Does Garlic Increase Testosterone Levels? (Science-Based) 

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 29, 2024
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

I invested nearly a decade of my professional life helping athletes achieve their ideal physique, as well as advising them on the best diet and supplements to support their fitness goals.

Since there have been a lot of studies recently that a diet with increased garlic intake improves testosterone levels, I did some personal analysis on it.

In this article, I will share the results of my extensive research with you. You will learn about the impact of garlic on health and the recommended daily dose to boost your T levels.

Quick Summary

  • Garlic boosts testosterone levels through organic compounds like allicin, alliin, dially disulfide, and s-allyl cysteine, enhancing male fertility and blood flow​​.
  • One of the key compounds in garlic, allicin, is known to elevate energy and reduce cortisol levels, indirectly supporting testosterone production​​.
  • According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), garlic at 200 mg/kg lowered blood pressure by 12 mmHg in 12 weeks, suggesting increased testosterone and improved blood flow.
  • Personally, considering the broad range of health benefits garlic offers, it seems like a naturally effective way to potentially enhance testosterone levels and overall health.

How Does Garlic Raise Testosterone?

A man holding sliced garlic on a chopping board

Garlic may potentially raise testosterone levels by reducing cortisol, a stress hormone, and by boosting energy levels through its key component allicin [1]. Studies indicate allicin boosts energy and lowers cortisol, the stress hormone that can inhibit testosterone production [2,3].

Historically, even ancient Greek Olympians used garlic for better athletic performance, a practice still common today to reduce workout fatigue, as noted by Healthgrades [4].

In 2019, research showed that low temperature-aged garlic extract at 500 mg/kg notably reduced cortisol levels and brain oxidative stress, indicating its role in managing stress [5].

Cortisol, produced in excess during stress, affects various functions, including testosterone production. Regular garlic intake can lower cortisol levels, up energy levels, and potentially increase testosterone production. However, garlic's effects on testosterone can vary per individual.

For optimal testosterone levels, a balanced lifestyle with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and enough rest is key.

Garlic can also help with Low T in the following ways:

May Improve Blood Flow

doctor holding up a heart

A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that garlic, at a dosage of 200 mg/kg, significantly lowered blood pressure by about 12 mmHg over 12 weeks, suggesting its potential to enhance blood flow and increase serum testosterone levels [6].

Human studies have found that it can help increase nitric oxide levels. Its mechanisms of action help blood vessels relax, thus improving circulation through the heart.

Also, a clinical trial among 49 older men found that a medication containing aged garlic extract and five other natural ingredients improved erectile function [7].

Although some people claim that garlic improves circulation, more clinical research is needed to determine whether it can help treat severe ED issues in men.

May Enhance Male Fertility

Garlic may help increase sperm and T production, thus enhancing fertility in men. A 2018 study published in Research Gate concluded that it significantly improves testicular function and spermatogenesis due to its antioxidant properties [8].

In addition, a recent animal study investigated the effect of s-allyl cysteine (SAC), an organosulfur compound found in its extract. It determined that it could increase T production in mice [9].

Certain studies suggested that it may potentially affect fertility enhancement; however, more human studies and clinical trials are needed.

Acts As An Antioxidant

Clients often report a notable improvement in sexual health after incorporating garlic, likely due to its antioxidant richness.

Antioxidants are known to combat cell-damaging molecules known as free radicals.

According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), antioxidants improve serum sex hormones and increase fertility rates. However, more scientific backup is needed to determine its actual effects on sexual functions in humans [10].

How Much Garlic Should I Take For Testosterone?

A man holding garlic up

It is suggested to take about 0.8 grams of garlic per 100 grams of your diet to increase testosterone levels, as studies have shown it can positively impact testicular testosterone in rats [11].

Also, a 2006 human study conducted by the Pharmaceutical Research Institute of Albany suggests that taking 2.5 g of this spice every day can give a 100 percent increase in nitric oxide (NO).

Furthermore, everyday consumption of 2.0 g combined with vitamin C intake increases NO levels by 200 percent.

"Nitric oxide is a gas that the body produces, and it helps with blood flow. Nitric oxide supplements try to increase the amount of nitric oxide in your blood, which might help increase blood flow to working muscles and help reduce time to fatigue during a workout,"

- Natalie Rizzo, Registered Dietitian

Taking the recommended dosage for garlic will substantially increase your NO levels, which are needed to improve muscular development and T levels.

