Almost 40% of men aged 45 or older suffer from hypogonadism, a condition that stems from low testosterone levels. Although a wide range of causes might contribute to the likelihood of this deficiency, diet is an important culprit that might be throwing your testosterone production out of whack. Let’s discover which foods that kill testosterone!
Here are six surprising foods that kill testosterone:
- Licorice Root
Keep reading to learn more about how the consumption of each of these products might negatively affect your testosterone levels.
Table of Contents
- Alcohol Kills Testosterone
- Soy Products Can Kill Testosterone
- Mint Kills Testosterone
- Dairy Products Can Kill Testosterone
- Sugar Kills Testosterone
- How Does Licorice Root Kill Testosterone?
1. Alcohol Kills Testosterone
Will the occasional drink impact testosterone production? Not likely. However, excessive alcohol consumption highly affects the likelihood of male hypogonadism.
As concluded by this 2019 study:
”Alcohol inhibits some stages of steroidogenesis and increases the conversion of testosterone in estradiol inducing the enzyme aromatase. Furthermore, it has that alcohol induces testicular atrophy and histological regressive changes, enhances the production of ROS, and reduces the antioxidant testicular defenses.”
Excessive alcohol consumption could also lead to significant adverse short-term effects. According to the same study, testosterone levels dropped as soon as 30 minutes after alcohol consumption.
However, the substance’s potential health risks go far beyond male hypogonadism. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a plethora of liver, heart, and kidney-related issues, to name a few. Therefore, prioritize your general and hormonal health and drink in moderation.
2. Soy Products Can Kill Testosterone
While the research on this topic is still a bit controversial, many studies have linked soy consumption to testosterone suppression.
Soy products share a unique feature: they contain high amounts of phytoestrogen isoflavones. These substances mimic estrogen, a female hormone, which acts in stark contrast to testosterone. As a result, they might end up disrupting testosterone production, causing it to plummet.
However, you might be thinking:
Is avoiding soy really that difficult?… Unfortunately, Yes!
Here’s a list of some surprising foods you might’ve not known contain soy.
- Baked goods
- Protein bars
- Salad dressings
- Ice cream
- Frozen dinners
Therefore, be sure to always check a product’s ingredient list thoroughly if you’re looking to improve your testosterone production. Even though the relation between soy and your hormonal health is still a bit unclear, until further research comes through, it’s best to err on the side of safety and avoid soy-based foods as much as you can.
3. Mint Kills Testosterone
This might be one of the most surprising foods on this list, but that great-smelling mint tea that did wonders for your cold might have negatively affected your testosterone production. Keep in mind that the research on this topic is still in its first stages; however, an animal-based study found that peppermint and spearmint lowered overall testosterone levels in rats.
The suspected culprit for this effect is menthol, a chemical naturally found in plants belonging to the mint family.
Another study conducted on women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) found the same correlation between mint and testosterone levels.
Even though, as of now, there aren’t many large-scale studies conducted on men regarding the phenomenon, all the evidence collected to date affirms the correlation. Therefore, if testosterone production is a point of concern for you, avoiding mint-related products might be the best route of action.
Luckily, mint is far less widespread than soy, meaning that as long as you stay away from a few teas and garnishes, chances are you won’t have anything to worry about.
4. Dairy Products Can Kill Testosterone
Dairy is another controversial food group when it comes to its relation to testosterone production. Most of its negative effect pertains to excessive soy-based foods consumed by most dairy cattle; however, the issue is a bit more complex.
So how do dairy products destroy testosterone?
Pregnant cows are the primary source of milk you’ll find in most grocery stores. The same goes for any by-product. However, as this 2010 study discovered, their supply is usually filled with estrogen and progesterone.
Both these hormones negatively affect testosterone production in a similar way to what I described in the “Soy Products Can Kill Testosterone” section of this article.
Here’s what the research concluded: “The present data on men and children indicate that estrogens in milk were absorbed, and gonadotropin secretion was suppressed, followed by a decrease in testosterone secretion. Sexual maturation of prepubertal children could be affected by the ordinary intake of cow milk .”
5. Sugar Kills Testosterone
As if there aren’t enough reasons to cut back on sugar already, recent studies have discovered that men can experience a drop as high as 25% in testosterone levels directly after sugar intake. The hormone levels remain decreased for up to two hours after the fact.
As a result, a diet high in baked goods, bread, and other deserts will likely have a negative effect on your hormonal health. Cutting sugar out of your diet might seem like an impossible feat; however, starting slow and making a few simple substitutions might help you out along the way.
Here’s what you can do:
- Swap sweetened fizzy drinks for sparkling water.
- Add more fruit to your diet.
- Opt for dates or natural applesauce as your sweetener of choice.
6. How Does Licorice Root Kill Testosterone?
The last and arguably most surprising food on today’s list is licorice. Even though the research on the correlation between licorice root and testosterone is still not as extensive as it should be, there’s still some strong evidence supporting the claim that its consumption lowers the hormone’s production.
Researchers believe that glycyrrhizic acid, a compound in licorice roots, could kill your testosterone. While the substance provides the food with its signature delicious taste, as far as your testosterone production goes, it can neutralize a specific enzyme that stimulates the process.
Even though the linked research is animal-based, its findings indicate a negative correlation between licorice root consumption and testosterone production. Therefore, if you’re in any way worried about hypogonadism, erring on the side of safety isn’t only wise but relatively easy as well.
Fortunately, licorice root is an easy food to avoid, so try your best to cut it out of your diet altogether.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to checkout How to Increase Testosterone Levels Quickly and Testosterone Boosting Supplement Health Benefits for Men, and Erectile Dysfunction from Diabetes, Alcohol and Hypertension.
- Cleveland Clinic: Low Testosterone (Male Hypogonadism)
- Men’s Journal: 12 Foods That Kill Testosterone and Some Remedies
- Performance Center for Men: What Foods Destroy Testosterone?
- CDC: Alcohol Use and Your Health
- National Library of Medicine: Soy protein isolates of varying isoflavone content exert minor effects on serum reproductive hormones in healthy young men
- Harvard Health Publishing: The sweet danger of sugar
- Wiley Online Library: Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism – Caronia – 2013 – Clinical Endocrinolog
About The Author
M.D Mark D. is a Health and Wellness professional writer. Mark has authored many health articles around the following topics: Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Pets Health, Mental Health, Medicine, and Supplements.