These Are The Top Five Testosterone Killing Foods To Avoid
When it comes to testosterone, there’s an incredible number of unknowns about it, even in this modern age. All we know for sure is that testosterone diminishes over time.
In fact, it reaches its peak when you’re around 20, and then decreases year-on-year until it’s around half of its peak by the time you’re 60.
Lots of things can affect testosterone, but there seems to be little rhyme or reason to the impact of natural substances out there which can help or hinder its production.
However, there are some things we do know, including a few of the potentially testosterone killing foods.
So let’s dive in and tell you the top 5 foods that can potentially lower your testosterone levels, tell you if low testosterone can kill you or not, and finish with some positives as well.
Can Low Testosterone Kill You?
Let’s answer the biggest and most serious question first: can low testosterone Kill you?
The answer to that is no. However, it doesn’t help longevity either.
Scientists have started to conclude that those who actually live the longest have medium levels of testosterone, what you could call average levels.
Those that have high levels are more likely to have problems with hypertension and cardiovascular problems. At the other end the scale, those with the lowest levels produced less DHT, a substance which helps to protect against heart disease.
In sequence, it was found in several studies, that men with low testosterone tended to die earliest in life, then men with higher levels, with those in the middle lasting the longest.
So when it comes to testosterone levels, for longevity, being unremarkable either way is actually best.
Let’s Answer This Myth At The Top: Do Bananas Kill Testosterone?
The second big thing I’m going to answer here is the myth around bananas. Do bananas kill testosterone levels?
The answer to that is absolutely not. It’s an Internet myth which sprang up a few years ago, and like so many things on the Internet, it gains traction without people researching at all.
So if you see somebody parroting the nonsense that bananas kill your testosterone levels, just gently tell them that’s completely untrue. They are in fact a really healthy food, rich in protein and potassium, which should be part of your diet.
1. Soy Products Could Be The Biggest Danger To Testosterone Levels
Considering the green revolution, and the rush to vegetarianism and veganism, it’s ironic that soy products are potentially doing the most damage to men’s testosterone levels.
So in saving the planet, you’re lowering your own quality of life, your sex drive, your happiness, and potentially your longevity.
Although consuming too much of any single type of food can potentially throw lots of things in your body out, including testosterone, soy is one of the things which has been specifically picked up on by multiple studies.
It seems to be linked to soy foods, such as tofu and similar, containing phytoestrogens. These are compounds which are similar to estrogen in structure, and in the body can work in a similar way.
Studies have shown that eating soy products change testosterone and estrogen levels; with testosterone levels lowering as estrogen concentrations rise.
However, that’s not the whole story and other studies have found that they haven’t altered testosterone levels at all. What actually happens is the body has reacted as if it has elevated levels of estrogen, producing symptoms like breast tenderness, without them actually rising.
One study concluded:
“No significant effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on T, SHBG, free T, or FAI were detected regardless of statistical model.”
As soon as the soy products use discontinued, those signs of high estrogen vanished, pointing to the idea that phytoestrogens may simply imitate higher levels of estrogen without actually affecting estrogen or testosterone levels.
So the jury is out here guys. For me, I just wouldn’t eat too many soy products for several reasons, but especially just in case they can alter estrogen and testosterone levels.
2. Alcohol Is A Well-Known Smasher Of Testosterone
You probably already know that alcohol is in great for you generally, and for a few days after you have drunk can cause some side effects that can be really unpleasant.
Heavy drinking can cause depression, anxiety, and long-term health problems.
It’s also been shown in multiple studies to decrease testosterone levels. So if you don’t want your testosterone to dip, and you want to live a healthy lifestyle, then minimizing your alcohol intake is crucial.
In addition, it’s been found that alcohol damages Leydig cells in the testes, which are crucial to testosterone production.
Overall guys, it just doesn’t look sensible to drink much or often if you want to stand the best chance of producing enough testosterone.
3. Dairy Products Could Be Problematic For Testosterone
You will often hear that dairy products can affect your testosterone levels. That leads to a situation where some guys avoid every single dairy product going, because they are terrified of impacting testosterone.
The truth is actually very different, and completely uncertain.
Cows milk and other dairy products can, in certain situations, contain hormones (either synthetic or natural). It’s theorized that these hormones can impact testosterone levels.
What is known is that all milk contains small amounts of hormones naturally, including estrogen and progesterone. This concentration is higher in full fat milk because estrogen is fat soluble
On top of that, dairy cows are often given hormones to make them grow faster and increase milk yields. These hormones can be estrogen or testosterone, estradiol (another female hormone), or three synthetic hormones developed specifically for cattle use.
This is also the case in meat products, because it stands to reason those hormones will be present there as well.
So on the surface it doesn’t look good. You could be consuming estrogen that can increase feminine traits, and affect testosterone production.
However, in the real world, the amounts you are consuming are so minimal that it’s unlikely to matter unless you are consuming huge amounts of dairy and meat products.
On the other side of that coin, one of the synthetic hormones often used in cattle has been shown to raise levels of IGF-1 in humans when consumed, so you could argue it’s possible for it to be beneficial, rather than detrimental.
My take for you is that unless you are eating significant amounts of meat and dairy products every day, then this isn’t something you should worry about and the evidence it could lower your testosterone levels is absolutely minimal, and this is backed up by commonsense evidence online:
“Studies have investigated the effects of regular milk and dairy product consumption. They conclude that men having more milk and dairy products have a higher level of estradiol, the female hormone we talked about.
When the female hormone increases in your body, your T-level drops naturally. Lower testosterone level will result in various negative effects including low muscle mass, dropped libido, and lesser energy level.
However, such an impact of milk on your T-level occurs in the long run and persisting intake of milk. You can still have dairy products, but keep it moderate.”
4. Mint Is A Surprising Testosterone Depressant
A food that opened my eyes when I read it could affect testosterone levels, was mint. It’s the menthol in the different types of mints that may reduce testosterone levels.
In animal studies, it was observed that spearmint essential oil reduced testosterone levels in some male rats.
However, every piece of research I found focuses on animals or human females, I haven’t found a single proper study showing that menthol can affect human males.
Looking online, recommendations from knowledgeable people suggests that mint consumption “may slightly” lower testosterone levels if consumed in excess.
So my take is that unless you are downing several peppermint teas per day, chewing spearmint gum all the time, and consuming a pack of mints each day, over several years, then it’s not really going to ever be a problem in terms of testosterone production.
5. Licorice Root
Last on our list is licorice root. Even if you don’t like licorice, it’s used in many other foods that you may not be aware of.
It’s actually a herb that’s used not only licorice products, but also many other types of candy, beverages, and even tobacco because of its sweet flavour.
Now obviously, most of that is only infused at very low levels, and those trace amounts are not going to add up to any significant assault on your testosterone levels unless you are really consuming a lot of these products (or are doing so alongside some of our other damaging foods).
The evidence is also sketchy, with only small scale studies done around licorice and testosterone.
In 2016, there was a little confirmation though when an animal study found that a chemical compound in licorice seemed to influence the production of sex hormones generally, including testosterone and estrogen.
However, the study that does point to a warning, was a small-scale study conducted in 2003, which found that:
“The mean testosterone values decreased by 26 % after one week of treatment (p < 0.01). There was also a significant increase in 17-OHP and LH concentrations and a slight, but not significant decrease in free testosterone.”
So overall, the risk from licorice root is low unless you consume significant amounts of it through a variety of products. If you are eating licorice suites and like the taste of licorice, then it could potentially lower your testosterone values.