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How to Increase Testosterone Naturally: 10 Science-Backed Methods

How to Increase Testosterone Naturally: 10 Science-Backed Methods

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone but vital to both sexes. People who are testosterone deficient can have a whole raft of serious health problems, from weight gain to poor overall health.

We will look through the tried and tested ways you can naturally increase testosterone levels without medical intervention. In doing this, you can see improved wellness overall, athleticism, and sexual health.

Key Takeaways: Naturally Raising Testosterone

  • Lower testosterone can cause serious health issues.
  • People with lower testosterone levels can suffer from low libido, mental health issues, and low energy levels overall.
  • Vitamin supplementation and testosterone therapy are effective if you are testosterone deficient.
  • You can increase testosterone levels with diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy is an effective way to boost testosterone levels.
  • Exercise is a quick and easy way to increase testosterone levels naturally.

Can You Boost Your Testosterone Naturally?

Yes, there are a number of scientifically proven ways that you can boost testosterone production naturally. 

As you age, your testosterone levels will naturally fall. After the age of 30, your testosterone levels will drop, on average, 1% every year thereafter [1]

Common issues with reduced testosterone are reduced sexual function, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, poor overall health, and loss of bone density [2]

If you boost the production of testosterone, it is then crucial to make changes to keep your free testosterone levels elevated. The easiest way to do this is with changes to your lifestyle and eating balanced amounts of healthy food.

10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Testosterone Fast 

Here is a quick run-through of tried, tested, and proven ways to boost testosterone naturally.

how to increase testosterone naturally

  1. Avoid excess body fat.
  2. Boost muscle mass.
  3. Eat a healthy diet.
  4. Check your prescription medications.
  5. Take herbal supplements.
  6. Magnesium supplementation.
  7. Vitamin D supplementation.
  8. Take natural testosterone boosters.
  9. Get plenty of sleep.
  10. Reduce stress levels.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Science has shown that by maintaining a steady and healthy BMI, you can boost your testosterone levels. Avoiding being overweight is the key to success [3]

Insulin resistance is related to a high BMI. This is, in turn, related to lower testosterone levels. When you have low testosterone, your body fat levels go up. This leads to your body not using insulin efficiently, i.e., insulin resistance.

You can see how this is a problematic cycle to be in. By keeping a steady weight, you avoid yo-yo dieting and the stresses that rapid weight loss/gain puts on your body. This also promotes good health and allows you to maintain healthy levels of testosterone. 

how to increase testosterone naturally How weight loss improves testosterone levels in men
Regardless of the method for weight loss, all subjects saw an increase in testosterone
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/

2. Try Strength Training 

It has been shown that exercise, particularly strength training and achieving an increase in muscle mass, can positively affect your testosterone levels [4].  

High-intensity interval training and resistance training are great ways to increase muscle mass to help maintain and boost testosterone naturally

Swimming is a low-impact way to increase fitness generally. Attending swimming classes, aqua aerobics, or even an hour a week swimming in a pool will work wonders for your bodily health.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Randomized controlled trials have shown that when you eat balanced amounts of fruit and veg, or a Mediterranean diet, this naturally increases testosterone levels [5]

A balanced diet consists of three main parts: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is important to have all three in the correct proportions. You should aim for a percentage of your caloric intake from the three types as follows:

  • Carbohydrates: 45–65%
  • Fats: 20–35%
  • Protein: 10–35%

Different diet plans, such as the ketogenic diet, cut out certain food groups altogether and replace the lost calories from the other food groups. If you are having issues with hormone levels, this sort of diet is not recommended.

A lifestyle and diet change would ensure that you have no mineral or vitamin deficiencies. It would help achieve and maintain a BMI for healthy T levels.

4. Take Vitamin D

Vitamin D has long been linked with a range of health effects, not least with being a natural testosterone booster [6]

how to increase testosterone naturally Effectiveness of supplemental vitamin D at increasing total testosterone in men
Vitamin D had a positive effect on total testosterone levels in men
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6842386/

Sunlight is a great way to boost vitamin D production. Making sure you are out and about in the sun, winter or summer, will certainly boost your D vitamin levels. 

As well as the apparent health benefits of naturally boosting your vitamin D levels, enjoying the outdoors and helping you lead a healthier lifestyle will help raise your T levels. 

There is also a range of foods you can eat that are rich in D vitamins, such as:

  • Red meat.
  • Cod liver oil.
  • Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel.
  • Eggs.
  • Liver.

Finally, there are a number of vitamin D-containing supplements available that you can take for a boost to your vitamin levels [6].

5. Address Other Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies 

If you seek professional medical advice or dietary advice, you can see if your current diet lacks any specific mineral or you have a vitamin deficiency. 

A vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lowering of testosterone levels. Zinc and magnesium are both key minerals in the bodily manufacturing process of testosterone. Be aware of your diet and any deficiencies in it.

Haemochromatosis is a condition where the body stores too much iron. One result of this is a reduction in the overall production of testosterone, leading to chronically low levels [7]

Overall bodily health is essential to keep and maintain your sex hormone levels. Once you take steps to address this in general, you might find that your hormone levels will rise, and you can maintain healthy testosterone levels naturally. 

6. Assess Your Medications 

Your doctor can provide medical advice regarding any prescribed medications that you take. Some medications have an adverse effect on sex hormone levels [8]

Here is a quick checklist of some common medications that can lower your testosterone levels:

  1. Statins: You may be prescribed these to lower your cholesterol levels [9].
  2. Opioids: These are prescribed for pain management. Long-term use can affect your testosterone levels [10]
  3. Chemotherapy: Some chemo medications can lower testosterone. Speak to your oncologist [11]
  4. Spironolactone: If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or fluid retention issues, then this may be a medication you are taking. 
  5. Cimetidine: This is a common, over-the-counter medication for acid reflux and heartburn [12]
  6. Ketoconazole: This is a common antifungal. You may be prescribed this in pill form, as a shampoo, topical cream, foam, or gel [13]
  7. Antidepressants: If you are taking any of the SSRI’s then you will find these can lower your testosterone levels [14]
  8. Asthma Inhalers: Inhalers use corticosteroids, which are related to cortisol. As detailed, cortisol is not testosterone’s friend. 
  9. Antihistamines: Very commonly used to treat allergies [15].

Your health professional can advise if there is a different treatment course you can take. 

7. Decrease Alcohol Consumption 

It has been shown that excessive alcohol consumption can depress your natural levels of sex hormones. Make a note of how much you drink and how often, and see if this is likely to be a problem [16]

People who drink for five days in a row show a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. Studies have also shown that long-term alcohol abuse can result in shrunken testes. In males, this is a key cause of low testosterone [17]

Cutting down on alcohol is always a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as above, so this will naturally help you reach your goal.

8. Try Natural Testosterone Boosters 

There are many over-the-counter health remedies that usually consist of a range of nutrients, micronutrients, and minerals that have been shown to be testosterone boosters. 

The market leader is Testogen. It has a range of proven beneficial ingredients, herbs, minerals, and boosters for the body’s hormone system. Regular use can keep your testosterone at optimal levels.

9. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

You can’t overestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Science has shown that having a good eight hours or more positively impacts testosterone levels. 

Lab studies have shown that only five hours of sleep a night result in a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. A separate study showed that only 4 hours of sleep resulted in a borderline deficiency of testosterone [17] [18]

This just underscores how important a good night’s sleep really is to healthy testosterone levels.

10. Reduce Stress Levels

Research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol is an issue in reduced testosterone levels. Long-term elevated cortisol (chronic stress) is to be avoided at all costs [17]

how to increase testosterone naturally How cortisol (stress hormone) affects testosterone
It was showed that higher amounts of cortisol lowered testosterone
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880087/

Any steps that you can take to reduce daily stress and stress levels overall can only help you raise your testosterone levels. 

Stress-busting moves like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are all proven to reduce one’s stress levels and lower cortisol. This will boost testosterone naturally. 

Strategies to Naturally Increase Testosterone in Women 

Testosterone is an important male sex hormone, but it’s vital to women too. In women, it is the adrenal glands that produce testosterone, rather than the gonads, for obvious reasons [1]

It is critical to maintain a healthy testosterone level as women age. Low energy, low libido, mental health issues, and osteoporosis are all serious issues associated with low daytime testosterone levels [2]. While there aren’t exactly gender-specific ways to increase testosterone levels, women can use these techniques:

  1. Relax. Find a way to bust your stress levels. High levels of cortisol result in lower serum testosterone levels.
  2. Boost your vitamin D levels. This vitamin helps in the production of testosterone and can help raise levels of free testosterone. 
  3. Exercise. Regular, high-intensity workouts will help raise and maintain your testosterone levels. 
  4. Lose weight. Having a high BMI can cause insulin resistance. This can lead to a lowering of testosterone. 
  5. Choose a diet rich in foods associated with raising testosterone. Alternatively, take supplements with ingredients said to boost testosterone levels in women, such as Eurycoma longifolia and Tribulus terrestris [19][20]
  6. Testosterone boosters. There are a number of available, over the counter products that can help raise your testosterone production and overall testosterone levels. 

If, as a woman, you have low testosterone levels, then there may be a medical reason for this, including:

how to increase testosterone naturally

  • Long-term use of birth control pills.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Menopause.
  • An eating disorder.
  • Certain medications, opiates, and antihypertensives.

Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most? 

There are several foods rich in specific vitamins and minerals that can help raise testosterone levels:

  • Oysters and beef: Both are rich in zinc, and this mineral is key in the production of testosterone.
  • Ginger: A study showed that three months of ginger supplements gave almost a 20% boost to testosterone levels [21]
  • Beans: Lentils, chickpeas, and baked beans contain high levels of zinc. 
  • Onions and garlic: Both are members of the same family and contain chemicals that can boost a hormone level that will trigger a rise in testosterone.
  • Low-fat milk with vitamin D: Boosting D vitamin levels has been linked with boosting testosterone. 
  • Spinach, peanuts, cashews, and almonds: They all contain high levels of magnesium. This binds to a key protein that attaches itself to testosterone. 
  • Pomegranates: A 2012 study with 60 volunteers drinking pure juice every day for 14 days showed a 24% increase in salivary testosterone [22].

Do Bananas Increase Testosterone? 

Bananas contain an enzyme called bromelain. In some studies, this has been linked with a possible rise in testosterone levels, but it seems the jury is still out on this one [23]

FAQ

We have compiled a quick list of the most commonly asked questions regarding natural testosterone boosters. 

Can Testosterone Be Increased?

In a word, yes! There is a range of ways to do this naturally by altering your lifestyle slightly. 

Have a read through the listed techniques and see which ones suit your lifestyle best. You can make a number of quick and easy changes that can give you an immediate boost. One of the most reliable ways is to reduce your alcohol intake, or better still, cut it out altogether. 

Stress-busting moves are another surefire quick fix. Try meditation in the morning or the evening, just before you go to bed. That way you can get a good night’s sleep and reduce stress levels in one. 

How Can I Boost My Testosterone Fast?

Everyone likes a quick fix, right? There are a few ways to quickly boost your testosterone, but the key really is to maintain the increase naturally. 

It is best to avoid yo-yo-ing your testosterone levels as this isn’t good for your health. There are several lifestyle changes detailed above you can use to make this a reality. 

If your low testosterone levels are severe, your doctor may suggest testosterone therapy to boost your levels quickly.

What Are Endocrine Disruptors and Are They a Problem?

Yes, they are a problem. Studies in clinical endocrinology have pinpointed a range of environmental chemicals and toxins that can disrupt hormone production in the body [24].

These chemicals can mimic how a hormone works or bind to the site that a hormone usually would, preventing it from working. They can also attach to transport proteins in the blood, preventing the circulation of hormones. 

In the environment, many artificial chemicals have unintended effects, the insecticide DDT, for one. Organic foods are the best way to limit exposure to any possible environmental toxins present in your food.

How Can I Increase Testosterone Production?

A tried and tested way to kick start your testosterone production is to get a lot of sun. Taking vitamin D supplements or over-the-counter testosterone boosters like Testogen will undoubtedly help.

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone, so a surefire way to give yourself a boost is with extra vitamins. 

What Is the Best Natural Testosterone Booster? 

You can look to increase levels of zinc and vitamin D with diet. Both have been shown to boost testosterone naturally

There are a lot of solutions available over-the-counter to help you naturally increase testosterone levels. Herbal supplements with added minerals and vitamins are also effective. 

There are many on the market currently, but the most popular are Testogen, Test RX, and Testo Prime. 

Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

There is a lot of conflicting advice around this. It started with the idea that athletes would ‘abstain’ from sexual activity before big competitions. 

Hormone and metabolic research have shown that there is a clear link between testosterone and sex drive. The metabolic research is less clear on causation vs correlation. Some studies have shown that T levels actually rise after sexual intercourse [25].

It is also true that having a naturally higher level of free testosterone increases sex drive, so it is still unclear if it is a cause or an effect. 

Conclusion 

Low testosterone is a real problem as we get older. The health issues associated with it are clear. However, we can make a few quick and straightforward changes to maintain a healthy testosterone level as we age.

Diet and changes in your lifestyle will reverse the decline in circulating testosterone levels. High-intensity interval training is another excellent way to give yourself a lift. 

There is the option of vitamin and mineral boosters; all can increase testosterone naturally.

If low testosterone is a worry for you or feeling the effects of a testosterone deficiency, don’t worry. The effects can be reversed quickly and easily. You can be back to normal in next to no time!

References:

  1. Golan, R., Scovell, J. M., & Ramasamy, R. (2015). Age-related testosterone decline is due to waning of both testicular and hypothalamic-pituitary function. The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male, 18(3), 201–204. https://doi.org/10.3109/13685538.2015.1052392
  2. Tyagi V, Scordo M, Yoon RS, Liporace FA, Greene LW. Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something? Rev Urol. 2017;19(1):16-24. doi: 10.3909/riu0716. PMID: 28522926; PMCID: PMC5434832.
  3. Endocrine Society. (2012, June 25). Overweight men can boost low testosterone levels by losing weight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 8, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625124914.htm
  4. Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7. PMID: 2796409.
  5. Tuttolomondo, A., Simonetta, I., Daidone, M., Mogavero, A., Ortello, A., & Pinto, A. (2019). Metabolic and Vascular Effect of the Mediterranean Diet. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(19), 4716. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194716
  6. Pilz, S et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme vol. 43,3 (2011): 223-5. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1269854
  7. El Osta, R., Grandpre, N., Monnin, N., Hubert, J., & Koscinski, I. (2017). Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in men with hereditary hemochromatosis. Basic and clinical andrology, 27, 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12610-017-0057-8
  8. Schooling, C.M., Au Yeung, S.L., Freeman, G. et al. The effect of statins on testosterone in men and women, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Med 11, 57 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-57
  9. Sniderman, A. D., & Thanassoulis, G. (2013). Do statins lower testosterone and does it matter?. BMC medicine, 11, 58. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-58
  10. Marudhai, S., Patel, M., Valaiyaduppu Subas, S., Ghani, M. R., Busa, V., Dardeir, A., & Cancarevic, I. (2020). Long-term Opioids Linked to Hypogonadism and the Role of Testosterone Supplementation Therapy. Cureus, 12(10), e10813. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10813
  11. Burney, B. O., & Garcia, J. M. (2012). Hypogonadism in male cancer patients. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 3(3), 149–155. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13539-012-0065-7
  12. Lardinois CK, Mazzaferri EL. Cimetidine blocks testosterone synthesis. Arch Intern Med. 1985 May;145(5):920-2. PMID: 4039555.
  13. Krause W, Effendy I. Wie wirkt Ketoconazol auf den Testosteron-Stoffwechsel? [How does ketoconazole affect testosterone metabolism?]. Z Hautkr. 1985 Jul 15;60(14):1147-55. German. PMID: 4036233.
  14. Smith CG. Drug effects on male sexual function. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Sep;25(3):525-31. doi: 10.1097/00003081-198209000-00008. PMID: 7127928.
  15. Mondillo C, Varela ML, Abiuso AMB, Vázquez R. Potential negative effects of anti-histamines on male reproductive function. Reproduction. 2018 May;155(5):R221-R227. doi: 10.1530/REP-17-0685. Epub 2018 Mar 9. PMID: 29523718.
  16. Bianco, A., Thomas, E., Pomara, F. et al. Alcohol consumption and hormonal alterations related to muscle hypertrophy: a review. Nutr Metab (Lond) 11, 26 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-11-26
  17. Michał Wrzosek, Jakub Woźniak & Dariusz Włodarek (2020) The causes of adverse changes of testosterone levels in men, Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 15:5, 355-362, DOI: 10.1080/17446651.2020.1813020
  18. Leproult, R., & Van Cauter, E. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. JAMA, 305(21), 2173–2174. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2011.710
  19. Henkel RR, Wang R, Bassett SH, Chen T, Liu N, Zhu Y, Tambi MI. Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors–a pilot study. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):544-50. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5017. Epub 2013 Jun 11. PMID: 23754792.
  20. de Souza KZ, Vale FB, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus terrestris for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Menopause. 2016 Nov;23(11):1252-1256. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000766. PMID: 27760089.
  21. Banihani S. A. (2018). Ginger and Testosterone. Biomolecules, 8(4), 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040119
  22. Arnold A 2017 Primary hyperparathyroidism: molecular genetic insights and clinical implications. Presented at Society for Endocrinology BES 2017, Harrogate, UK. Endocrine Abstracts 50 PL1 https://www.endocrine-abstracts.org/ea/0028/ea0028p313
  23. Rathnavelu, V., Alitheen, N. B., Sohila, S., Kanagesan, S., & Ramesh, R. (2016). Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications. Biomedical reports, 5(3), 283–288. https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2016.720
  24. Diamanti-Kandarakis, E., Bourguignon, J. P., Giudice, L. C., Hauser, R., Prins, G. S., Soto, A. M., Zoeller, R. T., & Gore, A. C. (2009). Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine reviews, 30(4), 293–342. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2009-0002
  25. James M. Dabbs, Suzanne Mohammed, Male and female salivary testosterone concentrations before and after sexual activity, Physiology & Behavior, Volume 52, Issue 1,1992,Pages 195-197,ISSN 0031-9384, https://doi.org/10.1016/0031-9384(92)90453-9.

