Testosterone is a hormone playing an essential role in male health. In fact, it is also called the male hormone, which implies that testosterone makes a man man. Normally, the body regulates its amounts, ensuring the healthy function of all organs and systems. In some cases, however, your organism may fail to cope with this task and your hormone levels go down. One of the factors that may facilitate such changes is the food you consume.
The testosterone-killing products are diverse, and while the negative impact of some of them has already been proven scientifically, others still need to be studied to be absolutely sure that they have anything to do with your low T. Anyway, if your testosterone levels are bothering you, you’d better avoid or minimize these products regardless of the reliability of evidence that support their negative impact on your sex hormones.
What Is the Role of Testosterone?
Before we get down to explaining what foods can affect your levels of testosterone, we’d like to explain why healthy amounts of this hormone are so important for male health. So here are some of the functions that testosterone performs in the body:
- ensuring the production and healthy sperm count;
- the growth of the bone and muscle mass;
- regulates the growth of the penis and testes;
- regulation of your libido;
- the distribution of fat by male type;
- participates in the production of red blood cells;
- physical strength.
Signs You Have Low Testosterone
You can suspect your hormone levels are out of the norm by noticing the following symptoms:
- permanent tiredness;
- mood swings;
- shrinkage of the testicles;
- low or no interest in sex;
- trouble getting and/or sustaining an erection;
- hair loss, including a decrease in facial, pubic, and armpit hair;
- increased storage of fat in the belly area;
- low semen volume;
- increased emotionality, and others.
Foods Killing Testosterone
Speaking about the negative impact of food on your hormonal levels, it’s essential to understand that it’s the excessive consumption of certain products that may cause a hormone drop. If eating them in moderation, they bear little-to-no risks to your male health. So let’s get down to the products you should avoid to sustain healthy T levels.
Soy products are very popular among vegetarians. They provide protein such people lack due to the absence of meat in their diet. However, by eating tofu, soybeans, soy nuts, and other products made of this crop too often, men risk suffering from reduced testosterone levels.
Such effects of soy are explained by its high content of phytoestrogens. Although they are derived from plants, the structure of phytoestrogens is similar to human estrogen. Therefore, its effects on the body resemble those of the human hormone.
The precise mechanism of soy influencing male serum testosterone levels is still to be revealed. The results of scientific research are rather controversial in this regard. However, practice shows that by eliminating soy from their diet, men managed to get rid of breast tenderness and other symptoms related to elevated estrogen levels.
Among the most common causes of high levels of estrogen and low T is excessive alcohol consumption. You may have heard that low doses of ethanol boost the production of the male hormone, which is the truth, as this study showed.
On the other hand, alcohol abuse leads to the reduction of the male secondary characteristics, like body hair. It can also affect male fertility and erectile function. Most of these health issues are related to the drop in T levels.It happens due to the negative impact of alcohol on the Leydig cells in the testicles. Binge drinking can also interfere with the normal function of Sertoli cells, which are responsible for sperm maturation and are found in the testicles.
Do you like milk, yogurt, and other dairy products? Well, this may be the reason why you have your testosterone levels low. The primary cause of such an effect on male health is the excessive use of synthetic hormones in the process of cattle growth. Naturally, all these, plus the natural animal hormones,are excreted into the milk. Therefore, a cow’s milk, and products made of it, become the source of estrogens that suppress the secretion of the male hormone.
Licorice root is widely used for flavoring sweets, beverages, and even tobacco. The health benefits of this plant are diverse. It is used to treat insomnia, some gastrointestinal disorders, infections, and other medical conditions. However, paying attention to the product pros, we sometimes forget to look at the other side of the medal.
Studies claim that the intake of licorice root can reduce serum testosterone levels by 26%. Also, this product can negatively affect the levels of free testosterone.
The main problem with vegetable oils is that they contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids that negatively affect testosterone levels. Another reason why the effects of vegetable oils may be so detrimental to testosterone production is a high concentration of Omega-6. The healthy ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet should be 1:1. If Omega-6 prevails, it’s a short way to hormonal imbalance and problems with male health.
Unfortunately, this theory is only proved by animal studies and still need to be investigated in human. Anyway, it gives food for thought and strong arguments to reduce vegetable oils in your diet.
The largest source of trans fats is processed food such as margarine or crackers. Trans fats are naturally present in some food products, like avocados or nuts. They are also created during the chemical procession of vegetable oils.
The presence of such foods in your dies increases your risks of insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes, and the appearance of inflammatory processes throughout the body. Both of these add to the reduced secretion of testosterone.
Do you try to preserve your health by limiting your calorie consumption? Good for you! But there’s a problem here. Low-calorie food and drinks, like diet soda, often contain aspartame as an artificial sweetener. Animal studies revealed that aspartame does significant damage to the male reproductive system. It affects sperm parameters, testicular tissue, and the levels of testosterone. All these tend to be the consequences of oxidative stress related to eating foods containing aspartame.
Foods That Kill Testosterone – Summing up
The influence of foods on health and t levels, in particular, can be significant only if you eat them in excess. The main thing you can do to avoid such a negative impact on your male health is to keep to a healthy diet and avoid meals containing artificial sweeteners, trans fats, saturated fats, etc.