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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gang,<br><br>
New to the lifestyle here and had a question: I am a pretty active guy (run 1-2 marathons a year, but certainly not an ectomorph by any means. I love lifting & yoga as well) and worried about the research I've read recently about the effects of vegetarianism on testosterone levels. I recognize that a lot of that is soy-related data, but there does seem to be a broader truth in there.<br><br>
My questions are:<br><br>
*Has this been a problem for anyone on here?<br>
*Do you have tips for avoiding pitfalls?<br>
*Does this mean I likely won't be able to rely too heavily on tofu & tempeh for protein?
 

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Might wanna ask <a href="http://veganbodybuilding.com/" target="_blank">some of these guys</a>. Apparently many vegan men do just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks, Josh. Will certainly check it out.<br><br>
But would also like to hear from non-bobybuilders. The problem is fairly well documented so I'd love to know hwo us "regular" folks can avoid the drop.
 

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I don't know.<br><br>
I haven't noticed any problems at least.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GlobalMacro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920338"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The problem is fairly well documented so I'd love to know hwo us "regular" folks can avoid the drop.</div>
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Can you please cite these documents then?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ElaineV</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920347"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Can you please cite these documents then?</div>
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Yes, I'm curious too. There are tons of bulky, muscular vegetarian guys out there and it isn't a problem for them. Mike Tyson is vegan and he's HUGE. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Elaine. Which documents? The studies that spooked me? Certainly. But my point isn't the studies but that I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to maintain my protein levels, proper synthesis, BCAA mix.<br><br>
Here are a couple:<br><br>
Vegetarian Men Have Lower Testosterone: <a href="http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.com/2010/10/vegetarian-men-have-lower-testosterone.html" target="_blank">http://healthydietsandscience.blogsp...tosterone.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0201/cf-e.htm" target="_blank">http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0201/cf-e.htm</a> (Excerpt: Concern has also been expressed about a possible effect of high intake of phytoestrogens (e.g. isoflavones found in soy) on testosterone in male vegetarians. For example, Weber et al. (2001) found that soy phytoestrogens induced testosterone reduction in male rats. However, according to Kurzer (2002), "…recent studies in men consuming soyfoods or supplements containing 40-70 mg/d of soy isoflavones showed few effects on plasma hormones...”)<br><br><a href="http://fitnessforoneandall.com/nutrition/article/hormones/part_two.htm" target="_blank">http://fitnessforoneandall.com/nutri...s/part_two.htm</a> (Blood tests were done on "white volunteers ranging from 25-35 years of age." The levels of total T, DHEA, and other T-precursors were similar in the two groups. But, "Vegetarian group showed a higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) while the free androgen index (FAI; calculated by the ratio testosterone/SHBG) was lower in this group.")<br><br>
I just want to be careful, however, as my point isn't that these are right or wrong...but that I am doing all I can to keep my levels where they are so that I can remain competitive during my transition to a vegetarian diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can we not claim Iron Mike as our own, please! Haha. Also, he's only been a vegan for about a year. His huge-ness predates it considerably.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GlobalMacro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920357"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><a href="http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.com/2010/10/vegetarian-men-have-lower-testosterone.html" target="_blank">http://healthydietsandscience.blogsp...tosterone.html</a></div>
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One possible interpretation is that those who stop eating meat produce less testosterone but equally it may simply be that those with lower testosterone levels are more likely to become vegetarians, which would be consistent with the high numbers of females compared to the number of males becoming vegetarian.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Shiftiness</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920365"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
One possible interpretation is that those who stop eating meat produce less testosterone but equally it may simply be that those with lower testosterone levels are more likely to become vegetarians, which would be consistent with the high numbers of females compared to the number of males becoming vegetarian.</div>
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This actually makes a lot of sense.<br><br>
I have been tested 5x in the last 2 years and my testosterone has been very low. I was eating loads of meat before i was tested for the 3rd time then i ate less and less and it hasnt done anything to my readings. If anything i have more testosterone now than before. My first reading was 8 my last 14.
 

