Does Olive Oil Increase Testosterone? (Science-Based)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 29, 2024
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Over the past few years, I’ve come across a lot of people at my gym who take anabolic steroids to help them reach their fitness goals. The unfortunate reality is that these kinds of enhancers can cause severe side effects like liver damage or high blood pressure.

As a senior coach, I'm focused on natural testosterone boosters and found olive oil a promising nutrient-rich option.

So, I’ve spent the last five weeks conducting thorough research to gain a deeper insight into this matter.

Here’s what I found out.

Quick Summary

  • Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which may boost your testosterone level.
  • Two enzymes, vital for testosterone production, help convert cholesterol into testosterone.
  • A study involving 206 male volunteers revealed a 10-15% drop in testosterone levels when they switched from a high-fat diet to a low-fat one.
  • While olive oil potentially benefits testosterone levels, I emphasise to my clients that its subtle effects may not suffice for intense muscle growth or high-intensity training.

Does Olive Oil Consumption Boost Testosterone Levels?

A person pouring down olive oil

Yes, olive oil consumption may boost testosterone levels, with some studies suggesting potential benefits.

Switching to a diet with monounsaturated fats like olive oil increased my energy and vitality.

Studies link low-fat diets to reduced testosterone in men. A study of 206 men found a 10–15% testosterone drop with low-fat diets [1].

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is tied to better male reproductive health [2].

Similarly, other research showed that oleuropein, a key compound found in olives and EVOO, can trigger increased testosterone production by 17.4% and luteinizing hormone by 42.6% [3].

However, further research is needed for confirmation. Olive oil's antioxidants may protect Leydig cells from oxidative stress, negatively affecting testosterone [4,5].

In Moroccan culture, where virgin oil is common, a study showed Moroccan men’s testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels increased after three weeks of EVOO use [6].

How Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Boost Testosterone Production?

Close up shot of olive oil on a table

Extra virgin olive oil can potentially boost testosterone production by enhancing the activity of key enzymes involved in converting cholesterol into testosterone and increasing the number of Leydig cells in the testes.

Extra virgin olive oil boosts testosterone by enhancing two key enzymes: 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17-β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.

These enzymes convert cholesterol into testosterone.

By increasing their activity, more cholesterol is converted into testosterone, leading to higher levels of the hormone in the body [7,8].

Additionally, EVOO also increases the number of Leydig cells in the testes.

Leydig cells convert cholesterol into testosterone. More Leydig cells mean more cholesterol conversion to testosterone, enhancing levels.

"The oil is rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, an antioxidant. Similarly to fatty fish and fish oils, extra-virgin olive oil can help to increase a person’s overall fat intake, promoting testosterone production."

- Jared Meacham, Ph.D., RD, CSCS, Registered Dietitian, Fitness Professional and Educator

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Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Olive Oil?

Yes, there are some risks associated with using olive oil, particularly when consumed in excessive amounts, such as potential weight gain and negative effects on heart health due to its saturated fat content [9,10].

I learned that moderation is key, especially when focusing on weight loss. Each tablespoon packs 120 Kcal, so I had to balance enjoying the benefits of olive oil without overdoing it.

Although research has shown that the Mediterranean diet with EVOO outperforms low-fat diets for weight loss, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in virgin oil are proven to cause weight gain if used excessively [11].

It's also important to note that it is high in saturated fat, which can be bad for your heart health if eaten in large quantities.

How to Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Boost T Levels?

Close up shot of extra virgin olive oil being poured

To use extra virgin olive oil to boost T levels, consider consuming around 25 grams of it either in the morning or before bedtime.

Consuming the recommended amount may significantly improve your sexual health, blood pressure, and mood.

With that in mind, our dietitian recommends not cooking EVOO at a temperature higher than 400 °F. This way, you can enjoy the full taste and get the maximum out of its antioxidants.

Concerning storage, it should be kept in a cold and dark place to keep its compounds intact.

It contains several chemicals that are susceptible to degradation when exposed to heat and light.

Olive Oil and Physical Performance

Olive oil is not just good for overall health. It can also enhance physical performance thanks to four benefits:

  1. Sustained energy: Olive oil provides a slow-release energy source, ideal for prolonged physical activities.
  2. Muscle recovery: Rich in antioxidants, olive oil can help reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery after exercise.
  3. Cardiovascular health: The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil benefit heart health, which is crucial for optimal physical performance.
  4. Metabolism and weight loss: Olive oil can positively influence metabolism, aiding in weight management, an important factor for many athletes.

FAQ

Is Olive Oil a Safer Alternative for Testosterone Increase?

Yes, olive oil is a safer alternative for testosterone increase because it naturally supports hormonal balance without the side effects associated with synthetic boosters.

Can Replacing Other Fats with Olive Oil in the Diet Increase Testosterone Levels?

Yes, replacing other fats with olive oil can increase testosterone levels, as its monounsaturated fats positively influence testosterone production.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33741447/
  2. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-fat-diets-decrease-testosterone-men.html
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22901687/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231719310754
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4576505/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23472458/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9029730/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2259022/
  9. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1689/olive-oil
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352724/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452168/
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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