How Anti-Androgens Affect Serum Testosterone Levels?
Anti-androgens are the naturally occurring or synthetic compounds that blocks the androgen receptors within the body when consumed and/or block the pathway that results in the formation of natural androgen. These compounds can also adversely affect the serum levels of DHT and testosterone.
Instead of consuming the testosterone boosting supplements it is better to naturally maximize the functioning of endogenous hormones. This can be done by avoiding the exposure to anti- androgenic compounds.
What Are Some Anti-Androgen Drugs?
Often doctors unknowingly prescribe certain drugs that may end up lowering your testosterone levels while also blocking its receptor activity. In some cases, this may occur as an undesired side effect of drug whereas other times people remain completely unaware about their decreasing testosterone levels.
So why put an effort in preventing the exposure to anti-androgens when instead you can increase the intake/use of compounds that can elevate the serum levels of testosterone? The answer is simple. It is important to understand that exposure to compounds that risks the levels of testosterone is much more widespread and can reverse the effects of compounds that you are consuming to increase the T levels in your body.
Given below are some common antiandrogenic drugs:
- Opiate pain killers
- Beta blockers
- Prolong use of NSAIDs particularly acetaminophen and ibuprofen (not aspirin)
- Cimetidine is an acid reducer that minimizes testicular enzymes
- Hair-loss drugs also lowers the levels of androgens
- Statins and other drugs that interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol
- Non-steroidal antiandrogen drugs
- Anti-fungal drugs like ketoconazole
- GnRH antagonists such as cetrorelix, premarin, estrogens and high doses of progesterone.
If you are prescribed any of the above listed drug from your healthcare professional, consult your health practitioner prior to discontinuing your drug.
Anti-Androgens Supplements And Nutraceuticals
It may turn out to be a shocker that most supplements under this category including some OTC (over the counter) nutraceuticals does not have any significant impact on the production of testosterone. Some supplements however manage to elevate the T levels up to a certain extent. These supplements are marketed as “testosterone boosters” and the industry earns billions of dollars.
Given below are the names of antiandrogenic nutraceuticals that must be avoided:
- Soy protein isolate
- Licorice root
- Flax, hemp and chia seeds
- Chaste tree
- Green tea catechins
- Saw palmetto
- Red clover
- White peony
- ATD (1,2,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione)
Some of the antiandrogenic compounds are present in the soil from where they diffuse into crops into our diet. Likewise, some chemical anti-androgens occur in air fresheners, toilet papers, receipts and plastics.
Listed below are some common antiandrogenic chemicals and compounds that people are often exposed to without them even knowing:
- Bisphenol A (BPA): it is commonly found in epoxy resins and plastics. BPA exhibit the properties of hormones and has been studied to lower the testosterone levels to cause erectile dysfunction.
- Parabens: they are used as preservatives in various products such as toothpastes, shaving gels etc. These are termed as xenoestrogens as they show a slight affinity to estrogen receptors in the body.
- Phthalates: Phthalates are widely used in personal care items by acting as emulsifying agents. They are also used in plastic. Their increased number in urine has been related with the low levels of testosterone in both the genders. A study revealed their significant presence in the fast food.
- Benzophenones: they are commonly found in sunscreen products. BP-1, BP-1 and BP-3 have been showed to decelerate the enzymatic activity responsible for synthesizing testosterone.
- Triclosan and triclocarbon: They are antibacterial agents that are capable of controlling bacterial growth. These compounds are present in sanitizers etc. and have been directly linked to diminished production of testicular testosterone.
- Polychlorinated biphenyls: These compounds have been associated with a variety of health hazards. Nevertheless these agents are abundantly found in fish oils and seafood. Exposure to these compounds can lower the testosterone levels.
- Air fresheners: air fresheners usually contain phthalates that adversely affect the level of testosterone.
- Pesticides: Certain pesticides like glyphosate and atrazine have been studied to lower the testosterone production by causing pronounced oxidative damage within the testicles. They also harm the steroidegentic enzyme and tend to block the androgenic receptors.
Instead of surviving on some OTC T-booster, it is better to give natural approaches a shot. Such as avoiding the use air fresheners, consuming fresh food and avoiding plastic bottles.
- Siegenthaler, P. F., Bain, P., Riva, F., & Fent, K. (2017). Effects of antiandrogenic progestins, chlormadinone and cyproterone acetate, and the estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), and their mixtures: Transactivation with human and rainbowfish hormone receptors and transcriptional effects in zebrafish (Danio rerio) eleuthero-embryos. Aquatic Toxicology, 182, 142-162.
- Auger, J., Le Denmat, D., Berges, R., Doridot, L., Salmon, B., Canivenc-Lavier, M. C., & Eustache, F. (2013). Environmental levels of oestrogenic and antiandrogenic compounds feminize digit ratios in male rats and their unexposed male progeny. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 280(1768), 20131532.
- Arlos, M. J., Bragg, L. M., Parker, W. J., & Servos, M. R. (2015). Distribution of selected antiandrogens and pharmaceuticals in a highly impacted watershed. Water research, 72, 40-50.