Testosterone and keto

(Nancy) #1

My brother started keto a month ago. But now after seeing some article about lowered levels of testosterone on keto he’s considering stopping this woe. Is there any research that supports or disproves this?

(Bart) #2

I had a testosterone test done during a blood workup three months into keto and my levels were normal. I have not had one done since and now I am a bit curious to see if the same still holds true 14 months in. Also during all the reading that I have done in the last year plus I can not remember seeing much if anything on this problem. My curiosity is definitely sparked now. I think I will do some of my own research. Thank you for the food for thought.

(Zach) #3

MDA posted this: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ketosis-testosterone-dehydration-hormesis-isomalto-oligosaccharides/

It seems that there isn’t much research on the subject. If he is worried about it, perhaps he should have a T test done.
edit: It appears that being obese also decreases T, so that would confound the test unless he did before keto and after keto T tests.

(Chris Bair) #4

Testosterone can go up or down based on what you’re eating and the foods that tend to make it go up are the awesome foods you eat on Keto.

On a side note When I first got tested, my levels were in the “normal” range - except the “normal” range doesn’t account for age and health. I’m on Clomid and it’s working great for me.


I don’t have science, but I can address this personally.

When I was low-fat because that’s what the doctor advised, my testosterone bottomed out below 250 and after feeling lousy for a while, I started various testosterone-raising medications that had limited effectiveness, especially when it came to measuring the free testosterone that isn’t bound up with SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) which was still low. In other words the medications raised total T, but it wasn’t really available for my body to use it.

However, after going keto and staying keto, I’m 52 y/o, off all medications, and my testosterone is now 955 ng/dL and rivals that of men in their 20’s with very respectable levels of free testosterone.

(Tom) #6

All good replies here. I would merely add that there’s a TON of variables that change when adopting a keto diet. In some cases the additional fat intake could optimize the production of sterol-based hormones. Or it could be the better sleep that comes with not eating junk that helps optimize testosterone production. Or it could be that test levels stay the same, but with a few (dozen) pounds missing, there’s more cough "pep in one’s step* because you feel more attractive and have more stamina.
Additionally, there’s a lot of other stuff that can interfere with testosterone production, like stress, poor sleep/sleep apnea, certain herbal supplements, etc, etc. Suffice to say the keto diet is probably the last thing I’d blame.

How old is your brother? Ideally, if he’s super concerned he could start with a baseline lab test and then reevaluate in a few months. I personally don’t, mostly because the last time I did it was spendy. There are private lab companies that you can order a test from without a doctor, but I can’t vouch for their quality or accuracy.

One final thought: My view of our metabolism is that ketones were used as fuel when sources of glucose weren’t available, and that metabolic flexibility is what kept the species from keeling over every time we had a dry spell or a hard winter. One could posit that in times of stress and food scarcity, sex hormones take a hit because reproduction isn’t a top priority at that moment (I know test and estro to plenty of other things, but run with me, here). Weight loss, if that’s what your brother is going keto for, is going against the biological grain, so to speak. We weren’t geared to give up our survival stores, even if it’s clear to our logic brains that we have more than enough. That alone will be stressful. BUT, it’s a temporary stressor, and if test levels do take a hit, they’ll come back.
To reframe it as a question: "If going keto improves health, weight, and quality of life at the expense of a temporary drop in hormone X, is it worth it?

Just me two cents :grinning:

(Larry Lustig) #7

Would need to see the article to formulate an opinion.

(Boston_guy) #8

Boron is a good supplement for T. I’ve been taking 9 mg/day and feel much different/better.

(Francois Picanza) #9

I have never tested my testosterone but if I use my libido as a measure, I saw an increase after 4 months of living the keto life. However this returned to normal after around 10 months and are still normal now that I am at my 14th month. It’s not scientific of course but I do not think keto has much of a lasting impact on testosterone. Maybe just for a little while, as your hormones adapt to your new insulin level. Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

(Ren) #10

I have done some reading on this as I am on the lower end of “normal” levels. I was worried about this. One thing I did find is that Testosterone is create from cholesterol. Without Cholesterol there would be no Testosterone.

