What Lowers Testosterone?

Testosterone is falling all around the world. This hormone is critical for health and vitality. In this article you will find out what lowers testosterone.

Endocrine disruptors bad diet and stress will all harmfully lower testosterone
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This article is a work in progress, check back often!

“Endocrine disruptors” and “Xenoestrogens”

All kinds of garbage chemicals float around messing up your hormone system. This site will explore how to block them all and keep yourself healthy and strong!

Endocrine disruptors damage your hormones - at testosteronedecline.com we help you block them
Block those endocrine disruptors and save your family’s hormones!
  • Water filters for your drinking and shower water both.
  • No plastic shower curtain off-gassing damaging chemical fumes. Get a glass door instead. No problem!
  • Organic food with no seed oil in it, note that you can still eat “junk” snacks such as potato chips as long as they’re free of chemicals and seed oils, which makes them not junk anymore!
  • Soaps and shampoos without bad chemicals, such as this shampoo/body-wash combo – we’ll post a guide to this soon.
  • Cosmetics and lotions – there will be a guide to this too.
  • Cookware with no chemical coatings (or exposed aluminum), glass bottles instead of plastic.
  • Clothes, bedding, and furniture made with natural fibers and no chemicals. Artificial fibers like polyester may lower testosterone.
  • Dishwasher and laundry detergents that won’t damage your health and hormones. The best we are aware of is from Dapple Baby. They make certified glyphosate-free products, from the least chemically weird stuff.

Dishwasher Detergent Pacs by Dapple Baby, 25 Count Pouch

If you want in-depth info on all the things that lower testosterone and what to do about it, then read on!

Agricultural Chemicals like Pesticides

Countries that use a lot of agricultural chemicals seem to have much lower testosterone than those that don’t. The correlation appears pretty strong.

More information here: https://testosteronedecline.com/pesticides-lower-testosterone/

You can prevent a lot of agricultural chemical exposure by

1) Not living or working near “industrial agriculture.”

2) Eating food raised without chemicals.

3) Filtering pesticides out of your water, especially if you live near industrial agriculture. Pesticides seep into the water from farm fields and end up in your body.

Calorie deficit

One study looked at a bodybuilder doing an intense fat loss diet. During his 6 month diet, the bodybuilder’s testosterone dropped from 922 ng/dl to 225 ng/dl over the first three months, and remained in the low 200’s after the next three months as he continued to diet to get even leaner. When he stopped dieting, and began eating plenty of food again, his testosterone came back up.

Maybe not all diets will drop testosterone this drastically, but dieting certainly does tend to lower testosterone. Not good!

Low carbs

That low carb diet might be ruining your testosterone levels. (Source) It seems that the body wants plenty of food energy before it is willing to raise testosterone.

Without sufficient carbs, the body seems to consider itself to be in a starvation situation, as mentioned in this paper by Kyle Mamounis. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315135313_The_Dangers_of_Fat_Metabolism_and_PUFA_Why_You_Don%27t_Want_to_be_a_Fat_Burner

Not only does this carb-starved situation probably signal to the body that it can’t “afford” to produce testosterone, but low-carb also (initially) causes a corresponding rise in cortisol, which is a stress hormone that generally lowers testosterone.

So it’s not surprising to find that there’s a correlation between low testosterone and a high protein but low carb diet, which is the typical Paleo style diet with not a lot of carbs but plenty of meat and fish. Excessively high protein seems to lower testosterone too, which I will discuss further down.



PUFA is the type of fat found in seed oil like canola oil or soybean oil, the industrially produced fats used for making most processed foods. PUFA is also the type of fat found in Omega 3 supplements, which you may have been advised to consume by health gurus. You can read more about the possible dangers of Omega 3’s here: https://fishybusiness.site/

Saturated fat is the major component of coconut oil and of animal product fat, like butter.

Studies suggest that countries that consume a lot of PUFA have low testosterone compared to low PUFA countries. (And this includes Omega 3’s, not just Omega 6’s.)

