November 13, Do you remember your English classes back in high school? The teacher would assign you some droll book to read and warn you of an impending test on said book. The night before the exam, you would sit down and Google as hard as you could to try and find the Cliffs Notes.
Upon finding one, you would read through the summaries and hope it was enough to pass the test. This strategy would usually yield mediocre results. A passing grade but nothing too fancy. Sometimes, this strategy would earn you a big old F.
Some science writers never grew out of the Cliffs Notes phase and employ this strategy when reporting on journal articles. They will read through the abstract, the summary of a paper, and base their article on that single paragraph.
Just like your high school English tests, these articles end up misinterpreting and misrepresenting the full context of the study. In the opening salvos of his article he makes the following claim: Once you understand how insulin can impact other hormones, you begin to connect the dots about how excessive sugar can wreck your sex life. Claim 1 - Sugar Lowers Testosterone Key Points In men, insulin resistance brought on by excessive amounts of sugar drives down testosterone Decreased muscle mass and more belly fat are repercussions of low testosterone.
Excess body fat can increase levels of the hormone estrogen, leading to low sex drive and trouble getting erections.
In a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, where 74 men of varying ages underwent an oral glucose tolerance test, researchers found glucose sugar induces a significant reduction in total and free testosterone T levels.
Imbalanced levels of testosterone in women can reduce desire, increase body fat, lower muscle mass, and create a fuzzy memory. Ages ranged from 19—74 years mean Measures of BMI found that 8 were normal weight, 29 were overweight and 37 were obese subjects. All subjects had gone through puberty and had normal serum levels of prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Each participant was given a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test OGTT with 75 g of glucose after a 12 hour fast. Blood samples were drawn at baseline and 4 more times every 30 minutes. Free Testosterone levels were calculated using the Vermeulen equation.
After the OGTT, it was determined that 42 subjects had a normal glucose tolerance, 22 had impaired glucose tolerance, and 10 were newly diagnosed as type 2 diabetics. During the 2 hour test, Total T went down from Slow down there buddy, your penis is going to be just fine. Secondly, a drop in testosterone levels postprandial after a meal is not abnormal. If Mark had thoroughly read this paper, he would have seen this little tidbit.
Furthermore, no one is going to sit around all day eating glucose except maybe a hypoglycemic type 1 diabetic. So saying that a slight drop in T levels while taking 75 g of glucose on an empty stomach somehow translates into eating sugar or flour killing your T production is an utterly ridiculous extrapolation to make based off the data in this study. Not a single mention of sugar's effects on sex drive was stated anywhere in this paper. Claim 1A - In men, insulin resistance brought on by excessive amounts of sugar drives down testosterone Putting aside the assumption here that excess sugar causes insulin resistance overly simplistic, there are many factors at play here this statement is true-ish.
Claim 1B - Decreased muscle mass and more belly fat are repercussions of low testosterone. This sounds legit, but no citation is given. Claim 1C - In a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, where 74 men of varying ages underwent an oral glucose tolerance test, researchers found glucose sugar induces a significant reduction in total and free testosterone T levels.
True, but as we have seen, he completely misrepresents the study. Claim 1D - Imbalanced levels of testosterone in women can reduce desire, increase body fat, lower muscle mass, and create a fuzzy memory.
Again, could be true. No citation was provided. Among all these claims, the larger implication is that sugar consumption is the main factor in all these issues, but the data he provides does not affirm this.
Leptin also monitors sexual behavior. One study in the journal Clinical Endocrinology looked at three groups of men and found those with higher leptin levels—most likely due to leptin resistance—also had significantly higher body mass index BMI and lower levels of testosterone. That, my friends, is some logical gymnastics. For this study Group 2 was treated with testosterone or human chorionic gonadotropin. At the end of the study, the results showed that Group 1, the men with low T, also had the highest leptin levels.
If he had read the paper, he would have seen that their increased leptin levels were due to low testosterone, not leptin resistance. When Mark cites this study as proof that leptin resistance, brought on by excess sugar, causes lower serum T levels he misses the fact that these men already had hypogonadism, meaning they already had lower T levels that could have been brought on by anyone of these factors :