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Both humans and other animals produce a hormone called testosterone. Testosterone controls red blood cell formation, muscle mass, sex drive, fat distribution, and fertility. It is in charge of the development of male sexual traits. Because testosterone is necessary for bone density, low testosterone levels may cause bones to be weaker than usual. What foods kill testosterone levels in men’s bodies will be highlighted in this article.
Along with other prominent hormones like progesterone and estrogen, females also need healthy testosterone levels.
Why Do Testosterone Levels Decline
As men age, their testosterone levels often decline. Low testosterone levels can cause illnesses like hypogonadism or infertility if they go below the healthy range. The range of testosterone that is considered normal is roughly 270 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter), with an average value of 700 ng/dL.
Male testosterone levels typically reach their peak around age 20, after which they gradually drop. There are sources, nevertheless, where people with low testosterone levels can increase it.
Other factors are also likely to cause a person’s testosterone to decline over time such as environment, stress, obesity, and diabetes. The quality of testosterone and sperm is also significantly impacted by air pollution.
Stress also affects a person’s t levels. The cortisol hormone, produced by prolonged stress, inevitably lowers the testosterone level in the body.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels
With the help of testosterone, an erection can be obtained and sustained. It tells brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, a chemical that helps to initiate the chain of events that leads to an erection.
If your testosterone levels are too low, you can have trouble getting an erection before intercourse or getting spontaneous erections, like those that happen while you’re sleeping.
Low Sex Drive
While some people’s sex drive may fall as they age, those with low testosterone probably have a more drastic decline.
You may have low testosterone if you are consistently exhausted despite getting enough sleep or find it difficult to get motivated to exercise.
When a man’s testosterone levels fall below normal, he has low testosterone. It can directly affect fertility by causing decreased or no sperm count or azoospermia.
Increased Body Fat
Low testosterone in males can cause decreased muscle mass, body fat gain, or gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can occur when there is an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone in the body.
A sudden warm sensation may be experienced. Additionally, you can develop night sweats, excessive sweating, and skin redness.
You might also lose body and facial hair if your t levels are low.
Testosterone Production in Humans
In men, the testicles are where testosterone is mostly created. Leydig cells, found largely in the testicles, are responsible for its production. Though in much smaller amounts, testosterone is also produced by women’s ovaries. The pituitary gland controls the level of testosterone produced.
What Foods Kill Testosterone
Testosterone levels in one research of 35 men were shown to be lower after consuming soy protein isolates for 54 days. Additionally, phytoestrogens, which are derived from plants and mimic the actions of estrogen in the body by changing hormone levels and possibly lowering testosterone, are abundant in soy products.
A high level of the molecule equol, which inhibits the formation of T, has been related to soy product intake. Getting rid of soy meals like tofu, soy milk, miso soup, meat substitutes, and other sources will help you catch up on your T levels.
Other studies produced contradictory findings, indicating that soy-based diets such as soy milk, may not have the same impact as these isolated soy components. Therefore, more extensive research is required to assess how soy products affect t levels fully.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are prevalent in vegetable oils such as canola, soybean, corn, and cottonseed oil. Consuming polyunsaturated fats frequently was linked to noticeably reduced testosterone levels, according to one research done on sixty-nine men.
Vegetable oils also contain cholesterol. High cholesterol intake can also negatively affect the testosterone levels of the body. More rigorous research is required to determine how vegetable oils affect t levels.
According to numerous research, dairy products may cause your testosterone levels to drop. The majority of milk produced and sold commercially comes from pregnant female cows, rich in progesterone and estrogens. Your testosterone levels may be impacted by the natural or synthetic hormones found in cow’s milk.
Since soy meal accounts for nearly 98 percent of animal feed, cow’s milk likely has significantly higher estrogen levels than usual as soy boosts estrogen levels.
If you want a tall glass of milk, you should get skimmed milk. A great substitute is milk fortified with vitamin D. Additionally, avoid processed dairy items like cheese and ice cream because they frequently include unhealthy saturated fats.
You can try plant-based milk substitutes like almond or coconut milk instead of dairy.
Fried Foods and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Fried foods are high in sugar, salt, calories, and PUFAs. PUFAs and trans fats inhibit testosterone secretion. Avoid trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids at all costs and instead opt for a low-fat diet.
Artificial trans fats are found almost in every processed food. Vegetable oils are also included in processed foods, which are likewise high in PUFA. Processed diets are bad for testosterone because they include PUFA and trans fats, which lower testosterone levels. The overuse of these processed meals has been linked to inflammatory diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. You should always avoid eating trans fats and instead, go for healthy fats.
The packaging of processed foods might also reduce your testosterone. Most pre-packaged or canned goods include Bisphenol A (BPA) in their plastic packaging, which can lower t levels while increasing sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels.
