What Health Food Kills Testosterone? Uncovering the Truth

What Health Food Kills Testosterone? Uncovering the Truth

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that is primarily produced in the testes in males and in smaller amounts in the ovaries and adrenal glands in females. It plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of male reproductive tissues, including the testes, prostate, and secondary sexual characteristics like facial and body hair. 

Vital Role of Testosterone and It’s Low Level

Testosterone also plays a role in regulating sex drive, bone mass, muscle mass, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. In females, testosterone has a role in supporting overall health, including sexual well-being. 

Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, and low levels can sometimes lead to symptoms such as reduced libido, fatigue, mood changes, and decreased muscle mass. If you have concerns about your levels of testosterone, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for evaluation and appropriate guidance.

What Health Food Kills Testosterone?

While there are claims that certain foods can negatively impact testosterone levels in the body, it is important to note that the impact of food on testosterone is often overstated. 

However, some studies suggest that certain foods may have a slight influence on testosterone levels. Here are some foods that are believed to have a potential testosterone-lowering effect: 

Soy-based Products

Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Some research suggests that consuming large amounts of soy-based products may have a slight impact on testosterone levels, although the overall effect is minimal. 


Flaxseed is another food that contains phytoestrogens. Like soy, there is some evidence that consuming high amounts of flaxseed may have a mild effect on testosterone levels, but more research is needed to fully understand the extent of its impact. 


Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt hormone production, including testosterone. Chronic heavy drinking may lead to decreased testosterone levels over time.

Licorice Juice

It’s interesting to see how certain substances can impact hormone levels. Licorice root contains compounds that can affect hormone regulation, including testosterone. Men who consume consumed 7 grams of licorice root daily decreased testosterone levels after just one week.

Processed and Trans-Fat Foods

Diets high in processed foods and unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and foods high in polyunsaturated fatty acids or pufas (using vegetable oils in cooking), have been associated that reduces testosterone levels. These types of foods including fatty acid are typically low in essential nutrients and can impact overall health, including hormone regulation. 

Mint and Spearmint

Some studies suggest that large amounts of mint and spearmint may have a minor effect on testosterone levels when consumed regularly. However, the impact of these herbs on testosterone appears to be relatively small. 

It is important to emphasize that the effects of these foods on testosterone levels are typically modest and may vary from person to person. Maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, managing stress levels, and getting adequate sleep are more significant factors in supporting healthy testosterone levels. If you have concerns about your testosterone levels, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate evaluation and personalized guidance. 

How To Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally?

Boosting testosterone levels naturally can be achieved through various lifestyle changes and habits. Here are some strategies that may help promote healthy testosterone levels: 

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat, especially around the waist, has been associated with lower testosterone levels. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and portion control can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

2. Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise, such as weightlifting and resistance training, has been shown to promote testosterone production. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-high-intensity exercise most days of the week. 

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep can lead to lower testosterone levels. Prioritize restful sleep by establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a sleep-friendly environment. 

4. Balanced Diet

Consuming a nutritious and balanced diet can support healthy testosterone levels. Ensure your diet includes adequate protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Include foods rich in zinc, vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids as these nutrients are important for testosterone production. 

5. Manage Stress

Chronic stress can disrupt hormone production, including testosterone. Find effective stress management techniques that work for you, such as mindfulness, meditation, or engaging in activities you enjoy. 

6. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol intake can negatively impact testosterone levels. Moderation is key, so aim to limit alcohol consumption to recommended levels or consider avoiding it altogether. 

7. Avoid or Minimize Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors

Certain environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics and some pesticides, can interfere with hormone production. Minimize exposure to such chemicals when possible. 

8. Limit Sugar and Processed Foods

A diet high in sugar and processed foods is associated with various health issues, including lower testosterone levels. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods and limit your intake of added sugars. 

It’s important to note that while these strategies may support healthy testosterone levels, individual results may vary. If you have concerns about your testosterone levels or general health, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

SHBG and Testosterone

Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein primarily produced by the liver. It binds to three sex hormones: testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol. When it comes to testosterone, SHBG plays a crucial role in regulating its availability in the body.

Testosterone exists in two main forms in the bloodstream: bound and unbound. The majority of testosterone is bound to either sex hormone binding globulin shbg or albumin, a protein in the blood. Only a small fraction (about 1-2%) is in its free, unbound form, which is biologically active and available to exert its effects on tissues.

SHBG has a higher affinity for testosterone compared to albumin. When testosterone binds to SHBG, it becomes inactive because it cannot easily dissociate from SHBG to enter cells and exert its effects. On the other hand, when testosterone is bound to albumin, it can still dissociate from albumin and become biologically active, albeit not as readily as the free form.

Therefore, fluctuations in SHBG levels can influence the amount of free, biologically active testosterone in the body. Higher levels of SHBG can lead to lower levels of free testosterone, while lower levels of SHBG can result in higher levels of free testosterone. This relationship is crucial because it affects the overall bioavailability and activity of testosterone, which in turn impacts various physiological functions, including libido, muscle mass, bone density, and mood.

Factors such as age, sex, hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and lifestyle choices (such as diet and exercise) can influence SHBG levels. For example, high insulin levels, obesity, and certain medications like glucocorticoids and estrogen can increase SHBG levels, thereby reducing free testosterone levels. Conversely, factors like low insulin levels, weight loss, and androgenic hormones (such as testosterone itself) can decrease SHBG levels, leading to higher free testosterone levels.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article The Benefits of Turmeric: How to Boost Testosterone Levels.

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being