Various studies have found a substantial drop in testosterone levels among men for the past five decades. Compared to the men in the 1970s and 1980s, American males today have significantly lesser testosterone levels.
In response to this problem, more men are opting for natural ways of boosting their testosterone levels. For mushroom lovers, the health benefits of reishi mushrooms work great for increasing testosterone levels. Clinical analysis of Ganoderma Lucidum has repeatedly demonstrated its positive effects on testosterone levels.
So, what is the link between the Reishi mushroom and testosterone? And how do the medicinal fungi affect the male-sex hormone? Read on to learn about the Reishi mushroom testosterone benefits.
Why Should You Maintain Optimal Testosterone Levels?
A man's testosterone level usually peaks in his 20s, then slowly decreases around age 30. A 1% per-year decrease in testosterone is average for middle-aged and older men, but over time this deficit builds enough to spawn a series of symptoms.
Inadequate testosterone levels can significantly impact your physical and mental health and overall life quality. It can lead to various health issues, from decreased sexual function to mood disturbances like sadness and depression.
Read More: See how Reishi fights depression.
Excessive testosterone, on the other hand, is a risk factor for conditions such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), acne, and baldness.
For those experiencing a dip in the hormone, there are several ways to boost your testosterone level. Testosterone therapy is a prevalent option that causes improvement in energy level, sex drive, and quality of erections.
But what if you want something natural to help boost your male hormone levels? Let's see how reishi mushrooms' bioactive compounds can help increase your testosterone production.
Reishi Mushroom Effects On Testosterone
A handful of scientific studies have explored Reishi's testosterone effects. These studies have shown that taking the proper reishi mushroom dosage can boost the production of this hormone. Below are some ways the mushroom may potentially affect the male sex hormone levels.
How Can Reishi Increase Testosterone?
Anecdotal evidence does suggest that the Reishi mushroom may increase testosterone levels. For example, a study published in the Journal of Plant Medicine(1) indicates that the Reishi mushroom may significantly boost testosterone levels.
Investigators selected seven male competitive cyclists who had been competitively cycling for over a decade. During the four-month study, cyclists received a placebo for a month. Researchers then gave them mushroom supplements containing Reishi and Cordyceps Sinensis for the next three months.
During the testing period, cyclists competed in long-distance bike races. Researchers then utilized several tests to compare the performance of the cyclist. They took Blood samples to measure the testosterone/cortisol ratio, which indicates performance levels.
Five of the seven cyclists went over the 30% mark on their testosterone/cortisol ratio compared to when receiving the placebo. They also had about double the average testosterone levels compared to the placebo.
There are reports of Reishi lowering testosterone levels and being considered an anti-androgen therapy. More human studies are therefore required to see how the mushroom may enhance testosterone levels.
Read More: See how Lion's mane boosts testosterone levels.
How Does Reishi Mushroom Lower Testosterone?
Ganoderma Lucidum inhibits the activity(2) of 5 alpha reductases, preventing testosterone conversion to dihydrotestosterone, and seemingly increasing testosterone levels.
While this may increase testosterone levels, the DHT is the metabolically active hormone and has much more potent effects.
Testosterone is converted to its active form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), by an enzyme 5 alpha-reductase. DHT, a metabolite of testosterone, then binds to the receptors producing similar effects.
Now, in a research study exploring the anti-androgenic effects of 19 species of mushrooms, Reishi mushrooms had the most vigorous action in inhibiting testosterone.
Prostatic enlargement is dependent on tissue androgen. In this study, researchers investigated the effects of Ganoderma Lucidum on the steroid enzyme 5α-reductase and the testosterone-induced growth of the prostate in castrated rats.
Of the methanol extracts of all studied medicinal mushrooms, the fruiting body of Ganoderma Lucidum or its extract significantly inhibited the testosterone-induced growth of the prostatic tissues in castrated rats. The 5 alpha-reductase inhibitory activity of Ganoderma lucidum was dose-dependent.
Additionally, the extracts of Ganoderma lucidum inhibited both types of 5 alpha-reductase enzymes. This is also called dual inhibition, which might be advantageous for the therapy of BPH.
Reishi Mushroom Aids In The Treatment Of Diseases That Affect Testosterone Levels
The testosterone levels in the human body are affected by various conditions. Luckily, when people take Reishi at the right time, the mushroom can treat some of these conditions.
Below, we will examine these conditions and how the mushroom capsules act as a remedy for countering reducing testosterone levels:
Reishi Mushroom Fights Obesity
Research has confirmed that weight gain is one of the leading causes of low testosterone levels.
A research study conducted in 2014(3) determined that due to reductions in sex hormone-binding globulin brought on by insulin resistance, moderate obesity primarily lowers total testosterone levels. In addition, free testosterone levels decrease because the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis is suppressed in more severe obesity.
Another research study in 2015(4) determined that males with low testosterone levels have greater fat mass (especially in the central region) and less lean mass. These researchers noted that these physical characteristics connect to metabolic dysfunction, and low testosterone levels cause energy imbalance, poor glucose regulation, decreased insulin sensitivity, and dyslipidemia. In addition, the study indicated that weight loss could raise testosterone levels.
