The question: Do vegan men have higher testosterone? Isn’t one that I set out to answer on purpose. I came across it accidentally and was a bit shocked by the results of some of the studies I read.
A life without meat isn’t for me, however, many men who face health issues are reluctant to address a lifestyle change such as a Vegan diet because of a mistaken belief it will somehow reduce their manliness.
If your identity is tied up in a Tomahawk steak we have a bunch more work to do together! Especially when maintaining optimal health is the goal.
Let’s look at the science behind why vegan men have higher testosterone and a lower cancer rate than their meat-eating counterparts.
Guys commonly assume their testosterone levels will plummet by eating nothing but plants, but that’s just the stereotype at work again. A British Journal of Cancer study of 696 men (233 of whom were vegans) revealed this: “Vegans had 13% higher testosterone concentration than meat-eaters and 8% higher than vegetarians.”
13% MORE of this manly hormone! What’s the deal? You might be thinking to yourself… Good, let the seed-eating budgie hugging plant killers chew away on their lettuce because too much testosterone is a bad thing because it leads to higher levels of IGF-I which is a risk factor for certain cancers.
Not soo fast shooter, the report also found this: “Vegan men had on average 9% lower IGF-I levels than meat-eaters.” A big boost in testosterone and added protection against IGF-I? Seems like a no lose situation.
BUT let’s pump the brakes here because this is what the study ACTUALLY revealed with respect to vegan men and higher testosterone levels :
Mean serum insulin-like growth factor-I was 9% lower in 233 vegan men than in 226 meat-eaters and 237 vegetarians (P = 0.002). Vegans had higher testosterone levels than vegetarians and meat-eaters, but this was offset by higher sex hormone binding globulin, and there were no differences between diet groups in free testosterone, androstanediol glucuronide or luteinizing hormone.
You see where it says, higher sex hormone binding globulin? Yeah so their not so cool after all… Elevated levels of SHBG mean that your testosterone is bound, meaning it is useless. So it seems the question, Do vegan men have higher testosterone levels, can be a bit misleading.
You see, what we are concerned about as males seeking to optimize our hormonal profile is FREE testosterone. A high testosterone number on its own can be misleading.
Listen, the last thing I want is to be responsible for a bunch of plants being killed, so it’s important you understand all aspects of what a study is reporting.
The advantages of optimal levels of testosterone are extensive as it relates to your overall health and well being.
This makes it vitally important to understand the topic in a bit more detail.
So what are your takeaways? What continues to hold true is the need to remain balanced in your nutritional approach and focus on areas of weakness. Body composition is the goal for most men, and in order to achieve this, you require optimal hormone levels and specifically, optimal levels of free testosterone. Find the balance in your nutritional approach and exercise regimen.
For an optimal nutrition solution, the TCycle System has an continues to produce incredible results for men who are seeking to optimize their hormonal profile. It is a systematic approach which meets you precisely where you are at in your body composition goals. You can start at phase 1 or phase 3 depending on what your goals at or where you are at in body composition goals. It also saves a lot more plants than a vegan diet!
Here’s to your healthy testosterone profile.