Testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, calculated free testosterone, and oestradiol in male vegans and omnivores

T. J.A. Key, L. Roe, M. Thorogood, J. W. Moore, G. M.G. Clark, D. Y. Wang

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Abstract

Total testosterone (T), total oestradiol (E2) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were measured in plasma samples from fifty-one male vegans and fifty-seven omnivores of similar age. Free T concentration was estimated by calculation. In comparison with the omnivores, the vegans had 7% higher total T (P = 0.250), 23% higher SHBG (P = 0.001), 3% lower free T (P = 0.580), and 11% higher E2 (P = 0.194). In a subset of eighteen vegans and twenty-two omnivores for whom 4 diet records were available, there were statistically significant correlations between T and polyunsaturated fatty acids (r 0.37), SHBG and fat (r 0.43 for total fat, 0.46 for saturated fatty acids and 0.33 for polyunsaturated fatty acids), and SHBG and alcohol (r - 0.39). It is concluded that a vegan diet causes a substantial increase in SHBG but has little effect on total or free T or on E2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 1990

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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