More info here: https://testosteronedecline.com/pufa-lowers-testosterone/

The worst kind of PUFA is the PUFA found in vegetable oils, also known as seed oils. You can see that testosterone in America has dropped alongside the rise of seed oils.

Lowering testosterone isn’t the only bad effect of seed oils. Seed oils are involved with cancer, heart disease, obesity, and pretty much all the degenerative conditions that we struggle with today! To learn more about avoiding seed oils, you can check out https://noseedoil.com/

You don’t have to give up snacks to avoid seed oil. You might be interested in our potato chips fried in tallow, not seed oil, available at https://noseedoil.com/chips

Go here to get tallow fried potato chips
Click the horse to get the potato chips! (Clicking opens https://noseedoil.com/chips )

Physical Trauma (disease, surgery, infection, wounds, immediately after TBI)

Any acute trauma will drop testosterone very low and very fast. Testosterone levels seem to recover over about a week’s time. Traumatic Brain Injury, such as a concussion, has this short term effect, but also there is often lasting damage done to the brain, and testosterone does not rise all the way back up, even a year later. I wrote more about that below.

Intense physical stress

Ranger School, an intense military training school involving fasting, cold exposure, sleep deprivation, and intense exercise is an 8 week event that absolutely crashes testosterone. Testosterone drops from 499 ng/dl to 87 ng/dl, which is extremely low, and totally insufficient for male function. After Ranger School is over though, testosterone rises back up. (Source)

This illustrates why “hardcore” practices are likely to lower testosterone rather than raise it, contrary to what people often assume. Not many people are putting themselves through something as intense as Ranger School, but there are some that are taking cold showers, training very hard in the gym, fasting frequently, and maybe burning the candle at both ends to get more work done, and these people should know that this is probably dropping their testosterone considerably.

Since these things are often done under the impression that they are RAISING testosterone, this is a very important concept to know! Hardcore stress on the body tends to damage it. By itself, stress does not make you “stronger.”

Very often, to become stronger, we need to relax and have some leisure. Of course this is not a license to eat junk food and scroll social media all day. That will weaken you too.



Fasting lowered testosterone from 556 ng/dl to 391 ng/dl over an 83 hr fast. (about 3 and a half days without food)

Feeling Defeated

Animal studies suggest that if you accept defeat you will have lower testosterone. Keep your chin up, don’t give in!


Researchers found out that bright light increases testosterone. Depressed men had testosterone of 210 ng/dl, until they were exposed to a bright light box daily for 30 minutes soon after waking up. After two weeks of this, their testosterone rose to 360 ng/dl, which is a 71% increase, pretty impressive! They probably felt much, much better going from very low and insufficient testosterone up to 360 ng/dl, which is sufficient for at least a low level of male function.

Preferably you would get this bright light from going outside or sitting at a window, but if this is not possible for you, you can get a light box. The fluorescent light in the typical office is not really bright enough, believe it or not. In an office environment you ought to have a light box, or a lamp, or something to make it brighter where you are.

This light box has the same 10,000 lux brightness rating as the one used in the study:

Verilux HappyLight Luxe – UV-Free LED Therapy Lamp, Bright White Light with 10,000 Lux

I have one like this and I like it a lot. I usually feel better when I use it.

Bad sleep

Consistent sleep loss has been seen to lower testosterone quite a bit. One study suggests that late bedtimes are worse for testosterone than early waking is.

TBI long term effects

Testosterone was measured following traumatic brain injury. Testosterone drops very far right after TBI, but then it partially recovers. Unfortunately it often does not fully recover. Possibly this is because the parts of the nervous system that regulate testosterone production have been damaged.

One severe TBI could do the damage, or several more mild TBI’s. However, even just one mild TBI could do it sometimes.

It is probably wise to avoid hard sparring in boxing, and the causes of traffic accidents.

Sadly, veterans often have TBI’s from the blast wave of nearby explosions.

There are other sources of brain injury than TBI, such as infection, and the long term effects of long-lasting depression, actually.

I believe that extreme “headbanging” can either cause or exacerbate TBI over the long term.