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My guess is that a lot of these worries come from the whole "meat is man food" propaganda crap. You don't see women worrying about their estrogen levels after going veggie/vegan.<br><br>
I've yet to see any real, solid evidence stating that men have anything to be worried about here. I'm thinking that it's meat eaters who should be more worried, about immediate effects like bodily odors, etc. from meat and dairy consumption, as well as long term effects like hardening of arteries, etc. A balanced vegan diet makes for healthy bodies, whether they be male or female. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Well, there's some truth to the meat=testosterone thing, but it's not the meat:<br><br>
Increased levels of dietary fats, cholesterol and zinc have been shown to cause a <i>marginal</i> increase the production of testosterone, since those are three primary ingredients on the hormone itself, and meat has plenty of all three. More to the point, those lacking one or more of those three things can cause a significant drop in testosterone. The problem is that there are better sources that are much more easily digested, so as long as you eat something more than iceberg lettuce...<br><br>
I can't really give you personal experience, since I went from fat omni->beer-and-chips-veg->guy-who-kinda-works-out->guy-who-actually-works-out-but-still-eats-crap->guy-who-actually-works-out-and-eats-well. Sure, I was randier when I was an omni, but I was also an 17 year old virgin. Now I'm 25 and married.<br><br>
As for the soy stuff I'm leafing through your articles, but prior to this the only study I've ever seen had one man in the group that had 280% typical testosterone levels that fell continually through the first half of the study until they finally leveled off at 90% or so about halfway through, IE <i>the guy just stopped taking anabolic steroids less than two weeks before the study.</i> That one is the only one I've ever seen quoted, and usually by people either selling whey or being paid by people selling whey (or other muscle powders).<br><br>
EDIT: Also the 'male rat studies' failed to take into account there's a particular amino acid that rats require and humans do not, and guess what doesn't have much of it? That's why my wife's pets get a very wide variety of foods and not just pellets.
 

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I know this is more anecdotal than scientific but I recently had some bloodwork done and my testosterone levels were good. I've was lacto-ovo for 2 years and have been lacto now for nearly 2 more.
 

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Check out Scott Jurek. He's vegan and an ULTRAmarathon runner. He's no slouch either.<br><br>
Here's an interview with him. He actually credits his success to his vegan diet:<br><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/avital-binshtock/ultramarathoning_b_878813.html" target="_blank">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/avital..._b_878813.html</a>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kimberlily1983</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920443"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My guess is that a lot of these worries come from the whole "meat is man food" propaganda crap. You don't see women worrying about their estrogen levels after going veggie/vegan.</div>
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This.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GlobalMacro</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2920332"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I am a pretty active guy (run 1-2 marathons a year, but certainly not an ectomorph by any means. I love lifting & yoga as well) and worried about the research I've read recently about the effects of vegetarianism on testosterone levels.</div>
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Why are you worried exactly? What do you think is going to happen to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nishani, thanks for the question. I wasn't so much worried as I was looking to see if others had dealt with the issue and how I might avoid it. When I made the transition I started doing research on maintaining my protein levels, etc. I had been eating lots of tofu & tempeh, but was a but was a bit taken aback when I saw all the stories on about the impact of soy on testosterone levels (google the two words and you'll get upwards of 6 million results discussing the impact soy MIGHT have).<br><br>
But the response from this community has been odd. I mean, all I did was ask if other had noticed this and what tweaks they had made to their diet as a result. By & large people responded defensively with things like "show me the studies" - which there are thousands of - and examples of 2 ultra, ultra, ultra elite professional atheletes as evidence that CLEARLY no such correlation exists. Just seems like an odd response to me.
 

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I actually know someone who has low testosterone and is vegan. His doctors know he's vegan yet they haven't recommended any dietary changes in order to increase testosterone levels. That's why I asked to see the articles.<br><br>
I looked at the articles (and the primary sources they cited) and the worry that your athletic performance will suffer as a result of decreased testosterone levels as a result of vegetarianism doesn't seem founded. Those studies see to support the opposite, in fact. For example, one says:<br>
"In conclusion, 6 wk on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet caused a minor decrease in total testosterone and <b>no significant changes in physical performance in male endurance athletes</b> compared with 6 wk on a mixed, meatrich diet."<br><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1435181" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1435181</a><br><br>
Here are some articles that suggests a plant-based diet will not likely affect testosterone levels or athletic performance:<br><a href="http://www.theveganrd.com/2009/03/soy-and-sperm-and-testosterone-too.html" target="_blank">http://www.theveganrd.com/2009/03/so...erone-too.html</a><br><a href="http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_harm" target="_blank">http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_harm</a><br><a href="http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/weightlifting" target="_blank">http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/weightlifting</a><br><br>
Vegan athletes tend to need a bit more protein than non-athetes, but other than that I am betting you will be just fine if you follow the basic recommendations for vegetarians and vegans shown here: <a href="http://pcrm.org/health/powerplate/" target="_blank">http://pcrm.org/health/powerplate/</a> and adjust them as needed for your body and lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, VRL...I have had the good fortune to meet Scott in passing. Seems like a wonderful guy. Magnetic personality. My broader question, though was to see if others had experienced this and how they dealt with it. People's responses seem to be "well Mike Tyson is a vegan so therefore there is no connection" which I don't really get.<br><br>
Regardless, as someone who was born in the Halloween capital of the world, I love your profile photo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Outstanding, Elaine! Thanks for the info. I was hoping it wouldn't be an issue as I am loving the changes thus far.
 
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