Reishi facilitates weight loss—research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Reishi in fighting obesity.
A research study conducted in 2015(5) to determine Reishi's effectiveness in weight loss used mice as test subjects—the researchers determined that by altering the gut microbiota composition, Ganoderma lucidum decreases obesity in mice. Therefore, obese men who want to raise their testosterone levels can use the Reishi mushroom to fight obesity.
Reishi Fights Diabetes
A recent research study(6) on men with type 2 diabetes showed that these men often deal with reduced testosterone levels.
Moreover, research has shown that diabetes treatment medications can also lower testosterone levels in the human body. For example, a research study conducted in 2021(7) determined that when diabetes patients take metformin—metformin is one of the most used diabetes medications—for three months, it reduces their testosterone levels significantly.
Reishi treats diabetes and regulates blood sugar levels. A research study conducted in 2015(8) verified that reishi mushrooms could be an alternative adjuvant diabetes treatment. The mushroom can replace a medication like metformin which lowers testosterone levels.
A second research study conducted in 2019(9) confirmed that reishi mushrooms could be effective in treating both insulin resistance and symptoms of diabetes like high blood sugar.
Read More: See how Lion's mane fights diabetes.
Reishi Fights High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of low testosterone. A research study conducted in 2021(10), for example, determined that a possible risk sign for common hypertension may be lower total testosterone. The study also noted that primary hypogonadism might be a risk factor for serious cardiovascular illnesses in males with severe hypertension.
In addition to Reishi treating allergies, the triterpenoids and other active ingredients in the mushroom also fight high blood pressure. A research study conducted in 2014(11) determined that extracts from reishi supplements can help men and women lower their high blood pressure—the extract had hypotensive effects on males and females in the study group.
A second research study conducted in 2018(12) determined that Reishi's anti-hypertension effects are similar to those of a high blood pressure medication known as losartan. This study suggests that Reishi might be an effective treatment option for people with high blood pressure.
Reishi's benefits on high blood pressure could also result from its ability to control body weight. The mushroom controls cholesterol, lowering the risk of high blood pressure.
Reishi Helps With Cancer Treatment
Cancer may not necessarily cause low testosterone—however, the most common treatment methods lower testosterone levels.
A study conducted in 2019(13) determined that compared to age-matched healthy controls, young male cancer survivors have lower testosterone levels, increased fat mass, and worse quality of life (QoL). In addition, the study noted that cancer survivors might experience low testosterone due to orchidectomy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy side effects.
A second research study in 2021(14) confirmed that testosterone deficiency was observed in men receiving immunotherapy as a treatment for malignant melanoma.
Reishi has cancer benefits—the mushroom goes beyond just addressing cancer symptoms to help counter cancer treatment's side effects. The mushroom can help people with prostate cancer, human breast cancer cells, or many other types of cancer maintain ideal testosterone levels while undergoing cancer treatment.
Ganoderma Lucidum Fights Insomnia
Insufficient sleep may stimulate an anti-androgen mechanism. The anti-androgenic effects of poor sleep often result in significantly reduced plasma levels of androgen hormones like testosterone.
A research study conducted in 2015(15) investigated the effects of poor sleep on normal testosterone levels in the blood. The study determined that in the small convenience sample of young, healthy males who endured one week of sleep limitation to 5 hours per night, a circumstance encountered by at least 15% of the US working population, daytime testosterone levels declined by 10% to 15%.
In contrast, testosterone levels typically decline by 1% to 2% annually as people age. Therefore, the study confirmed that poor sleep reduces testosterone at a higher rate than aging.
Luckily, reishi mushrooms help with sleep. By improving sleep quality and fighting sleep disorders like insomnia, the mushroom helps eliminate the testosterone-reducing properties of poor sleep.
Why Take Advantage Of Reishi Testosterone Benefits?
Reduced testosterone levels carry many adverse effects. These effects can be addressed by restoring testosterone to normal levels. For this reason, using Reishi for testosterone offers the following benefits.
1. Improved Mood
Males who have low testosterone levels deal with mood shifts. Since testosterone is involved in many body operations, it can also affect people's mental health and mood.
Using Reishi to boost testosterone levels can help eliminate anxiety and other brain health issues. What's even better is that Reishi helps with anxiety—the mushroom goes beyond boosting testosterone to affect your mood directly
2. Improved Memory
Research has confirmed that reducing testosterone levels can impact memory negatively. For example, a research study conducted in 2019(16) determined that testosterone supplementation can increase memory in men with low testosterone levels. One of the best mushrooms for brain health, using Reishi to boost your testosterone can boost your memory too.
3. Improved Bone Mass
Low testosterone is a leading precursor for reduced bone mass. Reduced bone mass, in turn, increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. Using Reishi to increase your testosterone levels can increase your bone mass and reduce your osteoporosis risk.
4. Reduced Fatigue
Males with low testosterone levels could complain of acute weariness and low energy. For example, if you constantly feel exhausted despite getting plenty of sleep or struggle to find the will to exercise, you may have low testosterone. Combining Reishi and Lion's mane can increase your testosterone levels, helping you reduce fatigue.
