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8 Foods That Lower Your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, however, women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. But, many factors are involved in the regulation of testosterone including a proper diet.

A healthy diet is important to maintain normal levels of testosterone because this hormone is required for gaining muscle mass, improving sexual function, promoting bone health, and boosting strength [1] .

Extremely low testosterone levels are linked with a number of health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart problems, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.

So, watch out for those foods that lower your testosterone levels.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol affects the hormones involved in male reproduction. A study shows that drinking excessive alcohol could cause low testosterone levels, especially in men [2] . So, limit your alcohol intake to maintain normal testosterone levels.

2. Processed Foods

Processed foods like cheese, tinned vegetables, bread, cakes and biscuits are full of trans fats which have been linked to type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and heart disease. A study has found that a high intake of trans fats could lower testosterone levels and disrupt reproductive performance [3] .

3. Soy Products

Soy products like soy milk, miso, edamame, and tofu are known to cause a drop in testosterone levels. According to a study, soy foods are high in phytoestrogens, that mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body by altering hormone levels and reducing testosterone levels drastically [4] .

4. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils like soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oil contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. A study showed that consuming this unhealthy fats frequently could significantly lower testosterone levels [5] .

5. Nuts

A study conducted in 31 women with PCOS showed that walnuts and almonds increased sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels by 12.5% and 16%, respectively [6] . SHBG is a type of protein that binds to testosterone hormone, which lowers the levels of testosterone in the body [7] .

6. Mint

Spearmint and peppermint have been shown to have a direct impact on testosterone. A study showed that women who drank spearmint tea daily had a significant decline in testosterone levels [8] . Another study found that drinking peppermint tea had the same effect [9] .

7. Flaxseed

Though flaxseed is rich in vitamins and minerals, it is high in lignans, which are plant compounds that bind to testosterone and excrete them out of the body [10] .

8. Liquorice Root

Liquorice root is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat certain ailments. However, a study has shown that 3.5 grams of liquorice daily lowers testosterone levels in women by 32% [11] .

View Article References
  1. [1] Finkelstein, J. S., Lee, H., Burnett-Bowie, S. A., Pallais, J. C., Yu, E. W., Borges, L. F., … Leder, B. Z. (2013). Gonadal steroids and body composition, strength, and sexual function in men.The New England journal of medicine,369(11), 1011–1022.
  2. [2] Sierksma, A., Sarkola, T., Eriksson, C. P., van der Gaag, M. S., Grobbee, D. E., & Hendriks, H. F. (2004). Effect of moderate alcohol consumption on plasma dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, testosterone, and estradiol levels in middle‐aged men and postmenopausal women: a diet‐controlled intervention study.Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,28(5), 780-785.
  3. [3] Hanis, T., Zidek, V., Sachova, J., Klir, P., & Deyl, Z. (1989). Effects of dietary trans-fatty acids on reproductive performance of Wistar rats.British Journal of Nutrition,61(3), 519-529.
  4. [4] Jargin S. V. (2014). Soy and phytoestrogens: possible side effects.German medical science : GMS e-journal,12, Doc18.
  5. [5] Nagata, C., Takatsuka, N., Kawakami, N., & Shimizu, H. (2000). Relationships Between Types of Fat Consumed and SerumEstrogen and Androgen Concentrations in Japanese Men.Nutrition and cancer,38(2), 163-167.
  6. [6] Kalgaonkar, S., Almario, R. U., Gurusinghe, D., Garamendi, E. M., Buchan, W., Kim, K., & Karakas, S. E. (2011). Differential effects of walnuts vs almonds on improving metabolic and endocrine parameters in PCOS.European journal of clinical nutrition,65(3), 386.
  7. [7] Selby, C. (1990). Sex hormone binding globulin: origin, function and clinical significance.Annals of clinical biochemistry,27(6), 532-541.
  8. [8] Grant, P. (2010). Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti‐androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial.Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives,24(2), 186-188.
  9. [9] Akdogan, M., Ozguner, M., Kocak, A., Oncu, M., & Cicek, E. (2004). Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats.Urology,64(2), 394-398.
  10. [10] Adlercreutz, H., Höckerstedt, K., Bannwart, C., Bloigu, S., Hämäläinen, E., Fotsis, T., & Ollus, A. (1987). Effect of dietary components, including lignans and phytoestrogens, on enterohepatic circulation and liver metabolism of estrogens and on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).Journal of steroid biochemistry,27(4-6), 1135-1144.
  11. [11] Armanini, D., Mattarello, M. J., Fiore, C., Bonanni, G., Scaroni, C., Sartorato, P., & Palermo, M. (2004). Licorice reduces serum testosterone in healthy women.Steroids,69(11-12), 763-766.
Read more about: testosterone foods men women
Story first published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 15:16 [IST]
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