Dairy Products and their effect on ED and testosterone

  • June 13, 2020

milk with cow banner

Most people would not link milk and dairy products to low libido and ED in men. However, a closer look reveals that high intake of dairy products affects reproductive health in men.

A number of experts believe that dairy products could negatively affect the synthesis of testosterone in a man’s body.

Hormones found in milk

Most of the hormones found in milk can be transferred by diffusion. The most important of them include:

  • Estrogen – It’s a female sex hormone, also known as oestrogen. It helps to develop and regulate the female reproductive system together with the secondary sex characteristics.
  • Prolactin – its produced by the pituitary gland and it regulates the immune system, plays a role in lactation and acts on the reproductive system.
  • Corticoids – these include all the hormones made by the outer parts of the adrenal gland. The play a role in metabolism and regulate the balance of water and salt in the body.
  • Androgens – present in both males and females, they play a role in reproductive activity and male traits.
  • Progesterone – another female hormone, it is produced in the ovaries during the monthly ovulation. It plays a crucial role in maintaining pregnancy.

Symptoms and effects of high estrogen in men

They include:

  • Slowed growth – delayed puberty or short stature in boys.
  • Infertility – this is characterized by slow sperm production and unhealthy sperm.
  • Epiphyseal closure – likely to happen to boys in adolescence, causing them to have short stature.
  • Erectile dysfunction – an imbalance in hormones that create and maintain an erection, causing ED.
  • Gynecomastia – this the abnormal development of breast tissue.

What Studies Reveal

Studies have found that the hormone estrogen found in milk can have effect on the amount of testosterone produced in males. Testosterone is responsible for making and maintaining an erection.[1]

Farming methods and estrogen levels

Today, it is estimated that over three quarters of all commercial milk is obtained from pregnant cows. This was not always the case. Estrogen levels are highest in cows when they’re pregnant.

Cows have also been genetically modified over the years to produce more milk and meat yields. Native cows would produce 3 liters of milk and it would be normal, now cows have been bred to produce 15 litres daily. This is not natural.

Additionally, many farmers make their cows pregnant just days after giving birth, for maximum production. This means the cow is almost always pregnant.

For non-pregnant cows, the whey of their milk has approximately of about 30 pg/mL of estrone sulphate, a natural oestrogen steroid. It rises to 151 pg/mL in early pregnancy and peaks at 1,000 pg/mL during the last stages of pregnancy.

A combination of the above three practices means most of the milk yield is high on estrogen.

High estrogen and testosterone

One study has linked reduced secretion of testosterone in men to dairy food intake. This is due to reduced secretion of hormones that control the sperm production and development of sex glands in men.[2]

Another study was conducted among Japanese pre-pubertal boys. It found that drinking milk from cows resulted in suppressed production of hormones in the brain that are needed for testosterone production.[3]

It has been noted that, the less milk men consume, the higher the number of sperms the men produced, and the higher the sperm’s activity. More milk consumption reduced both sperm count and activity.

Further, dairy consumption increases the concentrations of blood insulin. This may have a similar adverse effects on erectile function and sperm as chronic diseases like diabetes.

Other effects of Estrogen

Abnormally high estrogen levels can lead to:

  • Emotional disturbances.
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Tiredness
  • Excess abdominal weight

Almond vs milk

almond milk bottleUnlike dairy milk, almond milk doesn’t contain harmful hormones. Instead, it is fortified with minerals and vitamins.

Without sweeteners, its calories and saturated fat content is lower than that of milk. It is therefore a much safer alternative for those seeking to avoid negative effects of dairy products.

Daily recommended dairy intake

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that adults may consume 3 servings of dairy products in a day. For children, the recommendation was around 2 servings per day, and that would vary depending on their age.[4]

This is how typical servings of dairy would look like:

  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
  • 1 ounce of cheese (i.e. Monterey Jack or cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese

The Bottom Line

Milk provides numerous nutrients to both babies and adults. It’s also useful to those who are building muscles naturally.

Its high estrogen content and ‘womanizing effects’ are detrimental to men. If you’re seeking to maintain a high erectile function, you may as well avoid.


  1. Snoj, Tomaž, and Gregor Majdič. “MECHANISMS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY: Estrogens in Consumer Milk: Is There a Risk to Human Reproductive Health?” European Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 179, no. 6, Dec. 2018, pp. R275–86. eje.bioscientifica.com, doi:10.1530/EJE-18-0591.[]
  2. MALEKINEJAD, Hassan, and Aysa REZABAKHSH. “Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health – A Narrative Review Article.” Iranian Journal of Public Health, vol. 44, no. 6, June 2015, pp. 742–58.[]
  3. Nagata, C., et al. “Effect of Soymilk Consumption on Serum Estrogen and Androgen Concentrations in Japanese Men.” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention: A Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, vol. 10, no. 3, Mar. 2001, pp. 179–84.[]
  4. Wells, Hodan Farah. “Americans’ Dairy Consumption Below Recommendations.” USDA, 1 Nov. 2007.[]

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