IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 17 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.008
Open Access Review
A Review of foods and food supplements increasing testosterone levels
Show Less
1 Department of Clinical Pharmaceutics, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Japan
2 Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Japan
*Correspondence: (Kazunori Kimura)
J. Mens. Health 2021, 17(2), 4–14;
Submitted: 30 October 2020 | Accepted: 20 November 2020 | Published: 8 April 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Androgens are essential for male physical activity. Age-related androgen deficiency, known as late-onset hypogonadism (LOH), is considered a risk factor for several diseases. There are many men’s health supplements on the market. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to summarize the food ingredients that have been suggested in published literature to increase testosterone levels. A review of previously reported animal studies suggested that 5 representative nutritional components, 7 food ingredients, and 25 supplements were associated with testosterone. Some food and supplements influence testosterone levels in various animals by directly increasing testosterone or suppressing the decrease in testosterone production due to testicular toxicity. There are three mechanisms by which foods or supplements increase testosterone production: 1) regulating luteinizing hormone, the hormone that stimulates testosterone production, 2) regulating testosterone synthase in the testis, and 3) regulating testosterone-degrading enzymes. In contrast, suppressing the decrease in testosterone depends on the antioxidant effect of the foods. Although detailed mechanistic studies and clinical trials are required to validate these findings, the use of food to regulate testosterone levels is a promising therapeutic option.

Basic science
Fig. 1.
Back to top