Here are 10 foods that lower testosterone levels you may need to avoid.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a major male sex hormone that is produced in the testicles, it plays
many important roles in the body.
A male starts to produce testosterone as early as 7 weeks of development after
fertilization, testosterone levels rise during puberty reaching their peak in the late teens
or early 20s then start to get lower after the age of 30.
What does testosterone do to your body?
Testosterone levels affect everything in men from the reproductive system and sexuality
to muscle mass and bone density.
Testosterone is responsible for primary sexual development. Primary sexual
characteristics are present at birth and comprise the external and internal genitalia
which include testicular descent, spermatogenesis, enlargement of the penis and testes,
and increasing libido.
Testosterone is also involved in regulating secondary male characteristics, which are
those responsible for masculinity. These secondary sex characteristics include male hair
patterns, vocal changes, and voice deepening, anabolic effects, which include growth
spurts in puberty.
Testosterone also affects:
Central Nervous System
Skin and Hair
Production of red blood cells.
So, maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is important unless sperm production,
level of sexual desire, body hair, and muscle mass will be affected.
Many factors may lower testosterone levels like age, higher body weight, poor
nutritional status, stress and so does your diet. You may be consuming what can best
be described as testosterone-killing foods.
Here's a list of what you should avoid:
1) Soy and soy-based products
Soy is an inexpensive source of high protein, some research shows that regularly eating
soy products like edamame, tofu, soy milk, and miso may cause a drop in testosterone
Soy contains phytoestrogens, which is called plant estrogen and if that increases the
estrogen -the primary female sex hormone- in your body, then it might make your
breasts bigger, increase your body fat, make it harder to build muscle, and linked to
impotence and low sperm count.
Studies found that men drinking 20 grams of soy protein isolate per day over two weeks
showed lower testosterone levels than those that drank whey protein isolate or a
If you're already concerned about your hormone levels, it’s probably best to consider
soy as a potential testosterone killer and simply limit your intake.
Dairy and other animal products like eggs contain very high levels of estrogen-the
primary female sex hormone-, in fact, milk and dairy products are the largest sources of
dietary estrogen for humans.They account for 60-70 percent of the estrogens
Studies have shown that men who consume more milk and dairy products have higher
levels of estradiol, a female hormone.
Estrogen and progesterone adversely affect testosterone by suppressing gonadotropin
releasing hormone (GNRH), which men need for the release of follicle-stimulating
hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH), when they’re not released, your testes
can’t synthesize testosterone.
A 2010 analysis supports the adverse relationship between dairy products and men’s
hormones. It’s also worth noting that 98 percent of soybean meal is used for animal
feed, so chances are that estrogen levels in cows’ milk are even further bolstered.
If you really crave milk, go with low-fat or skim, and make sure it’s fortified with Vitamin
D, which is good for your testosterone.
"Studies found that men drinking 20 grams of soy protein isolate per day over two weeks showed lower testosterone levels than those that drank whey protein isolate or a placebo"
The male reproductive system consists of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland and
Alcohol can affect the function of each of these components, causing impotence and
Studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption causes reduced levels of
testosterone in the blood.
It affects the function of a cell in the testes called the Leydig cell which is responsible for
production and secretion of testosterone.
Alcohol also impairs the function of the testicular Sertoli cells which play an important role
in sperm maturation.
In the pituitary gland, alcohol can decrease the production, release, and/or activity of
two hormones with critical reproductive functions, luteinizing hormone and
follicle-stimulating hormone. Finally, alcohol can interfere with hormone production in
Besides being a testosterone killer, overconsumption of alcohol is not good for your
body in so many other ways, including your liver, kidneys, and heart. Moderation is key,
so please drink responsibly.
4) Commercial Baked Goods
Baked goods such as bread, pastries, Danish, and pies increase your blood insulin. They
also increase your abdominal fat and boost fat deposition around your belly.
Studies have shown that subjects who ingested foods rich in trans fat showed
testosterone levels 15 percent lower than those with low intake.
It’s not just the trans fat that you will also get high insulin levels as well as your waist
size, both of which can leave you with Low testosterone and an unpleasant taste.
Sugar has been always associated with a lot of health problems, too much sugar intake
means too much insulin secretion in the blood. As insulin in the body increases, the
testosterone levels decrease.
Studies have documented that 19 to 74 males experienced as much as 25 percent
drop in testosterone levels following sugar ingestion, with levels remaining lowered for
up to two hours.
Researchers also reported that sugar-sweetened drinks were associated with Low
testosterone levels in 59 percent of subjects.
The number of men suffering from abnormally low testosterone levels is increasing each
year, along with prescriptions for testosterone boosters.
