Testosterone and Glucose
Just this week (6/22/2009) one of the most important testosterone-related
discoveries was uncovered, although it was one of those things many of us were
saying, "I always wondered!" It was found that glucose lowered
testosterone. As you may know, a glucose drink is often given before a fasting
blood sugar test and researchers, commissioned by the Endocrine Society,
administered the standard 75 gram glucose test and monitored testosterone after ingestion of the
drink The results surprised everyone: testosterone was whacked for
hours after the glucose drink.
The extent of the hormonal effect was shocking. First of all, testosterone was
diminished by up to 25% regardless of whether the men were diabetic,
prediabetic or healthy. In other words, glucose greatly decreased
testosterone in everyone. Secondly, 98.6% of the study participants had
significantly lower testosterone two hours after taking the glucose!
Finally, 15% of the subjects were actually driven into the hypogonadal range,
i.e. their testosterone would have been flagged as clinically low.
Many bodybuilders drink a high glycemic drink with protein after a weight lifting
workout in order to produce an insulin spike to push amino acids into their
cells for muscle building. In light of the above, this may not be such an
NOTE: There's another reason that you may not want to drink that sugary
Fructose Sabotages Weight Loss.
Another interesting fact is that this same effect probably holds true with
females as well. Scientists put a group of females on low and high
glycemic load diets with a washout period in between. What they found was
that females produced on average 22% less testosterone on the high glycemic diet
versus the low. 
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Okay, so testosterone is diminished significantly by glucose - but what
about the table sugar and corn syrup that are in almost everything that we eat?
The answer is that these will almost for sure affect testosterone in a similar
way because table sugar is one half glucose, one half fructose. Corn syrup
is similarly proportioned.
This is also supported by the fact that scientists have already established that elevated insulin levels are
correlated with lower testosterone. However, the researchers in the
above study found that testosterone seemed to fall independently of insulin
levels suggesting that it was blood sugar, i.e. glucose levels that actually
depressed testosterone. For example, blood sugar levels are best measured
by what is called the hemoglobin A1c test. This A1c test has shown that
the worse the blood sugar, i.e. blood glucose (in diabetics) the lower the
testosterone.  Therefore, it is very likely that any sugar or high glycemic
meal will lower testosterone to varying degrees for hours afterwards. Therefore, the best advice we have at this point is to play it safe and
all sugars and simple carbs if you value your testosterone.
For additional protection, there are
a couple of other things that you can do:
1) Vinegar. As I document in this link on
How Vinegar Can Help Weight Loss,
vinegar has a profoundly positive affect on blood sugar metabolism and decidedly
dampens the body's glucose and insulin responses after a meal with significant
carbs. Just have a tablespoon or two with any carb meal and you will lower
your blood glucose and insulin rises post-meal, which should help to protect
your precious testosterone.
Anti-Viagra: Glucose (and therefore sugar) now has been shown to take down
your testosterone. You should keep in mind that sugar assaults your sex
life in many other ways as well. I intend to do a page or two on this
sometime but haven't had a chance, but I will summarize by saying that sugar
also does a full frontal attack on your erections. Remember: sugar
is half glucose AND half fructose and the fructose component directly lowers
Nitric Oxide. That's right: fructose directly affects the liver and
hits your erections right where they count. They
really should call sugar and corn-syrup Anti-Viagra!
hard for me to think of too many things that are worse for your sex life in the short term (and long term
for that matter). Sugar and corn syrup wreak immediate havoc on several
key components of your sexual strength and function. These nasty effects
can last for hours and all for what? Sugar and corn syrup add little to no
nutritional benefits - in fact, quite the opposite.
Quite a few guys would be reluctant to admit it but have a strong sweet tooth,
not realizing what a profound effect this can have on their sex life.
Remember that sugar, almost immediately upon hitting the taste buds and saliva,
creates an endorphin rush. What I'm trying to say that sugar can make you
no brighter than Pavlov's dogs if you're not careful. For a few minutes
blast of endorphins, you can basically castrate yourself.
I freely admit this is one of my biggest areas of weakness. It is easier
for me not to eat than to eat without at least some sweetness in my meal.
It tooks weeks of work to break this addiction but it is well worth the effort!
By the way, I just want to point out that, once again,
Jack LaLanne was way ahead of his time. As usual,
he foresaw about 75 years ahead of his time these research results for how
horrendous sugar is for the body. He has for decades preached against sugar and
has never consumed a gram of it since he gave it up in his teens.
Undoutedly, this is yet another key to his good health and fitness.
2) Cinnamon. Cinnamon's glucose lowering action seem to be based on
methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP. MHCP is actually a mock insulin
and ushers glucose into the cells in much the same that insulin does. One
study gave diabetic patients 1, 3 or 6 gram daily doses of cinnamon. Even
at the 1 gram dose, the results were particularly impressive: particpants
after six weeks of use had glucose levels reduced by 16%.  By the way, it
should be mentioned that cinnamon also seems to improve insulin sensitivity ,
which is one of the hallmark symptoms of a long-term testosterone killer:
Metabolic Syndrome. Again, this has not been
proven by any study, but
cinnamon should help protect your precious testosterone post-carbs just as
Vinegar does. CAUTION: There is a certain type of
"mock" cinnamon (Cassia) commonly sold in stores that has
significant couramin, which is known to cause liver and kidney problems. You only want to buy true cinnamon, which is Ceylon
1) Diabetes Care, 2003 Dec, 26(12):3215-8
2) Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 2003, 62:139-48
3) Diabetes Metab, 2004 Feb,30(1):29-34
4) Endocrine Abstracts, 2007, 13:P286, "Effect of Glycaemic index of the diet on
salivary cortisol and testosterone levels in females"