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Green Tea May Inhibit Testosterone Production

May 11th, 2009


Green tea leaves, shown here, form the basis of a popular herb extract. By interfering with enzymes, green tea extract may inhibit testosterone production.

Men taking a logical approach to natural testosterone management know that there’s no magic-bullet pill that magically raises and improves testosterone status just by taking it. And there never will be.  Testosterone support products can work well, but if all you’re willing to do is buy and take a pill, don’t expect to be bowled over with your results. Instead,  getting good results with natural approaches depends doing everything you can – great or small – that favors testosterone production. At the same time,  you’d want to avoid all the things that undermine testosterone production.  So at a bare minimum, a man would want to be in a program of regular strenuous exercise like weight training, eating a healthy diet, taking supplements (especially zinc) , and working with a doctor to determine what his hormone levels actually are.  By the same token, he’d want to avoid alcohol (and other drugs), overeating, gaining weight and failing to get enough sleep.  Should we add also green tea extract to this list of things to avoid? Find out in today’s AllStarHealth blog.

This new study is already under scrutiny by the bodybuilding community since testosterone is a  so central to increasing and sustaining muscle mass. But you don’t have to be a bodybuilder or athlete to care about testosterone.  Testosterone is now known to be much more than a just a sex or bodybuilding hormone; it’s fundamental to a man’s health; cardiovascular health, brain health, prostate health and much more.  So the stigma has really come off of testosterone and it’s good news for men whenever more information comes along about effective natural approaches.

This study used the very kinds of cells that produce testosterone, called Leydig cells.   Researchers    incubated Leydig cells with green tea extract, or 1 of 2 compounds isolated from green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate ) and EC (epicatechin ).   The Leydig cells were also incubated with an immediate precursor of testosterone, plus the enzyme activators needed to make the conversion. By measuring the testosterone production at different exposure levels, the researchers learned that green tea extract and EGCG but not EC) decreased testosterone production significantly.

Since the effects were partly dependent on the amount of exposure to green tea compounds, it would be  great if we could extrapolate these test results into human oral doses of green tea or green tea supplements. But that’s very difficult to do in light of the fact that the study used cultured Leydig cells, not humans consuming green tea.  Green tea is a great nutrient, an inexpensive and powerful antioxidant and a great thermogenic diet aid, but this study would seem to suggest that men concerned with naturally optimizing their testosterone production avoid green tea under further studies clarify a dose-effect relationship.


Testosterone support formulas like TestoJack 100 from NOW Foods can help support natural testosterone production.

3 Responses to “Green Tea May Inhibit Testosterone Production”

  1. February 01, 2011 at 2:41 pm, Joško said:

    If you ask me, the best are Japanese teas, like matcha, sencha…

  2. May 09, 2011 at 5:30 am, Jen said:

    I had heard somewhere before about green tea inhibiting testosterone production. Yes, would be curious on the dose-effect relationship to see if it does inhibit Testosterone production, and if so…specially at what dosage.

  3. May 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm, Paul_Baeyens said:

    Jen, the study stated that Leydig cells were incubated with green tea extract. Realistically, it would be foolish to automatically correlate the findings with this study to oral green tea consumption. Given the overwhelming research support for green tea consumption, Id drink a few cups of green tea each day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find higher testosterone levels and an overall level of health. I think the study goes to show that green tea should be consumed in moderation, just like every other food/drink. Hope this helps. -Paul

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