Free Online Therapy: Where To Find Online Counseling In 2021

Free Online Therapy: Where To Find Online Counseling In 2021

Stop right there! 

You landed on this page because you want help. You need it, but you can’t afford thousands of dollars for traditional therapy sessions. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to choose between mental health and paying your mortgage.

This article has the most up-to-date information on where to find free online therapy, including recently changed prices not yet advertised online from some of the most popular online counseling platforms.

Key Takeaways: Foods That Boost Testosterone

  • The coronavirus pandemic has created an explosion of online therapy services that’s here to stay.
  • Free online therapy offers a variety of services including mental illness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and grief, to name a few.
  • Most online therapy sessions are not covered by health insurance, but the cost per week is still hundreds of dollars cheaper than in-office services.
  • Most online therapy services give the option of individual services, group chats, and forums.
  • Online couples therapy and relationship counseling with online family therapists are becoming more popular than in-person therapy.

What Is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is a mental health counseling service offered through the internet via text, video, live chat, email, or audio messaging. There’s no face-to-face time with a therapist or in-office visits necessary when doing online counseling. 

Mental health professionals conduct sessions day or night and in the comfort of your home or wherever is the most comfortable and convenient.

These services use licensed therapists, professional counselors, and wellness professionals to meet the mental health needs of each client. Services can range from general mental health counseling to treat depression and anxiety to more specialized services like post-traumatic stress disorder and family therapy.  

Does Online Therapy Work?

Yes! Evidence shows that online therapy platforms work just as well, if not better, than in-person traditional therapy. Both patients and providers have favorable views of telehealth services, and retention rates tend to be higher with those doing telehealth services [1].

More importantly, recent studies show that online therapy is more effective for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress [2].

free online therapy Effectiveness of online therapy treatment of specific psychopathology
Online therapy showed to have positive effects on different psychiatric disorders such as depression and panic disorder
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390320/

But online therapy may not be the best option for everyone. Those with more severe mental health disorders and mental illnesses like psychosis and other mental health conditions like suicidal thoughts should attend therapy sessions, in-person with professional counselors.

How To Find Free Therapy Online

There are many ways to find free online therapy resources, from ads on television and the internet to notices at hospitals and healthcare facilities. Let’s take a look at the most common options of counseling services. 

free online therapy

Online Support Groups 

Online support groups provide a service where they link people together with similar issues, for example, abused women or those suffering from cancer. This type of therapy aims to bridge the gap between issue and isolation and show that, indeed you’re not alone. 

Some of the benefits of online support groups range from assistance from clinical social workers, more frequent participation, face-to-face time with others in similar situations, or complete anonymity. 

There are currently support groups for over 40 topics, including bereavement, weight loss, illness, addiction, eating disorders, LGBTQ, and domestic violence.

Online Workshops and Seminars

Mental health professionals and practitioners from around the world team with organizations to run online courses, workshops, and webinars on various topics that are the most common among their patients. 

The goal is to provide information on a particular topic and give real-world solutions and coping mechanisms that may benefit those suffering from specific issues. Some online services offer free workshops by providing an email address or signing up to their website with no obligation to make any purchases. 

Mental Health Organizations, Nonprofits, and Charities

There’s a growing number of organizations and nonprofit charities that provide mental health services free of charge. You’ll find counseling resources in churches, homeless shelters, YMCAs, and other community service organizations. 

Most therapists and counselors donate their time and services. Others rely on donations from the public to make their services available to those in need. 

Not only will mental health organizations provide counseling and therapy, but they’re also beacons of information and research. They tend to make sure the public is aware of the difficulties in the immediate area and offer needed support throughout the community.

Academic Institutions

Colleges and universities are no doubt high-stress environments. Fortunately, most have dedicated mental health support systems for their students and, to their credit, extend those services to the neighboring public. 

These resources tend to be free or at least low cost. They take a variety of forms, including workshops, seminars, classes, private sessions, or even provide educational material regarding mental health conditions and other disorders. 

If you want to know more about how to become a therapist, check out this article before visiting your local institution.

At Your Workplace 

Now that mental health issues are becoming less taboo, employers are starting to realize the benefits of offering online therapy options to their employees. This could be in the form of in-person therapy with a mental health professional, assistance programs, group team building, and a company health insurance provider to include mental health packages.

Free Trials From Apps or Sites

Some online therapy sites and apps offer free trials to test services before committing to a more extended plan. These offers can be in the form of a week free trial or your first session free of charge. It’s important to know that there’s no obligation to commit to any service you don’t feel completely comfortable with when you do find a free online counseling trial. 

Suicide Prevention Hotlines

Suicide crisis and prevention hotlines operate all over the world. They can be geared towards the general public or a more specific demographic such as teens, LGBTQ, and domestic violence. This is for anyone with severe mental health concerns, experiencing distress or crisis, witnessing a loved one’s distress, or having suicidal thoughts. 

The US’s most familiar suicide prevention hotline service is the national suicide prevention lifeline, a 24/7 service receiving over 3000 calls a day.

Fortunately, over 100 countries worldwide have suicide prevention hotlines in some shape and form, all free of charge, which shows just how essential this service is. 

In 2019, how many US adults seriously thought about suicide?

how many US adults seriously thought about suicide
Select an answer to reveal what surveys found
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how many US adults seriously thought about suicide
In 2019, 12 million adults seriously thought about suicide

free online therapy Number of US adults who thought about or attempted suicide in 2019

Best Free Online Therapy Apps 

Even though telehealth mental services tend to be more affordable, not everyone can afford an online therapist. Let’s review some of the free online counseling services we found.

7Cups

Started back in 2013 by psychologist Glen Moriarty, 7Cups is a website/app service that connects you to a trained peer listener for emotional support. This free online therapy chat service is available 24/7 to both adults and teens. 

7Cups online therapy services offer anonymous chat rooms conducting free emotional support group meetings and forums catered to specific issues like LGBTQ, depression, relationship problems, and more. You have the option to ask for individual help and advice, join a scheduled support group, or share your own experiences to guide others along the way.

How Free Is It?

Chatting with a peer listener or participating in the group sessions are completely free to everyone. But, if you have other mental health conditions and need extra support, licensed professional counselors are available to tackle your specific mental health conditions for a monthly fee of $150.

Betterhelp Free Trial

Betterhelp is a popular online counseling platform boasting the largest network with over 22,000 licensed and accredited therapists. The platform offers services to adults and teens for various issues, including cognitive behavioral therapy, mental illnesses, grief counseling, and substance use disorders. 

Membership gives you the option of service through unlimited texts, audio messaging, and video chat. Live sessions are available weekly for up to 45 mins per session, allowing you to communicate with one of the many licensed therapists via phone, video, or real-time chat.

If you want to dive a little deeper into this popular site, check out our Better Help Review for more information. 

How Free Is It?

During our research, we came across some reviews that claim a seven-day free trial for Betterhelp services, but this is not true. Better Help does not have a seven-day free trial or free sessions at this time. 

Better Help offers two options to cut the cost of their online services:

  1. A weekly subscription plan allows you to pay only when you use their service and pause your account when you don’t need it.
  2. Financial assistance programs that you can apply for once you sign up on their website.

eTherapy Pro Free Trial

eTherapy Pro is an online platform that connects adults 18 years and older to licensed therapists practicing within the US. This service is completely anonymous, as members can sign up using only a username. 

The services offered through eTherapy are straightforward. After filling out a brief questionnaire, you’ll be matched with a counselor through an email messaging system that you can use 24/7. You can also schedule a live text or video chat and phone calls directly with your therapist.

How Free Is It?

eTherapy offers a free 3-day trial directly on the home page of their website. These free sessions are to ensure that you are a good candidate for online therapy. You’ll have to provide your credit card information before the free trial begins, but you will not be charged until after the three days.

You have the option to cancel at any point during your free trial, but If you wish to continue with therapy Pro services, the fee is $40 per week, billed every four weeks.

ReGain Free Trial

Regain is a counseling service geared towards relationships and marital counseling. Their platform matches couples or individuals with one of ReGains many mental health professionals, including accredited psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed marriage and family therapists.

Couples can create a joint account that’s shared between them and their counselor. Private sessions are available through individual live sessions with your therapist.

Patients can communicate with their ReGain online therapist by unlimited messaging and weekly, real-time counseling sessions via video call, live chat, or phone call.

How Free Is It

Once approved for the ReGain subscription, your first week of services is entirely free. After which, you’ll be charged anywhere between $60-$90 per week, depending on the subscription package you choose. Billing occurs monthly, but you can cancel at any time.

Therapy Aid

Started in 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Therapy Aid is a unique service that connects essential workers, their families, and victims of natural disasters and crises to trained psychotherapists throughout the US. 

As of today, Therapy Aid services those directly impacted by the March 22nd Table Mesa Shooting in Colorado, employed and laid off coronavirus essential workers and their families, those affected by the 2020 Colorado and California wildfires. 

How Free Is It?

Therapy Aid benefits from a volunteer-based platform and works with therapists who offer their services free or at a low cost. Once you sign up on their website, you’ll be asked how much you’re willing and able to pay per session, anywhere between $0 and $50.

What Are the Benefits of Online Therapy? 

Four benefits of online therapy:

free online therapy

  1. Lower costs
  2. Easier access
  3. More confidential
  4. Appropriate for all ages

Online therapy offers many benefits not found by attending in-office visits, which is why online therapy platforms have become so popular in recent years. 

Lower Costs

Online counseling is undoubtedly cheaper than in-person therapy, averaging $320 per month, including unlimited chats, emails, and scheduled live phone and video services. 

The cost of face-to-face, in-person visits with a licensed therapist can range between $60-$250 per session per hour, and specialists are upwards of $300+ per visit. 

Health insurance plans may cover most of the cost of mental health services, but that will still leave the patient paying a copay and sometimes an extra $20-$50 per session. 

Pricing for in-office therapy also depends on the treatment. For example, the average cost per session for individual cognitive behavioral therapy is between $70-$150, whereas marriage counseling can be as high as $250 per session.  

Online therapy platforms rarely distinguish between the type of treatment needed, and patients are billed the same each month on a subscription basis.

Easier Access

For people living in rural and geographically isolated areas, an online therapy platform is the best option. These services provide easy and convenient access to therapists and counselors day or night from the comfort of your home. 

This, in turn, will save you money on transportation and child care, reduce the need to take time off school or work, and saves time and money from traveling long distances to reach a therapist’s office.

More Confidential 

Online therapy offers more confidentiality for those that desire it. Signing up for services is completely confidential, and therapists do not have access to your personal information. You do not need to provide your real name to the counselor once you begin your sessions. 

You also don’t have to worry about awkwardly running into someone you know at a therapist’s office or bumping into your therapist outside of treatment, as most online counselors work with patients in different cities and states.  

Appropriate for All Ages

Online therapy services are available to children, teens, and adults depending on the type of service you choose and the treatment desired. These companies and organizations work with licensed counselors trained to offer the most appropriate care for each patient and their unique needs. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Online Therapy? 

There are some downfalls to online therapy and maybe a reason why some prefer to use in-person sessions. 

Disadvantages include:

  • Conveying thoughts and emotions into words may be challenging for some people.
  • Typing speed may become a factor if engaging in group or individual chat sessions.
  • Therapists cannot observe physical cues like body language, and therefore, miscommunication between therapist and client is possible.
  • Counselors are not able to ethically work with patients in immediate crisis or suffering from severe psychiatric illnesses.
  • Some platforms may not be as stringent in the hiring process, and you may end up with a therapist not qualified to handle some mental health conditions.
  • Unreliable internet could interrupt the flow of each session and cause stress and anxiety.
  • Because of the nature of online therapy, there’s a chance of private information being hacked.
  • Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of online therapy. 
  • Online therapists do not prescribe medication.

If the need for prescription medication is a factor in choosing online therapy, take a look at this Talk Space Review for other options.

FAQ 

Here are a few more questions we found about free online therapy.

Can I Talk to an Online Therapist for Free?

Yes. There are online services that allow you to speak with a therapist free of charge, but these may be for a limited time only, as in with a free trial. 

What Is the Best Free Online Therapy?

7Cups is our pick as the best free online therapy. They offer free, confidential services for adults and teenagers and are available 24/7. 

Are There Any Free Therapy Apps?

No. We couldn’t find any free therapy apps that give regular access to a counselor or therapist. Still, several free mental health apps offer specific services for depression, deep breathing, better sleep, meditation, addiction, and more.

Is 7 Cups of Tea Free?

Yes. 7 Cups offers completely free access to trained peer listeners. If you want to speak with a licensed therapist, there is a monthly fee of $150.

Is Online Therapy Confidential?

Yes. Online therapy is completely confidential. You will have to fill out your personal information during sign-up, but your therapist will not have access to that information, and you’ll be able to chat using a fake name or a simple username. 

Conclusion 

Finding a mental health professional to help you with the daily challenges of life is no longer a taboo subject. There are dozens of online platforms available that offer a wide range of services for various mental health conditions. 

If you’re serious about finding online therapy, start with services that offer free sessions to see if you’d be a good fit. If you don’t have the money to continue with paid services, wellness apps are available to help you manage your mental health needs.

References

  1. Barak, A. “A Comprehensive Review and a Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Internet-Based Psychotherapeutic Interventions.” Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-Assessed Reviews [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK76016/. 
  2. Langarizadeh, Mostafa, et al. “Telemental Health Care, an Effective Alternative to CONVENTIONAL MENTAL Care: A Systematic Review.” Acta Informatica Medica : AIM : Journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia & Herzegovina : Casopis Drustva Za Medicinsku Informatiku BiH, AVICENA, D.o.o., Sarajevo, Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5723163/. 

Testosterone Killing Foods vs Testosterone Boosting Foods

Testosterone Killing Foods vs Testosterone Boosting Foods

The quality of semen has deteriorated dramatically in the last 40 years, according to scientific research. Symptomatic of this is male infertility or hypogonadism—a condition in which the body produces insufficient testosterone, the male hormone that supports masculine growth, sperm health, and reproductive performance.

High-fat diets and unhealthy modern lifestyles correlate with the significant differences in male fertility rates in recent years. This article discusses the best and worst dietary choices for you to take care of your testosterone levels.

Key Takeaways: Foods That Lower Testosterone

  • There is substantial evidence concerning the relationship between nutrition and testosterone levels in men.
  • Diet may affect hormones directly, and it is logical to think about what you eat in relation to your hormone production.
  • Poor overall health and low serum testosterone levels are connected and strongly influenced by lifestyle.
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes come with a significant risk of male hypogonadism.
  • Specific types of foods reduce testosterone, though if consumed in moderation, the effects are usually temporary.
  • Long-term damage to testosterone and sperm count is caused by prolonged substance abuse and unhealthy dietary habits.

Testosterone Killing Foods

There are 10 foods that are scientifically shown to lead to low testosterone levels:  

testosterone killing foods

  1. Alcohol
  2. Vegetable oil
  3. Sugar
  4. Baked goods
  5. Trans fats
  6. Certain nuts
  7. Flaxseed
  8. Licorice root
  9. Mint
  10. Fried and processed foods

1. Alcohol

Excessive alcohol intake and substance abuse cause a reduction in reproductive hormones in men. It is thought that binge drinking causes acute hormonal responses meaning a rapid, short-term decrease in testosterone, due to its immediate effect on the pituitary gland, which produces hormones. 

Prolonged alcoholism is associated with many adverse reproductive health effects in men, including a reduction in sperm quality, sexual performance, and sex drive, as well as reduced testosterone levels [1].

 2. Vegetable Oil

Research in rats about the consumption of vegetable oils and its relationship with reproductive performance shows that unsaturated fats notably decrease serum testosterone levels and affect sperm. 

In one study, rats were fed with a high fatty acid intake such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and hydrogenated vegetable fat [2]. Their offspring were studied to analyze what impact it had on the future generation. The results showed that the male rats fed on this diet conclusively had lower testosterone levels, and the litters were negatively affected due to a reduction in sperm quality.

3. Sugar

Sugar-sweetened beverage intake is significantly associated with low serum testosterone in adult males aged 20–39 years old in the United States [3].

