Foods to avoid when high DHT is desired

No man I know wants to be a soy boy.

A soy boy is a male with low androgens, making him appear more feminine, both physically and psychologically.

The strongest androgen, DHT, is responsible for being the opposite of a soy boy.

Here are the top 6 things to avoid.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds have high levels of beta-sitosterol and campesterol, which are strong 5AR inhibitors (R).

β-sitosterol is found in (R):

  • Seeds and seed oils: Corn oil, Canola oil, Flax, Sesame, safflower
  • Nuts: Pistachio, Sunflower, Macadamia, Pine nuts, Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Pecans, cocoa (but significantly less than the other nuts)
  • Beans: Soybean
  • Fruit: Avo (much lower amounts compared to the nuts and seeds, so shouldn’t be a problem)
  • Herbs: Saw palmetto, rye grass pollen, pygeum, and stinging nettles

Campesterol is mostly found in Canola, corn, flax, rice bran, sesame and soy

It’s probably ok to eat nuts and seeds once in a while if you really enjoy them, but having them as a regular part of your diet isn’t going to be good for your DHT.

Black tea

There are no human studies on this, only animals studies.

According to this mice study, black tea lowered DHT, whereas green tea increased DHT (R). The tea was given to the mice as drinking water (they didn’t get any other liquid to drink). I’m not sure how significant the inhibitory effect would be in humans if someone only drank 2-3 cups of black tea per day. If you were to get all your liquid from black tea, which would be about 2-3L of black tea per day, it will start to have an inhibitory effect.

Weird mushrooms

Different mushrooms have different inhibitory strengths on 5-AR. Keep in mind this is also an in vitro study.

Reishi > oyster mushroom > shiitake mushroom > Lion’s mane is just a few of the most potent 5AR inhibitory mushrooms (R). White button mushroom is all the way at the bottom, so feel free to binge on those. I know I will, they are delicious when fried in butter.

Seed oils

If you want to maximize DHT production, eat a healthy amount of saturated fat sources and try to keep the polyunsaturated fat as low as possible.

PUFAs potently inhibit 5-AR.

The more double bonds the PUFA has, the more potent it inhibits 5-AR.

For example:

  • Linoleic acid (an omega 6), found in vegetables, seeds and nuts, has 2 double bonds.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, the “precursor” to omega 3 found in flax seeds for example, has 3 double bonds.
  • Arachidonic acid (an omega 6) found in eggs has 4 double bonds.
  • EPA and DHA (omega 3s) found in fish oil have 5 and 6 double bonds respectively.

Which ones will have the most inhibitory effect?

That’s right, the fish oil, followed by arachidonic acid, linolenic acid and finally linoleic acid.

For conformation, this in vivo human study  found the following: (from strongest inhibitor to weakest):

  1. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (found in evening primrose oil, blackcurrant seed oil, borage seed oil, and hemp seed) 
  2. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (found in fatty fish and fish oils) 
  3. Arachidonic acid (found mostly in eggs and poultry fat) 
  4. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, perilla seed oil, Tofu, walnuts and walnut oil.)
  5. Linoleic acid (found in all vegetable, nut and seed oils)
  6. Palmitoleic acid (An omega 7, found in macadamia nut oil and sea buckthorn oil)
  7. Oleic acid (found in olive oil, avocados, and most other foods)
  8. Myristoleic acid

As you can see, this whole list is from PUFAs and some MUFAs here at the end. No saturated fat has the same potent inhibitory effect, except lauric acid (found in coconut oil), but which is actually less than a third as inhibitory as oleic acid.


Rosemary extract has been shown to inhibit both 5AR and the androgen receptor in this mouse study (R). A little bit of spice on your food is most likely not going to do anything, but using a relatively high amount via supplementation will.

Black pepper

Piperine, a compound found in pepper (and most herbal supplements) inhibits DHT’s effect on AR (R; in vitro study). Again, a little bit of pepper on your food shouldn’t be an issue.

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3 thoughts on “Foods to avoid when high DHT is desired”

  1. So, fish oil is bad? It’s commonly promoted to reduce muscle inflammation and cortisol, but I’ve wondered if it impeded muscle growth. Also, I’ve wondered about rosemary. I think that I’m just going to completely eliminate it from my diet.

    • Fish oil is definitely not that good in large amounts. Small amounts are likely ok. However, I’d rather reduce inflammation by eating enough animal anti-oxidants, such as carnosine, anserine, CoQ10, minerals, etc. Seafood is also good, but supplementing a lot of fish oil can become a problem, due to lipid peroxidation and lipofuscin formation.


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