I am not sure about you, but I certainly never thought that coconut oil, the oil I cook with daily and mix as a carrier oil with my essential oils, would even be remotely linked to testosterone levels. I bet you didn’t either.
Also known as copra oil, coconut oil is an edible oil that has been extracted from the meat of mature coconuts that have been harvested from the coconut palm tree. It has various applications and an array of natural benefits. It also has a significant influence on testosterone levels and male pattern baldness. If you are interested to learn more, continue reading this article; it details testosterone levels – how coconut oil affects it.
Let’s get stuck in!
How does it work?
Before we can get stuck into coconut oil and its effects on testosterone, let’s talk about testosterone and dihydrotestosterone or DHT.
There are several causes of low testosterone including:
- High-stress levels
- Weight gain
- Poor nutrition
- Sedentary lifestyle (a.k.a couch potato)
- Certain drugs
If your testosterone is low and you are experiencing chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, reduced libido, and/or erectile dysfunction then you will need to explore the best ways to boost your testosterone levels. Of course, I look for a natural remedy!
Dihydrotestosterone is an androgen that is a sex hormone that binds to the receptors in your scalp and predominantly attributes to the development of what is known as “male” sex characteristics, for example, body hair.
The body produces DHT as a byproduct of testosterone through an enzyme called the 5α-Reductase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for converting a certain percentage of testosterone into DHT tissue including, the skin, prostate, liver, and hair follicles.
Because it binds to the receptors in your scalp, it is also responsible for male pattern baldness and can cause a person to lose their hair earlier and faster.
For this reason, you may have heard about DHT blockers, especially for the purpose of treating and reducing hair loss. Because DHT blockers prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT, they can cause a slight increase in the body’s level of testosterone. To learn more about DHT blockers and what they are, click here.
This is where coconut oil steps in…
Coconut Oil and Testosterone
Coconut oil offers a variety of benefits and is used in cooking, skincare, beauty, and for its health benefits. This oil contains a high percentage of saturated fats, particularly from MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which makes up about 54% of coconut oil. 42% of coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid while 7% is caprylic acid and 5% is capric acid.
These MCTs, especially lauric acid, have been shown to affect DHT. Studies suggest that coconut oil can increase testosterone levels because of this. Coconut oil can also improve sexual function and help treat erectile dysfunction with its testosterone boosting properties.
A variety of test-tube and animal studies have shown that MCTs can block the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT i.e. 5-alpha reductase and as a result, it may have the ability to prevent male pattern baldness.
What does the research show?
Let’s dive into a slightly different avenue on how coconut oil can affect testosterone. Consider that the more fat you eat, the more testosterone your body produces. This is an irrefutable fact of human physiology. Of course, everything in moderation. If you consume too much fat, you will gain weight and negate the increase in your testosterone levels. It’s a fine balance.
Body fat is the main repository of the enzyme, aromatase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen, so:
Lots of body fat = Lots of aromatase
Lots of aromatase = less testosterone and more estrogen
A study was conducted by the Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquimicas de La Plato on male rats, using four different oils; soya oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil. These oils were mixed with their food and the rats consumed this diet for 60 days.
Coconut oil led the way and contributed to the highest production of testosterone in the rats. Olive oil followed close behind.
But why coconut oil?
The Leydig cells are situated in the testicles and are responsible for converting cholesterol into testosterone. Consuming coconut oil helps the Leydig cells absorb more cholesterol. Coconut oil was also shown to stimulate the activity of 5-alpha reductase to inhibit DHT production.
Best way to incorporate coconut oil
If you want to increase your testosterone levels, make coconut oil your main source of fat in your daily diet. You can incorporate coconut oil in the following ways:
- Cook with coconut oil: This oil is ideal for cooking because almost 90% of the fatty acids it contains are saturated, which means it is highly stable at high temperatures. Use 1-2 tablespoons of this oil to cook vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs. The versatility of this oil allows it to substitute oil and butter across most cooking and baking recipes with a ratio of 1:1.
- Add coconut oil to your shakes and smoothies
- Stir some coconut oil into your cooked vegetables
- Add coconut oil to your coffee: Add a teaspoon or two to your coffee or chai tea.
- Eat a tablespoon of coconut oil in-between meals.
Studies have shown that 2 tablespoons a day of coconut oil (30ml) is an effective dose. Two tablespoons provide approximately 18 grams of medium-chain triglycerides which falls within the recommended range of 15-30 grams a day.
Remember, moderation and a healthy balance is important. Consuming too much coconut oil may cause nausea and diarrhea. Start by consuming 1 teaspoon a day and then gradually increase your intake with a maximum of 2 tablespoons a day.
Getting oily for a natural testosterone boost.
Extra virgin olive oil
In the study mentioned earlier, we saw olive oil coming in as a close second to coconut oil in raising testosterone levels in an experiment conducted on rats. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and monosaturated fats and has been proven to improve male reproductive health by boosting the serum testosterone levels in healthy males.
Just by adding some extra virgin olive oil as a dressing over your salad or cooking with it, will ensure you are increasing your testosterone levels naturally while eating foods.
There are some excellent aromatherapy essential oils available that can help regulate the hormones that control and maintain testosterone levels in the body. Some essential oils may not directly influence testosterone levels but they can stimulate the nervous system and the brain to enhance your mood and reduce stress; all of which contribute to raising testosterone levels in the body naturally.
Below is a list of some of the best essential oils that are recommended to use as a testosterone booster:
- Clary Sage
- Chamomile Roman
The most effective way to use these oils is to inhale them using a nebulizer or to diffuse them into the air using a diffuser.
You can also massage the oil into your pulse point areas on the body, but always make sure you use a carrier oil to dilute pure essential oils into it, and yes you guessed it, what better than coconut oil to mix these oils with!
Look no further, you can find the best Essential oils right here
Healthy fats for a healthy boost!
There are other ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels including:
- Intermittent fasting – Have a look this article that goes in more depth regarding intermittent fasting
- Stress reduction
- Vitamin D
- Quality sleep
The best way to effectively enhance your testosterone levels is to focus on a healthy fat diet that includes good fats such as coconut oil. The studies are continuing on the effect coconut oil has on testosterone levels, but so far it is proving effective in blocking DHT and raising testosterone levels naturally, especially virgin coconut oil.
Forget the butter, and rather use coconut oil while cooking. Just remember to limit your sugar intake and reduce junk foods, otherwise, you will raise your blood sugar levels and “bad” cholesterol levels and reverse the health benefits coconut oil has on testosterone levels.
Would you give coconut oil a try ? Let me know by leaving a comments below
Until Next Time