Brain injuries can be somewhat healed over time. Supplying the brain with energy by eating plenty of carbs, and reducing inappropriate inflammation by avoiding excess iron, alcohol, and PUFA are all good ideas. Lots of deep sleep is valuable.

“Red light” exposure on the head and pregnenolone could help facilitate brain healing. Pregnenolone is a precursor hormone which is found to increase the levels of allopregnanolone in the brain, a neuroprotective substance that helps the brain heal, and which is being studied as a way to reverse depression.

Psychological Stress

Distress is not good for your hormones!

Psychological stress suppresses levels of circulating plasma testosterone.”

Low fat

Does a low fat diet = Low testosterone body? This study thinks so.

Excess protein

Apparently too much protein is correlated with low testosterone. I’m not sure why. Here are some studies related to this:

Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients

Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone

Nutrition-endocrine interactions: induction of reciprocal changes in the delta 4-5 alpha-reduction of testosterone

Deficient Zinc

A zinc deficiency is associated with lower testosterone.

Deficient Copper (but don’t be excessive either)

Supplementing high levels of zinc without a corresponding amount of copper will deplete your body’s copper supply, which has been seen to cause low testosterone. Supplements which contain a bit of copper as well as zinc are therefore better than those that contain only zinc. However, it is important to not consume excessive copper either, because this is harmful.

Excess Iron

Watch out for food products with excessive added iron!

Overtraining (weights or aerobic)

Excessive demands on your body seem to cause low testosterone. This is called “Exercise Hypogonadal Male Condition.” Many people lift weights to increase testosterone, but there is a serious risk of going too hard and actually lowering testosterone. It may actually be the norm among serious lifters. It is probably for this reason that one study found elite powerlifters have quite low testosterone. Runners and other endurance athletes frequently have lowered testosterone as well.


Health books and websites rarely mention it, but alcohol is quite bad for you. It seems that it probably lowers testosterone. One study from Gangtok, India found much lower testosterone in alcoholics than other people. Normal men had 756 ng/dl testosterone, while alcoholics had 496 ng/dl. This is a 34% decrease.

RF Exposure and possibly EMF exposure (phones, electric razors, laptops, offices, cities)

One study exposed rats to a cell phone making a call for an hour daily for three months. The rats’ testosterone dropped 51% from 634 ng/dl to 310 ng/dl. (Source) I’m not clear right now how this applies to humans, but it’s concerning.

Another study had similar results.

I strongly suggest turning off your cell phone, and turning off wifi in your house and using ethernet cables instead. The strongest sources of RF exposure in a typical person’s life are probably the cell phone in your pocket and the computer in front of you. My phone was constantly transmitting, and transmitting powerfully too. You can carry your phone turned off and you will be exposed to far, far less RF and EMF. Putting it on airplane mode will greatly diminish the RF, but not the EMF, which is certainly a huge improvement, and if you’re not willing to turn off your phone you can do that instead. Some people say that turning your phone off isn’t enough, but as far as I’ve seen, my phone basically stops transmitting detectable RF and EMF when it’s off.

Next, connect your computer to your router with ethernet cable so that you can turn your computer’s WiFi off (this is the important part). The router itself is not that powerful when you’re pretty far away from it, although I still suggest turning it off. It’s your computer that you sit next to that is really transmitting the powerful waves that could harm you, because you are so close to it.

If you have any other wireless devices, like wireless headphones, or any smart devices, I would really suggest turning them off and not using them. Cordless phones probably transmit RF, likely from the “base station.” I found that the base station was constantly transmitting, all day and all night. I put the base station far away from the part of the house that I spend time in, and that seems to have brought the RF exposure way down, which I’m fine with, since it’s basically impossible to cut RF exposure down to nothing unless you intend to live inside a Faraday cage, or somewhere very remote!

The radio waves from cell towers are far less powerful than the radio waves from the devices right near you.

I haven’t investigated it in depth, but as far as I can tell, EMF from power lines is not really a concern.

If you want to check RF and EMF for yourself, you can get the TriField TF2 detector, which seems to work really well, and I’ve really enjoyed using.

