Your diet can play a significant role in balancing your hormones. If almond milk is a staple in your diet, you might be curious if almond milk lowers testosterone.
The research regarding almond milk's impact on testosterone is mixed. Some studies indicate it may lower testosterone, while others suggest it raises it. This means more research is needed.
This article will show both sides of the research regarding almond milk and testosterone. With a bit of digging, you will see why the answer to this question has yet to be clarified.
How Does Almond Milk Affect Testosterone?
The true answer is science isn’t 100% sure how almond milk impacts testosterone. This is because the current research available on the subject is conflicting.
It’s important to note that most studies available were based on animals. And when the studies were performed on humans, the participants were typically not healthy individuals.
Some research suggests almonds lower testosterone by increasing your sex hormone binding globulin levels. Sex hormone binding globulin will bind to testosterone, decreasing your body’s natural levels.
On the other hand, some studies suggest that the high levels of vitamin E in almond milk will increase your testosterone. Vitamin E stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. This hormone is known to increase the production of testosterone in men.
As more research is performed on the subject, the answer to this question will become more apparent.
What is Testosterone?
Let’s start by making sure we understand the role of testosterone. Many of us associate it with masculine features and angry emotions.
And while testosterone can play a role in these things, it’s also involved in much more.
Testosterone is a hormone found in both males and females. In males, testosterone impacts the following:
- Bone health
- Muscle mass and strength
- Creation of red blood cells
- Sperm production
In females, testosterone helps with the development and maintenance of reproductive tissues along with libido. It also influences bone mass and emotional regulation.
It’s clear that testosterone plays a significant role in reproductive health in both males and females. And this is where it gets the most attention. But take notice of all the other physiological processes it effects.
If you're interested in learning more about what testosterone does to the body, check out this short video from BuzzFeed:
What Happens When Testosterone is Not Balanced?
Now you understand what testosterone is and its role in the body. So what happens when your testosterone levels aren’t balanced?
The effects will vary based on your sex. If testosterone is too high in males, it may result in a lower sperm count and infertility.
For men, low testosterone levels may result in:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced muscle mass and
- Loss of facial hair
For women, low testosterone may cause:
- Lower libido
- Mood swings
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Weight gain
Increased testosterone levels in females can:
- Lower your voice
- Cause infertility
- Increase acne
- Result in hair loss
All these effects are why striving for balanced testosterone levels in your body is essential.
Who Needs to Pay Attention to Their Testosterone Levels?
While hormonal balance plays a role in health for everyone, certain individuals need to pay more attention.
People with the following health conditions may be more likely to experience low testosterone levels:
- Diabetes Type 2
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Metabolic diseases
- Testicular cancer
High testosterone levels are most often caused by:
- Tumors in your hormonal glands
- Anabolic steroid use
These individuals may want to be more mindful of the impact of their dietary choices on their hormonal health.
If you struggle with any of these conditions, you should speak with your physician about the best milk type for your health needs.
How Might Almond Milk Lower Testosterone?
When it comes to almond milk, some research indicates that it may lower testosterone.
One study found that almonds increase sex hormone binding globulin. Sex hormone binding globulin is a protein produced in your liver.
Sex hormone binding globulin will bind to testosterone in your body. This will consequently decrease the amount of testosterone available to bind to other receptors in your body.
To put it simply, the sex hormone binding globulin prevents testosterone from being able to do its job.
Keep in mind these were the findings of one study. And the population used in this study was women with PCOS, which could also influence the overall results.
How Might Almond Milk Increase Testosterone?
So we have one study that indicates almond milk will lower testosterone. But there is also a body of research that suggests almond milk may increase testosterone.
Almond milk is particularly rich in an antioxidant called vitamin E.
Just one glass of almond milk contains 50% of your daily value of vitamin E (depending on the brand).
Why do we care about vitamin E when it comes to testosterone? Vitamin E has been found to stimulate an increased release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone.
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone is responsible for increasing testosterone production in men.
So by consuming almond milk which is rich in vitamin E, these studies suggest you may be increasing your testosterone. You can now see why almond milk and testosterone research is mixed.
Does Dairy Milk Raise Testosterone?
With the research regarding almond milk and testosterone being mixed, you might be wondering if it’s the same for cow milk.
There is more research available regarding cow milk. This is partly because dairy milk has been on the market for much longer than plant-based milk.
Research on cow milk and testosterone indicates that it may lower testosterone. Researchers believe this is partially due to the estradiol in dairy milk inhibiting testosterone production.
These findings have been seen in both human and animal studies.
However, the strength of the effect of dairy milk on total testosterone levels is still unclear.
If you struggle with low testosterone levels, you may want to consider avoiding dairy milk.
And it’s always best to consult your doctor before making these decisions if you have a hormonal imbalance.
Should I Avoid Almond Milk If I Have Issues with My Testosterone?
The answer to this question should always start with a conversation about your diet with your doctor.
Because they know your health history, they are the best resource to guide you in making dietary decisions. This is particularly true if you struggle with severe hormonal imbalance.
Since the research regarding almond milk and testosterone levels is mixed, it will likely not significantly influence your testosterone levels.
When food or liquid has a clear effect on health, it is usually apparent relatively quickly within the research.
And beyond the research, if there is a strong effect, it will usually occur in a large amount of the population.
Currently, we aren’t seeing side effects from almond milk consumption that match those of testosterone imbalance symptoms often in the general population.
Do Other Plant-Based Milks Effect Testosterone?
The research regarding the impact of other plant-based milk and testosterone is also relatively limited. But there has been some research performed on specific plant-based milk.
The data we do have available is regarding soy milk. Soy milk has been on the market longer, so more studies have been done.
But plant-based milk is quickly growing in popularity. So, there will likely be more research on plant-based milk and hormones.
The Link Between Almond Milk & Testosterone is Still Unclear
We can’t clearly say whether or not almond milk lowers or raises testosterone. The research we currently have available is inconclusive.
Testosterone plays a critical role in both male and female health. The health effects of testosterone extend beyond reproductive function, which is why it's key to have balance hormones.
One study suggests almond milk may lower testosterone by increasing a protein that binds to testosterone. Other research indicates that the vitamin E in almond milk will stimulate hormonal release to increase testosterone production.
Until more research is performed, we can’t definitively come to any conclusions. Research regarding dairy milk does seem to point towards cow milk lowering testosterone levels.
If you have a significant hormone imbalance, you should consult your doctor about which type of milk to drink. Hopefully, within the coming years, research will tell us how almond milk impacts your testosterone.