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Comparative Study
. 1990 Jul;64(1):111-9.
doi: 10.1079/bjn19900014.

Testosterone, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Calculated Free Testosterone, and Oestradiol in Male Vegans and Omnivores

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Comparative Study

Testosterone, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Calculated Free Testosterone, and Oestradiol in Male Vegans and Omnivores

T J Key et al. Br J Nutr. .

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 d 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.

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