8 Foods That Lower Testosterone Levels

It is a sex hormone that plays an important role in health.

Maintaining healthy testosterone levels is important for gaining muscle mass , improving sexual function, and increasing strength.

Not to mention, alterations in testosterone levels have been associated with a number of health conditions, including:

  • Obesity .
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Heart problems.

While many factors are involved in regulating testosterone , a healthy diet is key to keeping levels in check and preventing them from dropping too low.

The following are 8 foods that lower testosterone levels that you may want to consider

1. Soy-based products

Some research shows that regularly eating soy products like edamame, tofu, soy milk, and miso can cause a drop in testosterone levels.

For example, a study of 35 men found that taking soy protein isolate for 54 days resulted in decreased testosterone levels.

Soy foods are also rich in phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body by altering hormone levels and potentially lowering testosterone.

Although research in humans is limited, a study in rats showed that consuming phytoestrogens significantly decreased testosterone levels.

However, other research found conflicting results, suggesting that soy-based foods may not have as much of an impact as these isolated soy components.

In fact, a large review of 15 studies found that soy foods had no effect on testosterone levels in men.

More research is needed to understand how soy products as a whole can influence testosterone levels in humans.

Summary

Studies in animals and humans have found that certain compounds in soy-based foods can lower testosterone levels, but the research is not yet conclusive.

2. The mint

Perhaps best known for its powerful stomach calming properties, some research suggests that peppermint might cause a drop in testosterone levels.

In particular, peppermint and peppermint (two herbs that come from the mint plant family) have been shown to have a direct impact on testosterone.

A 30-day study in 42 women showed that consuming peppermint tea with peppermint daily caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels.

Similarly, an animal study found that administration of spearmint essential oil to rats for 20 days resulted in reduced levels of testosterone.

Meanwhile, another animal study noted that drinking peppermint tea altered hormone levels in rats, leading to a decrease in testosterone, compared to a control group.

However, most research on peppermint and testosterone focuses on women or animals.

High-quality human studies focusing on both genders are needed to assess how peppermint affects testosterone levels in both men and women.

Summary

Some studies show that spearmint and peppermint can cause a decrease in testosterone levels, but research so far has focused on the effects in women or animals.

3. Licorice root

Licorice root is an ingredient commonly used to sweeten sweets and beverages.

It is also a popular natural remedy in holistic medicine and is often used to treat everything from chronic pain to a persistent cough.

In recent years, several studies have found that licorice can also influence levels of the hormone, which can lead to a decrease in testosterone over time.

In one study, 25 men consumed 7 grams of licorice root per day, causing a 26% drop in testosterone levels after just one week.

Another small study showed that licorice can also lower testosterone levels in women, reporting that 3.5 grams of licorice per day lowered testosterone levels by 32% after just one menstrual cycle.

Note that this applies to licorice root rather than licorice candy, which often does not contain any licorice root.

Summary

Licorice root has been shown to significantly lower testosterone levels in both men and women.

4. Vegetable oil

Many of the more common vegetable oils, such as canola, soybean, corn, and cottonseed oil, are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids.

These fatty acids are generally classified as a healthy source of dietary fat, but they can also lower testosterone levels, as several studies have suggested.

A study in 69 men showed that frequent consumption of polyunsaturated fats was associated with significantly lower levels of testosterone.

Another study in 12 men looked at the effects of diet on testosterone levels after exercise and reported that consumption of polyunsaturated fats was associated with lower levels of testosterone.

However, recent research is limited, and most studies are observational with a small sample size.

More high-quality studies are needed to examine the effects of vegetable oils on testosterone levels in the general population.

Summary

Most vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fat, which has been associated with decreased testosterone levels in some studies.

5. Flax

Flaxseed is packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and several important vitamins and minerals.

Also, some research shows that it can cause a decrease in testosterone levels.

This is because flaxseed is rich in lignans, plant compounds that bind to testosterone and force it to be excreted from your body.

Additionally, flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may also be related to a decrease in testosterone.

In a small study of 25 men with prostate cancer, supplementation with flaxseed and decreased total fat intake were shown to significantly reduce testosterone levels.

Similarly, a case study reported that daily flaxseed supplements lowered testosterone levels in a 31-year-old woman with PCOS, a condition characterized by increased male hormones in women.

However, more large-scale studies are needed to further evaluate flaxseed’s effects on testosterone levels.

Summary

Flaxseed is rich in lignans and omega-3 fatty acids, which can be associated with reduced levels of testosterone.

6. Processed foods

In addition to being high in sodium, calories, and added sugar, processed foods like ready meals, frozen foods, and prepackaged snacks are also a common source of trans fat.

Trans fats, an unhealthy type of fat, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation.

Additionally, some studies have found that regular consumption of trans fats from sources such as processed foods may lower testosterone levels.

For example, a study in 209 men showed that those who consumed the most trans fat had 15% less testosterone than those with the lowest intake.

In addition, they also had a 37% lower sperm count and a decrease in testicular volume, which may be related to reduced testicular function.

Animal studies have also found that a high intake of trans fat could lower testosterone levels and even affect reproductive performance.

Summary

Processed foods are often high in trans fat, which has been shown to lower testosterone levels and impair reproductive performance in human and animal studies.

7. Alcohol

While enjoying the occasional glass of wine with dinner has been linked to health benefits, studies show that heavy alcohol consumption could cause testosterone levels to plummet, especially in men.

A study in 19 healthy adults showed that consuming 30-40 grams of alcohol per day, which is equivalent to around 2-3 standard drinks, lowered testosterone levels in men by 6.8% in three weeks.

Another study reported that acute alcohol intoxication was associated with increased testosterone in women, but decreased levels in men.

However, the evidence is not entirely clear when it comes to the effects of alcohol on testosterone.

In fact, both human and animal studies have had mixed results, with some research indicating that alcohol might actually increase testosterone levels in certain cases.

More research is needed to understand how different doses of alcohol affect testosterone levels in the general population.

Summary

Some studies have found that drinking alcohol can lower testosterone in men, but research has shown conflicting results.

8. Walnuts

Walnuts are a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber, heart-healthy fats, and minerals like folate, selenium, and magnesium.

Also, some studies suggest that certain types of walnuts can lower testosterone levels.

A small study in 31 women with PCOS showed that walnuts and almonds increased levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) by 12.5% ​​and 16%, respectively.

SHBG is a type of protein that binds to testosterone, which can lead to a decrease in the levels of free testosterone in your body.

Walnuts are also generally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been associated with decreased testosterone levels in some studies.

Despite these findings, more research is needed to determine how certain types of nuts can affect testosterone levels.

Summary

One study found that walnuts and almonds increase levels of SHBG, a protein that binds to testosterone in your body. Walnuts are also high in polyunsaturated fats, which may be linked to lower testosterone levels.

The bottom line

  • Changing your diet is one of the most effective ways to maintain healthy testosterone levels.
  • If you are concerned about low testosterone levels, switching to these testosterone-lowering foods and replacing them with healthy whole food alternatives can keep the levels in check and improve your overall health.
  • Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, and exercising in your routine are some other important steps you can take to naturally increase testosterone.