12 Testosterone-Killing Foods To Stay Away From
- Soy protein may have a negative effect on testosterone levels (1).
- Consuming foods containing trans fat may lower testosterone levels (8).
- Heavy doses of alcohol directly cause a decrease in testosterone production in men (6).
If you're a man, you might be experiencing low testosterone levels and wondering what might be the cause. Sadly, diet is a frequently disregarded cause of low testosterone levels, even though other factors may also be at play. Scientific studies suggest that some foods may lower men's testosterone levels. Therefore, these are what we refer to as foods that kill testosterone.
In fact, a study found a link between soy consumption and a drop in male testosterone levels, which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Additionally, it has been proposed that fried foods, processed foods, trans fats, vegetable oils, high-sugar foods, high-fat dairy products, flaxseed, mint, spearmint, and licorice may all lower testosterone levels.
You should pay attention to the foods you eat if you're worried about your testosterone levels or want to improve your health and fitness. In this article, we will look more closely at these 12 foods that lower testosterone levels and talk about the evidence for those claims. In order to encourage optimal testosterone levels, we will also offer healthier alternatives.
Do not let low testosterone levels be the covert result of your diet. Learn more about these foods that deplete testosterone to take control of your health and vitality.
12 Foods That Lower Testosterone To Avoid
These are the 12 testosterone-killing foods that you should avoid. Keep reading to find out more!
Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances found in soy products like tofu, soy milk, and edamame that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Estrogen and testosterone in men compete for the same body receptors, which can lower testosterone levels. According to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, it is discovered that soy protein may have a negative effect on testosterone levels (1).
Lignans are abundant in flaxseeds. They are substances with minimal estrogenic effects on the body. These substances may wind up competing with testosterone for receptors in the body, much like soy products do. As a result, your testosterone levels will decline. A source reports a case study in which daily flaxseed supplements decreased testosterone levels in a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition characterized by increased male hormones (2).
Mint, including peppermint and spearmint, contains compounds known as menthol and eucalyptol, which have been shown in animal studies to have anti-androgenic properties. These compounds may reduce testosterone production in men, resulting in lower levels of the hormone. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, drinking spearmint tea is associated with a significant decrease in testosterone levels in hirsute women (a condition characterized by excess hair growth in women) (3).
As previously stated, spearmint contains menthol and eucalyptol, both of which have anti-androgenic properties. One study conducted in Turkey showed that drinking spearmint tea for 30 days resulted in significant reductions in free and total testosterone levels in women with hirsutism (a symptom of PCOS) (4).
Licorice is another testosterone lowering food on this list. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that can potentially reduce testosterone levels. This happens by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that converts testosterone to its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In addition to that, a study conducted on healthy men found that licorice could reduce serum testosterone levels. In this study, licorice was found to decrease serum testosterone in healthy men (5).
Consuming one to many drinks of alcohol have also been reported to lower testosterone levels in men. This occurs due to an interference with the production and regulation of testosterone. Not only that, but a research done on a 160-pound man who consumed 5 or 6 glasses of beer that contains between 4.5 and 6 percent alcohol per 12-ounce glass found a direct decrease in testosterone production. Therefore, this suggests that heavy doses of alcohol directly causes a decrease in testosterone production in men (6).
7. Processed Foods
If you've been munching on processed foods a lot, then you might want to stop. This is because processed foods have been discovered to lower testosterone levels in men. Processed foods are often high in refined carbohydrates, trans fats, and artificial additives. Plus, have been associated with lower testosterone levels in men. One study published in the journal Nutrients found a link between a diet high in bread, pastries, and other desserts and low total testosterone levels in Taiwanese men (7). However, this study did not specifically mention processed foods, but rather highlighted the consumption of high glycemic index foods, which can also include processed foods.
8. Trans Fats
Another testosterone-killing food on this list are trans fats. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that are commonly found in processed foods, fried foods, baked goods and all the good stuff. Like processed foods, trans fats have been associated with lower testosterone levels in men. A study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology indicated that consuming foods containing trans fat may lower testosterone levels (8).
9. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils are another culprit of testosterone decrease in men. Oils such as canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil, are often used in processed and fried foods. They contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been shown to decrease testosterone levels in men. Plus, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that men who replaced saturated fats with PUFAs had lower testosterone levels (9).
