Background: Diet plays an important role in health and is a modifiable risk factor for chronic diseases. In men, sex steroid hormones influence, and are influenced by, a number of health states. Specific dietary patterns have been found to alter sex steroid hormone levels in observational and intervention studies. Thus, we hypothesized that dietary patterns captured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) are associated with serum concentrations of sex steroid hormones and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Objectives: The objective is investigating the association between HEI and sex steroid hormones and SHBG in a general US population of men. Methods: We used data on serum sex steroid hormones and SHBG levels, HEI, and other variables collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999–2002. A total of 550 men >20 years old were included in the analysis. The cross-sectional associations between HEI (from 0 to 100 points, higher score equates to a healthier diet) with natural logarithm transformed concentrations of total and free testosterone, total and free estradiol, and SHBG were evaluated with multivariable linear regression models and adjusted for potential confounders. We also stratified by the body mass index (BMI) and race/ethnicity and tested for interactions. Results: HEI showed a significant inverse association with free estradiol (p = 0.03), but was not associated with total or free testosterone, total estradiol, or SHBG concentrations. Neither BMI nor race/ethnicity statistically significantly modified the association between HEI and sex steroid hormone levels. Conclusion: The present cross-sectional analysis in a representative sample of US men showed no consistent association between eating habits, sex steroid hormones, and SHBG. Longitudinal studies are needed to further investigate potential associations.
- Healthy Eating Index
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine