Cyclic Ketogenic Diet and Testosterone Levels

testosteroneAt the end of my Carb Nite Solution experiment, which is a type of cyclic ketogenic diet, right before we went to Italy, I obtained a panel of labs which I plan doing a series of posts about.

I most recently wrote about my low Vitamin D levels.

Before going into my testosterone while following this cyclic ketogenic diet, here are some basics from my previous testosterone results when I was solely doing nutritional ketosis:

The best resource I found actually came from a website called, “The Art of Manliness.”  He had a whole series of posts dedicated to testosterone (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5).  This was more insightful and entertaining than the journal articles and textbooks I referred to.  If you’re interested in this at all, I definitely urge you to read the series.

Here is a brief synopsis:

  • Due to our current way of life, men have lower testosterone now compared to someone of the same age two decades ago, and the exact causes aren’t clear yet (but may have to do with environmental toxins, lack of sleep, obesity, etc.)
  • Some of the benefits of testosterone include: improved mood, decreased body fatincreased muscle mass, improved cardiovascular and bone health, improved libido and improved cognition.
  • Testosterone is a hormone that is made from cholesterol and comes in 3 forms:
    • Free testosterone – the active form
    • Bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
    • Bound to a protein called albumin
  • When you get a blood test to check your testosterone, there are two tests you can get:
    • Free Testosterone – This measures the amount of free testosterone in your blood
    • Total Testosterone – This measures the sum of the free testosterone + testosterone bound to SHBG + testosterone bound to albumin.
  • When interpreting the results of your testosterone exam, don’t rely so much on the reference ranges since they don’t account for variability in age.  Testosterone naturally and normally goes down with age.  If you are a healthy 25 year old (whose normal should be on the upper end of the spectrum), you don’t want to compare yourself with the values of a healthy 85 year old (whose normal should be on the lower end of the spectrum).
    • Refer to Day 4 of the Art of Manliness series where he has table breaking down the normal testosterone for each age group (he references two studies for these)
  • The most accurate way of measuring blood levels of Testosterone is the LC/MS method (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry).

Prior Results While on Nutritional Ketosis:

Total Testosterone LC/MS:     776.2 ng/dL (348.0 – 1197.0)
Free Testosterone:                   14.36 ng/dL (5.00 – 21.00)

Current Results While on Carb Nite:

Total Testosterone LC/MS:     860.2 ng/dL (348.0 – 1197.0)
Free Testosterone:                   12.3 pg/dL  (8.7 – 25.1)


It looks like I’m well within the optimal range for my age thus far.  I guess I’ll just keep on keeping on with whatever it is I’m doing with regard with the following factors that are shown to have a positive effect on testosterone levels:

  • Eat healthy fat and cholesterol – No problem while eating a ketogenic diet.
  • Vitamin D3 – Yes…
  • Caffeine – Will continue the Bulletproof Coffee
  • Fish Oil
  • Magnesium
  • Lift Heavy Things – Thank you Crossfit and BJJ
  • HIIT Training – Again… thank you Crossfit and BJJ
  • Sleep More – This will constantly be screwed up while I’m traveling and working graveyard.
  • Avoid Endocrine Disruptors – Using as many glass containers as possible while slowly transitioning to more organic body washes, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, etc…

5 Responses to Cyclic Ketogenic Diet and Testosterone Levels

  1. Delei Shi says:

    Is that means the carb night solution works on improving testosterone?

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I’m not entirely sure. The change in my testosterone wasn’t that much… and may be in the range of normal variation.

  2. Zilla says:

    Personally, I see a testosterone increase when I take vitamin d3, zinc and tribulus supplements. My doctor has also recommended me exercise more because this can also help increase testo production!

  3. Misabi says:

    Don’t those results show an increase in total testosterone and a decrease (albeit only a couple of points) in free testosterone?

    Wouldn’t that mean that you’re actually slightly worse off? As even though you’ve increased the total amount of testosterone in your body, even more of it is bound to albumin and SHBG leaving less actually available for your body to use.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      You know.. I actually hadn’t thought about it like that. I’m going to have to look deeper into this now… thanks for bringing it up!

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