We know that high sugar intake is harmful to health. A hormonal imbalance could result from consuming too much sugar. Additionally, scientific studies continue to show that young males who consume sugar have lower testosterone levels.
Any beverage containing added sugar or sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, and others, is referred to as a sugar-sweetened beverage.
According to recent studies, men between the ages of 20 and 39 who consume sugar-sweetened drinks have lower serum testosterone levels. You should reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake and instead attempt to eat more whole meals, such as fruits.
Excessive alcohol use can alter several hormones in your body, including testosterone, in both the short and long term. Alcohol use can impair the function of your pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes, all of which play important roles in testosterone production. These complications can also lead to late-onset hypogonadism (LOH), which has long been thought to be one of the leading causes of testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone levels can be used to foretell the development of alcohol usage or dependence. The same endorphins that alcohol intake releases, elevating your mood in the process, are also the molecules that deplete your T-levels.
According to some research, a small amount of alcohol may increase testosterone levels, but other studies show that this is typically not the case.
In polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) -afflicted women, mint reduces testosterone levels. Mint can also boost the amounts of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.
The majority of the study on the subject involves either women or animals as models. To acquire a clearer overall picture, future studies should include the effects of mint on both sexes.
Due to its sweet flavor, licorice root is a common ingredient in sweets, beverages, and tobacco goods. It can also be purchased as a tea or supplement.
In a 2016 study on animals, it was observed that a molecule in licorice inhibited the synthesis of testosterone and other sex-stimulating steroid hormones. However, for humans, this is not entirely conclusive.
Nuts usually have positive impact on overall health but eating nuts heavy in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, pecans, and almonds, might stress your body’s storage tissues and lower your T levels. Try to have brazil nuts, chestnuts, or macadamia nuts instead.
Flaxseed has several health advantages, including lowering blood pressure and promoting digestive and cardiovascular health. However, too much of it can be a testosterone killer.
It has a huge amount of dietary lignans. Lignans are plant-based substances that can lower total and free T levels as well as inhibit testosterone from being transformed into the essential androgen dihydrotestosterone.
Furthermore, flaxseed contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is better than omega-6, but some study suggests that too much of it may potentially reduce testosterone levels.
Baked Food Items
According to a study, eating baked food items such as desserts, bread, and pastries can affect testosterone levels negatively.
Diet soda can be harmful to your health, lowering testosterone levels among other things. The males who consume diet soda have greater levels of SHBG, a hormone that binds to testosterone and prevents it from being utilized by the body. Diet soda may be equally as dangerous as regular soda, therefore it’s recommended to cut out both types of soda from your daily diet. You can also switch to plain water, coconut water or lemon water.
Omega-six fatty acids, which are frequently found in high concentrations in low-quality meat, can fuel inflammation.
Inflammation affects other hormones in the body as well as lowering testosterone levels. Additionally, hormones are frequently used to treat low-quality meat, which can similarly lower testosterone levels.
Testosterone Boosting Foods
Bananas have a long history of being considered a superfood. We know the numerous health benefits of bananas. They are loaded with crucial vitamins and minerals that help produce testosterone. They could lower blood pressure too.
They contain copper, which aids in the body’s absorption of iron, and magnesium, which is necessary for the production of testosterone.
Bananas contain bromelain, an enzyme that has been linked to boosting testosterone levels. Bananas can help increase sexual desire, performance, and overall virility. You can add them to your diet to naturally boost your t levels.
Pomegranates include a high concentration of antioxidants, which can help reduce stress and protect Leydig cells from harm. Pomegranates can also help fight viruses and bacteria while also lowering the risk of inflammatory arthritis and cardiovascular disease, all of which can help boost t levels.
Avocados are rich in magnesium and boron, which may raise testosterone levels. The body’s metabolism of testosterone appears to be influenced by the trace mineral boron, which may also prevent testosterone breakdown.
Egg yolks are rich in selenium. According to certain research, selenium may increase the synthesis of testosterone by enhancing the expression of specific genes and certain pathways. To make judgments about selenium’s impact on testosterone, we must conduct further studies, particularly in humans.
Fishes like salmon, tuna, and sardines can boost your t levels. So, don’t forget to include them in your diet. A DHA-enriched fish oil supplement was found to raise a person’s overall testosterone levels, according to a study.
Oysters contain zinc abundantly. This vital element can support maintaining a healthy testosterone balance. Try to add oysters to your diet to boost testosterone naturally.
The allicin in garlic gives the body the ability to handle elevated cortisol levels. The result will be increased testosterone production. Raw garlic usually produces superior outcomes. This herb, in addition to testosterone, strengthens weakened muscles.
Other Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally
The best approach to increasing testosterone is always to speak to a professional, but there are certain things you may do in the interim that might be able to help.
- Resistance training exercises that help you reduce weight and gain muscle mass.
- 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Avoid taking stress.
- Balanced dietary patterns.
- Avoid overeating.
Tests to Diagnose Low Testosterone Levels
A doctor will do a physical examination if you exhibit the warning signs and symptoms of low testosterone. Additionally, they’ll inquire about your medical background.
The subsequent examinations can confirm low testosterone and establish its etiology.
Total Testosterone Level Blood Test
Between the hours of 8 and 10 in the morning, when testosterone levels should be at their peak, two blood collections are often required for this test.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Blood Test
If your pituitary gland is malfunctioning, this test might assist identify the source of low testosterone.
A Bioavailable Testosterone Test
It measures free testosterone as well as testosterone that is loosely bound to albumin, a blood protein. It is uncommon to perform this test. However, similar to a free testosterone test, it could be used to identify some illnesses.
MRI or CT Scan
Your doctor can request an MRI or CT scan of your brain if they suspect a pituitary tumor is the source of your male hypogonadism.
If the doctor feels that a pituitary disorder causing low testosterone is the cause, he or she may request that you undergo additional hormone tests to determine your levels of other pituitary hormones.
Medication Options for Low t Levels
The treatment of testosterone is available in many different forms. The course of treatment is determined by the reason for the low testosterone, the patient’s preferences, the cost, the patient’s tolerance, and any concerns about fertility. In general, testosterone therapy or more testosterone may be advised if your testosterone level is less than 300 ng/dL.
Injections are given intramuscularly every 1-2 weeks. These are not recommended for men in their late twenties and thirties since they are more likely to induce infertility.
Gels can be used on the armpit, shoulder, inner thigh, and upper arm. Women should avoid coming into contact with the gel to avoid boosting their testosterone levels, which might result in unwanted body hair.
This method, like a nicotine patch, releases testosterone into the body through the skin. Patches last about 24 hours and must be applied to a hair-free, oil-free, and irritation-free area of the body. It also cannot pass across a bone or joint that will be agitated by sitting, sleeping, or moving. For at least seven days, you should not “reuse” a location. Patches are not licensed for the treatment of age-related hypogonadism.
Implanting testosterone pellets into the adipose tissue above the buttocks is one option. The pellets contain crystalized testosterone, which is released into the body over four to six months.
With an estimated 2.3 million American males taking testosterone therapy in 2013, the usage of this treatment is becoming more widespread in the United States.
Regular monitoring of males undergoing testosterone therapy for side effects and treatment efficacy is advised. This monitoring should include testosterone measurements, full blood counts to determine hematocrit, and prostate-specific antigen testing. Men with low testosterone levels brought on by brain, pituitary, or testicular diseases are the only ones for whom testosterone therapy has been approved.
For the treatment of postmenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, testosterone therapy may be an option. Testosterone therapy may also be utilized to help transgender males and gender nonbinary people who want to be masculinized.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued an advisory in 2015 warning that testosterone use may be linked to elevated cardiovascular risk and advising doctors to talk to patients about this risk before starting testosterone therapy.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
Improvement in Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone therapy appears to improve young men with hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction. When phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors are ineffective, testosterone treatment may be used as second-line therapy in men with low testosterone.
Bone Mass and Muscle Strength
In middle-aged men with testosterone insufficiency, testosterone therapy enhances bone density at the lumbar spine but not at the hip. The therapy enhances bone density in the spine and hip in elderly men.
Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk
Reduced serum testosterone levels have been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), including ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, it is still unclear whether TD is directly connected to the pathogenesis of CVD, a marker of pre-existing CVD, or possibly the concurrent emergence of another underlying condition.
Risk of Prostate Cancer
Testosterone therapy medications may raise the risk of prostate cancer, according to some research. A rise in testosterone levels is one of the causes of this.
In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Urological, the medical files from six urology offices were examined. Twenty males who had TRT for sexual dysfunction were found to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer after beginning the treatment.
Within two years of the men’s initial drug use, doctors found cancer in 55% of cases. The remaining guys received their diagnoses between 28 months and 8 years after beginning treatment.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a kind of sleep apnea, has been linked to Testosterone therapy (TRT) by some studies, but not by others, who claim the connection is tenuous.
Injections of testosterone have been related to a potentially lethal blood clot in the lung. If you experience symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, a coughing fit, tightness of the throat, or fainting, you must seek medical attention right once.
Fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs are generally healthy choices for a diet meant to raise testosterone levels. Focus on eating lean meats, stay away from processed foods, and combine a smart exercise regimen with other lifestyle adjustments to complement your diet. To understand the testosterone-associated dietary pattern, research using prospective measures is required.
Although easy lifestyle modifications and certain foods to eat and avoid have all been demonstrated, you should always consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.