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Does Resveratrol Boost Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary male hormone. It is responsible for promoting muscle growth and strength, as well as improving bone and metabolic health. Elevate your T levels and you’ll improve your overall health and well-being.

In this article we’ll discuss the current research on resveratrol – an active compound found in red wine. Can it boost your testosterone levels? Read on to find out…

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is resveratrol?
  • How does it improve health?
  • What do the studies say – does it boost testosterone?

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in acai berries, cranberries, plums, blueberries and peanuts. You’ll also find it in red wine as it is produced in large amounts in the skin of red grapes. It has antioxidant properties meaning it can fight excess free radical build up in the body.

This active compound contains an enzyme called resveratrol-synthase, a natural chemical that protects plant foods against toxins, sun exposure and diseases. It essentially protects the DNA within cells.

Research has found that resveratrol can protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and insulin resistance. In fact, the decrease in heart disease associated with the nutrient is often referred to as the ‘French paradox’ due to relatively large consumption of red wine in France, and the low heart disease cases [1].

The bioflavenoid content of the nutrient has also been shown to decrease fat cell production, meaning that it may help long-term improve body composition. It hinders mesenchymal cells from turning into fat cells, but it is unlikely that this transfers into either an increase in metabolism or short term fat loss.

It has also been claimed to increase lifespan, although this is anecdotal and not backed up by science.

Additionally, it has also been claimed that resveratrol can boost testosterone levels. But is this true? Let’s see what the research suggests…


red-wine

Key Point: Resveratrol is a plant phenol that has been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart disease and insulin resistance.


What Do The Studies Say?

Testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone responsible for promoting masculinity and physical performance. When levels of this hormone are within normal parameters you’ll find that you add muscle mass much easier and your strength will rapidly increase.

This anabolic hormone is in a constant fight against estrogen. If levels of this female hormone increase, it leads to reduced muscle mass and an increase in belly fat and ‘man boobs’. The actual process of testosterone and other anabolic hormones converting to estrogen is called aromatization – something any man would want to avoid.

Resveratrol appears to boost male hormone levels by directly increasing T levels, and secondly by decreasing aromatization.

A study published in the Archives of Pharmacol Research [2] found that when mice were given a large dose of resveratrol, their testosterone levels went up by 51.6%. In another study, the nutrient was shown to elevate activity of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) – a protein that helps covert cholesterol to testosterone [3]. Both are excellent findings for any man wanting to boost his T production.

Resveratrol has been seen to inhibit an enzyme called P450 which is responsible for regulating aromatization [4]. Not only did it decrease its action, but also decreased production of estrogen at mRNA levels too. These results were also echoed in a second paper by the same author with a similar sample of participants [5].

The decrease in estrogen allows more room for testosterone to flourish therefore indirectly elevating it.

However, there’s a bit of a catch to all of this – none of the above studies used human subjects.

Although some animal testicular tissue is very similar to humans, without proper studies to draw upon you need to take these results with just a little caution. In fact, you’d probably have to consume a hell of a lot of resveratrol (or red wine!) to get the amount used in some of the above studies.

Regardless of whether animal study findings transfer directly to us or not, there are definite health benefits that provide just reason to include resveratrol-rich foods and red wine in your diet. We’d definitely suggest including berries and other foods containing this interesting nutrient in your daily eating plan. 


red-wine-heart-disease

Key Point: Animal studies have found that resveratrol can increase testosterone and inhibit aromatization.


Summary

Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in red wine and a number of fruits and berries. It has antioxidant properties that fight excess free radical damage and promote good health and well-being.

It has been found to offer protective benefits against heart disease, insulin resistance and high blood pressure and may also help with long-term weight loss as it inhibits the development of fat cells.

Animal studies show the nutrient can directly boost testosterone and also inhibit aromatization. Whilst research is limited to animal studies, it is definitely an areas of interest that warrants further investigation.


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References

  1. Constant, J. Alcohol, ischemic heart disease, and the French paradox. Coron Artery Dis. 1997; 8(10): 645-9
  2. Shin, S et al. trans-Resveratrol Relaxes the Corpus Cavernosum Ex Vivo and Enhances Testosterone Levels and Sperm Quality In Vivo. Arch Pharm Res. 2008; 31(1): 83-87
  3. Morita, Y et al. Resveratrol promotes expression of SIRT1 and StAR in rat ovarian granulosa cells: an implicative role of SIRT1 in the ovary. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012; 10(14)
  4. Wang, Y et al. The red wine polyphenol resveratrol displays bilevel inhibition on aromatase in breast cancer cells. Toxicol Sci. 2006; 92(1): 71-7
  5. Wang, Y et al. Pharmacological concentration of resveratrol suppresses aromatase in JEG-3 cells. Toxicol Lett. 2007 28; 173(3): 175-80