Eating raw bull testicles has become a craze these days. I want to share with you 3 main reasons why it’s useless.
Animal testicles go by many names:
- Montana tendergroin (my favorite)
- Calf fries or lamb fries
- American west
- Prairie oysters
- Rocky mountain oysters
- Cowboy Caviar
- and more
Eating testicles have been done for many centuries to support manhood, increase vitality and enhance sports performance. Famous people doing so include Vince Gironda back in the 1940s and more recently, Liver King and Paul Saladino.
Eating raw testicles is done for many reasons, namely:
- Increasing testosterone production by providing cofactors
- Boosting low testosterone levels by providing testosterone itself
- Improving sexual health and low sex drive
- Assisting with erectile dysfunction
- Increasing energy levels
- Improve sperm production, sperm quality and sperm motility
- Increase body weight in those who are underweight
Testosterone in high concentrations is really important and plays a dominant role in the body, such as increasing muscle mass, bone density, insulin sensitivity, improving mood, well-being and sexual function and lowering fat mass just to name a few. But eating testicles isn’t a good way to achieve that.
Here are 3 reasons why bull testicles won’t increase testosterone
#1 Testosterone isn’t stored in the testes
Here are some claims made by testicle supp sellers: “With trace amounts, testicles are the richest food source of testosterone and have been eaten by men throughout the ages…
Studies revealed that testosterone is an influencer of protein formation, muscle function, basal metabolism and red-blood-cell formation…
In many early cultures, wisdom held that eating the organs from healthy animals had a fortifying and healing effect on the equivalent part of our own bodies.” (R)
Unlike other glands, the testes don’t store a large amount of testosterone. The daily testosterone production of an adult man of about 6–8 mg, which is contained in roughly 1 kg of (bull) testes (the average testicular supplement contains 1.5g).
The testes aren’t like the thyroid for example. The thyroid gland stores a large amount of its hormones, so when a hypothyroid individual takes desiccated thyroid, his own T4 and T3 go up. This is not the same with testicles.
#2 Oral testosterone has very poor bioavailability
When powdered testosterone is taken orally, most of it is cleared by the liver (about 7% bioavailability (R)). Meaning, the liver deactivates it and excretes it.
This is why pharma companies have created multiple oral testosterone formulations dissolved in oil so that it’s taken up by the lymphatic system, instead of going to the liver (increasing bioavailability to 97%).
Unmodified testosterone (like the one your testicular Leydig cells produce) has a half life of about 30 minutes. When it becomes modified by adding a fatty acid (e.g. testosterone undecanoate) the effects last about 6-12 hours. So, you still need 200-300mg x2 daily to get your own levels high enough to feel good.
200mg oral T increases your T to about 18nmol/L and 300mg increases it to 35nmol/L (1000ng/dl) (R).
Additionally, even with a 200-300mg (modified testosterone) dose that bypasses the liver, the testosterone formulation only increases your testosterone for up to 6 hours. Sucky I know.
#3 Testicles are a poor source of nutrients
Testicles are thought to be a good source of cholesterol, vitamins such as vitamins A and E, minerals such as zinc and amino acids such as taurine.
Based on this website from a company in central Australia that sell grass-fed beef testicle capsules: “It’s packed with vitamins A, D, E and K, Vitamin B12, and other vital nutrients. And it supports those with testicular problems.“
So their main argument why eating testicles is good is because it contains nutrients. I haven’t found 1 study examining the nutritional content of testes. But I can show you the nutritional content of other amazing foods, such as liver, eggs, oysters, kidney, dairy, etc. And I can guarantee you that the amount of nutrients you’d get from these foods are vastly superior to the amounts you would get in testes.
Beef liver is an excellent source of CoQ10 and other anti-oxidants, vitamin A, E, K2, and all the B vitamins as well as many other minerals, such as zinc, selenium, copper, etc. Bone marrow is extremely rich in vitamin E and K2. Dairy is high in almost every single nutrient as well as other beneficial fatty acids, such as odd-chain and branch-chain fatty acids. Same for eggs.
Eating testicles for the “nutrients” is a poor reason IMO.
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- Top 12 Foods for Higher Testosterone
- Make this food swap for higher testosterone
What about the supplement MOFO from Ancestral Supplements, which contains testes, heart, liver, prostate, and bone marrow?
Looks like the perfect combo based on what I wrote above, right? But again, the amounts of those organs found in that supplement are so small that it’s unlike to make a difference.
Unless you’re on a lab rat diet consisting only of casein, cornstarch, soy oil and a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with zero real foods, then yes. Otherwise, highly unlikely to make much of a difference.
In summary: Will eating bull testicles increase my testosterone?
Eating bull testicles, cooked or raw, will not increase testosterone. This is because it contains only trace amounts of testosterone, which the liver will detox immediately.
Even if the tiny amount of testosterone found in testicles did increase your testosterone a bit, it won’t even last for 1 hour. So it will not increase your baseline testosterone, which matters the most.
So what’s the point of eating testicles?
Clearly not for the fact that it might have a tiny amount of testosterone (or other sex hormones such as pregnenolone, DHEA, etc.).
Anyone who says it clearly doesn’t know (or is willingly ignoring the fact) that there aren’t any scientific studies to back up their claims.
I prefer to eat other highly nutrient-dense organ meats like liver and kidney. I’m not saying that it’s useless to eat testes (or that it has detrimental effects). But if your healthy diet is on point (the way I describe it), then adding testes is likely not going to do anything at all. It’s definitely not going to give you results anywhere close to anabolic steroids or even increase your testosterone compared to testosterone therapy.
A great diet plus natural testosterone boosters, such as Tongkat Ali, Ashwagandha, Shilajit, etc., are more likely to increase your own testosterone levels much more and higher compared to bull testes.
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