There is a relationship between men with lower serum testosterone and those with type 2 diabetes caused by high sugar intake for prolonged periods. 

Fructose and high-fructose corn syrup in large quantities load the body with glucose. As a result, they can lead to insulin resistance, inflammation, and increased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and reduced testosterone.

For how long after eating a large amount of sugar will testosterone levels remain affected?

For how long after eating a large amount of sugar will testosterone levels remain affected
Click on an answer to reveal what studies have found
Show hint
For how long after eating a large amount of sugar will testosterone levels remain affected
High amounts of sugar lowered serum testosterone for up to 2 hours

testosterone killing foods How the consumption of a dextrose (sugar) or lipid meal affects serum testosterone

4. Baked Goods

Homemade baked goods are less likely to reduce testosterone levels than shop-bought products high in trans fat or fructose and other refined sugars. 

Research on adolescent rats about the connection between high fructose consumption, sperm count, and testicular volume, which is also connected with fertility, shows a two-fold decrease in testosterone levels compared with a healthier diet [4].

5. Trans Fats 

Trans fats can be found in food products that have been processed so that vegetable oils can be made into a solid mass. Margarine is an example. These dietary fats are exceptionally difficult for the body to store and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases when consumed regularly.

As with vegetable oils, there is a proven strong relationship between consumption of these types of fatty acids and low levels of testosterone [2]. Processed unsaturated fats are associated with reduced testosterone levels due to their health effects.

6. Certain Nuts

Certain types of nuts are said to increase testosterone levels, such as brazil nuts; however, scientific research suggests that walnuts have the opposite effect. 

An experiment measuring sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in groups of participants who ate a high number of walnuts or almonds showed an increase in the walnut eating group [5]. The presence of SHBG means that there are fewer available sex hormones in the body because it binds the reproductive hormones together, lowering testosterone levels in the blood.

It is worth noting that the results of this study were not drastic and consumption of nuts is an integral part of a healthy diet. The results also showed a positive impact on the cholesterol of its participants due to eating walnuts and almonds. In addition, there was an increase of monounsaturated fatty acid in the blood, which are a healthy type of fat.

7. Flaxseed

In the limited research available about flaxseed’s effects on testosterone, men looking to boost testosterone naturally beware. Findings suggest flaxseed has a ‘profound impact’ on androgen levels and androgen receptors [6]

Androgen deficiency in men causes sexual problems, and inversely in women, high androgen levels can stop ovaries working as they should. Therefore, flaxseed has been tested as a treatment for men with prostate cancer and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) because of its ability to kill free testosterone.

8. Licorice Root

The relationship between eating licorice and testosterone production is not confirmed. In research directly addressing the question of whether licorice consumption lowers testosterone levels, there was a slight reduction but not a significant difference. The paper also acknowledges that a similar study showed no change in testosterone levels [7].

However, licorice and other plant-based remedies are said to affect hormone levels in various pieces of research over time. As such, it has been suggested as one of many alternative remedies for menopausal symptoms in women, which aim to increase estrogen production [8].

9. Mint

In studies about the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women, there is evidence that spearmint can be used to lower testosterone levels. This is because it has antiandrogen properties, which negatively affect sex hormones in men [9].

However, this is an under-researched area, and it is unlikely that the quantity needed to impact testosterone levels would be consumed in a real-life setting.

testosterone killing foods The effects of spearmint on serum testosterone concentration in male rats
It was found that serum testosterone concentrations were lower in the groups consuming spearmint than the control group
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224956/

10. Fried and Processed Foods

Consumption of processed and fried foods strongly affects testosterone levels. For example, in a large-scale medical study of men with chronic kidney disease associated with a poor diet and closely related to below-average testosterone levels, the analysis showed conclusively that a fried-processed dietary pattern kills testosterone [10].

Does Soy Lower Testosterone? 

It is unclear whether soy foods significantly affect hormone levels. Some studies show no correlation, while others find a slight impact on T levels and men who drink soy products [11] [12] [13]. However, most research shows that you would have to consume excessive amounts of soy to impact testosterone, and a 2009 meta-review concluded it had negligible effects on reproductive hormones in young healthy men [14].

For men using protein supplementation to boost testosterone naturally and increase muscle mass while training, there have been concerns regarding consumption of soy protein and the production of estrogen. Testosterone is essential to those building muscle mass due to its role in synthesizing protein in the body. 

As such, research is available about the effects of soy proteins on estrogen receptors and SHBG. In the findings, the men who drank whey protein isolate to increase muscle size and weight did not see a difference in their SHBG content. There were no notable differences between the groups in the hormone estrogen level [15].

What Food Kills Testosterone the Most?

The foods that kill testosterone include:

  • High-calorie foods.
  • Food high in saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans fats.
  • Artificial sweets or refined sugars.
  • Foods containing a lot of sodium or salt.
  • Refined carbs.
  • Processed meals.

This list is to identify food groups more than certain foods that may kill testosterone. If you’re trying to boost your testosterone hormone levels, it will benefit you to think of a testosterone-associated dietary pattern instead of specific snacks. Evidence suggests longer-term dietary habits have the most significant impact [16].

Poor weight control affects the metabolic and endocrine parameters, which is the relationship between the metabolism and the endocrine system. Obesity affects the body’s ability to regulate hormones due to insulin resistance; therefore, overweight and obese men are more likely to have low testosterone.

Weight gain and your insulin levels directly affect your hormones, so it is logical to start by changing what you eat. There are health risks associated with both a bad diet and long-term deterioration of testosterone levels. Adverse effects from a bad diet include type 2 diabetes, and from reduced free testosterone levels, you may experience hair loss and exhaustion.

Besides testosterone killer foods, excessive alcohol consumption also has the highest risk of destroying male sex hormones; therefore, cutting down on alcoholic drinks would be an excellent way to boost testosterone naturally.

Which Food Increases Testosterone the Most?

Foods that increase testosterone are rich in certain minerals such as zinc and selenium, vitamin D, polyunsaturated fatty acids (or omega 3), and antioxidant vitamins. These properties are most often found in vegetables and fruit, fish and seafood, nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole-grain products, poultry, and low-fat dairy products and are a great way to boost testosterone naturally.

Phytoestrogen isoflavones have been said to have a positive effect on reproductive health. They are found in legumes and red clover that are widespread in Asia. It is also said to have health benefits on the cardiovascular system and can play a role in weight loss [17].

There are other benefits to a healthy diet, including the reduction of free radicals that lead to cell damage. Foods with healthy fatty acid or polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish enhance brain function, and overall, young healthy men have higher levels of reproductive hormones.

Even with obese men, health trials show that testosterone plasma levels can significantly increase after just eight weeks of dieting and eating well [18].

How To Boost Testosterone Naturally

A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise are key to positively affect testosterone levels. Physical exercise and general fitness will help you increase testosterone naturally.

There is more to know about how to increase testosterone naturally. Supplements such as Testogen, Test RX, and Testo Prime are capsules designed to give high concentrations of naturally occurring testosterone boosters. They are said to increase stamina and energy levels due to their testosterone-enhancing effects. 

testosterone killing foods Influence of a T booster supplement on testosterone
The T booster supplement showed to increase testosterone significantly by the third course
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870326/

If you are unsure which one would be best for you, check out an alternative natural testosterone booster.

Supplements contain vitamins, for which there is scientific evidence of impact on men’s sex hormones. Ascorbic acid treatment is when vitamin C supplements are used to cure diseases caused by vitamin C deficiency, and studies suggest that it can also increase the reproductive traits of males [19].

Similarly, vitamin D deficiency is related to low testosterone levels, and research suggests a relationship between taking vitamin D and boosting testosterone [20].

FAQ

What Are the 4 Foods That Kill Testosterone?

Four foods that kill testosterone are: 

  • Margarine and processed vegetable oils containing trans fat.
  • Fried and fast foods.
  • Processed foods.
  • High sugar content foods, especially refined sugar like fructose.

What Foods Raise and Lower Testosterone?

Processed, fried foods and anything that contains a lot of sugar, salt, or oil are most highly associated with a reduction in serum testosterone.

A balanced diet including healthy fats, such as omega 3 found in fish, as well as green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole-grains, enhances sperm quality and testosterone levels. 

Do Bananas Lower Testosterone?

No. In fact, due to being rich in vitamins and minerals, bananas and other fruits are said to encourage hormone regulation and boost testosterone levels when eaten regularly. 

Do Tomatoes Lower Testosterone?

Maybe. Evidence from studies with rats shows that there may be a negative impact on testosterone levels from eating tomatoes, but it is temporary. 

It is also unlikely that you would consume a high enough concentration in your regular diet for it to have an impact.

Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

No. Some small studies showed masturbation to reduce T levels temporarily, but the effects are mostly minimal, and other sources say that ejaculation does not impact testosterone [21] [22]

There is some evidence that abstaining from sexual activity increases testosterone but not to any significant degree, and this would also be short-term.

Conclusion

Testosterone production is closely associated with maintaining good dietary patterns and a healthy lifestyle. If you are concerned about your T levels and your health, you can try revising your nutritional habits and avoid foods that kill testosterone. If you see no improvement, it would be wise to talk with a medical professional about testicular function and testosterone levels. 

If you’re satisfied with your general health but looking for a way to boost your fitness levels, don’t forget to check out other natural ways of boosting testosterone.

References:

  1. Erol, Almila, et al. “Sex Hormones in Alcohol Consumption: A Systematic Review of Evidence.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 27 Dec. 2017, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/adb.12589. 
  2. Hanis T;Zidek V;Sachova J;Klir P;Deyl Z; “Effects of Dietary Trans-Fatty Acids on Reproductive Performance of Wistar Rats.” The British Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2758008/. 
  3. Chen, Liang, et al. “Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake and Serum Testosterone Levels in Adult MALES 20-39 Years Old in the United States.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology : RB&E, BioMed Central, 23 June 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6015465/. 
  4. VM;, Tkachenko OY;Shayakhmetova GM;Matvienko AV;Kovalenko. “Reproductive Disorders in Male Rats Induced by High-Fructose Consumption from Juvenile Age to Puberty.” Arhiv Za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32597133/. 
  5. Kalgaonkar, S, et al. “Differential Effects of Walnuts vs Almonds on Improving Metabolic and Endocrine Parameters in Pcos.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 15 Dec. 2010, www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2010266. 
  6. Nowak, Debra A, et al. “The Effect of Flaxseed Supplementation on Hormonal Levels Associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Case Study.” Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752973/. 
  7. Armanini D;Bonanni G;Mattarello MJ;Fiore C;Sartorato P;Palermo M; “Licorice Consumption and Serum Testosterone in Healthy Man.” Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes : Official Journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14520600/. 
  8. R;, Kargozar R;Azizi H;Salari. “A Review of Effective Herbal Medicines in Controlling Menopausal Symptoms.” Electronic Physician, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29403626/. 
  9. P;, Grant. “Spearmint Herbal Tea Has Significant Anti-Androgen Effects in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Phytotherapy Research : PTR, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19585478/. 
  10. Kurniawan, Adi Lukas, et al. “Dietary Patterns in Relation to Testosterone Levels and Severity of Impaired Kidney Function among Middle-Aged and Elderly Men in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 27 July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660671/. 
  11. Kraemer WJ;Solomon-Hill G;Volk BM;Kupchak BR;Looney DP;Dunn-Lewis C;Comstock BA;Szivak TK;Hooper DR;Flanagan SD;Maresh CM;Volek JS; “The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Reponses to Resistance Exercise in Men.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24015701/. 
  12. Beaton LK;McVeigh BL;Dillingham BL;Lampe JW;Duncan AM; “Soy Protein Isolates of Varying Isoflavone Content Do Not Adversely Affect Semen Quality in Healthy Young Men.” Fertility and Sterility, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19819436/. 
  13. AM;, Dillingham BL;McVeigh BL;Lampe JW;Duncan. “Soy Protein Isolates of Varying Isoflavone Content Exert Minor Effects on Serum Reproductive Hormones in Healthy Young Men.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15735098/. 
  14. Hamilton-Reeves JM, Vazquez G, Duval SJ, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS, Messina MJ. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):997-1007. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.038. Epub 2009 Jun 12. PMID: 19524224.
  15. Kraemer WJ;Solomon-Hill G;Volk BM;Kupchak BR;Looney DP;Dunn-Lewis C;Comstock BA;Szivak TK;Hooper DR;Flanagan SD;Maresh CM;Volek JS; “The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Reponses to Resistance Exercise in Men.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24015701/. 
  16. Hu, T. Y., Chen, Y. C., Lin, P., Shih, C. K., Bai, C. H., Yuan, K. C., Lee, S. Y., & Chang, J. S. (2018). Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism. Nutrients, 10(11), 1786. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111786.
  17. Desmawati, Desmawati, and Delmi Sulastri. “Phytoestrogens and Their Health Effect.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, Republic of Macedonia, 14 Feb. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390141/. 
  18. Kurniawan, Adi Lukas, et al. “Dietary Patterns in Relation to Testosterone Levels and Severity of Impaired Kidney Function among Middle-Aged and Elderly Men in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 27 July 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660671/. 
  19. A;, Sönmez M;Türk G;Yüce. “The Effect of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Sperm Quality, Lipid Peroxidation and Testosterone Levels of Male Wistar Rats.” Theriogenology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15823361/. 
  20. Pilz S;Frisch S;Koertke H;Kuhn J;Dreier J;Obermayer-Pietsch B;Wehr E;Zittermann A; “Effect of Vitamin d Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men.” Hormone and Metabolic Research = Hormon- Und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones Et Metabolisme, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/. 
  21. Exton MS;Krüger TH;Bursch N;Haake P;Knapp W;Schedlowski M;Hartmann U; “Endocrine Response TO MASTURBATION-INDUCED Orgasm in Healthy Men Following a 3-WEEK Sexual Abstinence.” World Journal of Urology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11760788/. 
  22. Fox, C. A., et al. “Studies on the Relationship between Plasma Testosterone Levels and Human Sexual Activity.” Joe, Bioscientifica Ltd, 1 Jan. 1972, joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/52/1/joe_52_1_005.xml. 

Alcohol and Testosterone: Does Alcohol Lower Testosterone?

Alcohol and Testosterone: Does Alcohol Lower Testosterone?

Most of us love a few beers or a cheeky glass of wine, right? I mean, what harm can it do to de-stress at the end of a hard day?

There is abundant medical research on the impact of alcohol consumption on the body, particularly on its relationship with testosterone. Unfortunately, it does not make for good reading if you’re partial to substantial alcohol consumption.

In this article, we will walk you through just exactly what these health issues can be. 

Key Takeaways: The Facts About Alcohol and Testosterone

  • Chronic alcohol abuse severely reduces testosterone in men.
  • Women are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol consumption due to their lower body mass.
  • Heavy drinking in women causes a rise in testosterone, leading to infertility.
  • Testosterone levels bounce back if alcohol consumption is reduced.
  • Chronic alcohol use, as well as acute alcohol consumption, can render testosterone therapy redundant.
  • Chronic alcoholism leads to sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction.

How Bad Is Alcohol for Testosterone?. 

In short, the answer is pretty bad all around [1]. If you have low testosterone issues, reducing your alcohol consumption is one of the best things you can do.

To help boost testosterone naturally and improve overall well-being, you can decrease the amount of alcohol you drink and make changes to your diet.

Short Term Effects

A couple of drinks in your alcohol metabolism are not likely to cause a problem. In fact, testosterone levels may even rise slightly after a drink or two [2].

does alcohol lower testosterone Effect of alcohol on testosterone in young men (group A) and fertile men (group B)
Alcohol caused a slight increase in testosterone in both groups
Source: https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/29/8/1801/2913920

Light or moderate alcohol intake causes a slight drop in testosterone levels but without many of the associated health problems [3]. This is classed as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for adult men. 

Long Term Effects

The long-term effects of alcohol abuse are pretty severe and frightening. The impact on sexual health can be quite damaging and long-lasting. 

People with heavy alcohol consumption issues can suffer from heart disease, bone loss, cell damage, reduced sexual function (sperm production), erectile dysfunction or erection problems, and a loss of muscle mass [1].

To help alleviate the loss of muscle mass, an excellent way to increase testosterone naturally is with exercise.

What Does Heavy Drinking Do to Testosterone? 

Alcohol abuse can reduce or stop the production of testosterone altogether. So, why is this a problem?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and in men is bound up intimately with sexual health [4]. Long-term alcoholism has been found to damage these cells, therefore reducing the body’s ability to produce testosterone. 

Drinking heavily is classed at four or five drinks in a short period of time. If you drink more than 15 drinks a week for men or eight a week for women, you are also entering the danger zone [5]

Does Alcohol Decrease Sperm Too?

The answer to this is yes, unfortunately. Testosterone stimulates the testes to make sperm. Low testosterone levels mean a lower sperm count and poor sperm development along with possible erectile dysfunction [6] [7]

does alcohol lower testosterone How low testosterone affects sperm motility
Subjects with low testosterone had lower sperm motility than those with normal levels
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761260/

Why Does Alcohol Lower Testosterone?

Alcohol impairs the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which in turn triggers the production of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH) [1].

These two hormones stimulate the testes to synthesize testosterone [4]. The greater your drinking, the greater the effect on the endocrine system, and the lower the amount of testosterone is produced. 

