienced a significant increase in both Testosterone and SHBG (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin) Levels.

Obesity and Low-T are strongly correlated. Testosterone is not only important for sexual function, but it plays an important contributing role in metabolism, especially in men. Obesity impairs Testosterone production because body fat naturally converts Testosterone into Estrogen, which then signals the brain to produce less Testosterone. Obese individuals are also at enhanced risk of impaired insulin sensitivity, which further impairs Testosterone production and energy levels.

While medical professionals and nutritionists have hypothesized that a ketogenic diet can boost Testosterone Levels, this was the first study to specifically examine the effects of a low-cal keto diet on male sex hormone levels. This study was recently showcased at the annual European Congress of Endocrinology.

The Keto Diet—Ditching Carbs for Protein and Fat

Achieving better health isn't all about losing weight, though dropping pounds definitely helps. The keto diet is one of many methods available to meet weight loss goals. Most people eat a diet that consists of a plurality of carbohydrates. The keto diet shifts the emphasis from carbs to fat without sacrificing protein intake. Too much protein can interrupt the ketogenic cycle, so no more than 20% of calories should come from protein, and 70-80% should come from fat. This dietary shift convinces the body to break down calories from body fat which are stored as ketones.

In the initial days of the diet, the body uses up limited stores of glucose kept in the liver and survives by breaking down muscle tissue. After this initial phase, however, the body recalibrates to subsist off of the breakdown of fat. For maximum weight loss with minimum risk, you should work with a doctor and aim for around 800 calories. Getting proper protein is essential because it keeps the chemistry working in your favor.

Studies have shown that the keto diet effectively lowers blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, and encourages weight loss. This study explores the effects of the Ketogenic diet on Testosterone Levels.

One Month Ketogenic Diet Boosted Testosterone/SHBG and Promoted Weight Loss

This study was conducted by Dr. Angelo Cignarelli and a research team associated with the Italian University of Bari. Seventeen men participated in this study, which lasted for one month. Patients selected for the study were overweight or obese but not diabetic.

Participants persisted on a low-cal keto diet and were evaluated at multiple points during the study. Baseline tests were conducted before the diet began, and patients were tested again after one week and as the study concluded. This relatively brief period of dieting significantly increased both Testosterone and Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin Levels, which are responsible for the transport of Testosterone. Patients lost weight primarily from body fat. Future studies will explore how this combination of factors benefits patients and may benefit individuals struggling with Low-T and/or Insulin Resistance.

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