So today I want to go over 7 foods that can hurt your testosterone levels based on scientific evidence.
1.Starting first with flax seeds.
Now I know that flaxseed products have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and some have even called them a superfood.
However even though flax seeds are very high in fiber and ala omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds aren’t that great for optimizing male hormonal health mostly because they’re loaded with lignans.
In fact, they’re the world’s richest source of lignans. Flax seeds contain about 75 to eight hundred times more lignans than most grains legumes fruits and vegetables. (1)
now, this can be a problem for two reasons. First is that lignans are highly estrogenic. In other words, they increase levels of the female sex hormone estrogen. (2)
The second is that lignans increase levels of sex hormone-binding globulin or shbg (3). Now, this may sound like a good thing but this hormone binds to free testosterone molecules rendering them inactive.
So the testosterone won’t be able to be used for other beneficial hormonal functions. We can see the direct adverse effects of flax seeds in a number of studies.
For example, just 2 tablespoons of flax seeds were given to 40 male participants for only a month and their testosterone levels drop by around 10 percent.
(5) In another very small but also very interesting study a woman who had high testosterone levels was also experiencing excessive facial hair growth.
So to combat that researchers told her to eat 30 grams of flaxseeds per day for 4 months.
after doing that her serum testosterone levels dropped by 70% and her free testosterone dropped by 89 percent. (4)
In another study, two tablespoons of flaxseed per day dropped total testosterone in men by around 15% and free testosterone by 20 percent (6)
however, it’s important for me to mention that the participants were also told not to get more than 20% of the daily energy intake from fat and a low-fat diet could’ve contributed to a reduction in testosterone levels as well.
In either case, if you want to maximize your testosterone levels you’re better off going with other sources of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon fresh sardines, and walnuts.
2.Let’s move on to cooking oils that are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
These include things like soybean oil vegetable oil corn oil sunflower oil and margarine just to name a few.
Most cooking oils used today are processed so many times they go through either bleaching, degumming, or deodorizing.
Couple this with the fact that these oils aren’t that great for high-temperature cooking and you’ll see why they’re not the best choice for your health.
But even if you don’t use them for cooking their high content of specifically omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids hurt the production of testosterone.
This is because most people nowadays already get way too much omega-6s and way too little omega-3s.
Not only does this create inflammation throughout the body and increase your risk of various chronic diseases but a high omega 6 polyunsaturated fat intake may lower testosterone. (11)
in a study where researchers look at how different nutrients influence hormonal health, they found that the more dietary fat the participants ate the higher their testosterone was. (12)
this was found to be true for their saturated fat intake (13) as well as their monounsaturated fat intake. (14)
However, the results were the exact opposite of polyunsaturated fats. The more polyunsaturated fat that the participants ate in relation to their saturated fat intake the lower their testosterone levels dropped. (15)
so if you’re looking for a plant-based oil that’s healthier for your testosterone levels check out olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
3.Next up is Mint.
That’s right while herbs from the mint family like spearmint and peppermint smell great they’re not that great for testosterone at least that’s what rat studies and a very small human study indicates. In the rodent study, the rats were divided into four groups.
The control group received regular drinking water. (7) group number 2 received 20 grams of peppermint tea and group number three received 20Grams of spearmint tea. Finally, the last group received double, so 40 grams of spearmint tea.
In the end, the rats that received 20 grams of peppermint tea had a 25% reduction in testosterone. Group number 3 that received 20 Grams of the spearmint tea had a 69% reduction in testosterone.
And finally, the last group that had 40 grams so double the spearmint tea experienced 123 percent lower testosterone levels. (8)
According to this study, spearmint lowered testosterone significantly more than peppermint and another rat study also found that spearmint drastically reduced testosterone in rats.
The researchers from this study said that it was likely because of spearmint and possibly mint in general causes oxidative stress in the hypothalamus resulting in reduced testosterone synthesis in the testes (9).
unfortunately, there are no large studies on how mint influences male humans. However,
research does indicate that spearmint can lower testosterone in women that have elevated Androgen levels which causes them to suffer from excessive facial hair growth. In one study 42 women drink spearmint tea two times a day for 30 days and as a result, both free and total testosterone levels dropped significantly (10).
Now, unless you’re a woman who suffers from elevated testosterone levels or unless you’re a male rat we can’t say for sure that similar effects apply to men until we have further research. But this data is definitely something to keep in mind.