TriField EMF Meter TF2


Disturbingly, some food is contaminated with substances called mycotoxins produced by mold. Mycotoxins seem to lower testosterone quite a bit.

Updates on the Effect of Mycotoxins on Male Reproductive Efficiency in Mammals

It seems that grains are one of the big culprits for mycotoxins, either eaten directly, or when fed to an animal which is then used for meat or milk. Spices, nuts, beer, and wine can also be contaminated. Moldy fruits and vegetables should never be eaten. It may be that people respond well to grain-free diets because of the reduction in mycotoxin exposure. It may also be a benefit of pasture-raised meat and dairy that these animals are exposed to less mycotoxins than grain-fed animals. Mycotoxin contamination is a serious problem in animal feed.

Another source of mycotoxins is contaminated herbal supplements. Mycotoxins can also be produced in moldy buildings.

I don’t currently know how much of an impact mycotoxins have in a normal person’s diet, but it may be a factor to keep in mind.


Being cold is not good for your testosterone. A brisk cold shower might be a fine idea if it’s quick, but long term cold exposure is definitely not a good thing.

Pituitary-gonadal response to extreme cold exposure in healthy men

Indoor Chlorinated Pools

One study found that testosterone was lower in teenagers who had spent lots of time in indoor chlorine pools as young children. Outdoor pools were fine however.


Constant exposure to noise is not only aggravating, it actually lowers testosterone too! (Source)


Various types of plastic and other pollutants have some testosterone-lowering abilities. I suspect that agricultural chemicals and maybe plastics are the worst though. “Classic” pollution from factories and mines and such may not have too great an effect on testosterone. For one thing, I have found testosterone data from Ahvaz, Iran, one of the most polluted cities in the world. The men there apparently have very high testosterone apparently, similar to the rest of Iran. Russian industrial areas also generally have high testosterone. These are probably highly polluted places. The Soviet Union is said to have paid no attention to pollution controls, so the people in these regions have probably been exposed to industrial pollution for a long while, and yet their testosterone is much higher than testosterone in the USA, which has controlled industrial pollution. Strangely, testosterone was higher in the USA in the past, when there was probably more industrial pollution. That does not mean that pollution raises testosterone, but it does suggest that pollution from industry is not the main factor causing the huge testosterone decline in much of the world since approximately 1980. More supporting data: Mechanics in Nigeria, exposed to large amounts of pollutants, have very high testosterone. But of course, some polluted areas do have low testosterone. China has pretty low testosterone in its young people today, and it is apparently quite polluted. But there may be other reasons for this.

Nuclear Radiation from Testing

Kazakhstan has very low testosterone and a very high rate of urological issues, which is strange since the much of the rest of central Asia has high testosterone. Maybe it is because the Soviet Union used northeast Kazakhstan for testing many nukes over the years.

Similarly Belarus and Ukraine appear to have quite low testosterone. These are the countries that are closest to the Chernobyl accident of 1986. I have data from some of these areas from before 1986 and testosterone is high!

Japan’s testosterone is also pretty low. Maybe this is the long term effect of radiation from Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Unfortunately I don’t have testosterone data from Nevada where the USA tested many nukes.

None of this is proof that relatively low level nuclear radiation exposure causes low testosterone, but it is an interesting theory to be considered.

Apparently, just about everyone in the world has been exposed to low but measurable amounts of nuclear radiation from nuclear testing over the last few generations. Maybe this also contributes to the strange decline in testosterone around the world.

Polyester clothes

It’s conceivable that polyester underwear may decrease testosterone production, according to this study. I haven’t investigated it further.

Headphones and music

Strangely enough, listening to music appears to lower testosterone. I don’t know if the effect is really significant or not. I doubt it matters if you listen to a moderate amount of music. But the effect might become significant if you listen to music all day, like many do. I don’t know whether this produces a consistently lowered testosterone or not.

I also suspect that the EMF from headphones might disrupt the brain, which among other things could lower testosterone. I can’t prove this hypothesis right now.

Either way, I believe I have felt better avoiding constantly listening to music, on my headphones.

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