T levels are also effected by diabetes and metabolic syndrome and inflammation in the metabolic pathways. I believe (but I’m not expert) that a lot of findings could be correlation between people using HCLF dieting and low T. On high carb low fat diets, the body has more inflammation, along with lower cholesterol intake, and possibly factors of diabetes/metabolic syndrome and not the causation of low T.

If you look at the Keto diet your cholesterol levels raise, you are reducing inflammation in your body, and you are reversing diabetes and fixing metabolic syndrome which could cause a rise in T levels. When I had my yearly check up, my T level was at a 325. I am interested to see what my T level is when I go for my yearly check up in August (will be my 4th month in the keto lifestyle)


Like I said I’m not expert and haven’t been able to find much on this so any other links to studies would be great.

(Dustin Cade) #11

I’d imagine if Keto does what Keto does and that is regulate and even out hormone levels I’d imagine that low T on Keto wouldn’t be an issue… at least not caused by Keto itself…

(Cash Foley) #12

A year ago I weighed 265 and went to my doctor for a testosterone test because I have some buddies who have been getting TRT with great results and I thought it would help me exercise my way to good health. My T was 520 so it didn’t really merit TRT. Shortly after I started walking 15k steps a day and went wheat and sugar free. By November I was Keto/Fasting and my weight is down to 185. I went in for blood work the results are fabulous. Triglycerides down from 250 to 61, HDL doubled and LDL up but my risk factor ratio is down from 5.0 to 3.1. I no longer take blood pressure meds or Lipitor and don’t use a CPAP for sleeping.

All are huge life factors. My testosterone was up to 710! The reason I’m telling the long story is benefits of Keto are multi dimensional. Did the T go up because of Keto? Probably not in itself. Fat loss or gain has a strong correlation with T. So does eating and sleeping well.

And finally, Keto lets your body regulate your hormones better. Can’t say for sure. But if it helps your brother lose 50+ pounds then he should go for it and see what happens! Giving up and going non-keto usually doesn’t mean just eating more protein. If it means eating carbage! Is that going to boost T?!! It didn’t for me. It would be crazy to give up all these benefits because it might impact T!

(Naomi Brewster) #13

Don’t know about T and K but boron helps with testosterone levels amongst other things

(Jim) #14

My doc says the important number is bioavailable testosterone ( also called free testosterone), which is a subset of total testosterone.
Usually both numbers track, but for some, like me. TTSB can be normal, while free testosterone can be low.

I read that if you are on a calorie restricted diet it can lower the bioavailable count. However, saturated and mono-saturated fat, as well as Magnesium and Vitamin D, help raise the bioavailability. They say to avoid almonds. Nothing specific about Keto though.


Bump this thread.
I am on keto(2 months now) on a bulk. I couldnt’ seem to find any results on this,so I will be testing before I get out to see where I am at.
Before Keto, my test was always in the 700’s and free test landing in the middle of the reference ranges.
I can say though so far my libido,energy nor strength have not diminished.
I also want to add that bulking in Keto does work. Even though I work out on and off(time,life,jobs)
I went from 141 to 152 in 6 weeks with minimal if any fat gain all while eating a surplus.
I am using keto an experiement and optimizing my anabolic hormones for even further growth after Keto.

(Dom DePlume) #16

Total testosterone increased significantly from Weeks 0-11 in the KD diet (118 ng/dl) as compared to the WD (-36 ng/dl) from pre to post while insulin did not change.

(Dom DePlume) #17

And FWIW, I’m 50, and my testosterone just tested at over 800. YMMV…


Whats your DHT and Bio-Available come in at?Those are what matter.
SHBG binds to test as well as DHT test and estrogen rendering them not usable by the body.
Many times when total test goes up,thats because free test is lower and bound by shbg.

(Bunny) #19

Boron Uses — Boost Bone Density and Much More Chia Seeds?

