Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and serum testosterone levels in adult males 20-39 years old in the United States

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018 Jun 23;16(1):61. doi: 10.1186/s12958-018-0378-2.


Background: This population-based study was designed to investigate whether consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) is associated with lower serum total testosterone concentration in men 20-39 years old.

Methods: All data for this study were retrieved from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2012. The primary outcome was serum testosterone concentration, and main independent variable was SSB intake. Other variables included age, race/ethnicity, poverty/income ratio, body mass index (BMI), serum cotinine, heavy drinking, and physical activity.

Results: Among all subjects (N = 545), 486 (90.4%) had normal testosterone levels (defined as ≥231 ng/dL) and 59 (9.6%) had low testosterone levels (defined as < 231 ng/dL). Multivariate logistic regression revealed the odds of low testosterone was significantly greater with increasing SSB consumption (Q4 [≥442 kcal/day] vs. Q1 [≤137 kcal/day]), adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.29, p = 0.041]. After adjusting for possible confounding variables, BMI was an independent risk factor for low testosterone level; subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 had a higher risk of having a low testosterone level than those with BMI < 25 kg/m2 (aOR = 3.68, p = 0.044).

Conclusion: SSB consumption is significantly associated with low serum testosterone in men 20-39 years old in the United States.

Keywords: Hypogonadism; National Health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES); Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs); Testosterone.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages* / adverse effects
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Dietary Sucrose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys / trends
  • Sugars / administration & dosage
  • Sugars / adverse effects
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Sugars
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Testosterone