Male Testosterone Levels – Can Licorice Consumption Lower It?
When researching this article, we concluded that readers could have a couple of reactions to it, both of which would be extreme.
This type of response is because of the way men view licorice.
Men who see licorice as a delicious treat, or swear by its health benefits will end up disappointed by the end of this article.
However, those that doubt the medicinal benefits of, what they consider to be, a foul-tasting piece of nastiness, might feel vindicated.
Either way, we are only the messenger, as we are merely presenting the scientific evidence that has been gleaned from research into licorice and its effects on male testosterone levels.
5 Ways Licorice Lowers Testosterone Levels in Men
Let’s cut to the chase…
According to the science, yes, licorice does lower male testosterone level. This evidence is not a new revelation; the scientific community has known this for decades.
In 1999, after a study of testosterone levels in men in their early to mid-twenties, evidence that licorice lowers testosterone levels was discovered.
Subjects who were given seven grams of licorice supplements showed a reduction in testosterone levels while taking the supplement.
On cessation of the licorice supplement, their testosterone returned to the pre-study levels.
The year before this Italian study, researchers in Japan tested the impact of licorice on rats.
Active licorice ingredients were applied to the rats’ gonad tissue and found that testosterone production was stalled.
When women were studied in 2004, for the effects of licorice on testosterone production, the results concluded that licorice consumption could be considered a legitimate treatment for testosterone overproduction.
The conclusion one can draw for these studies are clear: consuming licorice reduces testosterone levels.
However, there are more aspects of licorice for you to consider.
Cortisol Levels Rise With Licorice Consumption
Studies into testosterone and erectile health or dysfunction, have long shown that stress is a contributing factor in reducing testosterone.
The reason for this is that stress is responsible for your body producing catabolic hormones: adrenaline, glucagon, and cortisol.
These hormones are fantastic if you are in a fight or flight situation.
However, if you build these up in your body without a fight or flight outlet, they will remain in your body for an unhealthy duration.
One effect of long-term elevated cortisol levels is that your body will compensate by producing less testosterone.
To sum up, the effects of cortisol in your body and its links to testosterone are as follows:
- Stress results in increased cortisol
- Increased cortisol leads to lower testosterone
- Increased licorice leads to increased cortisol.
Studies carried out in 1987, 1990, and 1993 all concluded that there is a correlation between licorice (or its active ingredient) consumption and increased production of cortisol.
These studies also considered the effects of licorice consumption on testosterone production and found that licorice raised cortisol levels.
These results indicate that there is a double-jeopardy in terms of testosterone being reduced by licorice directly, as well as suffering indirectly by licorice producing cortisol, which also reduces testosterone.
Androgen Receptor Activity Is Reduced By Licorice Consumption
Androgen receptors are responsible for capturing and utilizing the testosterone your body produces.
Without androgen receptors, none of the testosterone you create can be used. Licorice consumption reduces androgen receptor activity.
A study conducted by Iranian researches in 2009 injected rats with licorice active ingredients.
After eight days, the animals had their androgen receptor activity levels tested, and they were to have been considerably reduced.
This study was commissioned on the back of other research that showed licorice to be beneficial for women’s hair growth reduction and used as a milder treatment for hormone reduction.
The Iranian study sought to discover why licorice was responsible for reducing hormones, which was already understood.
Estrogen in Men Increases Through Licorice Consumption
Consuming licorice root has long been understood to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
This practice has been going on for centuries, certainly long before realizing what estrogen and testosterone are.
Licorice continues to be a treatment for menopausal symptoms because we understand that consuming the root increases estrogen production.
There have been plenty of studies supporting the claim that licorice boosts estrogen. These include:
The bottom line is that licorice plays havoc with your testosterone levels, with the apparent effects of this reduction on the male body.
Licorice Consumption Leads To A Lower Sex Drive
Even with reduced testosterone levels, you might still be able to maintain an erection.
However, this does not mean that you will be able to have sexual intercourse. Another impact of licorice consumption is the reduction or loss of libido.
Licorice is often prescribed as a remedy for those who have an over-active sex drive.
If you are experiencing issues in this particular aspect of your life, it may be beneficial to consider if your licorice consumption has anything to do with this.
5 Ways Licorice Lowers Testosterone Levels in Men-Conclusion:
For licorice fans, this article has probably provided you no comfort whatsoever.
The bottom line is that licorice consumption in any form (candy, root, extract, etc.) will reduce testosterone production. Consuming licorice will:
- Cause your body to produce less testosterone.
- Cause your body to produce more testosterone-reducing hormones.
- Make it more difficult for your body to use the testosterone that remains in your body.
- Increase your body’s production of estrogen.
If you have any issues with your sexual drive, erectile function, or libido, you should seriously consider giving up on licorice consumption.