Alcohol also disrupts your sleeping patterns. Sleep poverty causes a rise in cortisol which damages testosterone. A good way to increase testosterone naturally is to make sure you have adequate sleep. 

Will Testosterone Increase After Quitting Drinking? 

Your testosterone levels should rebound quite quickly after quitting the drink. How fast, however, depends on your previous intake.  

If you had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) with alcohol addiction recovery, it will be longer than with low or moderate drinking. 

Abstaining for as little as a few weeks allows your body to recover from the effects of the alcohol and increase hormone production. Testosterone should start to rise naturally, back towards normal levels [8].

A natural and healthy way to boost your flagging testosterone levels is with supplementation. There are many popular over-the-counter natural testosterone boosters such as Testogen. 

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Testosterone?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a treatment option if your own body can not make enough testosterone. This usually only happens after seeking professional medical advice.   

You can not usually have TRT while drinking heavily as the effect of the alcohol negates the result of the therapy [7]

Does Alcohol Affect Testosterone Shots?

Yes, alcohol does affect testosterone shots, and not in a good way. Even moderate drinking will make your TRT less effective. 

Most doctors will provide medical advice prior to treatment, recommending that you reduce or eliminate alcohol if you are embarking on a course of TRT. Otherwise, it will undermine the effectiveness of the treatment. 

Can You Drink Beer on Testosterone?

You can drink beer while you are taking testosterone, but it is not a good idea. Beer is one food or drink that can contain the estrogen-increasing chemical phytoestrogen [9]

Phytoestrogen can have a negative effect on testosterone and, as such, will reduce the efficacy of your TRT. 

Alcohol Abuse Resources 

If you have a chronic drinking problem, there are many ways to reach out and get help. Below is a list of groups or individuals who offer a number of treatment options:

  1. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
  2. Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  3. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
  4. Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits.
  5. See your GP or medical health practitioner.
  6. Psychologist or psychiatrist.
  7. Alcohol counselor.
  8. Medicare and Medicaid.

FAQ

Have a quick look through our FAQ section to see if we have answered your query about the relationship between alcohol and T levels. 

What Is the Possible Impact of Alcohol on Male Hormones?

Alcohol and testosterone do not have a good relationship. Here is a quick list to run through alcohol’s effects on you and your hormone levels;

does alcohol lower testosterone

  1. Alcohol damages the male reproductive system.
  2. Excessive drinking stops the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
  3. GnRH triggers testosterone production.
  4. Alcohol causes liver damage. In men, this causes a rise in estrogen levels.
  5. Liver damage in women causes dangerously elevated levels of testosterone.
  6. Drinking heavily causes a rise in cortisol. Cortisol leads to lower testosterone levels [10].

Does Alcohol Increase Testosterone Levels?

Yes. Strangely enough, the first and second drinks you have will lead to temporarily increased testosterone levels. 

Be aware, though, that this spike in the amount is a short-lived effect. Any additional drinking will cause your T levels to fall. 

Does Beer Boost Testosterone?

No, it does the opposite. Alcohol depresses testosterone production. In addition, beer is made from hops and barley. Both contain phytoestrogen and prolactin [8]. These are two chemicals linked to an increase in estrogen levels.

This is a problem as raised estrogen levels can actively reduce testosterone levels. This is not good if you have low testosterone already. 

How Many Beers Does It Take to Lower Testosterone?

Studies have shown that moderate drinking leads to slightly reduced testosterone levels in men. Any further rise in consumption levels comes with a commensurate reduction in hormone levels. 

If you have more than five drinks in two hours or more than 15 drinks a week (men) or eight drinks a week (women), then you are in danger of possible long-term damage.

You can take steps to remedy this just by simply altering your diet to boost testosterone naturally

Does Wine Reduce Testosterone Levels?

Wine contains the estrogen-increasing chemical phytoestrogen, just like beer [9]. An increase in estrogen levels can reduce testosterone in men.

Conclusion 

We don’t want to take away all your fun, but like most things in life, it is a case of everything by degrees. 

Having a few drinks here and there will cause no long-lasting harm. The problem is when people start drinking to excess. The long-term health effects of AUD are well known, particularly the effect it has on testosterone. 

It’s possible to boost testosterone naturally by altering your diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising. You can still enjoy a beer or wine, just don’t enjoy it every day. All things in moderation is the key!

References:

  1. Brick, J. (2004). Medical Consequences of Alcohol Abuse. In J. Brick (Ed.), Handbook of the medical consequences of alcohol and drug abuse (pp. 7–47). Haworth Press. 
  2. Jensen TK, Swan S, Jørgensen N, Toppari J, Redmon B, Punab M, Drobnis EZ, Haugen TB, Zilaitiene B, Sparks AE, Irvine DS, Wang C, Jouannet P, Brazil C, Paasch U, Salzbrunn A, Skakkebæk NE, Andersson AM. Alcohol and male reproductive health: a cross-sectional study of 8344 healthy men from Europe and the USA. Hum Reprod. 2014 Aug;29(8):1801-9. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu118. Epub 2014 Jun 3. PMID: 24893607; PMCID: PMC4093992.
  3. Duca, Y., Aversa, A., Condorelli, R. A., Calogero, A. E., & La Vignera, S. (2019). Substance Abuse and Male Hypogonadism. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(5), 732. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050732
  4. Tyagi, V., Scordo, M., Yoon, R. S., Liporace, F. A., & Greene, L. W. (2017). Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something?. Reviews in urology, 19(1), 16–24. https://doi.org/10.3909/riu0716
  5. “Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Harm Your Health. Learn the Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 May 2021, www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm. 
  6. Van Heertum, K., & Rossi, B. (2017). Alcohol and fertility: how much is too much?. Fertility research and practice, 3, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40738-017-0037-x
  7. Ricci, E., Al Beitawi, S., Cipriani, S., Candiani, M., Chiaffarino, F., Viganò, P., Noli, S., & Parazzini, F. (2017). Semen quality and alcohol intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reproductive biomedicine online, 34(1), 38–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2016.09.012
  8. Marc Walter, Urs Gherhard, Manfred Gerlach, Heinz-Gerd Weijers, Jobst Boening, Gerhard A. Wiesbeck, Controlled study on the combined effect of alcohol STUDY ON and tobacco smoking on testosterone in alcohol-dependent men, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 19–23, https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agl089
  9. Gavaler JS. Alcoholic beverages as a source of estrogens. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):220-7. PMID: 15706799; PMCID: PMC6761902.
  10. Brownlee, K. K., Moore, A. W., & Hackney, A. C. (2005). Relationship between circulating cortisol and testosterone: influence of physical exercise. Journal of sports science & medicine, 4(1), 76–83.

Flaxseed Effects on Testosterone in Men and Women

Flaxseed Effects on Testosterone in Men and Women

Flaxseed is a superfood that many cultures have used for centuries because of its numerous health benefits. Although it’s loaded with nutrients, what are the effects of flaxseed on testosterone hormone levels in men and women?

In this article, we look at how flaxseed affects your hormonal balance. We’ll also explore the benefits of flaxseed and answer other questions you may have.

Key Takeaways: Flaxseed and Testosterone

  • Flaxseed reduces testosterone production in both men and women.
  • Despite that, flaxseed still has many nutritional benefits for your general health.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that flaxseed can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Just like flaxseed, there are other foods that destroy testosterone.
  • Also, some foods boost testosterone production.

Does Flaxseed Reduce Testosterone in Men and Women?

Flaxseed use may reduce the level of testosterone in men and women.

Flaxseed contains a high concentration of lignans, a plant compound that binds to your free testosterone and causes your body to excrete it. Besides that, flaxseed also has a massive amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids linked to reduced testosterone in men.

In one study, 25 men with prostate cancer used flaxseed supplements as clinical nutrition and reduced their fat intake. As a result, the participants showed a considerable reduction in testosterone levels [1]. These effects led to a decrease in muscle mass and reduced prostate weight.

flaxseed effects on testosterone Effectiveness of dietary fat restriction and flaxseed supplementation at reducing cholesterol and testosterone in men
Flaxseed supplementation reduced serum cholesterol, which indirectly reduced total testosterone in the subjects
Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11445478/

Similarly, studies conducted on women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) showed that using flax seeds significantly reduces testosterone and symptoms associated with hyperandrogenism [2]

Although these studies show flaxseed’s testosterone-reducing capabilities, scientists need to conduct them at larger scales to determine just how much they affect sex hormone metabolism in both males and females.

Is Flaxseed Good for Males?

Although flaxseed reduces testosterone levels in men, it still has many health benefits, including:

Reduces Blood Pressure

Nearly one in two adult Americans suffers from high blood pressure [3]. Flaxseed consumption shows a natural ability to reduce hypertension.

A meta-analysis review across 15 studies with over 1300 participants showed that people who consume flaxseed reduced their blood pressure. Another study found that people using both blood pressure medication and flaxseed oil had an even more notable reduction in blood pressure [4].

flaxseed effects on testosterone Effectiveness of dietary flaxseed at reducing systolic blood pressure
Dietary flaxseed showed to reduce systolic blood pressure over six months whereas the placebo substance caused an increase
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567199/

Reduces Risk of Prostate and Skin Cancer

Flaxseed can help in fighting against prostate cancer. A study conducted on cancer patients prior to surgery found that flaxseed significantly reduced the production of cancerous cells [1]. Another study on flaxseed found that its lignans could disrupt cancerous cell production, which ratifies this claim [5].

Flaxseed can also help prevent skin cancer in men, although more research is still underway to determine just how much flaxseed can help.

High in Omega-3 Fats

Flaxseed can be a sufficient source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially for vegetarians or people who don’t eat fish. The seeds have abundant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based fatty acid that you get from food, as your body can’t produce it.

ALA fatty acids have many health benefits for your heart and reduce your risk of stroke.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Lignans in flaxseed bind with bile salts and leave the body through excretion. For this reason, blood cholesterol levels reduce as your liver draws cholesterol from your blood. Consuming flaxseed reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol in your body and increases good cholesterol (HDL).

Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels

Several studies conducted on people with type 2 diabetes found a significant reduction of up to 20% in blood sugar levels once they used flaxseed [6]. Flaxseed has high insoluble fiber content, which slows down sugar release into the blood.

Adding 10–20 grams of flaxseed to a patient’s diet had this positive effect, especially when used consistently for at least a month.

flaxseed effects on testosterone The effect of flaxseed on fasting blood sugar (FBS)
The intervention group consuming flaxseed had a considerable lower fasting blood glucose than the control group
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826058/

Can Flaxseed Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

There is no evidence to suggest that flaxseed can cause erectile dysfunction in men. Although plenty of evidence supports flaxseed’s ability to reduce testosterone levels, it is not a major contributing factor for ED in men.

Instead, flaxseed and certain foods like soy have lignans which act like weak estrogen in the male body [7]. Excess amounts of lignan inhibit the production of testosterone, and this can lower your sex drive and lead to erectile dysfunction and sexual function issues.

What Foods Destroy Testosterone?

Plenty of foods destroy testosterone, such as: 

flaxseed effects on testosterone

  1. Soy products.
  2. Alcohol.
  3. Mint.
  4. Licorice root.
  5. Processed food.
  6. Vegetable oils.
  7. Nuts.
  8. Dairy products.
  9. Baked goods.

Soy and Soy Products

Soy, soy isoflavones, and soy-based foods like soy milk, tofu, and miso can cause your natural testosterone levels to drop. 

They contain high levels of phytoestrogen, which mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. In turn, they alter your hormone levels and potentially cause your body to produce less testosterone.

Alcohol

Excess alcohol consumption can cause testosterone levels to plummet in males. While an occasional glass of wine can have many health benefits, intoxication has the opposite effect. 

Many medical studies show that frequent alcohol consumption has the counterintuitive effect of raising testosterone in women and destroying it in men [8].

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint, in particular, can cause your testosterone levels to drop. The menthol in mint has a direct impact in suppressing the production of testosterone in males. 

Also, women suffering from PCOS benefit from using mint to reduce their testosterone levels. Mint also helps them reduce the risk for breast cancer and reduces menopausal symptoms [9].

Licorice Root

Licorice root serves many purposes, including sweetening different candies and chocolate. It’s also an excellent remedy for coughs and chronic pain. 

However, recent studies show that daily consumption can lead to an increase in glycyrrhizic acid intake and a massive drop in testosterone production in males [10]. It also leads to lower testosterone levels in women during their menstrual cycles.

Processed Foods and Fast Food

Trans fats in many frozen foods, fast food, and snacks have a direct and detrimental impact on testosterone levels. Besides adding to your risk of type heart disease and diabetes, trans fats in processed foods also reduce your T levels. 

Vegetable Oil

Many vegetable oils, including canola, soybean, and cottonseed, have high levels of polyunsaturated fats. While these fatty acids are an essential source of dietary fats, they also lower testosterone levels in men. Some studies observe vegetable oils can reduce testicular size and function [11].

Nuts

Many types of nuts add fiber, selenium, magnesium, and folic acid to your body, along with heart-healthy fats. Some nuts, however, can reduce your testosterone levels. 

Walnuts and almonds, for example, have high levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds to testosterone, reducing testosterone levels in your body.

Dairy Products

Cow’s milk may contain synthetic or natural hormones that reduce the production of testosterone in the human body. Some animal feed may contain soy, which, as we have seen, has high levels of phytoestrogen. 

Consuming dairy with high levels of phytoestrogen can reduce testosterone production.

Baked Goods, Desserts, and Pastries

Diets high in pastries, cakes, desserts, and other baked foods can also reduce the level of total testosterone in your body. Often, adding processed foods, dairy products, soy milk, and other testosterone-killing ingredients exacerbates its reduction.

What Foods Boost Testosterone?

Just as some foods reduce total testosterone, others increase testosterone naturally, including:

flaxseed effects on testosterone

  1. Egg yolks.
  2. Oysters and shellfish.
  3. Beef.
  4. Tuna.
  5. Pomegranate.
  6. Extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Onions.
  8. Fortified cereal.
  9. Leafy greens.
  10. Fatty fish.

Egg Yolks

As a rich source of vitamin D, egg yolks help you boost testosterone naturally. Although they have high cholesterol levels, egg yolks have more nutrients than egg whites. Cholesterol in these egg yolks may even help boost your T levels. 

As long as you have no preexisting conditions, an egg a day should be a fine addition to a healthy diet.

Oysters and Shellfish

Oysters are rich in zinc, one of many essential dietary components in puberty and keeping sex hormones balanced throughout adulthood in males. 

Eating oysters and shellfish increases your zinc intake, which helps boost testosterone naturally. It also enables you to prevent hypogonadism that occurs because of a severe zinc deficiency.

Beef

Some beef cuts contain nutrients that boost your testosterone, including vitamin D in beef liver.

However, overconsumption of beef can have adverse effects on your body, including a higher risk of colon cancer [12]. Keep your beef consumption in check, only eat lean cuts, and maintain your dietary fat restriction.

Tuna

Tuna is a low-calorie, heart-healthy, and protein-rich source of vitamin D. Not only is it linked to longer life expectancy, but it also increases your testosterone level. If you’re not a fan, sardines and salmon are an excellent alternative. 

Pomegranate

Pomegranates have high levels of antioxidants that help you reduce stress and help you regulate your mood and blood pressure. Besides that, they also contain nutrients that boost testosterone naturally in both men and women.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil has plenty of uses, including reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It contains no trans fats and is rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants that help you reduce stress levels and regulate your blood pressure.

Besides that, olive oil can improve serum testosterone in healthy adult males and improve their reproductive health. It also has a positive impact on liver metabolism and digestive health.

Onions

Onions are a natural testosterone booster and an abundant source of other nutrients and antioxidants. They’re also healthy for your heart and can help you lose weight.

Fortified Cereals

Many fortified cereal products are useful to increase testosterone naturally. They’re excellent if you’re watching out for your cholesterol levels. Fortified cereals are low-fat and have many heart-healthy nutrients, including vitamin D that’s essential for testosterone production.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Swiss chard, kale, and spinach are rich in magnesium, a nutrient that helps your body increase T levels. Also, these vegetables contain other important nutrients and antioxidants that help the body prevent osteoporosis and cancer. Furthermore, they improve enterohepatic circulation.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish and fish oil contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that can help increase your testosterone and improve the quality of your semen. Examples of good fatty fish include herring, Atlantic mackerel, salmon, and sardines. 

If adjusting your diet is difficult, you can always use a quality T booster like Testogen. 

How to Treat High Testosterone in Women

There are several ways to treat high levels of testosterone in women. However, the treatment chosen will depend on the cause [13].

In many cases, the doctor will recommend a lifestyle change alongside medication.

flaxseed effects on testosterone

Medication

  • Progestin: Regulates periods and improves fertility in women.
  • Eflornithine: Slows down and prevents the growth of facial hair.
  • Spironolactone: Regulates water and salt levels and prevents excess hair growth in females.
  • Metformin: Treats type 2 diabetes.
  • Glucocorticosteroids: Reduces inflammation in the body.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy: Reduces high testosterone levels and weight gain in menopausal women.

