New Study Shows the Effects of a High Protein Diet on Fertility and Erectile Function

Man eats a steak as part of a high protein diet that could impact his fertility and erectile function

Male fertility and erectile function are two essential parts of a man’s physical and psychological health. As we age, these functions begin to wane. While we can’t help but think about these issues, many modifiable lifestyle considerations can negatively affect a man’s fertility and even cause ED.

Recent UK research evaluated more than two dozen other studies that included a diet very high in lean proteins. The findings were striking in that these high-protein diets increased cortisol production and lowered testosterone, contributing to erectile dysfunction and even less fertility in men. The average man should consume about 17% of their calories as protein each day as a point of reference—the men who had the worst effects consumed over 35% of their calories as protein. As a result, the study authors suggest that men consume no more than 25 g of lean protein each day even.

Unfortunately, this study suggests that departing from a balanced nutritionally balanced diet can have significant detrimental effects, even on our sexual function.

Dr. Kapadia‘s Take

There is a balance and a happy medium in urologic medicine that allows for equilibrium and better health. When this balance is thrown off, we often see the results in our sexual health. In this case, we see that sexual function is diminished by malnutrition, which is essentially a lack of fats and carbohydrates. On the flip side, those suffering from obesity may also suffer sexual dysfunction and fertility issues secondary to their excess weight. Once again, obesity is a form of malnutrition, and often, obese patients do not get their required nutritional intake.

Of course, what we eat is only part of the problem. Other lifestyle factors, such as the amount and quality of sleep we get, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, mental health considerations, smoking, and alcohol consumption, can reduce sexual function.

What’s the Answer?

Our reproductive functions often reflect our overall general health. In its earliest stages, sexual function and fertility issues can usually be mitigated or partially reversed with improvements in diet and exercise, losing weight if needed, and eliminating other modifiable lifestyle impediments.

However, it is often the case that once the damage is done, it cannot be fully reversed, in which case, speaking to a urologist that specializes in men’s health issues such as Dr. Kapadia is an essential first step in addressing these problems and finding a solution.

Many men will benefit from the host of erectile dysfunction and fertility treatments that Dr. Kapadia offers from his three offices in the Atlanta area.

  • -For erectile dysfunction, Dr. Kapadia works with his patients in a stepwise approach to managing the condition, including ED medications, injections, and ultimately a penile implant.
  • -Visiting Dr. Kapadia gives you access to many precise tests to develop an appropriate treatment plan for fertility issues.

We encourage you to contact Dr. Kapadia with any questions or concerns you may have both about erectile dysfunction and fertility.


  • Joseph Whittaker and Miranda Harris. 2022. Low-carbohydrate diets and men’s cortisol and testosterone: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition and Health 0 10.1177/02601060221083079