Testosterone is considered to be the “male” hormone that is produced by the testes in men. Testosterone is responsible for several primary and secondary sexual characteristics in men and is also a contributing factor to a healthy libido in men. It is also known to regulate sex drive and sperm production in males.
The normal range of testosterone in males ranges from 270-1070 ng/dl with an average level of 679 ng/dl. A simple blood test can reveal the testosterone level in men.
Out of the vast number of foods that lower testosterone in men, here are a few:
Foods That Lowers Testosterone Levels
Several food items may lead to a fall in testosterone levels in the body. For example, although milk is highly nutritious and contains protein, it can reduce testosterone levels in men. This is because it contains high levels of estradiol which inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Similarly, sugary drinks and refined vegetable oils can also lower testosterone levels in men.
Soy foods are high in phytoestrogens isoflavonoids which replicate the effects of estrogen in the body. This happens by altering hormone levels and simultaneously decreasing the level of testosterone in the body.
Additionally, consumption of foods such as tofu, soy milk, and miso may often cause a drop in testosterone levels.
Unchecked addition of soy to the diet may lead to a reduction of testosterone in males as well as show signs of high estrogen in the body. These factors could lead to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and lower sperm count.
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Flaxseeds are extremely popular due to their range of health benefits which arise from the high quantity of nutrients in them and the cardiovascular benefits it promises.
However, flaxseeds contain a chemical called lignin which belongs to a class of compounds called phytoestrogens. These compounds are structurally similar to estrogen. This contributes to the reduction of testosterone in men.
Several studies have found that a lignin-rich diet can reduce the amount of free-circulating testosterone in the body by hindering the production of 5 α–reductase. This is an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into its more potent and active form.
Above all, flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to a decrease in testosterone levels according to several studies.
Mint is one of the most commonly consumed food items among youngsters and older people alike. Some of the most common forms in which mint is consumed are chewing gums and tea. Although beneficial for digestion, mint is popularly known to affect testosterone production in the body.
Spearmint and Peppermint have shown to have a direct negative impact on the production of testosterone in the body. Spearmint teas have antiandrogen properties and can significantly decrease the level of testosterone in both men and women.
Menthol, which is one of the key constituents of mint, is known to hamper the cycles of testosterone production in the body. Several studies have linked the consumption of mint to the declining of testosterone and sexual drive in men.
Processed and Frozen Foods
Processed and frozen foods are high in sodium, calories, and added sugar. They rarely add anything in terms of nutrition to our diet, as most nutrients naturally exist in the ingredients. Most of the added ingredients in these types of foods are preservatives, taste/flavor enhancers, and other dehydrated elements. Their benefits are far outweighed by the damage it causes, including the degradation of testosterone levels in the body.
Processed and frozen foods also have a large amount of trans fat which kills testosterone in men. A study found that consumption of trans fatty acid-rich food was inversely related to total sperm count and testosterone levels in the body. Potato chips, sausages, and processed vegetables are some examples of processed food that can lower testosterone in men.
Most vegetable oils have been associated with high polyunsaturated fat which is further linked to a decrease in testosterone levels in men. The most common vegetable oils consumed widely are canola, soybean, corn, and cottonseed oil.
Moreover, processed fruit juices contain a high concentration of sugar which depresses testosterone production. This occurs due to a sharp increase in insulin that the body produces to deal with the overload of glucose in the body.
The more a person is prone to heavy drinking, the more likely such a person is to experience changes in their testosterone levels. This is because alcohol spurs the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Heavy drinking, which is characterized by four or more drinks in a two-hour period, has a direct impact on testosterone levels in the body.
Ethanol, one of the key chemical ingredients of alcohol, is known to be toxic for men’s reproductive organs and functions and can reduce testosterone function in the body.
The type of alcohol one consumes also has a bearing on the gravity of the impact it can have on the testosterone levels. For example, beer contains phytoestrogens and prolactin which can increase estrogen levels and decrease the testosterone levels in the body.
Alcohol has an adverse impact on the liver, which is one of the vital organs responsible for testosterone production in the body. The impact of alcohol on testosterone production is often very apparent and is characterized by vulnerable or emotional behavior during or after alcohol consumption.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone in men and serves multiple purposes in developing and maintaining primary and secondary sexual characteristics in males. Low levels of testosterone can lead to a reduction in libido and fatigue and can have long-term physical and psychological effects.
Regulating testosterone in the body does not require complicated medical procedures in most cases. It can be done through a healthy and balanced diet, while avoiding certain food and drinks. Low to moderate physical activity can also help in regulating and increasing the level of testosterone in the body.
Dietary changes, and in extreme cases medical supervision, can easily boost low testosterone levels in the body. Consider indulging in exercise as it promotes muscle building and helps in boosting testosterone production in the body.