Oral 3-hydroxybuturate ingestion acutely lowers circulating testosterone concentrations in healthy young males

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Ketone bodies, such as 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB), have been frequently used by endurance athletes, such as cyclists, to enhance performance and recovery and are recognized for their health benefits and therapeutic effects for decades. Testosterone is a potent regulator of red blood cell production. Evidence suggests that ketone bodies can increase the production of erythropoietin, which stimulates red blood cell production. Therefore, we investigated whether an acute increase in 3-OHB levels affects testosterone levels in healthy young men. We studied six healthy, young male participants who fasted overnight and were tested twice: (i) after drinking 37.5 g of Na-D/L-3-OHB dissolved in 500 mL of distilled water (KET), and (ii) after drinking 500 mL of placebo saline water (0.9% NaCl) (CTR). During the KET trial, 3-OHB levels increased to approximately 2.5 mM. Testosterone levels decreased significantly by 20% during KET compared to 3% during CTR. A simultaneous increase in luteinizing hormone was observed in KET. We observed no changes in other adrenal androgens, such as androstenedione and 11-keto androgens. In conclusion, an acute increase in 3-OHB levels decreases testosterone levels. Concomitantly, an increase in luteinizing hormone was observed. This suggests that 3-OHB may counteract some of the beneficial effects of endurance training. Further studies, involving larger sample sizes and performance outcomes, are required to fully understand this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Volume33
Issue10
Pages (from-to)1976-1983
Number of pages8
ISSN0905-7188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • 3-hydroxybuturate
  • ketone bodies
  • muscle protein synthesis
  • testosterone
  • training

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Oral 3-hydroxybuturate ingestion acutely lowers circulating testosterone concentrations in healthy young males'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this