Can Garlic Supplementation Increase Sexual Drive?

man's pants with a woman's hand inside

Garlic supplementation may potentially increase sexual drive due to its high allin content, which is believed to help improve blood flow to sexual organs in both men and women, serving as a natural aphrodisiac.

Garlic is a potent ingredient that boosts your sexual drive. Because of the high allin content, garlic helps widen tiny blood vessels and stimulates flow to sexual organs in both men and women [12].

According to analysis, you should eat 3-4 cloves of garlic every day or crush 1-2 cloves and combine it with one teaspoon of milk or raw honey and consume it upon waking up to get the most gains for libido and sex [13].

Consuming this much garlic may increase men's potency and sexual drive. You can eat it raw or take garlic supplements without any mouth odor as a side effect.

"Garlic may help improve blood flow, which could help prevent erectile dysfunction."

- Rachael Ajmera, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian and Health Writer

Related: Can Testosterone Boosters Help With ED?

Does A High Protein Diet Help Boost The Effects Of Garlic?

Yes, combining a high-protein diet with garlic may enhance its effects, potentially improving muscle growth and repair. However, individual responses can vary, so consulting a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalized advice is recommended.

A diet with lean meats, carbs, and fats is ideal. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 - 1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight daily for muscle building [14].

Studies link high meat intake with 0.8 g/100 g garlic to increased testosterone in rats, but this means about 8 g of garlic per kg of body weight daily, which is a lot.

A high-protein diet plus garlic might offer extra benefits. Protein is key for muscle growth and repair, and combined with garlic, could improve lean muscle building.

But, individual responses vary, so it's wise to consult a healthcare professional or dietitian for tailored advice on a high-protein diet and garlic intake.

What Are Other Beneficial Effects Of Garlic?

shirtless man with a tape measure on his body

Garlic offers a wide range of beneficial effects, including reducing inflammation, supporting muscle building, aiding in fat burning, and contributing to the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cholesterol levels.

Other benefits include:

  • Inflammation: Garlic, like other allium veggies, is rich in anti-inflammatory diallyl sulfides, which curb pro-inflammatory cytokines [15]. It also fights free radicals and, interestingly, boosts erectile function in low testosterone cases.
  • Muscle Building: Eating raw garlic can spike nitric oxide (NO) levels, aiding in vasodilation and nutrient delivery to muscles during workouts. An animal study showed a 40% increase in NO levels within an hour of garlic consumption [16].
  • Fat burning: As belly fat and lower testosterone levels are linked with aging, garlic steps in to rev up metabolism, curb appetite, and enhance calorie burning. It is also a powerful detoxifier and garlic can help you lose belly fat which may help increase T levels [17].
  • Chronic diseases: From my experience, garlic helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, aiding in chronic disease management. A 2011 study highlighted its role in enhancing diabetes medications' effectiveness and managing cholesterol, thus preventing arterial plaque [18].

However, always consult a health specialist for tailored medical advice and proper diagnosis and treatment.


References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115303518
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589004220302984#:~:text=In%20the%20current%20study%2C%20allicin,glucose%20homeostasis%20in%20HFD%20mice.
  3. https://www.mariongluckclinic.com/blog/10-testosterone-boosting-foods.html#:~:text=Garlic,is%20where%20testosterone%20is%20produced.
  4. https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/food-nutrition-and-diet/health-benefits-of-garlic
  5. https://journals.lww.com/jcma/fulltext/2019/03000/low_temperature_aged_garlic_extract_suppresses.7.aspx
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24844765/
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330360910_Effect_of_garlic_Allium_sativum_on_male_fertility_a_systematic_review
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33803601/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608537/#:~:text=In%20our%20study%2C%20FSH%2C%20LH,increases%20an%20individual's%20fertility%20chances.
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11481410/
  12. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/ghee-v/s-butter-which-one-is-better/articleshow/69374164.cms
  13. https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/male-sexual-dysfunction-how-to-use-garlic-and-honey-lahsun-aur-shahad-for-erectile-dysfunction-or-impotence/386161
  14. https://www.mdlinx.com/article/how-much-protein-do-i-really-need/3EjMnX7lwoop14d4Ins4FA
  15. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/best-spices-for-arthritis
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12052435/
  17. https://www.ndtv.com/food/weight-loss-how-to-use-raw-garlic-to-lose-weight-and-burn-belly-fat-1934885
  18. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51682026_Garlic_Allium_sativum_supplementation_with_standard_antidiabetic_agent_provides_better_diabetic_control_in_type_2_diabetes_patients
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