Impact of diet and adiposity on circulating levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and androgens

Nutr Rev. 2008 Sep;66(9):506-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00083.x.


This review summarizes studies on the effect of various diets on circulating androgen levels and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Reduced caloric intake leading to significant weight loss increases SHBG levels regardless of diet composition, particularly in women. Cross-sectional studies show that dietary composition is generally not associated with SHBG levels independent of obesity level. No clear conclusion can be reached regarding the effect of various eating habits or dietary composition on circulating androgens. The evidence indicates that dietary effects on circulating SHBG, and possibly androgens, can be expected if body weight or fatness and/or insulin homeostasis are modulated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Menopause
  • Obesity / blood
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis*


  • Androgens
  • Insulin
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin