Total testosterone (T), total oestradiol (E2) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were measured in plasma samples from fifty-one male vegans and fifty-seven omnivores of similar age. Free T concentration was estimated by calculation. In comparison with the omnivores, the vegans had 7% higher total T (P = 0.250), 23% higher SHBG (P = 0.001), 3% lower free T (P = 0.580), and 11% higher E2 (P = 0.194). In a subset of eighteen vegans and twenty-two omnivores for whom 4 d diet records were available, there were statistically significant correlations between T and polyunsaturated fatty acids (r 0.37), SHBG and fat (r 0.43 for total fat, 0.46 for saturated fatty acids and 0.33 for polyunsaturated fatty acids), and SHBG and alcohol (r-0.39). It is concluded that a vegan diet causes a substantial increase in SHBG but has little effect on total or free T or on E2.


Journal article


Br J Nutr

Publication Date





111 - 119


Adult, Alcohol Drinking, Body Mass Index, Diet, Diet, Vegetarian, Estradiol, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Testosterone