Hair Removal Treatments

Treatments like electrolysis and laser therapy can control unwanted hair, although they’ll not resolve hyperandrogenism. In both cases, you need multiple treatments to complete unwanted hair removal. These treatments bear some level of risk, and you may need professional medical advice before proceeding.

Lifestyle Changes

Women who achieve a healthy body weight often reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalances and achieve optimal health. Losing excess body weight can improve PCOS symptoms and reduce T levels in women [14]

You can also cut, wax, pluck, or use chemical depilatories to manage unwanted facial or body hair.

How to Decrease Testosterone Levels in Males

Decreasing testosterone in males is relatively easy. Consumption of flaxseed and any foods that destroy testosterone will decrease T levels in males [1][2]

Fast food with high amounts of trans fats may not only reduce your testosterone levels, it may have other harmful effects. Any food with phytoestrogen or lignans which bind to testosterone will reduce T levels in your body composition.

Also, lowering your zinc and vitamin D intake will slow down your T-hormone production and decrease your testosterone levels.

FAQs

Here are some answers to other questions you may have about flaxseed effects on testosterone.

Does Flaxseed Increase Testosterone Levels?

No, flaxseed does not increase testosterone levels. Instead, it reduces androgen levels in both men and women. 

Flaxseed prevents testosterone from converting to the more potent dihydrotestosterone, a powerful androgen that boosts testosterone effects in both men and women [7]. Furthermore, its lignans reduce the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream and cause it to become inactive.

Does Flaxseed Affect Male Hormones?

Yes, flaxseed affects male hormones, and to be specific, testosterone. As stated above, flaxseed lignans, an active component in the seeds, bind to testosterone and cause it to exit the body [7]. It also lowers free testosterone levels in men by causing it to become inactive.

Does Flaxseed Increase Estrogen in Males?

No, flaxseed does not increase estrogen levels in men. While phytoestrogen present in flaxseed is the plant version of estrogen, it has a different chemical structure. Although it may mimic the effects of estrogen, it does not increase the levels of this hormone in male bodies [7]

However, just like normal estrogen, phytoestrogen binds to estrogen receptors in the body.

Does Flaxseed Increase Estrogen in Females?

Surprisingly, it does not.

Although phytoestrogen in flaxseeds has a similar structure and binds to similar receptors, eating more flaxseed does not increase estrogen levels in female bodies [7]. In some cases, it even decreases it. 

Once phytoestrogens bind with estrogen receptors, the hormone itself can no longer bind with these receptors. Often, this leads to a reduction in the effects of estrogen in women.

Conclusion

Flaxseed is a nutritious food that can improve your health, prevent cancer and diabetes risks, and help you manage your stress levels. However, if you’re looking to increase your T levels or you suffer from a testosterone deficiency, it may not be the best option for you. 

To maintain reasonable T levels, keep your flaxseed consumption at a minimum.

References:

  1. Demark-Wahnefried W;Price DT;Polascik TJ;Robertson CN;Anderson EE;Paulson DF;Walther PJ;Gannon M;Vollmer RT; “Pilot Study of Dietary Fat Restriction and Flaxseed Supplementation in Men with Prostate Cancer before Surgery: Exploring the Effects on Hormonal Levels, Prostate-Specific Antigen, and Histopathologic Features.” Urology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11445478/.
  2. Nowak, Debra A, et al. “The Effect of Flaxseed Supplementation on Hormonal Levels Associated with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Case Study.” Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2752973/.
  3. “Facts about Hypertension.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 July 2021, www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm.
  4. Ursoniu S;Sahebkar A;Andrica F;Serban C;Banach M; ; “Effects of Flaxseed Supplements on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trial.” Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26071633/.
  5. “Flaxseed Stunts the Growth of Prostate Tumors.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 4 June 2007, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070603215443.htm.
  6. A;, Prasad K;Dhar. “Flaxseed and Diabetes.” Current Pharmaceutical Design, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26561065/.
  7. Ludmila Ferreira Medeiros de França Cardozo, et al. “Prolonged Consumption of Flaxseed Flour Increases The 17Β-ESTRADIOL Hormone without Causing Adverse Effects on The HISTOMORPHOLOGY of WISTAR RATS’ PENIS.” Food and Chemical Toxicology, Pergamon, 24 Aug. 2012, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512006199.
  8. “Alcohol and the Male Reproductive System.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-4/282-287.htm.
  9. Mehraban, Mina, et al. “A Combination of Spearmint and Flaxseed Extract Improved Endocrine and Histomorphology of Ovary in Experimental Pcos.” Journal of Ovarian Research, BioMed Central, 20 Mar. 2020, ovarianresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13048-020-00633-8.
  10. Fukui, Michiaki, et al. “Glycyrrhizin and Serum TESTOSTERONE Concentrations in Male Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 1 Oct. 2003, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/10/2962.1.
  11. Okuyama H;Ohara N;Tatematsu K;Fuma S;Nonogaki T;Yamada K;Ichikawa Y;Miyazawa D;Yasui Y;Honma S; “Testosterone-Lowering Activity of Canola and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil in the Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat.” The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20930468/.
  12. Battaglia Richi E;Baumer B;Conrad B;Darioli R;Schmid A;Keller U; “Health Risks Associated with Meat Consumption: A Review of Epidemiological Studies.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Internationale Zeitschrift Fur Vitamin- Und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal International De Vitaminologie Et De Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26780279/.
  13. UD;, Rohr. “The Impact of Testosterone Imbalance on Depression and Women’s Health.” Maturitas, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11955793/.
  14. Dokras, A., Sarwer, D. B., Allison, K. C., Milman, L., Kris-Etherton, P. M., Kunselman, A. R., Stetter, C. M., Williams, N. I., Gnatuk, C. L., Estes, S. J., Fleming, J., Coutifaris, C., & Legro, R. S. (2016). Weight Loss and Lowering Androgens Predict Improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life in Women With PCOS. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 101(8), 2966–2974. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-1896

 

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone?

As men age, there is a natural drop in testosterone levels. It’s part of the way our body’s age, but it can have some unfortunate consequences. Not only does it get harder to build muscle and stay in shape, but it can also lead to weight gain and, even worse, trouble in the bedroom.

While nothing can really prevent the loss of testosterone, you can slow it down and stay healthier with the right kind of exercise.

Key Takeaways: Does Exercise Increase Testosterone?

  • Exercise can increase testosterone.
  • Men will find increasing testosterone easier than women.
  • Women have to exercise more intensely.
  • Less intense workouts for women can lower cortisol.
  • Resistance exercises increase testosterone more than an aerobic workout.
  • A good night’s sleep and a healthy diet also help.

Does Working Out Increase Testosterone in Men and Women?

There are a lot of different exercise methods or protocols out there. A few common ones effective for raising testosterone include:

does working out increase testosterone

  1. HIIT weightlifting.
  2. Tabata training.
  3. Aerobic HIIT.
  4. High volume training.
  5. Circuit training.
  6. Bodybuilding.

There’s no question that exercise can naturally increase testosterone levels, as well as levels of other steroid hormones, in both men and women [1]. The amount and type of exercise required can vary a great deal, depending on sex, age, and fitness level.

In general, men will have a much easier time getting a testosterone boost, though it gets more difficult if they’re older or less physically active men [2]. Even a small amount of resistance or aerobic exercise can raise serum testosterone levels in men.

Women have a bit of a more challenging time of it. Testosterone is a male sex hormone, which means that while everyone needs some amount to be healthy, men need more [3]. To raise testosterone levels, women generally need to reach a particular threshold of effort [4]. Short of that threshold, testosterone levels will remain lower.

HIIT Weightlifting

There’s two parts to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) weightlifting. First, there’s weight lifting, which is a type of resistance exercise. Weight training is great for building muscle mass and may be particularly effective at raising testosterone

The second is the HIIT aspect, which describes how to organize your workout. It just means to alternate higher intensity exercises with lower ones. For raising testosterone, four workouts of 4 minutes each work well [5]. It’s best to start with a less strenuous exercise, like lifting smaller weights or using weight machines [6].

Tabata Training

Tabata training is a more intense version of interval training [7]. As a result, it may be best reserved for people already in decent shape and have experience working out. 

It also may be a good option for women interested in boosting testosterone, as you’re sure to push yourself over that threshold.

It involves doing eight sets of intense exercises, with 10-second rest periods between. Your body ends up working at max capacity, as it can’t fully recover between exercises. 

Aerobic HIIT

This is just like the HIIT workout we described above, but focusing on aerobic exercises rather than weight training. It’s a method often used by endurance athletes. As a result, this is a great method of endurance training and helps you reach maximal aerobic exercise [8]

Generally, aerobic exercises are less effective at raising testosterone levels, requiring a more intense workout from both men and women [9]

does working out increase testosterone Impact of HIIT exercise on total testosterone in elderly sedentary men
Aerobic HIIT training showed to increase total testosterone, though not significantly between phase B and C
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510446/

High Volume Training

High volume training basically means adding more reps and sets to your workout routine to increase muscle mass. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a change to the intensity or type of workout. Aerobic or resistance exercises can both be high volume. This can be another good strategy for women, as it makes it more likely they will cross their ‘testosterone threshold’.

It’s important to note that while you may not increase the intensity, adding more to your workout also ups the chances you’ll overdo it or injure yourself. Start by adding just one set or a few reps, then build further as your body adjusts.

Circuit Training

Circuit training involves moving through a series of specific exercises [10]. HIIT can be a type of circuit training if you change exercises as well as intensity levels. The classic example is moving between different machines at the gym to work different muscle groups to build lean muscle mass.

Doing only aerobic exercises for circuit training may not be more effective than sticking with one, as they all are focused on your cardiovascular system. Switching between different resistance exercises or mixing aerobic and resistance exercises will be more effective.

Bodybuilding

Weight lifting is the stereotypical natural testosterone booster. Building new muscle, a process called muscle protein synthesis, requires testosterone. Lifting heavy weights will therefore trigger greater testosterone production in your body [11].

does working out increase testosterone Testosterone concentrations when 2, 4, and 6 sets were performed at each exercise in a maximum strength
2×15 sets of resistance training showed to have the greatest impact on testosterone concentrations even during recovery time
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Testosterone-concentrations-x-8-SE-when-2-4-and-6-sets-were-performed-at-each_fig3_10824507

Make Your Own Routine!

There’s no reason you can’t put together your own program that works within your needs. If the goal is upping low testosterone levels, focusing on resistance training may be the way to go. As we’ve mentioned, building muscle will more easily lead to higher testosterone levels.

Rest is also important, however. It’s generally recommended to get a day of rest between workouts. That means you can do a full-body workout every other day or work different areas of the body on different days. 

How Long Does It Take for Exercise to Increase Testosterone?

For men, the increase can happen fairly quickly. As soon as you start weight training, a man’s body will kick into gear producing testosterone, growth hormone, and other hormones involved in building muscle. As men get older, testosterone hormone values will naturally drop, so older guys may need to work a little harder. 

Women face more of a challenge. The production of testosterone won’t ramp up until a woman crosses a threshold of activity, which can vary between women. It requires a more intense workout or a longer one, and the increase may not kick in for weeks or more.

However, when women stick with a less intense workout, they may still benefit as if their T levels had risen. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol will drop pretty quickly. Cortisol is usually associated with stress levels, but it’s thought that the ratio of testosterone to cortisol is what regulates muscle building and so forth [12]

The effect is similar to raising testosterone, but women may face various health problems if their testosterone is too high. This reaction may help prevent that.

In either case, testosterone may peak after your workout is done, as it is involved in repair and recovery after activity [13].

How Much Can Exercise Increase Testosterone?

In general, the more you exercise, the more testosterone will be increased. Muscle growth requires testosterone, so if you’re building muscle, your hormone levels will change. 

It’s tough to predict exact figures, as everyone’s body is different. Body composition and general health can make a big difference, as problems including obesity, insulin resistance, and chronic disease can impact testosterone production. 

Given the equivalent amounts of exercise, younger and middle-aged men will see a greater increase in testosterone than women and older men [2].

Which Exercises Increase Testosterone the Most?

Resistance training will naturally boost levels of testosterone more readily than aerobic workouts [14]. Resistance exercises are essentially any exercises where there is resistance against movement. So, holding extra weight like a barbell makes it more difficult to lift your arms. You can also use resistance bands, your own body weight, or other methods.

A full-body workout will also probably lead to a more significant increase in testosterone, as your body will have to supply the hormone to more areas at once, creating greater demand. 

FAQ

While body chemistry can be interesting, here are a few simple answers to common questions if you just want to get to the gym.

What Activities Increase Testosterone?

Regular exercise of any kind can increase testosterone naturally. Strength training is the most efficient method, as more testosterone will start being made almost immediately.

Other answers to the question, ‘how to increase testosterone’ include eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep [15]. Having more sex can also help boost testosterone naturally.

Can Running Boost Testosterone?

Running can boost your levels of testosterone, though it most likely requires a longer and more intense strength training. Any sort of steady-state endurance exercise is less likely to increase your T levels, as there tends to be less muscle protein synthesis than with resistance exercises.

Running can be a good exercise, though, for a number of reasons. At the top of the list, you’re less likely to lose muscle mass if you run [16].

Does Cardio Increase Testosterone?

There may be a rise in testosterone, but it will generally require more intense exercise. However, cardio can help increase testosterone indirectly, as it makes losing weight easier.

Do Squats Boost Testosterone?

Squats are a basic sort of resistance exercise, so they can undoubtedly increase testosterone. However, a more intense workout will boost testosterone naturally.

Does Jogging Increase Testosterone?

Like running, it’s going to be harder to increase T levels by jogging. It can help in a number of ways, however.

Can Walking Increase Testosterone?

Any sort of regular exercise can be helpful, though more intense resistance exercises will be more effective. 

Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

Healthy testosterone levels shouldn’t be affected by masturbation [17]. If anything, it may boost testosterone naturally, as a surge in testosterone is associated with ejaculation.

How Can I Raise My Testosterone Fast?

If you have low testosterone as diagnosed by a doctor, they may prescribe medication. Over-the-counter options can also help. Otherwise, resistance exercises, strength training, eating healthily, and a good night’s sleep are the best methods.

Conclusion

Exercise is probably the most reliable and healthiest way to increase your testosterone. In addition to the direct effect it has, working out can improve heart health, drop pounds, and make you more attractive to your preferred partner, all of which can help increase your testosterone level.

For some men, though, getting to the gym or even just working out at home is tough to schedule. Work and family responsibilities can eat up a lot of time. When that’s the case, products like Testogen, Test RX, and Testo Prime can help make up the difference in your T levels.

References:

  1. Vingren, Jakob L., et al. “Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training.” Sports Medicine, Springer International Publishing, 23 Sept. 2012, link.springer.com/article/10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000.
  2. Kraemer, William J., et al. “Acute Hormonal Responses to Heavy Resistance Exercise in Younger and Older Men.” European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer-Verlag, Feb. 1998, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s004210050323.
  3. “Testosterone.” You and Your Hormones, www.yourhormones.info/hormones/testosterone/.
  4. Uchida, Marco Carlos, et al. “Alteração Da RELAÇÃO Testosterona: Cortisol INDUZIDA Pelo TREINAMENTO De Força EM Mulheres.” Revista Brasileira De Medicina Do Esporte, Sociedade Brasileira De Medicina Do Exercício e Do Esporte, 1 June 2004, www.scielo.br/j/rbme/a/wRYhFZxqgVLqbNYzyMth55k/?format=html&lang=en.
  5. Dote-Montero, Manuel, et al. “Acute Effect of Hiit on Testosterone and Cortisol Levels in Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 15 June 2021, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/sms.13999.
  6. Taylor, Jenna L., et al. “Guidelines for the Delivery and Monitoring of High Intensity Interval Training in Clinical Populations.” Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, W.B. Saunders, 24 Jan. 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062019300313.
  7. “What Does ‘Tabata’ Mean?” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/what-does-tabata-mean-hiit.
  8. Garzon, Raquel. “Why and How to Do Aerobic Training, Including High-Intensity INterval Training.” New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_i/I112.pdf.
  9. Wilkerson, J. E., et al. “Plasma Testosterone during Treadmill Exercise.” Journal of Applied Physiology, 1 Aug. 1980, journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jappl.1980.49.2.249.
  10. Kraviz, Len. “New Insights into Circuit Training.” Circuit , www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/circuits05.html.
  11. Garzon, Raquel. “The Benefits of Strength Training and Tips for Getting Started.” NMSU, aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_i/I111/welcome.html.
  12. Viru, A., and M. Viru. “Cortisol – Essential Adaptation Hormone in Exercise.” International Journal of Sports Medicine, © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York, 2 Sept. 2004, www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2004-821068.
  13. Fahrner, C. L., and A. C. Hackney. “Effects of Endurance Exercise on Free Testosterone Concentration and the Binding Affinity of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (Shbg).” International Journal of Sports Medicine, © Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York, 9 Mar. 2007, www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2007-971872.
  14. Hawkins, Vivian N, et al. “Effect of Exercise on Serum Sex Hormones in Men: A 12-Month Randomized Clinical Trial.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3040039/.
  15. Mohammad, Beisan Ali, et al. “Associations between Sleep Deprivation and Salivary Testosterone Levels in Male UNIVERSITY Students: A Prospective Cohort Study – MAHMOUD Suleiman ABU-SAMAK, Beisan Ali Mohammad, May Ibrahim ABU-TAHA, Luai ZIDAN HASOUN, SHADY Helmi Awwad, 2018.” SAGE Journals, 13 Oct. 2017, journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988317735412.
  16. Laurin, Jaime L, et al. “Long-Term Aerobic Exercise Preserves Muscle Mass and Function with Age.” Current Opinion in Physiology, Elsevier, 24 Apr. 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468867319300720.
  17. Turgut, Hasan, and Guner Kemal Ozgur. Does Masturbation Frequency Effect Sperm Parameters? 3 July 2020, cms.galenos.com.tr/Uploads/Article_40011/JUS-7-200-En.pdf. 

