For all those out there that do not already know, testosterone is a key hormone for both female and male health. Their role is key when it comes to avoiding multiple health risks that could be prevalent within the body.
For example, did you know that testosterone levels maintain your ability to be able to gain muscle mass, have a healthy sexual function, provide power and strength to actively pursue a good quality of life?
Having low testosterone levels has been linked to many chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic syndrome illnesses such as high cholesterol, obesity and cardiovascular heart problems. There have even been further scientific links of how brain cognitive power actually decreases more rapidly within males and females as they age, if they do not intuitively take into account their existing hormone levels within their bodies.
Many health interventions actively promote individuals in the regulation of testosterone through a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are many foods out there that actively work against you keeping your testosterone levels regulated to suffice your body’s function. It is not just testosterone that is at stake here, it is all the fellow hormone levels that depend on testosterone too for their function. Androgen levels and estrogen levels directly correlate to the testosterone levels within your body.
Of course, while there are foods to lower the sex hormone testosterone and its presence, testosterone boosting supplements have been encouraged and deemed influential towards those that are conscious and mounting an awareness around their existing levels of testosterone.
6 Foods that lower testosterone levels
Below is a list of foods that you should intuitively incorporate within your diet with caution, as they could be the reason as to why your testosterone levels have been looking a little low, or are on the low side, after your last blood check!
P.S for your reference, testosterone levels in men should not fall below 300-1100ng/dL, and 15-70 ng/dL in women.
1. Soy foods
This remains quite controversial, especially with those that actively eat plant based diets. However, there have been factual based studies to support the idea that soy foods and soy based products actually do contribute to a drop-in testosterone levels. For example, within 35 tested men who drank a soy protein isolate over 54 days, testosterone levels had dropped.  Soy can do this by promoting an increase of estrogen, which again, can alter the natural state of testosterone within the body, due to the phytoestrogens which circulate within the body, after consuming processed foods like soy.
Yet, many nutritional scientists who actively research the components of soy within the body, have concluded that the testosterone lowering attributes of soy is in fact, just present within soy isolated foods and not within soy based derivatives. Yet, this is a scope which is yet to be further explored and discovered, as there is no solid differentiation between the types of soy just yet.
2. Vegetable oils
Vegetable oils or polyunsaturated fatty acids are commonly used within everyday cooking and food. Many common variations of vegetable oils include soybean, corn and canola oil, which are jam-packed with many, many fatty acids within them. Sure, fatty acids can be a great direct source to dietary fats that allow us to meet our daily macronutrients, yet multiple studies have beyond hinted on how they contribute towards lowering testosterone levels within the human body too.
Within a dietary clinical study, 69 trial subjects had consumed polyunsaturated fats daily, and saw significantly lower testosterone levels within circulation. The reason behind this was explained to be due to the higher circulations of oestradiol, which correlate and contribute to the inhibitions of the sex hormone product development within males specifically.  While observation studies are still limited to small sized trials and ethnic groups, this needs to be further broadened in terms of the spectrum of people involved, to allow for cross-referencing and quantitative analyses. Vegetable oils in relation to how they reduce testosterone hormone levels can only be concluded via multiple meta studies distributed through a wider level of the general public. This is the only way where more solid factual evidence can be concluded upon. However, while there is a clear association there, it is not significantly conclusive as of yet.
When we think of trans-fats in food, we automatically think of the processed foods that have become such a normality within the fast foods industry. Convenience meals have long been associated with metabolic syndromes like obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, what has also become so commonly linked too here, is the triangle between all three factors. Trans-fats, metabolic syndromes and a low testosterone level within blood circulation.
Within existing studies there has always been a greater prevalence between those who consumed a large percentage of processed foods/fatty acids, integration of one or all metabolic diseases and low testosterone. A pilot study within obese hypogonadal men, saw that those who consumed more of a high fat intake, be it considered healthy fats like olive oil, or more trans associated fats in processed foods, saw their net overall testosterone levels reduced by at least 10nmol/L in the allotted time frame within the clinical trial.  In addition to this, they had a high prevalence of being severely obese due to the lack of interventions when it comes to micromanaging their diet and consumption of trans-fats. Even animal studies have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases upon consuming processed products, with secondary effects of lowered testosterone within circulation. 
It is important to note that trans fats are present within many foods that are considered natural products, such as dairy products for example. However, the comparison between processed foods and dairy products with their trans-fat content is generally a large difference. Processed foods will always contain significantly larger proportions of trans-fats and thus that is why they are more likely to impair testosterone levels.