It is well known that overweight men and diabetic men are prone to low levels of
Of all the testosterone-killing foods on this list, sugar is arguably the easiest and the
most difficult one to eliminate from your diet.
6) Mint (spearmint and peppermint)
Peppermint has been always known as a stress relieving herb, as well as its digestive
properties. Peppermint will also help refresh your breath.
Unfortunately, some research indicates that when it comes to male hormones,
especially testosterone, mint may stink.
Studies have shown that drinking spearmint herbal tea daily once for 30 days caused a
significant decline in testosterone levels compared with a control group.
Similarly, an animal study found that administering spearmint essential oil to rats for 20
days resulted in reduced testosterone levels.
We suggest you spice up your daily routine with some ginger tea, especially since
Ginger is known for boosting testosterone production.
"Of all the testosterone-killing foods on this list, sugar is arguably the easiest and the most difficult one to eliminate from your diet."
7) Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oils such as soybean, canola, sunflower, corn, and sesame are loaded with
polyunsaturated fatty acids to improve food flavor and texture.
These polyunsaturated fatty acids are usually classified as a healthy source of dietary
fat, but they may also decrease testosterone levels, as several studies have proven.
Studies have proven a strong relationship between men’s low testosterone levels and their
frequent consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids. After one hour of consumption of
polyunsaturated fatty acids, testosterone levels were decreased and the effect lasted for
Many vegetable oils contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids that can be crucial to
testosterone production and testicular health when used regularly.
Avoiding vegetable oils will enhance your testosterone levels and improve your overall
health. try using olive or coconut oil instead of polyunsaturated fatty oils to add flavor to
Nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, pecans, and almonds are known as healthy
sources of fats for the heart, minerals, and fibers.
Studies have proven that some types of nuts may decrease testosterone levels.
Nuts are also generally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been associated
with decreased testosterone levels.
If you love snacking on nuts, look for ones that are nutrient-dense and higher in
monounsaturated fatty acids such as Brazil nuts, chestnuts, or macadamia nuts.
Flaxseeds are high in fibers, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans. Flaxseeds are used to
improve digestive health and for constipation relief.
These lignans are plant-based compounds that bind to testosterone and extract it from
Flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 although it is preferable over omega-6 but
researchers showed that too much omega-3 is linked to low testosterone levels.
In addition, some research
10) Licorice root
Licorice root is different from licorice in the form you’re familiar with in the candy aisle.
It’s often used as an herbal supplement to treat everything from chronic pain to
You can find it also as a tea or a beverage sweetener.
However, testosterone may be affected by licorice root.
Studies have proven that testosterone values in men lowered by 26 percent after
consuming 7 grams of licorice root daily for one week.
This is applied to licorice root rather than licorice candy which doesn’t contain any
"If you love snacking on nuts, look for ones that are nutrient-dense and higher in monounsaturated fatty acids such as Brazil nuts, chestnuts, or macadamia nuts."
Foods and Herbs that Boost Testosterone Levels
If you are involved in the regulation of testosterone, a healthy diet is the key to keeping
testosterone levels in check and preventing them from dropping too low.
You may consider adopting a dietary plan rich in foods that contain nutrients important
for boosting testosterone levels.
Add these foods to your plan, along with these other foods if you want to maximize your
Berries, cherries, and pomegranates
Also, herbs and supplements may help your body make testosterone. Some herbs and
supplements simply aim to elevate your low testosterone levels.
- Ashwagandha: It is a traditional Indian medicine, they use ashwagandha for many
things, including sexual dysfunction and infertility.
- Vitamin D: is also called cholecalciferol, It’s possible that vitamin D can also help
increase testosterone levels. Studies have found that men with Vitamin D deficiency
who took vitamin D daily for 1 year saw their testosterone levels significantly increase.
- Zinc Supplement: Zinc is an essential micronutrient, zinc deficiency is associated with
low testosterone levels as zinc is involved in the production of testosterone. Zinc is also important for maintaining sperm quality as well.
- Garlic: Studies have shown increased testosterone levels in the blood after they ate
- Pine bark extract: Studies have proven that men who took a combination of pine bark
extract and arginine for 6 months. supplement had improved erectile dysfunction symptoms and higher total plasma testosterone levels than those receiving a placebo.
- Arginine: The human body secretes Arginine naturally, it helps increase blood flow and so erectile dysfunction. Some researchers have shown that arginine may help to elevate testosterone levels.
- Malaysian Ginseng: Malaysian ginseng is also known as Tongkat Ali or E. longifolia.
It’s a native Southeast Asian plant. Studies have found that supplementation with Malaysian ginseng (Tongat ali) improved serum testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism.