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6 Foods That Lower Testosterone: What to Watch Out For 

Julian Carter


foods that lower testosterone

Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for male development and muscle growth. 

Mainly, it is found in men and helps with muscle growth, bone density, mood regulation, and more.

While some foods can help support healthy testosterone levels, others may have the opposite effect.

Foods like vegetable oil, sugar, soy, and flaxseed are known to reduce testosterone levels.

This article will provide detailed information on foods that lower testosterone and discusses dietary strategies for improving sexual health. 

Foods that lower testosterone

Normally, the body regulates hormones efficiently and maintains the required levels of testosterone.

However, factors like aging, certain medical conditions, or lifestyle choices can lead to low testosterone levels, affecting various aspects of health.
However, certain compounds present in foods can  interfere with this process, leading to hormonal imbalances. 

Consuming excessive amounts of such foods can reduce testosterone levels

Foods that lower testosterone may include soy, vegetable oil, flaxseed, nuts, alcohol, and trans fat.

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  • Let’s discuss these foods that lower testosterone in detail: 


    Soy is rich in phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances with effects similar to estrogen.

    A 2005 study on 35 men consuming soy protein for 57 days showed a reduction in testosterone levels.

    An older review of 15 studies published in 2009 concluded that soy consumption did not affect testosterone levels in men.

    However, more research is required as the existing studies on soy and testosterone have shown conflicting results.

    Vegetable oil

    Vegetable oil Source: fizkes_from_GettyImages
    Vegetable in a bottle

    Most vegetable oils may contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

    Although polyunsaturated fats can be a source of healthy fats, high amounts of such fats can lower testosterone levels.

    According to a 2019 study on men with Hypogonadism, diets with high polyunsaturated fatty acids were  found to decrease serum testosterone production.

    Hypogonadism is a condition characterized by the testicles not producing enough testosterone.


    Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans, which may lower testosterone levels. 

    Lignan can attach to testosterone and cause it to break down from the body. 

    In a 2001 study, 25 men with prostate cancer took a flaxseed supplement, which reduced their overall fat intake.

    This combination significantly reduced their testosterone levels as well.

    Although, more research is needed to determine if flaxseed lowers testosterone.

    However, moderate consumption of flaxseed is unlikely to affect testosterone levels. 


    Walnuts and almonds seem to increase the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).

    SHBG transports testosterone and other hormones throughout your body.

    Higher amounts of SHBG lead to lower levels of free testosterone in the body.

    However, most of the research on this topic has focused on women. 

    A study in women with PCOS found that walnut consumption increased SHBG by 12.5% ​​, and almond consumption increased SHBG by 16%.  

    This may be because almonds are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.


    Avoid AlcoholSource: Daria_Kulkova_from_Getty_Images
    A man saying no to alcohol

    Drinking excessive alcohol may affect a man sexually with many health risks. 

    A 2019 study reveals that high alcohol consumption may reduce testosterone levels. 

    Research also states that long-term heavy drinking is associated with lower testosterone levels in men

    Avoid heavy drinking as it not only lowers your testosterone levels but may also cause severe liver damage. This can lead to conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis and Cirrhosis.

    Trans fat

    Trans fat usually found in packaged goods is considered unhealthy. 

    This is especially true for artificial trans fats, also known as industrial trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats.

    In a 2017 study, researchers examined how fatty acid intake affected 209 healthy men. 

    The researchers found that consuming more trans fatty acids was associated with lower testosterone levels.

    The FDA banned partially hydrogenated oils – a major source of trans fats.

    This is because they do not meet FDA requirements to be “generally recognized as safe.”

    However, you can still find some trans fatty acids in processed foods.

    Limited studies are available on foods that lower testosterone, and more human research is required. 

    However, consuming these foods in moderation may help in lowering testosterone levels. 

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    Summing up

    Testosterone is a hormone essential for males; it is also present in females but in a smaller quantity. 

    Natural ways to keep testosterone levels in balance are diet and exercise. 

    There are certain foods that lower testosterone like soy, vegetable oil, flaxseed, and nuts.

    However, more evidence is needed to support these claims. Like any dietary consideration, moderation is key.

    While these foods can lower testosterone levels, regular consumption is unlikely to cause significant harm in most people.

    You should consult a medical professional if you have any concerns about your testosterone levels. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What foods decrease testosterone levels?

    Certain foods lower testosterone levels, like soy products and excessive alcohol. High-sugar diets and processed foods might also negatively impact hormonal balance and testosterone production.

    Do processed foods have an impact on testosterone levels?

    Yes, processed foods can negatively impact testosterone levels. Their lack of nutrients and potential to contribute to Obesity and inflammation can disrupt hormonal balance and reduce testosterone production.

    How does soy impact testosterone levels?

    Soy contains phytoestrogens, which can mimic estrogen in the body. Consuming high amounts of soy products might lead to hormonal imbalances and potentially lower testosterone levels, especially in men.

    Does alcohol consumption affect testosterone levels?

    Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the endocrine system, potentially leading to lower testosterone levels due to its impact on hormonal balance and production.

    How important is moderation in maintaining healthy testosterone levels?

    Moderation is crucial for sustaining healthy testosterone levels. Balanced dietary choices and lifestyle factors like exercise and stress management play a vital role in hormonal health and well-being.

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