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The food we eat can affect many different aspects of our health. For example, did you know that some foods kill testosterone? Foods such as dairy, mint, and alcohol can lower testosterone levels. 

Overall, our bodies are effective at regulating hormones. However, consuming too much or too little of certain foods can lead to our hormones being thrown out of sync or make it more challenging for our bodies to utilize our hormones correctly. 

Testosterone is one of the primary sex hormones responsible for several functions, including muscle mass, body hair, and energy levels. 

Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Low testosterone can look different in everyone. Someone with low testosterone may have one symptom or many. However, some of the common symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Decreased sex drive (libido) 
  • Difficulty achieving or maintaining erections
  • Development of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
  • Lack/loss of body hair 
  • Low muscle or bone mass
  • Difficulty focusing or a short attention span
  • Low mood or depression 
  • Fatigue or low energy

Some of these symptoms can be generic, but if you are suffering from a combination of symptoms from the list above, it may be worth speaking to your doctor. If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, there are medical options such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)

9 Foods That Lower Testosterone 

If you’re concerned about low testosterone levels, it could be worth avoiding the below foods that kill testosterone: 

1. Dairy Products

Many people looking to avoid foods that decrease testosterone may choose to avoid dairy products because some cow’s milk contains natural or synthetic hormones, which can, in turn, affect testosterone levels. A 2018 study revealed that men who consumed large amounts of dairy had low testosterone levels. 

2. Soy Products

Soy foods, such as edamame and tofu, contain phytoestrogens, which are similar compounds to estrogen and function similarly. Research into the correlation between soy and testosterone levels has revealed that although many studies have been conducted, scientists don’t fully understand the link, and further investigation is needed.

3. Alcohol

A 2011 study revealed that heavy or regular drinking over long periods could cause a decrease in testosterone.

4. Mint 

The menthol in mint may lead to a decrease in testosterone levels. According to an Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin Journal study, scientists used spearmint essential oil to test its effects on rats. They noted that the oil reduced the testosterone levels in those rats.

Much of the research on menthol and testosterone focuses on animals or women, and further studies are needed to better understand mint’s impact on testosterone levels in men. 

5. Bread and Pastries

According to a Taiwanese study, there was a correlation between diets high in bread, desserts, and pastries and low testosterone levels in Taiwanese men. 

6. Licorice Root

A 2003 study notes that licorice consumption could lead to decreased testosterone in men. However, further studies are needed better to understand the correlation between licorice root and testosterone. 

7. Sugar

Sugar can have many adverse effects on our health, and it’s one of the foods that lower testosterone. A study on males aged 20-39 included participants who consumed large amounts of sugary drinks. The results revealed that these men were at increased risk of having low testosterone levels. 

8. Processed and Trans Fats

There are small amounts of trans fats in meat and dairy products; however, processed foods contain much higher levels of these fats. Research in the Asian Journal of Andrology studying young, healthy men and their diets revealed that eating trans fats may lower testosterone levels in the body. In addition, the study also found that too many omega-6 fatty acids appear to reduce testicular size and function.

Further, a 2017 study suggests that young men who consumed trans fats had lower testosterone levels.

9. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are powerhouses of omega-3 fatty acids and are a popular topping for yogurt and oatmeal as they’re considered a superfood. However, a study conducted by Duke University Medical discovered that flaxseeds contain lingnan, which in their study seemingly reduced the testosterone levels of all participants. 

If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, it could be worth avoiding these nine foods that kill testosterone. 

When to Speak to a Doctor About Low Testosterone 

It can be uncomfortable to speak with your doctor about your sex life or symptoms of low testosterone. However, there is nothing to be embarrassed about, and your doctor can talk through any concerns with you. So, if you’re worried about one or many of the symptoms of low testosterone listed at the start of this article, it may be time to speak to your doctor or healthcare professional.

For some men, lifestyle changes such as getting more active and eating a balanced diet can enhance testosterone levels. Whereas other men find testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) effective. TRT can help relieve many of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency or low testosterone. 

At Opt Health, our team of specialized men’s health doctors can provide treatment and test results from the comfort of your own home. In addition to increasing men’s vitality and offering testosterone replacement therapy, we use preventative medicine to help you feel like you again. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.