5. Reduced Hair Loss
Hair formation is one of the many bodily processes that testosterone influences. Balding is a distinctive aspect of aging for many men, and while it may run in the family, men with low testosterone may also experience facial and body hair loss.
By promoting testosterone, Reishi helps men keep their hair for a more extended period. As a result, the mushroom reduces the risk of losing hair young.
What's more, Reishi helps with hair health directly. Therefore, when the mushroom improves your hair health by boosting your testosterone levels, it will nourish your hair with its bioactive ingredients.
6. Improves Your Sexual Health
The hormone testosterone is essential for libido, commonly known as sex drive. Some people may suffer a decrease in sex drive with age, but those with low testosterone will probably have a more pronounced loss.
An erection can be obtained and maintained with the help of testosterone. It instructs brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, a substance that aids in starting the chain of events that lead to an erection.
When testosterone levels are too low, it may be challenging to get an erection before intercourse or to experience spontaneous erections, such as those that happen while you're sleeping.
Taking reishi mushroom for testosterone will help you boost your libido. What's more, elevated testosterone levels will also improve your erections.
Read More: See how Cordyceps improves libido.
7. Reduced Risk Of Anemia
According to a 2017 study(17), doctors have connected low testosterone with a higher risk for anemia. When anemic men with low testosterone received testosterone gel from the researchers, their blood counts improved more than those receiving a placebo.
In addition to reducing liver inflammation and boosting your immunity, Reishi can reduce your risk of anemia by simply increasing your testosterone levels.
8.Reduced Risk Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is often associated with low testosterone levels. Moreover, several studies have confirmed that testosterone can treat the condition.
A research article published in 2015(18) suggested boosting testosterone levels in the male body as an effective treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
A research study conducted in 2021(19) investigated the relationship between prostate volume and testosterone levels in the human body. The researchers concluded that reduced testosterone levels increase the risk of suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Luckily, for men with low testosterone levels, reishi medicinal mushrooms can help—in addition to fighting any condition that decreases free testosterone, the active compounds in reishi mushroom increase testosterone, reducing the risk of prostatic hyperplasia.
Read More: See how cordyceps boosts testosterone levels.
Does Reishi Mushroom Block DHT?
Several scientific studies have shown that the Reishi mushroom blocks the conversion of testosterone to the active form, dihydrotestosterone. In addition, the triterpenes in the mushroom inhibit 5 alpha reductases, an enzyme that mediates this conversion.
Does Reishi Affect Hormones?
Reishi mushrooms balance several hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. The fungi help with infertility and PCOS by reducing high levels of androgenic hormones. It is also known to aid hormonal imbalance in menopause and weight gain.
Read More: Learn aboutReishi's hormonal balance benefits.
Scientific studies have shown that the Reishi mushroom can boost testosterone levels in the human body. The mushroom also fights health problems that impact testosterone levels negatively—this suggests that it may have a significant potential to increase your testosterone levels.
Based on what we have explored so far, the Reishi mushroom's effects on testosterone are apparent—the mushroom can work to improve your male hormone levels. However, additional animal and human studies are required to establish a better link between the Reishi mushroom and testosterone.
Have you used Reishi to boost your testosterone levels in the past? How was your experience? Please let us know in the comments.
- Reishi and Cordyceps Boost Testosterone and Athletic Performance, (1)https://plantmedicines.org/reishi-and-cordyceps-boost-testosterone-and-increase-athletic-performance/
- 5α-Reductase Inhibitory Effect of Triterpenoids Isolated from Ganoderma lucidum, (2)https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/29/2/29_2_392/_article
- Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/
- Testosterone and obesity, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25982085/
- Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557287/
- Low Testosterone in Men with Type 2 Diabetes: Significance and Treatment, (6)https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/96/8/2341/2834088
- Effect of Metformin on Testosterone Levels in Male Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Treated With Insulin, (7)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2021.813067/full
- Anti-diabetic effects of Ganoderma lucidum, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25790910/
- Mushrooms of the Genus Ganoderma Used to Treat Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6891282/
- Association of Serum Testosterone and Luteinizing Hormone With Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Middle‐Aged and Elderly Men, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174322/
- Hypotensive Effects and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitory Peptides of Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi) Auto-Digested Extract, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6271714/
- Hypotensive and neurometabolic effects of intragastric Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) administration in hypertensive ISIAH rat strain, (12)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29519314/
- Testosterone replacement in young male cancer survivors: A 6-month double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial, (13)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31714912/
- Testosterone deficiency in men receiving immunotherapy for malignant melanoma, (14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869578/
- Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men, (15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
- Effects of Testosterone Supplementation on Separate Cognitive Domains in Cognitively Healthy Older Men: A Meta-analysis of Current Randomized Clinical Trials, (16)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31296441/
- Association of Testosterone Levels With Anemia in Older Men, (17)https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2604139
- Testosterone and benign prostatic hyperplasia, (18)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4650459/
- Relationship between serum total testosterone and prostate volume in aging men, (19)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-93728-1