The association between plant-based content in diet and testosterone levels in US adults



To evaluate the association between the plant-based content of diet and serum testosterone levels in men from the national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) database.

Materials and methods

Data on demographics, diet, and testosterone levels was acquired from the NHANES database. Using the food frequency questionnaire, an overall plant-based diet index (PDI) and a healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI) was developed. A higher score on PDI and hPDI indicates higher consumption of plant foods.


A total of 191 participants were included, average age was 45 (30–60) years and average total testosterone level was 546.7 ± 254.7 ng/dL. The mean PDI and hPDI were 50.4 ± 6 and 50.8 ± 7.2, respectively. On multiple linear regression analysis, BMI and age significantly contribute to testosterone levels (p < 0.05); however, neither of the diet indexes significantly predicted serum testosterone levels (PDI: p = 0.446; and hPDI: p = 0.056).


In a well characterized national database, the plant-based diet index is unable to predict testosterone levels. Plant-based food content in diet is not associated with serum testosterone levels.

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Author information




M Kuchakulla: protocol/project development, manuscript writing/editing. S Nackeeran: protocol/project development, data collection or management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing. R Blachman-Braun, M.D.: data collection or management, data analysis, manuscript writing/editing. Ramasamy, M.D.: protocol/project development, manuscript writing/editing

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ranjith Ramasamy.

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Research involving human participants: de-identified data obtained from NHANES, no IRB approval was required.

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Kuchakulla, M., Nackeeran, S., Blachman-Braun, R. et al. The association between plant-based content in diet and testosterone levels in US adults. World J Urol (2020).

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  • Testosterone
  • Diet
  • Plant-based diet
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Index