Updated: Aug 10
Curcumin is one of the active ingredients in turmeric, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory with multiple benefits.
However, there is speculation that curcumin may even boost testosterone production.
In this article, we will discuss how curcumin may be useful for increasing testosterone levels, and if it works.
Table of Contents:
Turmeric and curcumin boasts numerous benefits, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers.
Curcumin may help boost testosterone through multiple mechanisms.
There are conflicting studies on this matter, some studies say it boosts testosterone production, others say it doesn't, while some say it decreases testosterone.
Benefits of Curcumin
The main powerhouse in turmeric is curcumin, which is full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Below are some of the benefits of curcumin.
How Curcumin May Increase Testosterone
Turmeric (and curcumin) can help testosterone levels, but it’s not a direct effect. Below are some of the mechanisms which are theorised to help improve testosterone production.
Cholesterol handling: Curcumin helps balance cholesterol levels, which is crucial for producing DHEA, a substance that ultimately gets converted to testosterone.
Vitamin D absorption: To produce testosterone, the body needs vitamin D. Turmeric helps the body absorb more vitamin D by activating its receptors.
Fat burning: Curcumin helps the body burn fat more efficiently, which is beneficial for testosterone production.
Protecting important cells: Leydig cells are vital for testosterone production. Curcumins anti-inflammatory properties keep these cells healthy.
Blood sugar control: Diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Curcumin helps regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
Studies on Curcumin Increasing Testosterone Levels
Curcumin, the main active component in turmeric powder, was found to significantly increase the testosterone levels in male rats even when given in moderate doses.
This was reported by scientists at Redeemer's University in Nigeria.
The researchers investigated how gallic acid and curcumin affected the testicles of rats. Gallic acid is a compound found in tea and grapes.
It's known for its beneficial properties, but in large amounts, it acts as an oxidizing agent.
The team was curious to know if high levels of gallic acid could decrease sperm and testosterone production due to its oxidizing properties.
They also wanted to find out if curcumin, which is known to be a strong antioxidant, could counter these effects.
The study involved four groups of young male rats over 30 days.
The first group was not given any of these compounds (control group).
The second group received 100 mg of gallic acid per kg of body weight.
The third group received 100 mg of curcumin per kg of body weight.
The fourth group received both 100 mg of gallic acid and 100 mg of curcumin per kg of body weight.
Results of the Study
The group that received gallic acid had 32% lower testosterone levels compared to the control group.
Astonishingly, the curcumin group had testosterone levels that were 257% higher than the control group, and the group that received both compounds had testosterone levels that were 184% higher.
According to this study, curcumin increased testosterone production and protected against the negative effects of gallic acid.
The increase in testosterone levels was attributed to an increase in the activity of enzymes like 3-beta-HSD and 17-beta-HSD in the testicles. These enzymes play a crucial role in producing testosterone.
The researchers concluded that curcumin could potentially be used as an alternative medication to treat male fertility issues. Curcumin also has potential to increase testosterone production.
However, more studies are needed to understand how exactly it works and to determine the appropriate dosage.
Additionally, it remains uncertain whether this testosterone increasing effect is seen in humans.
This evidence-based analysis of curcumin and its effects on testosterone production features 1 reference, listed below.
1. Abarikwu SO, Akiri OF, Durojaiye MA, Alabi AF. Combined administration of curcumin and gallic acid inhibits gallic acid-induced suppression of steroidogenesis, sperm output, antioxidant defenses and inflammatory responsive genes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Sep;143:49-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.02.008. Epub 2014 Feb 22. PMID: 24565563.