Nuts have always been linked towards providing the body vital nutrients for its function, especially when it comes to fibre and the mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids that they contribute to the body upon their metabolism. However, specific studies to certain nuts have been medically reviewed to support the new concept that not all nuts aid testosterone production, and that they can actually have a negative impact on the free testosterone circulation within humans. Find it hard to believe? Well…
Within a study amongst women sharing the ovarian disorder Polycystic ovary syndrome, those who consumed walnuts and almonds actually reduced testosterone production and circulation overall by up to 16%. It was later found out that the reason being was directly due to the sex hormone binding globulin which targets testosterone by binding to it, resulting in a direct impact on the levels of testosterone in circulation.  Of course, we have also mentioned how there is a link to polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3 fatty acids having a contribution towards lowering testosterone hormones in multiple studies too. Yet medically reviewed research needs to combine all factors and the links/relationships between both the sexes to provide a well-rounded basis. Currently, research is very segmented between male and female studies, which does not help further the understanding of the wider relationship between diet and testosterone within the sexes.
5. Liquorice root
So, if you are particularly fond of your candies and sweetened beverages, you have possibly been depriving yourself of the essential sex hormone within your body for a while now-and not even realised it!
In recent years the data that has been medically reviewed, has neared towards the idea that liquorice root can actually influence hormone regulation, more than we care to admit. The reason why this has been a sore topic to address, is the fact that liquorice root has long been a home remedy for inflammation and chronic pains. However, it in fact turns out from within studies, that just 7 grams of liquorice root can have the power to significantly drop testosterone levels in men and women by up to 32%, within the time basis of a week for men, and an entire menstrual cycle for women.  There was a greater dramatic effect on women however, as from just a 3.5-gram quantity, lower testosterone as a result were amplified by twofold. 
Similarly, to liquorice root, mint has had the ads/marketing coverage on nutritionally focused media websites, to be a herb that is a source and remedy to the body. Being that it is naturally derived from plant compounds, you would not think some harm would come your way, right? Despite its known information and influence on the stomach for soothing properties, using it as a regular health treatment plan can be costly to the health of women.
Why, you ask? Well, health information from spearmint essential oil interventions via a 30-day study has contributed to factual data to suggest significant decline in testosterone levels in women.  To further this article data, spearmint essential oil in rat clinical trials came back mimicking the exact same results shown in women, and again was applied within a drinking beverage basis, to mimic real life application within teas and such.  While the relationship of mint within men is still yet unknown, retrieving this study information is vital for a wider understanding of the relationship between the sexes, and to truly analyse testosterone levels and their interactions associated with certain foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which foods increase testosterone the most?
Foods that have scientifically been proven to boost the testosterone levels within circulation, include Tuna, due to it being rich in Vitamin D, which is a direct source of rich testosterone promoting compounds. If you are not a tuna fan, it may be wise to opt for subtle Vitamin D supplements instead.
Other examples include fortified cereals, oysters, shellfish, beef, beans and egg yolks. But make sure to keep in-check the quantity you have, as we have mentioned previously how Omega 3 fatty acids can contribute to lowering your androgen levels overall.
Do bananas lower testosterone?
The content of bananas does exactly the opposite of lowering testosterone. The enzyme within bananas (known as bromelain) gives your testosterone levels a right boost, and it is the perfect snack companion, as the source of nutrients within it gets released slowly, to give you the sustained energy you need to tackle your day!
Does masturbation decrease testosterone?
A common myth that we are about to squash, is the idea that testosterone can be affected long-term through masturbation. This is false. Testosterone does fluctuate lower after ejaculation; however, this is a very short-term effect and the levels of testosterone do replenish after your body produces more naturally. So, do not worry, you will not need to wave goodbye to your sex drive or hormone regulation by masturbating…
What other lifestyle factors cause hormone levels to decline?
As I have mentioned previously within the introduction, testosterone can be directly affected by lifestyle factors such as metabolic syndromes and a general aptitude for physical activity. Many studies which we explored through our article, states that those with a lower testosterone circulation usually have a relationship to a metabolic syndrome too. Therefore, it has been presumed with factual evidence that before any therapy interventions are made, making changes to these detrimental lifestyle factors would prove a beneficial first step in the right direction to taking control of your hormone regulation.
- Link, R., 2018. 8 Foods That Lower Testosterone Levels. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-lower-testosterone [Accessed 18 May 2021].
- Nagata, C., Takatsuka, N., Kawakami, N. and Shimizu, H., 2000. Relationships between types of fat consumed and serum estrogen and androgen concentrations in Japanese men. [online] National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11525593/ [Accessed 18 May 2021].
- Pearce, K. and Tremellen, K., 2019. The Effect of Macronutrients on Reproductive Hormones in Overweight and Obese Men: A Pilot Study. Nutrients, [online] 11(12), p.3059. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950136/ [Accessed 18 May 2021].
- Johnson, J. and Olsen, N., 2019. What foods reduce testosterone?. [online] Medicalnewstoday.com. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325186#boost-testosterone-naturally [Accessed 18 May 2021].