Associations between major dietary patterns and testicular function in a population-based cohort of young men: results from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study

M Ognjenovic, G L Ambrosini, E Malacova, D A Doherty, W H Oddy, D J Handelsman, R McLachlan, J Dickinson, R J Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Controversial speculation suggestions that dietary intake may affect semen quality and testicular function, however, there are limited comprehensive studies observing dietary patterns.

OBJECTIVE: To study associations between major dietary patterns and markers of testicular function in adulthood.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Observational cross-sectional study of two hundred and ninety men with an average age of 20 years, from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Usual dietary intake assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at 20 years of age. Two dietary patterns previously identified using exploratory factor analysis ("Healthy" or "Western") and participants received z-scores for each dietary pattern. Primary endpoints were testicular volume, total sperm per ejaculate, morning serum testosterone concentration. Secondary endpoints were semen sample parameters, inhibin B and sex steroids (DHT: 3α-diol, 3β-diol; LH; FSH; DHEA; estradiol; estrone).

RESULT(S): Participants were on average 20.0 ± 0.4 years old, had a median of 2 days sexual abstinence and a body mass index of 24.1 ± 3.9 kg/m2 , 13% were smokers, 52% were 'moderate' alcohol drinkers, 23% frequently used recreational drugs and 68% reported 'high' physical activity levels. Sperm concentration and DHT 3α-diol were negatively associated with a greater z-score for the "Western" dietary pattern (p = 0.007 and; p = 0.044, respectively), and serum estradiol concentration was positively associated with a "Western" dietary pattern (p = 0.007) after adjustment for BMI, varicocele, cryptorchidism and sexual abstinence.

DISCUSSION: Despite associations between greater intake of the "Western" dietary pattern and a decreased male reproductive health markers, our lack of consistent associations of either a "Healthy" or a "Western" dietary pattern, limit clinical or biological significance in isolation.

CONCLUSIONS: A potential negative association of a "Western" dietary pattern with male reproductive health was detected and should be studied further in population-based studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
JournalAndrology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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