Food & Nutrition Journal (ISSN: 2575-7091)

research article

The Influence of Plant- and Animal-Based Diets on Circulating Testosterone and Body Composition of Young Male Rats

Damien C Moore1, Randal K Buddington1, David A Freeman2, Richard J Bloomer1*

1School of Health Studies, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

*Corresponding author: Richard J Bloomer, School of Health Studies, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. Tel: +1 9016785638; Fax: +1 9016783591; E-Mail: rbloomer@memphis.edu                           

Received Date: 01 May, 2017; Accepted Date: 07 June, 2017; Published Date: 14 June, 2017

Within the fitness community there is an unsubstantiated concern that adherence to a plant-based diet results in low circulating testosterone in men, with minimal potential for gains in Lean Body Mass (LBM). We addressed this concern using Long-Evans rats (N=28) assigned to experimental diets of plant (PD) or animal (AD) origin and fed ad libitum for 12 weeks. Animals were further divided into two additional conditions with (E) and without exercise (S). We measured total circulating testosterone and estradiol, and body composition was assessed using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Neither totaltestosterone (1.7±0.2 vs. 1.6±0.2 ng·mL-1) nor LBM (384±6 vs. 377±6 g) differed between rats fed the PD or AD diets, respectively, apart from PD+E having higher LBM as compared to AD+E (p=0.03). PD rats were significantly leaner than AD rats, based on body fat (22.4±1.0% vs 32.1±0.8%; p<0.0001). Estradiol concentrations did not differ between diets or exercise regimens. These findings demonstrate a plant-based diet maintains circulating testosterone, does not increase estradiol, supports LBM gains, and minimizes fat accumulation-all while providing adequate nutrition to fuel exercise training.

Keywords: Animal Protein; Body Composition; Exercise; Hormones; Plant Protein; Vegan; Western Diet


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