 

Is Soy Bad for Men? Debunking the Myths

Is Soy Bad for Men? Debunking the Myths

Every man has probably heard a horror story about soy and erectile dysfunction. How accurate are these claims? Can you grow breasts from eating too much tofu or soybeans?

In this article, we’ll look at soy protein and assess its effect on testosterone. We’ll also explore if soy increases estrogen in men, and if so, to what level. 

Key Takeaways: What Does Soy Do to Men?

  • Soy proteins do not increase or reduce testosterone levels in men and women.
  • Although they contain phytoestrogens, soy foods do not increase the amount of estrogen in men or women.
  • There are many types of soy food, varying based on cooking, fermentation, and preparation.
  • Soy proteins have many nutritional benefits to the body.
  • Unless consumed in excess quantities, soy proteins are generally safe to eat.

Is Soy Bad for Men?

Soy consumption isn’t bad for men. In fact, soy is a rich source of high-quality proteins and other nutrients with massive health benefits. Because of large amounts of isoflavones and plant estrogens, soy can help protect you from many chronic illnesses. 

Although many studies on high soy intakes show that these phytoestrogens can mimic estrogen, they do not increase the level of estrogen or reduce testosterone levels in men.

These misconceptions about soy arose from two unique cases where two men experienced a hormonal imbalance because of their high soy consumption. 

A 19-year-old man with type 1 diabetes on a vegetarian diet reported loss of libido, hypogonadism, and erectile dysfunction [1]. A second 60-year-old man reported gynecomastia (man breasts) [2].

It’s essential to understand that these men consumed extreme amounts of soy leading up to their diagnoses. Despite that, plenty of studies and scientific data show no connection between soy or isoflavone supplements and testosterone or estrogen levels in men [3]

Here are some quick ways to boost testosterone naturally.

How Much Soy Is Too Much for a Man?

Anything that ranges from 450 to 900 mg of soy isoflavones has been shown to cause side effects in men according to some studies [4]

That’s anywhere between 18 and 36 times the recommended daily intake. Thankfully, it’s unlikely that you’d consume that much soy in a day, anyway.

With the average soy meal averaging about 25 mg of isoflavones, you’re well within the safe range of soy intake. The typical Japanese intake is much higher, yet they report no adverse effects. Check out these activities that help you increase testosterone naturally.

Even if you ate a soy meal three times a day, you’d only have consumed approximately 75 mg of soy isoflavones. In this regard, you have little to worry about.

Is Soy Bad for Boys Going Through Puberty?

Soy is not bad for boys going through puberty. It does not exert any adverse effects on the hormonal balance of boys or affect their pubertal development [5].

Much fewer studies on the effects of soy and phytoestrogens include children. Where they’re included, sample sizes are also small.

Children who consume soy significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer [5]. Besides that, soy remains a source of many nutritional benefits for children. 

Soy protein isolates are also ideal for infant formula. Isolated soy protein has a purity of up to 90%, and soy formula is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk, especially if the infant is lactose intolerant [6].

Soy, Estrogen, Men: What’s the Relationship?

Scientific evidence shows no relationship between soy, estrogen, and men. Neither soy nor soy isoflavones increase the level of estrogen in men [7]. Unless consumed in morbid amounts, they have no observable effects on the hormonal balance of males. Soy does not increase or reduce testosterone levels either. Here’s how to increase testosterone naturally.

Can Soy Increase Estrogen Levels?

Soy cannot increase estrogen levels in men. Although the phytoestrogen isoflavone is present in soy, it does not increase or reduce male reproductive hormone levels either [7]. Its effects are weaker than natural human hormone estrogen, and its effects can sometimes counter normal estrogen activity.

Which of the following two do you think increased estrogen in men?

estrogen in men
Click on the choice you think is right to reveal what the study found
Show hint
estrogen in men
It was found that whey protein concentration increased serum estradiol concentration from 52.6 to 60.2 pg/mL

is soy bad for men Effects of soy and whey protein on resting, fasting serum estradiol concentrations in men

Learn more about how to increase testosterone naturally here.

How Did the Soy Estrogen Myth Start?

The Soy Estrogen Myth began when a popular online newspaper cited a 2008 study that found that among men with low sperm counts, eating soy lowered their sperm counts even further. The study noted that soy did not lead to infertility.

However, this study had some serious limitations. They limited it to 99 men, with about 70 of them obese or overweight. It did not use a multivariate approach and soon, other studies emerged, finding no association between soy and low sperm counts.

Researches noted that there were no notable effects of soy protein on testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, or free testosterone levels [8].

Is Soy Healthy for Males?

Soy is a healthy food for males.

Isoflavone in soy has no adverse effects on testosterone or estrogen levels in men, making it a safe food to consume. Even when consumed in relatively high quantities, it still has marginal effects on the hormonal balance in men [8].

Men can draw many health and nutritional benefits from soy protein. You can gain muscle mass much better using soy protein than using whey protein. We look at plenty of other effects of soy protein in the next section below. Also, find out how certain diets can inhibit your ability to boost testosterone naturally here

is soy bad for men Impact of soy protein concentration supplementation on lean leg mass
Soy protein showed to increase lean leg mass in men
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6057888/

The Facts on Soy

Here are some amazing facts about soy:

Soy Nutrition

Soy is a rich source of proteins and contains all nine essential amino acids your body requires, along with abundant plant fats and vitamins. As a protein supplement, it can help men engaged in weight and resistance training improve their strength and lean muscle.

The USDA estimates that 100 grams of cooked but unsalted green soybeans contains [9]:

  • 6.5 grams of fat
  • 4.2 grams of fiber
  • 11.04 grams of carbs
  • 12.4 grams of proteins and;
  • 141 kilocalories

Soy is also rich in minerals including:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Thiamin

Many soy sources also contain sufficient amounts of polyphenols. As a type of antioxidant, polyphenols have several benefits, including protecting your body from heart disease, stress, and cell damage.

Isoflavones, the phytoestrogens present in soy foods, can attach themselves to estrogen receptors, causing many health benefits.

Types of Soy Products

You can find soy in many products including [10]:

is soy bad for men

  1. Soybeans: These are whole soy seeds that grow in a pod and mature into hard dry beans similar to other legumes. Soybeans are usually yellow, although some are brown or black.
  2. Edamame: These are soybeans harvested while still green and sweet-tasting. Many people consume edamame as a snack or vegetable after boiling for about 20 minutes in slightly salted water.
  3. Soy milk: When you soak soybeans, grind them until fine and strain them, you end up with soy milk or soybean milk.
  4. Tofu:Tofu is soybean curd, made from fresh soy milk and a coagulant. It has a mild flavor and can absorb the flavors of other foods, including spices and marinades.
  5. Soy Nuts: Soy nuts result from soaking whole soybeans in water and roasting them until brown
  6. Miso: This Japanese soy paste has a rich salty taste and is often used to flavor a variety of foods, sauces and dressings. It can also be an excellent marinade.
  7. Soy sauce: This popular sauce results from fermenting and straining soybeans. It has a rich salty flavor. You can also mix it with other ingredients to end up with Tamari, Shoyu or Teriyaki sauce.
  8. Tempeh: You can mix soybeans with other grains (like rice or millet), ferment and press them into a cake with a nutty or smoky flavor. It has a chunky and tender texture and can be cut into slices, used as a marinade or grilled. You can also add it to casseroles and soups.
  9. Textured soy protein (TSPs): TSPs are products made from textured concentrates, soy flour and spun soy fiber.
  10. Meat alternatives: Many animal protein substitutes use soy protein or tofu to imitate meat in burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and bacon.

Find out more about other cereals that can hinder your ability to boost testosterone naturally.

Soy Benefits

Here are the benefits of adding soy to your varied diet:

  1. Reduces risk of heart disease
  2. Helps lower blood pressure
  3. Helps reduce blood sugar
  4. May improve bone health
  5. May help in managing obesity
  6. May help reduce cholesterol levels
  7. May reduce risk of some cancers

Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease

Adding soy to your traditional diet can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Soy isoflavones help prevent your blood vessels from swelling and also improve their elasticity. These two factors help protect your heart from strain.

Other studies also show that soy food can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease by 20% and 16% respectively. Soy-rich diets reduce your risk of death from heart disease by up to 15% [11].

Helps Lower Your Blood Pressure

Isoflavones play a massive role in lowering your blood pressure. In some studies, a daily intake of up to 153 mg of soy isoflavone can reduce your blood pressure by 3- and 6-mm Hg in people suffering from hypertension [12].

is soy bad for men Effects of soy isoflavones on blood pressure in individuals diagnosed with hypertension
Soy isoflavones showed to significantly reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertension
Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21310599/

However, the jury is still out on whether these findings apply to people with normal blood pressure.

Fermented soy foods contain healthy amounts of arginine, an amino acid that helps reduce blood pressure. It also has other health benefits, like helping injuries heal, improving blood flow, and boosting the function of your immune system.

Arginine present in soybeans can also help with erectile dysfunction and help the kidneys in removing waste.

Helps Reduce Your Blood Sugar

Isoflavones also help you reduce insulin resistance, a condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes. Adding soy protein to your diet can lower blood sugar in people with this type of diabetes [13].

It also helps people with metabolic syndrome reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. While there isn’t a strong link between blood sugar control and soyfoods in type 2 diabetics and healthy people, more research will help establish a better relationship.

May Improve Bone Health

Low estrogen levels can cause osteoporosis in postmenopausal women [14]. This condition results from reduced estrogen production which causes calcium to leach from the bones. Isoflavones contain phytoestrogens, which bind with estrogen receptors the same way human estrogen would.

Soy foods can be a useful alternative to hormone replacement therapy, which aims to replace estrogen in the body. It helps premenopausal women reduce side effects like hot flashes. Unlike HRT which may have some severe side effects, soy isoflavones are a better option for postmenopausal women.

May Help in Managing Obesity

A study conducted in 2019 on rats showed that soy isoflavone intake helped prevent fat from building up around body organs [15]. Although these results need further review and research, they look promising in helping human beings manage obesity.

May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Diets rich in soy proteins can help you reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Besides that, soy-based foods have extremely low amounts of saturated fat.

While some studies show that an intake of about 25 grams of soy food may help reduce LDL cholesterol by about 3%, these reductions may be larger especially where people replace animal protein with soy protein [16].

A reduction in LDLs and an increase in HDL cholesterol is beneficial to people with high-risk factors of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

May Reduce Risks of Some Types of Cancer

In men, soy consumption helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It also helps reduce breast cancer risk, as well as risks of other cancers like digestive tract and cardiovascular cancers.

Dangers of Soy

Soy is safe, but it may have mild-to-moderate effects on other people:

  1. Effects on thyroid function
  2. Many soy products are genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  3. Can effects digestion
  4. Soy can interfere with certain medications
  5. Allergy

Effects on Thyroid Function

Some types of isoflavones, like genistein, may prevent thyroid hormone production in some cases. Furthermore, goitrogens present in soy can prevent iodine absorption, inhibiting thyroid function.

However, these studies involved animals, many of which need more analysis. Studies carried out on human subjects show that soy isoflavone intake has little effect on thyroid hormone levels or thyroid function [17].

Most Soy Products Are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

90% of all soybeans produced in the US are genetically modified—so stick to organic whenever possible. There’s much controversy surrounding GMOs, including their short- and long-term effects on humans. Besides that, their levels of intake are still debatable [18].

Certain soy GMOs can withstand the glyphosate pesticide, they may also contain glyphosate residue, which can have adverse effects on your health. Additionally, they have poorer nutrient quality when compared to organically produced soybeans.

Effects on Digestion

Soybean agglutinins are an antinutrient that can negatively affect digestion by altering the structure and barrier function of the human gut. It may also destroy the healthy microbiome in your digestive system [7].

However, you can easily counter these negative effects by cooking, processing, soaking or fermenting soybeans before you eat them.

Contraindications With Certain Medications

Fermented soy proteins in soy sauce and tofu have high levels of tyramine, an amino acid that helps regulate blood pressure. Your body breaks down tyramine to monoamine oxidase. However, some depression medication can cause your body to decrease the breakdown of tyramine.

This hindrance has the potential to raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels. If you’re taking depression medication such as phenelzine (Nardil) or tranylcypromine (Parnate), avoid soy products with high levels of tyramine.

Soy Allergy

Some people may have allergic reactions to soy proteins. These allergies are often triggered by glycinin and conglycinin, proteins found in almost all soy products. However, soy allergy is quite rare in adults, and most children grow out of it by the time they’re 10 [5].

FAQ

Here are some questions people often ask about soy.

Is Soy Bad for Testosterone?

No, soy isn’t bad for your testosterone levels. Besides that, soy protein does not increase or reduce t levels in the human body. 

Although its phytoestrogens can bond with estrogen receptors in similar fashion to human estrogen, they produce marginal effects. They neither increase or reduce estrogen levels in men or women. Sometimes, soy even has antiestrogenic effects.

Does Soy Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

No, it does not. There is no scientific basis to back this claim up. In the singular case where a young man reported erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism due to soy protein, it had little to do with soy. When he changed his diet, these symptoms disappeared. Phytoestrogens do not inhibit or weaken testosterone function, and therefore cannot cause ED in men.

Instead, soy protein can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by producing a prostate-specific antigen that stops the growth of cancer cells.

Does Soy Really Increase Estrogen?

No, soy does not increase estrogen in men or women. While phytoestrogens can activate your body’s estrogen receptors, it has a much weaker chemical composition than human estrogen. If there’s little estrogen, isoflavones activate estrogen receptors to mitigate this shortage. Where estrogen is abundant, isoflavones work against natural estrogen and limit its effects.

Can Soy Make a Man Feminine?

Soy cannot feminize a man. The phytoestrogen present in soy is too mild to influence any real hormonal changes. The isoflavones present in soy, even in excess amounts are unable to reduce testosterone levels in men or increase estrogen enough to make a change. On the rare occasion they reduce testosterone levels or increase estrogen, the effects are mild and easily reversible.

Does Soy Cause Man Breasts?

No, soy cannot cause man breasts. There aren’t enough isoflavones in soy foods or soy supplementation to make any physiological changes in men. Soy consumed even in excess amounts cannot reduce your t levels or increase your estrogen levels in a significant way.

Is Soy Bad for Your Gut?

No, soy isn’t bad for your gut. Although many fermented soy foods may contain agglutinins that may affect your body’s ability to absorb some essential nutrients, you can often cook, boil or ferment these antinutrients away before consuming soy proteins. Other than that, soybeans are a rich source of proteins, minerals, plant fats, and fiber, all of which are good for the gut.

Conclusion

Unlike popular belief, soy proteins are generally safe to consume, even in large quantities. They do not destroy testosterone or increase estrogen in men. Instead, soy proteins are a rich source of proteins and other nutrients. 

Their phytoestrogens have many health benefits, preventing people with metabolism risk factors from dangerous illnesses and cancers. Supplement your diet with soy proteins, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re looking to increase your t-levels further, you can use a natural testosterone booster like Testogen. 

