Western-style diet, sex steroids and metabolism

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44 Scopus citations


The evolutionary transition from hunting to farming was associated with introduction of carbohydrate-rich diets. Today, the increased consumption of simple sugars and high-fat food brought about by Western-style diet and physical inactivity are leading causes of the growing obesity epidemic in the Western society. The extension of human lifespan far beyond reproductive age increased the burden of metabolic disorders associated with overnutrition and age-related hypogonadism. Sex steroids are essential regulators of both reproductive function and energy metabolism, whereas their imbalance causes infertility, obesity, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and increased appetite. Clinical and translational studies suggest that dietary restriction and weight control can improve metabolic and reproductive outcomes of sex hormone-related pathologies, including testosterone deficiency in men and natural menopause and hyperandrogenemia in women. Minimizing metabolic and reproductive decline through rationally designed diet and exercise can help extend human reproductive age and promote healthy aging. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Quality in Diabetes/Obesity and Critical Illness Spectrum of Diseases - edited by P. Hemachandra Reddy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1155
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • High-fat diet
  • Hypogonadism
  • Menopause
  • PCOS
  • Sex hormones
  • Western-style diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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