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Licorice and testosterone

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Thanks to Johan's posts below, I did some research on licorice and testosterone, and it looks like licorice (glycyrrhizic acid) may indeed lower testosterone levels in men and women--at least a little. For obvious reasons, guys might not want to mess with their testosterone levels but I thought those of feminine persuasion here might be interested in this study I found on Medline:

Steroids 2004 Oct-Nov;69(11-12):763-6    (ISSN: 0039-128X)

Armanini D; Mattarello MJ; Fiore C; Bonanni G; Scaroni C; Sartorato P; Palermo M

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences-Endocrinology, University of Padua, Via Ospedale 105, 35100 Padua, Italy. decio.armanini@unipd.it.

Licorice has been considered a medicinal plant for thousands of years. The most common side effect is hypokalemic hypertension, which is secondary to a block of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 at the level of the kidney, leading to an enhanced mineralocorticoid effect of cortisol. We have investigated the effect of licorice on androgen metabolism in nine healthy women 22-26 years old, in the luteal phase of the cycle. They were given 3.5 g of a commercial preparation of licorice (containing 7.6% W.W. of ) daily for two cycles. They were not on any other treatment. Plasma renin activity, serum adrenal and gonadal androgens, aldosterone, and cortisol were measured by radioimmunoassay. Total serum testosterone decreased from 27.8+/-8.2 to 19.0+/-9.4 in the first month and to 17.5+/-6.4 ng/dL in the second month of therapy (p <0.05). It returned to pre-treatment levels after discontinuation. Androstenedione, 17OH-progesterone, and LH levels did not change significantly during treatment. Plasma renin activity and aldosterone were depressed during therapy, while blood pressure and cortisol remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Licorice can reduce serum testosterone probably due to the block of 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17-20 lyase. Licorice could be considered an adjuvant therapy of hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome.

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I can understand your concerns. However our Health Institution claims 4-6 cups is safe to drink. Our National Candy called 'drop' exist for 50% of glycyrrhizic acid.

like licorice (glycyrrhizic acid) may indeed lower testosterone levels in men and women--at least a little.

You could try it 1 day (4 cups spread evenly). Then the word little can be erased wink.gif

The Dutch researched showed (short-term) that after 3 days the testosterone levels went back to normal. Women already lower their hormone levels (testosterone included) during the many years taking the pill.

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yep i think this research is more geared towards men, us women have the pill etc.

A commen misconception is that bigger blokes ie those with lots of muscle have high testosterone, they actually have lower. Testosterone causes blokes to be thinner and is well know for causing acne. My brother is a good example. He works at a gym and therefore is in there alot building his muscle, but he never gets that big. He also has mild acne and a deep voice aswel as being tall. A naturally bigger bloke although will have to work at the gym to make fat into muscle will genrally have less testosterone than.

The key is oestrogen boys.

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I can understand your concerns. However our Health Institution claims 4-6 cups is safe to drink. Our National Candy called 'drop' exist for 50% of glycyrrhizic acid.

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yep i think this research is more geared towards men, us women have the pill etc.

A commen misconception is that bigger blokes ie those with lots of muscle have high testosterone, they actually have lower. Testosterone causes blokes to be thinner and is well know for causing acne. My brother is a good example. He works at a gym and therefore is in there alot building his muscle, but he never gets that big. He also has mild acne and a deep voice aswel as being tall. A naturally bigger bloke although will have to work at the gym to make fat into muscle will genrally have less testosterone than.

The key is oestrogen boys.

I don't want to sound like a jerk - but that's pretty much completely wrong :) It sounds like an urban legend or something to me. Higher levels of testosterone will certainly give you more muscle - people inject testosterone (IE steriods) to get bigger and stronger. And it works great.

And fat never turns into muscle.

Er, that's what I've always heard - maybe I'm wrong......


10/21/06 - First day on Accutane 40mg daily


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And fat never turns into muscle.

Er, that's what I've always heard - maybe I'm wrong......

Quite correct. Fat does not turn into muscle; muscle does not turn into fat. Two entirely different types of tissue.


Retired from Acne.org


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licorice is actually used in preparations of chinese medicine to treat acne

so this kinda makes sense.


#1.critical nutritional issues- b12(three forms exist), Calcium(yogurt, cheese or calcium phosphate supps) and vitamin d(sun or supps not to exceed 1000 iu). heme iron-most absorbable from meat only, clams are high. these are the most difficult vitamins to get and absorb. All others or about the same in difficulty in absorption. MAgnesium in our food supply is generally low as well, try natural calm supps.

#2 Fats- monounsaturated should dominate(olives), followed by polyunsaturated plant sources(nuts) but not if you have acne. the health benefits of fish oil and fish are controversial and i dont consume them due to mercury contamination and immune supression avoid processed fats if possible.

#3 Protein/amino acids- dairy and eggs best sources for tryptophan and methionine which convert to powerful antioxidants melatonin and glutathione.

#4 Carotenoids- alpha- beta carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein zeaxanthin, astaxanthin. these are vital to human nutrition, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, chili pepper and cayenne pepper are the best sources.

#5 Regularity-BM at least once a day, Moist, large stools, 1 piece ideal, no maldigestion, no floating stools indicative of maldigested fat. HOW- insoluble fiber- wheat and cooked vegetables. soluble fiber-oats/ good bacteria ferment soluble fiber making short chain fatty acids that inhibit pathogens.

#6 Circadian cycles-Light, get up with the sun, and expose your entire body to it. darkness-melatonin is released upon the sensing of absolute darkness. sleep in a pitch black room, try to ensure 10 hours total darkness, wear sunglasses before bed. do not eat too late at night.

#7 Desirable physiological states(positive moods/emotions) do precisely what you like and what feels good to you, but not regardless of consequences, just from a perspective that, you own your life, and can determine precisely what you do with it and need not answer or ask of permission from anyone,achieving maximum autonomy and self government.


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