Thomas DeLauer - How to Boost Free Testosterone with Boron:

Low testosterone levels occur for many men as they age, and some of us can even experience this problem when we are young. Low testosterone can lead you to feel fatigued, having a low libido and even have trouble gaining muscle. In a study published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology in 2011, boron supplementation was given to male volunteers and was paired with steroid hormone level measurements, looking at the impact hourly, daily and weekly. After one week of supplementation:

-Free testosterone increased
-Estrogen levels decreased
-Dihydrotestosterone levels increased
-Vitamin D levels increased
-Decrease in SHBG six hours after supplementation
-Inflammation markers decreased

Testosterone is useable in the body when it is free. Most testosterone in the body is bound to the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Through the decrease in SHBG it is likely that testosterone is freed into the blood in the useable form. Vitamin D is also positively correlated with testosterone levels, so by increasing vitamin D in plasma testosterone would increase as well.

The same researchers conducted a study in 1997 that found boron supplementation at 10 mg/day in men increased both testosterone and estrogen levels after four weeks. In this study, it was found that only 84% of the boron that was taken was found in the urine. This suggests that the remainder was used in the body. This is a high level of bioavailability. Just as in these studies, the studies that have been conducted have found varying effects on estrogen, some showing it decreasing, some increasing, and some showing no effect.

Another study published by BioImmersion Inc. in 2006 found that men who supplemented with boron in the form of fructo borate for two weeks experienced increased levels of vitamin D and testosterone levels.

-Free testosterone increase of 29.5%

-Vitamin D3 increase of 19.6%

-Estrogen changes varied with no established trend

-DHEA increase of 56%

Tips: Minerals are not easily passed out of your body, so you want to be careful not to take too much. You do not want to take too much boron as it may become toxic at greater than 20 mg per day, which is set as the Tolerable Upper Limit (TUL) of boron. One study on male bodybuilders found no increase in testosterone levels when supplementing for 7 weeks with 2.5 mg of boron, so it seems that higher than this may be necessary to see results. Recommended daily supplementation ranges from about 6 mg to 20 mg per day. You can also increase your dietary intake of boron through consuming organic fruits and veggies, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and tubers.


  1. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones…
  1. The effect of boron supplementation on its urinary excretion and cardiovascular…
  1. Epidemiologic relationship between osteoporosis, arthritis and low boron exposure
  1. The effect of boron supplementation on lean body mass, plasma testosterone levels and strength in male bodybuilders
  1. Boron
  1. Concentration of boron and other elements in human food…

Thomas DeLauer - How To Boost Testosterone With Intermittent Fasting:

Thomas DeLauer here to give you the facts on intermittent fasting and how it can help your test levels.

So, here’s the thing, guys - we’re always taking breaks from work to rest, relax, travel, and vacation… But why aren’t we doing the same thing and giving our digestive systems a break?

Let me break down a few things for you:

0:37 - Every time you eat, your test levels fall temporarily. Sometimes as long as 3 hours after eating.

1:18 - Published by The European Journal of Endocrinology, two different groups of men were studied for the effects of intermittent fasting.

Obese men that were fasting had a 26% increase in luteinizing hormone, whereas, non-obese men had a 67% increase in the lutenizing hormone.

1:53 - What is luteinizing hormone? The communication system between the brain and testes to produce more test.

2:32 - Other benefits of intermittent fasting.

2:38 - A study among 34 men found that in a 16/8 fasting split, there was a dramatic decrease in fat mass on the body, however, no change in muscle mass or maximal strength.

3:35 - Autophagy - when cells eat damaged cells to recycle your system.

4:40 - Aromatization - when test converts into estrogen.

There you have it guys. This is my simple breakdown of the science behind getting six pack abs through intermittent fasting. Just make sure you’re following the right protocol and are doing things right.


  1. Prostate enlargement
  2. Low Libido
  3. Erectile Dysfunction (and performance)
  4. Muscle Loss (loss of muscle mass)
  5. Breast tissue (man boobs)
  6. High voice
  7. Loss of body hair (starting in lower legs)
  8. Loss of vitality and energy
  9. Sleeping problems
  10. Belly fat
  11. Loss of collagen


  1. High estrogen
  2. Liver damage
  3. High insulin
  4. Low fat diets
  5. Medications
  6. Tap water
  7. High aromatase (enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen)
    Natural Products as Aromatase Inhibitors - Research NCBI

(Dom DePlume) #20

Free is 17.6 ng/dL and my bioavailable is 231 ng/dL…