Does Chrysin Increase Your Testosterone Levels?

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

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Many supplements claim to boost physical performance or testosterone levels. While some nutrients do improve masculinity and testosterone levels, others do not. This article will explain the science behind chrysin.

Is this compound that is found in foods, supplements, and testosterone gels a real boost to your T level? Does it provide the solution you seek? 

This article will take a closer look at the topic. 

What is Chrysin?

In passion flowers, honeycombs and chamomiles you can find chysin. This nutrient is also found in propolis, a sticky substance similar to glue that bees make use of when building hives. 

This is a flavonoid, a plant chemical that occurs naturally. It contains several bioactive substances. 

After being extracted, the chrysin is a supplement which has been reported to boost testosterone and bodybuilding. 

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The Health Benefits of Flavonoids

Foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids. Plants get their vibrant, bright colors from flavonoids. They also have antioxidant properties that support the health of plants. 

Since years, studies have shown that flavones improve health markers. In 2004, for instance, a study reported that flavonoids can provide anti-inflammatory benefits and reduce the risk [1] of: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Gastritis
  • Infections bacterial

One research article states that "flavonoids exhibit a variety of hormone and nonhormonal actions in animals or vitro. This suggests potential health benefits for humans of diets high in these compounds." [2]. 

Testosterone Link

The primary hormone for males, testosterone performs a variety of vital functions. It controls muscle mass, physical strength and performance. It is a special androgen that helps to maintain health, stamina and vigor. 

The female hormone estradiol is produced when some of your testosterone converts to estrogen. Why? It's just to keep the T level from getting too high. The enzyme aromatase controls this reaction. 

It is the aromatase that controls how much testosterone from men converts to estrogen. This enzyme is crucial in determining when and how much testosterone is converted. 

When estrogen levels rise, T will fall and T will decrease if aromatase overactivates. If you have estrogen overactivity, your body will start taking on female traits like losing hair or developing man boobs. 

When aromatase activity is reduced, testosterone can flourish. This means that you will have more muscle mass and strength as well as better sexual and physical performance. Bonus. 

Aromatase and chrysin

According to some, chrysin inhibits aromatase. This may be why it helps maintain high levels of T. 

Even bodybuilders have claimed that it is the next big thing. 

Does research support this or is flavonoid a supplement that's been over-hyped? Take a closer look. 

What are the studies - Does Chrysin inhibit Aromatase enzyme?

In the early 1980s, a report was published that suggested certain flavones could be used as aromatase inhibitors. Chrysin, although not the strongest of all flavonoids, was among them. 

This study was a grandiose claim, claiming that flavones can boost testosterone as much or more than steroids. 

Naturally, this led manufacturers of supplements for bodybuilding to jump on board. The test was a synthetic tube test. 

Human studies

The first human trials were not released until 2000 [4]. The study was published in International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and asked a group of men to follow an 8-week program of weight training. The men were either given a placebo, or a stack of 300 mg chrysin with other herbs. 

Both groups experienced an increase in strength over the course of the research (as expected), with no differences between the groups. The free testosterone or the total amount of testosterone did not change between groups. 

A similar trial on humans was performed in 2003 [5]. This study asked male volunteers to consume propolis and honey containing 55mg chrysin over a 21-day period. Researchers wanted to know if the honey and propolis would have an effect on their testosterone levels in urine. 

Even after 21 days, the data showed no changes, so it was considered ineffective. 

Why is the quality of human research so low?

It's important to understand the difference between what is found in a Petri dish and how it behaves in the body. 

Bioavailability is the biggest factor. It is how much nutrients are absorbed by human tissue. 

The bioavailability is quite low when chrysin has been isolated. The chrysin concentration is less than 1%, with the other 99% metabolized by enzymes before a chance for it to work [6]. 

Word of Warning

Chrysin is not only ineffective, but it can also have unwanted side effects like a reduced ability to heal wounds. It is a concern to those with blood clotting problems or who are waiting for an operation. 

This can also interfere with thyroid function, by blocking an enzyme known as deiodinase that regulates metabolism. It can cause weight gain, metabolic problems and even death. 

Conclusion: Is Chrysin a T-Booster Effective?

It's not. It's not only a flavonoid that is understudied but the available studies show it does not increase testosterone levels in humans. 

Chrysin, a supplement that was developed after petri-dish research and without waiting for proper clinical tests, is an example where manufacturers jumped on board the bandwagon. 

We recommend that you steer clear of chrysin and instead focus on other high-quality supplements.

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References
1. Yao, LH et al. Flavonoids in Food and Their Health Benefits. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2004; 59: 113‚Äď122
2. Cassidy, A et al. Review: Isoflavones, lignans and stilbenes‚ÄĒorigins, metabolism and potential importance to human health. J Sci Food Agric. 2000; 80: 1044‚Äď1062
3. Kellis, JT et al. Inhibition of human estrogen synthetase (aromatase) by flavones. Science. 1984; 225(4666): 1032-1034
4. Brown, GA et al. Effects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000; 10(3): 340-59
5. Gambelunghe, C et al. Effects of chrysin on urinary testosterone levels in human males. J Med Food. 2003; 6(4): 387-90
6. Saarinen N, et al. No evidence for the in vivo activity of aromatase-inhibiting flavonoids . Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2001; 51(2): 143-6