10. High-sugar Foods
Consuming high amounts of sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is notoriously known for lowering testosterone levels in men. In addition to that, a study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology found that men with insulin resistance had lower total and free testosterone levels than men without insulin resistance (10). Plus, a study published in the journal PLOS One found that a diet high in sugar was associated with lower testosterone levels in men. This study found that men who consumed more added sugars had lower levels of total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood, compared to men who consumed less added sugars (11).
11. High-fat Dairy Products
High-fat dairy products can also lower testosterone levels. Foods like whole milk and cheese, contain a type of saturated fat called palmitic acid. It has sadly been shown to decrease testosterone production in Leydig cells, which are responsible for producing testosterone in the testes. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that men who consumed more low-fat dairy had higher testosterone levels than men who consumed high-fat dairy (12).
12. Fried Foods
First of all, popular fried foods, such as French fries, chicken wings, and onion rings, are often cooked in vegetable oils. Thus, as mentioned earlier, they can lower testosterone levels right off the bat. Additionally, the high temperatures used in frying can lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs have been associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which can definitely impact testosterone production in a negative way. Furthermore, A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that men who consumed more fried foods had lower total and free testosterone levels than men who consumed less fried foods (13).
How To Boost Testosterone Levels With Food
Now that you know the foods that lower testosterone levels, how about those that increase it? Here are a few examples of the foods that can potentially boost your testosterone levels. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Lean Proteins
Foods high in lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean beef, can help support healthy testosterone levels. Protein is essential for building muscle, and increased muscle mass has been associated with higher testosterone levels.
Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, are high in healthy fats and nutrients that can support healthy testosterone levels. For example, Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, which has been shown to boost testosterone levels in men.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Vegetables in the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol, which can help regulate estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen and testosterone are both hormones that play a role in sexual health, and maintaining a healthy balance of these hormones can help support healthy testosterone levels.
Garlic contains compounds that can help support healthy testosterone levels. A study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice found that men who consumed a garlic supplement for 12 weeks had increased testosterone levels.
Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals that can support healthy testosterone levels. For example, eggs are high in vitamin D, which has been shown to have a positive impact on testosterone levels.
FAQs On Foods That Kill Testosterone
1. Do bananas Kill Testosterone?
There are no direct indications that bananas reduce testosterone levels. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, nutrients that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. However, bananas are also rich in carbohydrates, and excessive carbohydrate consumption can result in insulin resistance, which may have an adverse effect on testosterone levels.
2. Do onions increase testosterone?
Yes, some studies have found a potential link between onion consumption and improvements in overall testosterone levels. Onions provide several health benefits including improved heart health, digestive health, immune system and bone health. Recently, a study found that onions (raw onions included) can in fact increase testosterone levels by producing more luteinizing hormones, which in return increases testosterone.
3. Do eggs kill testosterone?
Nope, eggs don't kill testosterone. In fact, eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fats. Plus, they contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that can support healthy testosterone levels. In addition to that, eggs are high in vitamin D, which has been proven to boost testosterone levels too.
4. Does coffee lower testosterone?
In terms of how coffee affects testosterone levels, the evidence is conflicting. While other research has found no significant effects, some studies indicate that caffeine may raise testosterone levels. Dehydration, which can harm general health and wellbeing, is a risk associated with excessive caffeine consumption.
5. Does rice lower testosterone?
Sadly, there is no concrete proof that suggests that rice decreases testosterone levels. However, don't let that distract from the benefits of rice as a carbohydrate source. Rice is low in both fat and cholesterol and makes for a good source of fuel for exercise.
6. Do oysters lower testosterone?
Oysters are commonly promoted as a food that can boost testosterone levels, and yet scientific evidence to support this claim is rather limited. Oysters are rich in zinc, an essential mineral that actually promotes overall health and well-being. Even though zinc is believed to play a role in testosterone production, it is still a mystery as to whether or not eating oysters or other zinc-rich foods can increase testosterone levels directly.
In conclusion, it is abundantly clear that certain foods, like vegetable oils, high-fat dairy products, and fried foods, may cause a decrease in your precious testosterone levels. These foods can have a negative impact on your overall wellbeing, so limiting their consumption and opting for healthier alternatives can be beneficial.
