Testosterone and Fat

As research shows that people on low fat diets tend to have lowered testosterone levels and people who eat a lot of fat tend to have higher testosterone levels, how much fat is needed in the diet in order to maximize natural testosterone production? Obviously i know this will vary between individuals, but can anyone give me a ballpark figure in grams
and the percentage of overall calories consumed?

If the male hormones in our bodies are said to be derived from cholesterol, would eating eggs and other foods high in cholesterol raise one’s own testosterone level?

I have read that saturated/animal fat has more of a positive effect on testosterone than polyunsaturated fat. As we don’t want to consume too much saturated fat, is monounsaturated fat as beneficial at raising testosterone as saturated fat, given the same quantities?

I have also read that in general, the lower a man’s bodyfat level is, the higher his testosterone level will be. Apparently this is strongly correlated to the abdominal area. This is why men in their late 30s and beyond find it increasingly hard to obtain/maintain visible abdominal definition, because the decline in testosterone causes one to accumalate fat in and around the abdomen. Won’t eating a lot of fat to raise one’s testosterone level be counter productive, if it takes an amount that would cause one to gain weight around the stomach? :confused:


I thought that a fairly healthy bf% of between 8-18% was optimal for test production

I doubt that eating lots of cholesterol as the body produces far more cholesterol than one could eat

"how much fat is needed in the diet in order to maximize natural
testosterone production? "

Most figures I’ve seen are around 20-40% of total calories.

Fat levels correlate positively with testosterone levels and saturated and mono-unsaturated have been correlated far more significantly than polyunsaturated. Also, 20% calories from dietary fat result in less testosterone production than 30 or 40%, and 40% possibly shows greatest levels, although athletes would need to limit their fats to less than 40% to allow for protein and especially carbs.

A side note…dietary protein has been shown to be inversely correlated with testosterone production at rest…higher dietary protein being related to lower testosterone levels.

Does anyone else have any more substantial proof of this? I’ve never heard this, and quite frankly, it throws me off in my understanding of optimal nutrition. Thanks for bringing it up Richard.

Also, if both this, and the positive correlation of fat intake to test production are indeed true, then what is an optimal macronutrient profile for athletes?

On lower protein levels I have no idea what is actually happening to my serum testosterone levels. But I know for sure that on lower protein my recovery ability goes down and my incidence of illness goes up. After 20 years of athletics-the first thing I take care of in my diet is making sure I have adequate repair material [read:protein]. It seems to have the side benefit of keeping my bodyfat low too.

Can we just for a minute remember that correlation does not equal causation.

With more body fat around the abdomen and decreasing test levels, does abdominal fat or age cause decreasing test levels?

Furthermore, giving a blanket percentage of fat in the diet is a little misleading too. People have different requirements. I like to work off the 0.5g/lbs of bodyweight for the amount of fat I consume, and on all blood tests for testosterone etc I was fine (right at the high end of the scale).