References

  1. DG;, Siepmann T;Roofeh J;Kiefer FW;Edelson. “Hypogonadism and Erectile Dysfunction Associated with Soy Product Consumption.” Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21353476/.
  2. JE;, Martinez J;Lewi. “An Unusual Case of Gynecomastia Associated with Soy Product Consumption.” Endocrine Practice : Official Journal of the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18558591.
  3. “Straight Talk about Soy.” The Nutrition Source, 3 Mar. 2021, www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/
  4. Messina, Mark. “Soybean Isoflavone Exposure Does Not Have Feminizing Effects on Men: a Critical Examination of the Clinical Evidence.” Https://Www.fertstert.org/Article/S0015-0282(10)00368-7/Pdf, MODERN TRENDS, 1 May 2010, www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)00368-7/pdf.
  5. D;, Messina M;Rogero MM;Fisberg M;Waitzberg. “Health Impact of Childhood and Adolescent Soy Consumption.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28838083/.
  6. Astawan, Made, and Ayu P.G Prayudani. “The Overview of Food Technology to Process Soy Protein Isolate and Its Application toward Food Industry.” World Nutrition Journal, vol. 4, no. 1, 2020, p. 12., doi:10.25220/wnj.v04.s1.0003.
  7. Barrett, Julia R. “The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?” Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, June 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510/.
  8. Reed, Katharine E., et al. “Neither Soy nor Isoflavone Intake Affects Male Reproductive Hormones: An Expanded and Updated Meta-Analysis of Clinical Studies.” Reproductive Toxicology, Pergamon, 28 Dec. 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623820302926.
  9. “FoodData Central Search Results.” FoodData Central, fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100447/nutrients.
  10. UCSF Health. “A Guide to Foods Rich in Soy.” Ucsfhealth.org, UCSF Health, 22 June 2021, www.ucsfhealth.org/education/a-guide-to-foods-rich-in-soy.
  11. Yan Z;Zhang X;Li C;Jiao S;Dong W; “Association between Consumption of Soy and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28067550/.
  12. Liu XX;Li SH;Chen JZ;Sun K;Wang XJ;Wang XG;Hui RT; “Effect of Soy Isoflavones on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases : NMCD, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21310599/.
  13. Fang K;Dong H;Wang D;Gong J;Huang W;Lu F; “Soy Isoflavones and Glucose Metabolism in Menopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27004555/.
  14. Sathyapalan T;Aye M;Rigby AS;Fraser WD;Thatcher NJ;Kilpatrick ES;Atkin SL; “Soy Reduces Bone TURNOVER Markers in Women during EARLY Menopause: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research : the Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27465911/.
  15. Velasquez, Manuel T, and Sam J Bhathena. “Role of Dietary Soy Protein in Obesity.” International Journal of Medical Sciences, Ivyspring International Publisher, 26 Feb. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838825/.
  16. Tokede, Oluwabunmi A, et al. “Soya Products and Serum Lipids: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.” The British Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Sept. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26268987.
  17. Otun, Jemiliat, et al. “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Effect of Soy On Thyroid Function.” Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group UK, 8 Mar. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408586/.
  18. “Recent Trends in Ge Adoption.” USDA ERS – Recent Trends in GE Adoption, www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx.

 

14 Foods That Increase Testosterone Naturally

14 Foods That Increase Testosterone Naturally

It’s frustrating when we can’t increase our muscle mass, lose weight or think clearly due to low testosterone. As the main male sex hormone, a deficiency can impair reproductive function, lowering sperm count and sperm production, and knocking out sex drive too. It’s also frustrating when the only options seem to be steroids, which may cause more side effects than benefits. 

What if there were natural ways to increase testosterone? Read on to learn more about how to increase testosterone with 14 testosterone-boosting foods. 

Key Takeaways: Foods That Boost Testosterone

  • Beef and oysters are rich in the mineral zinc, an essential nutrient that helps testosterone levels.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish and tuna keep testosterone levels high by making the testes more responsive to FSH and LH, hormones released by the pituitary gland.
  • Pomegranates, olive oil and onions don’t just keep your antioxidant levels up, but maintain testosterone levels too.
  • Many of testosterone’s plant pals work by inhibiting aromatase, an enzyme that converts the hormone to estrogen.
  • Insulin resistance can reduce the ability of the testes to generate testosterone.

14 Foods That Boost Testosterone

Here are 14 testosterone-boosting foods:

foods that increase testosterone

  1. Egg yolks
  2. Beef
  3. Shellfish
  4. Fatty fish
  5. Tuna
  6. Oysters
  7. Extra virgin olive oil
  8. Pomegranates
  9. Fortified plant milks
  10. Onions
  11. Leafy green veggies
  12. Beans
  13. Fortified dairy milk with vitamin D
  14. Fortified cereals

1. Egg Yolks

Throwing out egg yolks in favor of egg whites’ protein content was once a fitness trend. However, a study comparing whole eggs to egg whites found that leaving in the egg yolks increased muscle strength and testosterone while reducing body fat [1]

Egg yolks are a rich source of arachidonic acid, which assists the testes in testosterone production. They are also great sources of nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins, improving your overall health [1]

2. Beef

Beef is an effective and delicious whole-food source of protein that may also boost testosterone naturally. A small trial of six elite athletes demonstrated that beef was more effective in increasing muscle size and testosterone than a calorie-equivalent carbohydrate supplement [2]

With beef, their testosterone-to-cortisol ratio (TCR) improved from 0.31 to 0.4 over a period of eight weeks. The TCR of the carbohydrate group fell slightly, from 0.4 to 0.38. However, beef did not improve iron status [2]. Beef is also a rich source of zinc, which prevented a decline in testosterone after intensive exercise in male athletes [3][4]

foods that increase testosterone Effects of zinc supplementation on testosterone levels
Zinc supplementation significantly increased testosterone compared to the control group
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4300574/

3. Shellfish

Some shellfish, such as king crab, lobster, and clams, are high in zinc [3]. Zinc increases testosterone by reducing its conversion to estrogen, by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. Lab research on the meat and shell powders of blood clam, Asian green mussel, and the (rare) mud creeper found that they were able to significantly boost testosterone levels [5]

The zinc content of certain shellfish is likely the main reason why they have been used in traditional medicine, including modern integrative practice, to enhance male fertility [5]

4. Fatty Fish

Regularly enjoying oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, and herring are linked with better sperm counts and function. As for which nutrients play the largest role in these benefits, a population study suggests that omega-3 fatty acids pull much of the weight. Men taking fish oil had 8% higher testosterone to luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, as well as lower FSH and LH [6]

These men also had higher sperm counts and larger testes compared to those who didn’t take fish oil. The longer they had been taking fish oil, the higher their sperm counts. Oily fish’s omega-3 fatty acid content is thought to increase the sensitivity of testosterone-producing cells to FSH and improve sperm health [6].

5. Tuna

Tuna gets its own category, as it isn’t considered an oily fish. However, tuna species such as yellowfin and frigate tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein—tuna is particularly high in DHA [7]

DHA and EPA, the other anti-inflammatory fatty acid fish are known for, may increase testosterone in men but not women. DHA-enriched fish oil boosted testosterone by an average of 1.95nmol/L and was effective regardless of age. 

foods that increase testosterone Impact of dietary fish oil on testosterone
Fish oil showed to increase serum testosterone levels significantly more than the control substance
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613343/

It is thought that EPA and DHA are aromatase inhibitors too, as one of the anti-inflammatory pathways they act on prevents the enzyme from making estrogen [8]

6. Oysters

Oysters are perhaps the highest natural food source of zinc, with Atlantic oysters measuring at 77.35mg per 85-gram serving in one study [3]. As written above, zinc can protect your testosterone production in times of stress such as heavy exercise [4]

Additionally, the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea Gigas) may have other benefits in testosterone production. Partially-digested proteins from the oyster are shown to increase testosterone levels in laboratory research. One way is by boosting the function of some genes responsible for sex hormone release [9]

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Extra-virgin olive oil is well-known for its potential cardiovascular benefits, but what about men’s health? A study testing the effects of extra-virgin olive oil and virgin argan oil on healthy men showed that olive oil may boost testosterone levels by 17.4%, and luteinizing hormone by 42% [10]

The protective antioxidant effects of the oils’ vitamin E content were thought to be partly behind their testosterone-boosting properties. Vitamin E may guard the Leydig cells of the testes against oxidative stress, which would otherwise damage them [10]

8. Pomegranates

Pomegranates appear to be a mixed bag when it comes to being a testosterone-boosting food. Research does suggest that they are aromatase inhibitors, preventing testosterone from being converted to estrogen and promoting a healthy balance of hormones [11]

On the other hand, pure pomegranate juice may reduce testosterone when taken right after exercise. This is similar to other studies showing that antioxidants should be separated from exercise, as their beneficial effects work in opposing pathways [12]

9. Fortified Plant Milks 

Plant milks are increasingly popular for both ethical reasons and to avoid lactose and casein, which many people are intolerant to. These are often fortified with nutrients so they can match the health benefits of dairy milk.

If you can’t have dairy milk, it’s best to find calcium-fortified plant milk to prevent deficiency. Besides its bone-building benefits, calcium may increase testosterone too. A study of 30 male athletes found that calcium boosted the rise in testosterone that comes with exercise. It is thought that this benefit comes from calcium’s effects on gonadotropin pathways [13].  

10. Onions

Antioxidant-rich onions may fight low testosterone levels in several ways. They appear to protect the testes against inflammation and oxidative stress, and increase nitric oxide, which opens the blood vessels serving the testes. This may have the added bonuses of helping to create erections, reducing fertility issues, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health. 

Onions may act directly by increasing luteinizing hormone too, which stimulates the testes to make testosterone [14]. For these reasons, a study on older men demonstrated that taking onion extract for four weeks significantly increased testosterone. Larger studies are needed, although the results are promising [14]

11. Leafy Green Veggies

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are great food sources of magnesium, which boosts testosterone. A study of taekwondo practitioners and a control group found that magnesium supplements increased testosterone in both groups, but had a stronger effect in the athletes [15]

At rest after supplementation, the athletes had 18% higher free testosterone compared to non-supplemented athletes. While testosterone increases with exercise, taking magnesium led to more testosterone. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of physiological processes, including energy production and moderating stress response [15]

foods that increase testosterone Influence of magnesium supplementation on testosterone
The magnesium supplementation group were able to preserve consistent testosterone levels whereas the control group experienced a decline
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958794/

12. Beans

Certain types of beans may help increase testosterone too. Velvet beans (Mucuna pruriens) act indirectly as a natural testosterone booster, by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing dopamine. Dopamine kicks off gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) production, which boosts testosterone [16]

13. Fortified Dairy Milk with Vitamin D 

Research on Malaysian men found that higher vitamin D levels were linked to higher testosterone, independently of age and ethnicity. The results were dependent on body weight, while other research suggests that vitamin D only increases testosterone in overweight men [17].

In a clinical trial of 200 men, taking 3,332 IU of vitamin D led to a 25% rise in total testosterone levels, from 10.7nmol/L to 13.4nmol/L [18]

14. Fortified Cereals 

Some breakfast cereals are fortified with a range of vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, iron, and vitamin D. 

As written above, vitamin D supplementation may raise testosterone levels by as much as 25%, when used in high doses [18]. Zinc can boost testosterone naturally and safeguard its production during times of stress, such as heavy exercise [4]. Taking these nutrients together may bring you more gains than one supplement alone. 

6 Foods That Increase Testosterone and Lower Estrogen

If you have too much estrogen and not enough testosterone, you can solve two problems at once with aromatase-inhibiting foods.

  1. Oysters are the richest source of zinc, sometimes measuring up to 77mg per serving in the case of Atlantic oysters [3]. Zinc inhibits the aromatase enzyme, so testosterone is not converted to estrogen.
  2. White button mushrooms are shown in lab research to reduce aromatase in multiple cellular pathways [19]. They also taste great when cooked and served with steak! 
  3. Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol and diindolylmethane (DIM), well-known for their potential to fight breast cancer. They may also be little-known testosterone-boosting foods, as they work as powerful aromatase inhibitors [20]
  4. Green tea is high in the phytochemical EGCG, another aromatase inhibitor. Population studies show that green tea lovers can have lower estrogen levels. In lab research, EGCG has inhibited aromatase by up to 56% [21]
  5. Grapefruit contains naringenin, which can also help restore healthy hormone levels by inhibiting aromatase. Avoid if you are on prescription drugs [21]
  6. Pomegranates are another aromatase-inhibiting fruit, also mentioned above, that can keep sex hormones at normal levels [11]. To maintain their status as testosterone-boosting foods, avoid consuming right before or after exercise [12]

What Foods Destroy Testosterone?

The 6 key problem foods are [22]:

foods that increase testosterone
  1. Bread; together with pastries, was given the highest weighting
  2. Pastries, packed with carbs, dairy and sugar
  3. Dairy products
  4. Added sugar
  5. Takeout and processed foods, which are typically higher in calories than homemade meals 
  6. Alcohol, according to a number of studies [23]

Research demonstrates that dietary patterns associated with insulin resistance can impair testicular function. The testes respond to insulin, and if they become resistant to the hormone, testosterone synthesis falls.

What Is the One Food That Kills Testosterone?

Alcohol contributes to low testosterone at multiple points in its pathway. First, in the hypothalamus, it reduces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Furthermore, it affects both the production and function of luteinizing hormone (LH), partly by reducing GnRH [23]

Alcohol directly affects testosterone levels too, by increasing conversion to estrogen, increasing cortisol, and impairing its production in the testes [23]

What Is the Best Booster for Testosterone?

Supplementation is another way to increase testosterone levels naturally, without resorting to testosterone replacement therapy. Three supplements we recommend are Testogen, Testo Prime, and TestRX. 

  • Testogen includes D-aspartic acid, fenugreek, zinc, and vitamin D, along with energizing Korean red ginseng. 
  • Testo Prime consists of the same ingredients as Testogen, along with green tea extract and pomegranate to keep estrogen down. 
  • TestRX contains D-aspartic acid and fenugreek, as well as specific forms of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 intended to increase testosterone levels.

FAQ

What are the most important things to know about testosterone-boosting foods?

Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most?

Foods rich in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids appear to increase testosterone the most. Correcting zinc deficiency and optimizing your levels of the mineral can prevent aromatase from giving you lower testosterone [5]. Omega-3 fatty acids increase sensitivity to FSH, which triggers testosterone release [6].

Beef, oily fish, tuna and oysters stand out among the best testosterone-boosting foods. 

Which Fruits Increase Testosterone the Most? 

While animal products are the best for maintaining healthy T levels, aromatase-inhibiting fruits such as pomegranate and grapefruit may be effective [11][21]

Do Bananas Increase Testosterone?

Further research on humans is needed, but the root of the banana plant may increase testosterone levels. Studies on rats suggest that an extract could boost testosterone naturally while reducing the need for FSH and LH’s stimulatory effects [24].

Does Lowering Estrogen Increase Testosterone?

Lowering estrogen can increase testosterone. For example, the use of aromatase inhibitors boosts testosterone by reducing its conversion to estrogen. Drugs that block the actions of estrogen are also used to increase testosterone, as they cannot inhibit FSH and LH production [25]

Conclusion 

If you’re struggling with low testosterone, there are ways to raise your T levels without resorting to risky steroid hormone supplements. A balanced diet is always best for sexual function and overall health, but animal products such as beef, oily fish, and oysters lead the way. Some fruits and vegetables help out too, with protective antioxidants and aromatase-inhibitors.

If your sex drive still suffers and levels of key hormones are imbalanced despite making dietary changes, supplements such as Testogen, TestRX, and Testo Prime may help. 

References

  1. Bagheri, Reza et al. “Whole Egg Vs. Egg White Ingestion During 12 weeks of Resistance Training in Trained Young Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 35,2 (2021): 411-419. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003922 
  2. Valenzuela, Pedro L et al. “Effects of Beef Protein Supplementation in Male Elite Triathletes: A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind, Cross-Over Study.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition vol. 40,1 (2021): 53-60. doi:10.1080/07315724.2020.1727377 
  3. Solomons, Noel W. “Dietary Sources of Zinc and Factors Affecting Its Bioavailability.” SAGE Journals, (2001) journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/156482650102200204. 
  4. Kilic, Mehmet et al. “The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc.” Neuro endocrinology letters vol. 27,1-2 (2006): 247-52. 
  5. Astuti, Pudji et al. “Effect of shell as natural testosterone boosters in Sprague Dawley rats.” Veterinary world vol. 12,10 (2019): 1677-1681. doi:10.14202/vetworld.2019.1677-1681 
  6. Jensen, Tina Kold et al. “Associations of Fish Oil Supplement Use With Testicular Function in Young Men.” JAMA network open vol. 3,1 e1919462. 3 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.19462 
  7. Karunarathna, K.A.A.U., and M.V.E. Attygalle. “Nutritional Evaluation in Five Species of Tuna.” University of Sri Jayewardenepura, 13 November 2009, dr.lib.sjp.ac.lk/handle/123456789/1012. 
  8. Abbott, Kylie, et al. “Dietary Supplementation with Docosahexaenoic Acid Rich Fish Oil Increases Circulating Levels of Testosterone in Overweight and Obese Men.” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Churchill Livingstone, 12 Nov. 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0952327820301629. 
  9. Zhang, Wanwan et al. “Enzymatic preparation of Crassostrea oyster peptides and their promoting effect on male hormone production.” Journal of ethnopharmacology vol. 264 (2021): 113382. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2020.113382 
  10. Derouiche, Abdelfettah et al. “Effect of argan and olive oil consumption on the hormonal profile of androgens among healthy adult Moroccan men.” Natural product communications vol. 8,1 (2013): 51-3. 
  11. Adams, Lynn S., et al. “Pomegranate Ellagitannin–Derived Compounds Exhibit Antiproliferative and Antiaromatase Activity in Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro.” Cancer Prevention Research, American Association for Cancer Research, 1 Jan. 2010, cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/3/1/108.short.
  12. Ammar, Achraf et al. “Effects of natural polyphenol-rich pomegranate juice on the acute and delayed response of Homocysteine and steroidal hormones following weightlifting exercises: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 17,1 15. 6 Mar. 2020, doi:10.1186/s12970-020-00345-w
  13. Cinar, Vedat et al. “Testosterone levels in athletes at rest and exhaustion: effects of calcium supplementation.” Biological trace element research vol. 129,1-3 (2009): 65-9. doi:10.1007/s12011-008-8294-5
  14. Banihani, Saleem Ali. “Testosterone in Males as Enhanced by Onion (Allium Cepa L.).” Biomolecules vol. 9,2 75. 21 Feb. 2019, doi:10.3390/biom9020075 
  15. Cinar, Vedat et al. “Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion.” Biological trace element research vol. 140,1 (2011): 18-23. doi:10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3
  16. Shukla, Kamla Kant et al. “Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 7,1 (2010): 137-44. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem171
  17. Kok-Yong Chin, et al. “Vitamin D is significantly associated with total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin in Malaysian men.” The Aging Male, vol. 18,3 (2015): 175-179. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2015.1034686
  18. Pilz, S et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme vol. 43,3 (2011): 223-5. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1269854 
  19. Grube, B J et al. “White button mushroom phytochemicals inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 131,12 (2001): 3288-93. doi:10.1093/jn/131.12.3288 
  20. Licznerska, Barbara E et al. “Modulation of CYP19 expression by cabbage juices and their active components: indole-3-carbinol and 3,3′-diindolylmethene in human breast epithelial cell lines.” European journal of nutrition vol. 52,5 (2013): 1483-92. doi:10.1007/s00394-012-0455-9 
  21. Balunas, Marcy J et al. “Natural products as aromatase inhibitors.” Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry vol. 8,6 (2008): 646-82. 
  22. Hu, Tzu-Yu et al. “Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism.” Nutrients vol. 10,11 1786. 16 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10111786
  23. Emanuele, M A, and N V Emanuele. “Alcohol’s effects on male reproduction.” Alcohol health and research world vol. 22,3 (1998): 195-201.
  24. Yakubu, Musa Toyin et al. “Effects of aqueous extract of Musa paradisiaca root on testicular function parameters of male rats.” Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology vol. 24,2 (2013): 151-7. doi:10.1515/jbcpp-2012-0059 
  25. Lo, Eric M et al. “Alternatives to Testosterone Therapy: A Review.” Sexual medicine reviews vol. 6,1 (2018): 106-113. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.09.004 

 

Learn How To Become A Therapist: Requirements, Fields and More

Therapy is not a “quick fix,” but instead, it is a process. Therapists get to know their clients and address their needs over time, sometimes adjusting their treatment methods and making each plan unique to the patient.