Lean proteins, nuts, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, and eggs, on the other hand, may promote healthy testosterone levels. A well-balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods can support healthy testosterone levels and overall health.
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: 15 "Highest Testosterone" Boosting Foods To Include In Your Diet Today
- Messina M, Hamilton-Reeves J, Kurzer M, Phipps W. Effect of soy protein on testosterone levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007;16(12):2795-2796. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-2543 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18086792/
- Nowak DA, Snyder DC, Brown AJ, Demark-Wahnefried W. The Effect of Flaxseed Supplementation on Hormonal Levels Associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Case Study. Curr Top Nutraceutical Res. 2007;5(4):177-181. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752973/
- Omolbanin Ravanfar, M., Azadbakht, M., Nematy, M., & Nasiri, M. (2020). The effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata) on polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition & Food Science, 50(5), 930-943. doi: 10.1108/NFS-08-2019-0263 https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/NFS-08-2019-0263/full/html
- Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010;24(2):186-188. doi:10.1002/ptr.2900 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19585478/
- Armanini D, Bonanni G, Mattarello MJ, Fiore C, Sartorato P, Palermo M. Licorice consumption and serum testosterone in healthy man. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2003;111(6):341-343. doi:10.1055/s-2003-42724 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14520600/
- Bianco, A., Thomas, E., Pomara, F. et al. Alcohol consumption and hormonal alterations related to muscle hypertrophy: a review. Nutr Metab (Lond) 11, 26 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-11-26 https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-11-26
- Hu TY, Chen YC, Lin P, et al. Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1786. Published 2018 Nov 16. doi:10.3390/nu10111786 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266690/
- MInguez-Alarcón L, Chavarro JE, Mendiola J, et al. Fatty acid intake in relation to reproductive hormones and testicular volume among young healthy men. Asian J Androl. 2017;19(2):184-190. doi:10.4103/1008-682X.190323 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312216/
- Jorge Lima, Vítor Trovisco, Paula Soares, Valdemar Máximo, João Magalhães, Giuliana Salvatore, Massimo Santoro, Tatyana Bogdanova, Mykola Tronko, Alexander Abrosimov, Steve Jeremiah, Gerry Thomas, Dillwyn Williams, Manuel Sobrinho-Simões, BRAF Mutations Are Not a Major Event in Post-Chernobyl Childhood Thyroid Carcinomas, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 89, Issue 9, 1 September 2004, Pages 4267–4271, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-032224 https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/89/6/3311/2844262
- Mathis Grossmann, Merlin C. Thomas, Sianna Panagiotopoulos, Ken Sharpe, Richard J. MacIsaac, Sophie Clarke, Jeffrey D. Zajac, George Jerums, Low Testosterone Levels Are Common and Associated with Insulin Resistance in Men with Diabetes, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 93, Issue 5, 1 May 2008, Pages 1834–1840, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2007-2177 https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/93/5/1834/2598879
- Koss, C. A., Natureeba, P., Mwesigwa, J., Cohan, D., Nzarubara, B., Bacchetti, P., ... & Kamya, M. R. (2015). Food insecurity and psychosocial outcomes among ART-treated HIV-infected individuals in rural Uganda: a qualitative study. PloS one, 10(5), e0126322. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0117680
- Brian C. Netzel, Stefan K. G. Grebe, B. Gisella Carranza Leon, M. Regina Castro, Penelope M. Clark, Andrew N. Hoofnagle, Carole A. Spencer, Adina F. Turcu, Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Thyroglobulin (Tg) Testing Revisited: Tg Assays, TgAb Assays, and Correlation of Results With Clinical Outcomes, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 100, Issue 8, 1 August 2015, Pages E1074–E1083, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-1967 https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/100/8/E1074/2836027
- Kurniawan AL, Hsu CY, Chao JC, et al. Association of Testosterone-Related Dietary Pattern with Testicular Function among Adult Men: A Cross-Sectional Health Screening Study in Taiwan. Nutrients. 2021;13(1):259. Published 2021 Jan 18. doi:10.3390/nu13010259 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7830687/
All the content on this blog, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, are solely to provide information only. Any information/statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should NOT be a substitute for health and medical advice that can be provided by your own physician/medical doctor. We at Nano Singapore Shop, encourage you to consult a doctor before making any health or diet changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.