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Abstract

Volume 19, Issue 2 (March 2017) 19, 184–190; 10.4103/1008-682X.190323

Fatty acid intake in relation to reproductivehormones and testicular volume among younghealthy men

Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón1 , Jorge E Chavarro2 , Jaime Mendiola3 , Manuela Roca4 , Cigdem Tanrikut5 , Jesús Vioque6 , Niels Jørgensen7 , Alberto M Torres-Cantero8

1 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Health and Social Sciences, Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Murcia School of Medicine, IMIB-Arrixaca, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
2 Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3 Department of Health and Social Sciences, Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Murcia School of Medicine, IMIB-Arrixaca, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
4 Roca Fertility, Advanced Clinic Management SLU, Murcia, Spain
5 Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
6 CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Institute of Health III (ISCIII), Madrid; Department of Public Health, Miguel Hernández University, Elche-Alicante, Spain
7 Department of Growth and Reproduction, University of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
8 Department of Health and Social Sciences, Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Murcia School of Medicine, IMIB-Arrixaca, Espinardo (Murcia); Regional Campus of International Excellence "Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

Correspondence: Dr. L Mínguez-Alarcón (lminguez@hsph.harvard.edu)

Date of Submission 26-Feb-2016 Date of Decision 27-May-2016 Date of Acceptance 28-Jul-2016 Date of Web Publication 28-Oct-2016

Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that dietary fats may influence testicular function. However, most of the published literature on this field has used semen quality parameters as the only proxy for testicular function. We examined the association of fat intake with circulating reproductive hormone levels and testicular volume among healthy young Spanish men. This is a cross-sectional study among 209 healthy male volunteers conducted between October 2010 and November 2011 in Murcia Region of Spain. Participants completed questionnaires on lifestyle, diet, and smoking, and each underwent a physical examination, and provided a blood sample. Linear regression was used to examine the association between each fatty acid type and reproductive hormone levels and testicular volumes. Monounsaturated fatty acids intake was inversely associated with serum blood levels of calculated free testosterone, total testosterone, and inhibin B. A positive association was observed between the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and luteinizing hormone concentrations. In addition, the intake of trans fatty acids was associated with lower total testosterone and calculated free testosterone concentrations (P trend = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively). The intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was positively related to testicular volume while the intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids was inversely related to testicular volume. These data suggest that fat intake, and particularly intake of omega 3, omega 6, and trans fatty acids, may influence testicular function.

Keywords: fat intake; reproductive health; reproductive hormones; trans fatty acids; young healthy men

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