4.Next, we have alcohol which will not only lead to a terrible hangover but can also cause a reduction in testosterone levels.
there are many rodent studies that show that alcohol reduces testosterone in a dose-dependent manner (18)
which means the more you take in the more it affects your testosterone. When it comes to human studies there’s also a strong link between a heavy alcohol intake and reduced testosterone levels. (19)
But luckily there is some good news when it comes to drinking alcohol. low alcohol intakes don’t have all that much of an effect on testosterone.
In fact one of the studies on alcohol found that drinking half a gram of alcohol per kilogram of body weight or about a quarter of a gram of alcohol per pound of bodyweight… was able to slightly increase testosterone. (20)
for most people, this would be about 2 to 3 drinks. However other studies show that even small amounts like two glasses of red wine can lower testosterone by 7 percent.
(21) So the real key is to drink in moderation and when you do, don’t binge drink where you’re having like 10 tequila shots in a night.
The dose is what makes the poison so do your best to limit your alcohol intake.
5.Let’s move on to licorice.
Sure licorice might taste amazing and can have benefits in certain situations like reducing heartburn speeding up the repair of the damaged stomach lining as well as some anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, but the problem is that it also has one huge downside.. it may lower T levels.
This is because licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid which is the compound that gives licorice its uniquely sweet taste.
Now even though it tastes great researchers found that exposing isolated rat gonad cells to a modest amount of glycyrrhizic acid significantly blocked testosterone production. (16)
The reason for this was because it’s significantly inhibited the activity of 17 beta HSD which is an enzyme essential for testosterone production.
Unfortunately, these negative effects of glycyrrhizic acid don’t seem only limited to rats. In a separate study,
researchers tested how glycyrrhizic acid influences human beings. In this study, a group of men was given 7 grams of licorice in the form of candy tablets, and they contained about half a gram of glycyrrhizic acid.
Surprisingly after Just 4 days, the average testosterone levels drop from 21 to 15.9 nanomoles per liter. (17)
The good news for all you Twizzler fans is that even though Hershey’s labels it as a licorice candy the original red variety contains very little licorice.
But there obviously are other reasons to limit your intake of Twizzlers like them being high in corn syrup, sugar, and artificial flavors.
6.Next, we come to soy products.
While this is still a debated topic soy may have negative effects on male hormonal health in general.
One reason for this is because soy contains a high amount of phytoestrogenic isoflavones which can activate estrogen receptors and down-regulate androgen receptors.
For those of you that don’t know Androgen receptors are the ones that male hormones like testosterone and DHT bind to for them to be able to have an effect. (23)
so Without being able to bind to the Androgen receptors testosterone cant do its job. On top of that soy can disrupt the uptake of iodine in the thyroid and it can impede the production of thyroid hormones.
(24) this is a big problem because poor thyroid function is linked to impaired hormonal Health and lower testosterone levels. (25)
couple that with the type of fat that’s found in soybeans which are mostly omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and you can see how soy can potentially lower testosterone.
More than half of the fat in soybeans is made up of these polyunsaturated fatty acids and like I already mentioned before when this type of fat is consumed in excess it increases inflammation and hurts your testosterone.
However, with all that said not all research shows that these effects on paper transfer over to human beings.
For example, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of fertility and sterility suggested that soy does not lower testosterone (26).
But there are many individual studies that do find a negative effect (27) so if you want to be on the safe side you may want to limit your intake of soy-based products like soy protein powder, tofu, and soymilk.
7.Finally, last but not least is a type of fat that most people already know is bad for your health and it also happens to be bad for your testosterone levels… I’m talking about trans fats.
Now trans fats originally came about in 1901 while a german chemist was looking for a way to make cheap oils liquid at room temperature through a process known as hydrogenation.
Of course, this really excited manufacturers but researchers ran into some issues that they didn’t expect.
One of the main ones is that this processing led to the formation of trans fatty acids which could have severe adverse effects on not only testosterone production but on overall health as well.
One reason for this is that trans fats trigger systemic inflammation. (28) and that’s definitely not good because there’s a direct link between increased inflammation and reduced testosterone levels as well as a number of chronic diseases.
(29) aside from that trans fats also score high in polyunsaturated fatty acids which is linked to lower testosterone and sperm count in both rodents and humans (30).
So it’s definitely best to avoid products that contain trans fats. Fortunately, the FDA has put a ban on trans fats since June 2018. But even though they can no longer be produced going forward some Foods in circulation still contain trans fats which in some cases can be sold until 2021.
also interestingly enough some unprocessed Foods also contain trans fats such as milk cheese beef lamb chicken and pork.
However, the good news is that data indicates that these natural trans fats are less harmful than artificial ones (31).]
that about wraps it up guys I really hope that you enjoyed this video and that you learned something new about testosterone and the negative effects that certain foods can have on your testosterone levels.
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