If this sounds interesting to you, read on to learn more about how to become a therapist, the qualifications you need, and the various fields of therapy.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many different fields of therapy (mental health, physical, etc.)
  • Each field has different educational requirements
  • All therapists should gain clinical experience before beginning their career

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a Therapist?

While becoming a therapist isn’t as demanding as becoming a doctor, you must still accomplish many requirements beforehand. You will need an appropriate degree and education in the field you wish to practice, experience with patients and clients, and usually a state license.

Of course, different fields of therapy also have various programs and requirements. Check the relevant section below to learn how to become a therapist in your preferred area.

Degree In the Relevant Field

You will probably need a Master’s Degree in an appropriate field for most therapist professions before you begin practicing. A Ph.D. will expand your opportunities and may lead to a higher salary.

As of 2020, the median salary for psychologists were $105,780 a year

For many therapy fields, a degree in a psychology-related discipline will be the most relevant for you. Studying psychology can help you get a foothold in mental health, marriage counseling, or family therapy.

Other fields of therapy are more physical rather than psychological. If you want to become a massage therapist, a physical therapist, or a sports therapist, you might want to study a different medical discipline such as kinesiology.

The narrower fields of therapy, such as speech therapy or radiation therapy, require narrower topics of college study.

Just about all therapy fields have several classes in common, however. Regardless of your preferred field, you can be expected to take courses in medical professional ethics, substance abuse, clinical psychology, cultural diversity, and relationship therapy.

Clinical Experience

Most therapy licensing programs require thousands of hours of experience working under licensed supervision. After obtaining your degree in a therapy-related discipline, apply for a clinical experience program to log these hours. Your university might be able to help you with this requirement.

Clinical experience is necessary for therapists to practice while under careful supervision. More experienced therapists will be at your side to prevent mistakes and to guide you.

Official License

Because therapists are given responsibility for the care and well-being of their clients, they must maintain an official license. These licenses are granted by each state and may have different requirements from state to state.

In addition to passing a licensing exam, your state will likely require you to complete ongoing training and education each year to maintain your status as a licensed therapist, just like a licensed clinical social worker.

How To Become a Licensed Therapist

Since each state has its requirements for licensure, you need to check your local requirements before you practice psychotherapy.

Generally, most states require two years, or 2500 hours, of supervised clinical experience and then a regulatory exam. Some states administer their own exams, while other states use a national qualification exam.

How To Become a Mental Health Therapist

Typically, licensed mental health professionals will have a master’s degree in psychology, sociology, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a counseling degree related to mental health disorders.

Of course, first mental health professionals should obtain their bachelor’s degree in one of those disciplines. After getting an undergraduate degree, the master’s program might take two to three additional years.

After you graduate from school for psychology programs, you need to start looking for clinical experience before becoming a therapist. Most states will require mental health professionals to get two years or 3000 hours of supervised counseling experience to become therapists. They can also go into school counseling or become school psychologists.

Finally, a mental health counselor will need to pass one or more licensing exams. These exams include the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam. Your state may also require mental health counselors to pass additional exams, such as an ethics exam or a state law exam.

Mental health professionals can also help as substance abuse counselors. They can also collect cognitive therapy data for psychological theories.

In our post-COVID society, there are also many opportunities to become an online therapist. Websites such as Betterhelp and Talkspace provide online counseling, and sometimes even offer free therapy online. Check out our Betterhelp review and Talkspace review.

How To Become a Marriage and Family Therapist

Each state has varying licensing requirements, but the Association of Marriage and Family Therapist Regulatory Board (AMFTRB) has a handy website that lists each state’s requirements.

Similarly to mental health therapy, a family therapist usually needs a master’s degree. A therapist can get this advanced degree in various disciplines, such as Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, or Mental Health and Wellness.

After obtaining your advanced degree, you will need to perform 1500 to 4000 supervised clinical hours to become a therapist. After this, you can get your license by passing the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) National Examination test, administered by the AMFTRB.

Family therapists are beneficial if family members are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and behavioral health problems or a behavioral disorder. Child psychology is another great career field for prospective therapists or career counselors.

About 13.6% of children aged 5 to 17 received some kind of mental health treatment

How To Become a Massage Therapist

In contrast to working with mental health issues or becoming a therapist, you can start the process of becoming a massage therapist with only a high school diploma.

With your high school diploma or GED, you are qualified to begin a vocational program for massage therapy. Keep in mind that even massage therapy is a broad category—you might be interested in Swedish massage therapy, trigger point massage therapy, deep tissue massage, or sports recovery massage.

Any of these disciplines will take future therapists approximately 15 months to learn and earn a diploma. Along the way, you will be expected to pass classes in subjects like anatomy and physiology.

During your training, and perhaps even after you earn your diploma, your state licensing board will probably expect you to be completing up to 500 hours in massage therapy training from a board-approved massage therapy school. During this training, you will be massaging real clients under professional supervision.

Once you have your diploma and have completed this training, you can take your state’s massage license exam. The exam might cost a nominal fee for administration.

As a licensed massage therapist, you have the choice to work for an established spa or treatment center, or to start your own massage therapy practice. While starting your own business is risky and requires much more work and bureaucracy, you will have the freedom to be your own boss and choose your own massage therapy clients.

How To Become a Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is a much more rigorous field of practice than massage therapy, and becoming a therapist requires a doctorate from an accredited university.

Your degree should be in physical therapy or a closely related field. Obtaining this degree can take up to seven years of college study (four years undergraduate, three years in graduate school). During this study period, you will be taking courses in subjects like anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, neuroscience, and much more.

You will also need to pass medical ethics, medical law, finance, medical practice management, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based diagnostic treatment. Physical therapy is considered a legitimate medical field and requires the mental and professional discipline of any other kind of doctor, nurse, or medical professional.

After graduation, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

Additionally, some states require background checks and compliance training, among other criteria, before awarding a physical therapy license. You may also be required to take ongoing medical and professional continuing education courses every two years to maintain your license, depending on your state’s requirements.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Physical Therapist?

Becoming a physical therapist usually takes about seven years of university study. Still, some targeted programs reduce the bachelor’s degree studies to three years so that the doctorate can be obtained in six years, total.

Exams and licensure can be accomplished after graduation, but take care to note that in many states, exams are only offered during certain times of the year.

Though it’s a long process, the earning potential for physical therapists is high, especially with specialty services

How To Become a Physical Therapist Assistant?

A physical therapy assistant (PTA) needs to have much of the same knowledge and professional training as a physical therapist, but can skip more rigorous requirements, such as medical field management, pharmacology, and diagnostic treatment. A physical therapist assistant cannot prescribe medication.

A physical therapist assistant will be practicing physical therapy, but under the supervision of a full physical therapist. As such, the assistant can perform his/her therapy practice with an associate’s degree. You can usually complete these degrees in less than three years at a university accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy.

After graduation, you can obtain your PTA license by taking a state-administered national licensure exam or certification.

How To Become a Sex Therapist

Unsurprisingly, states do not license professional sex therapy. Instead, sex therapists are usually licensed professionals in a related field of therapy, but treat clients specifically for sexual performance and arousal. Sometimes they treat couples, but they also provide therapy services for individuals.

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) provides certifications and licensure for practicing sex therapists.

To obtain this license, you should first get a graduate school (master’s or doctorate) degree in mental health, psychology, or a related therapy field. You could also choose a graduate degree in a wider field, such as psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatric nursing, social work, family counseling, or marriage counseling.

Your degree should include subjects such as the biology of sexual functions, reproductive anatomy, and mental or physical health factors that impact sexual behavior and performance. Medical practice ethics is also an important topic for sex therapists, especially if you start your own practice.

After your degree, your state may require you to perform therapy under a clinical supervisor before granting your license. Check your specific state’s requirements. It is common for candidates to complete up to 300 hours of supervised therapy treatment, including structured group discussions.

How To Become a Speech Therapist

Speech therapy is often called speech & language pathology (SLP). SLP professionals need a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders (CSD), a state license, and a national certification through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASLHA).

To become an SLP therapist, you should first obtain a graduate degree in CSD. With this degree, you can start your post-graduate fellowship. This fellowship might last about 30 weeks and involve mentorship by an ASHA-certified SLP professional.

After your fellowship, you will need to take the Education Testing Service’s National SLP Exam. Although each state has its own minimum score requirements, it’s a good idea to shoot for the ASLHA minimum score of 162.

If you pass this exam, check with your state for their licensure requirements. Usually, this will include a license fee, university transcripts, and a background check.

Approximately 55.2% of children aged 3 to 17 have a communication disorder, suggesting a high need for speech therapists

How To Become a Radiation Therapist

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and radiation therapists are always in high demand to help treat cancer patients or provide relief. They also help with research methods and diagnosing patients.

Radiation therapy is diverse, including external methods and internal radiation methods. Internal methods include radiopharmaceuticals, systemic radiation, palliative radiation, and brachytherapy. Usually, radiation therapists work on an oncology team, and some of their responsibilities include informing patients about the nature and specific details about radiation.

Radiation therapists need a minimum of an associate’s degree, which you can obtain from an accredited university in under three years. However, bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees are also available in radiation therapy disciplines.

You should pick a degree recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Your coursework should include wide and varied topics such as human development, technical writing and English composition, math, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, and nutrition.

During your university experience, it will be helpful to gain clinical hours. Your university may be able to help you with clinical work placement. Each state has varying experience requirements.

With your degree and your clinical experience, you can apply for a state license. For this license, you will typically need to pass the ARRT national exam.

Like physical therapy, you will likely need to recertify as a radiation therapy professional each year.

How To Become a Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists can start their careers with either an Associates’s Degree or a Bachelor of Health Science in Respiratory Care. Coursework should include chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology courses.

Graduate degrees can lead to more competitive job opportunities. For example, you might be qualified to become a Respiratory Therapist Educator, or Sleep Study Therapist with a graduate degree.

You should also obtain clinical experience while studying for your degree. Your university should help you with this clinical placement.

State licensure usually involves passing the Certified Respiratory Therapist exam, administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

FAQ

Becoming a therapist is a long journey; here, we’re answering some of the most common therapist candidate questions below.

How Long Would It Take To Become a Therapist?

This answer varies widely based on the type of therapy that you are interested in. Generally, the social and psychological fields require the most formal education, while physical and massage therapists can start their careers with undergraduate degrees.

Therapy technicians and therapist assistants can also start their careers with as little as an associate’s degree, which you can obtain in less than three years.

Certification and licensure usually require at least a few months of clinical experience and a state or national exam. However, these typically do not take more than a year of extra time.

How To Become a Therapist Online?

Suppose you can find an accredited online university that offers a degree program in your preferred therapy-related field. In that case, this is just as good as going to a university in person.

However, it will be more difficult to gain the necessary clinical experience online. It may not be impossible, though. In our post-COVID society, many types of interpersonal psychotherapy have adjusted to online programs and therapy sessions (such as through Zoom or Google Meet). You may be able to complete supervised clinical work this way.

If you are interested in massage, physical therapy, or radiation therapy, then, of course, there are no ways to get clinical hours online. These therapy fields require teaching assistant sessions at a clinic.

Also, your state licensure exams will most likely need to be taken at a local testing center to ensure testing integrity. In a few cases, the licensing board may have transitioned to an online test format.

Do Therapists Get Paid Well?

This is another question that varies widely by the different types of therapy. We have listed the average annual salaries for some of these types of therapists below.

  • Mental health therapists: $47,660
  • Marriage and family therapists: $49,610
  • Massage therapists: $47,180
  • Physical therapists: $89,440
  • Sex therapists: $56,010
  • Speech therapists: $79,120
  • Radiation therapists: $85,560
  • Respiratory therapists: $62,500

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be a Therapist?

While nearly every type of therapy requires a certification exam and clinical hours, each specific field has different educational requirements. We have consolidated the minimum educational qualifications for each type of therapist into this handy list for you:

  • Mental health therapists: Master’s degree, psychology degree
  • Marriage and family therapists: Master’s degree
  • Massage therapists: High school diploma
  • Physical therapists: Doctoral degree
  • Sex therapists: Master’s degree
  • Speech therapists: Master’s degree
  • Radiation therapists: Associate’s degree
  • Respiratory therapists: Associate’s or bachelor’s degree

Is It Hard To Get a Job as a Therapist?

While it may not be hard to get a job as a therapist, attracting clients is a tough part of the process for prospective counselors.

It’s essential to gain as much clinical experience as possible during your continuing education and certification steps. This clinical experience will translate into patient care and help you gain patient trust.

It may take years to build up your private practice client base and get positive referrals. It’s also essential to evaluate your clients on their positive attitudes. You may find yourself with clients who have no genuine desire to change their behavior, and these clients might not show any improvement for years despite your hardest efforts.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many fields of therapy that you can get into. And these fields have vast differences that appeal to different candidates, different levels of salary, and different requirements.

Therapy is a great way to help others that don’t involve the big risks of practicing medicine. We hope that this article has shown you the options and helped you choose an appropriate path.

Global Research on Coronavirus Disease

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The global pandemic situation has brought researchers from different nations together to create facilities that will accelerate the research and development process to create new health standards. The global health professionals are working together to contain Covid-19 and provide the right medical facilities for infected people. WHO has already created and activated an R&D Blueprint to form new diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to deal with Covid-19. Each nation affected by a pandemic must receive the right access to health products and services.

According to the latest report by WHO, over 4 million new cases were reported in the last week of December 2020. Compared to the previous week, the last week of December saw a 12% decrease in the number, but this data still needs to be interpreted properly due to the holiday season. The death rate decreased by 8%. America accounts for 48% of the new cases, with 42% of all new deaths in the world. The European region also accounted for 37% of new cases and 42% of deaths. However, the pandemic situation seems more controlled in Europe compared to previous months. The South-East Asian region also experienced a decrease in new cases and deaths. However, the African region saw a 20% growth in the new cases, yet the new cases are low compared to other regions. The Western Pacific region experienced an increase of 13% in new cases and 4% in deaths. By the end of December, over 79.2 million cases were registered, with 1.7 million deaths since the beginning of Covid-19.

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According to the report submitted in WHO, a variant of SARS-CoV02 has been detected in South Africa. The initial analysis suggested that the new variant, 501Y.V2, will spread faster between people. The research team is yet to announce whether the new infection will be any severe than the previous infection and whether the vaccines be completely effective.

Top Five Effective Countries in the Last Week of December 2020

  • The United States of America remains the leading Covid-19 affected country with over 1.3 million cases but has seen a 19% decrease compared to the previous week.
  • Brazil is the second most affected country with 285,000 cases, with a 12% decrease from the past week’s reports.
  • The United Kingdom is the third most affected country alongside Northern Ireland, with over 251 000 cases and a 45% increase.
  • The Russian Federation experienced 201 000 cases with a 3% increase from the previous week.
  • India has experienced 156 000 new cases in the last week of December 2020, with a 10% decrease from the previous week.

Global Research Database

WHO is working on new research with the help of an international team to find information on Covid-19. The R&D department is busy gathering multilingual scientific findings and data for Coronavirus, with its database getting updated on a daily basis. The WHO retrieval subgroup has started collaborating with partners to enrich their database.