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Antiandrogen Foods

Antiandrogen Foods


Androgens are a class of male steroid hormones responsible for secondary male characteristics and fertility. These molecules evoke a response in cells with androgen receptors to promote the development of sperm cells and to inhibit the development of female reproductive tissues. Antiandrogen foods and supplements can inhibit the effects of these hormones; however, consult a physician before self-medicating with hormonal supplements.

Spearmint Tea

Hirsutism is an androgen-driven condition in women that induces male characteristics, such as growth of facial and chest hair. An article appearing in the February 2010 issue of "Phytotherapy Research" evaluated the antiandrogenic effects of spearmint tea in females with hirsutism.

The researchers conducted a randomized, controlled, 30-day study with 42 volunteers, supplemented with spearmint tea twice a day for one month. The levels of androgens were monitored before the study and at 15 and 30 days. The results showed that serum androgen levels significantly decreased in 41 of the 42 patients, while levels of female hormones, including luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, increased. The study concluded that the findings were encouraging, but required future investigation.

Red Clover Extracts

Isoflavones are naturally occurring organic compounds that can influence androgen metabolism. A study published in the November 2008 issue of "The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" investigated the effects of isoflavones derived from red clover extracts on androgen receptors. The researchers said that upon ingestion, isoflavones undergo a transformation in which the metabolite, equol, inhibits the function of androgens through weak binding to the androgen receptors. The authors cautioned, however, that more studies are needed to fully confirm their findings.


Androgens have been linked to several forms of cancer including prostate hyperplasia. A study in the August 2009 issue of the "International Journal of Andrology" investigated the effects of Glycyrrhiza glabra, more commonly known as licorice, on androgen sensitive prostate tissue to control hyperplasia. The researchers used immature male rats and treated them with various doses of G. glabra for seven days. Afterward, they evaluated serum androgen samples and removed, dissected and weighed prostate glands. The study found that dosages between 150 and 300 mg per kg of bodyweight were effective in reducing the size of the prostate by inhibiting androgen receptors.


Isoflavones derived from soy and soy-based products have been reported to possess phytoestrogen effects that can compete with androgenic effects. A report in the June 2010 issue of "Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology" examined the effects of dietary soy isoflavones on male reproductive functions in mice. The researchers found that normal male behavior in mice was not influenced but sperm production was decreased by 25 percent and proteins influenced by androgens were also significantly decreased. The study concluded that soy isoflavones may inhibit androgens and affect male sperm counts and fertility.

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