Luteolin and Testosterone

Luteolin and Testosterone

Have you heard of luteolin?

I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t as it is not often talked or even read about, especially concerning its relationship with hormones.

However, this could be one of the best kept secrets.

LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben.

Luteolin and hormones

Having scoured the internet, there seems to be very little information regarding luteolin and its effect on the male sex hormone; testosterone.

Now, we find this rather strange.

There’s plenty of information trying to steer us towards nutrients such as tribulus and Longjack.

However, there’s very little to no scientific evidence proving they encourage more testosterone.

So what is it about luteolin that means it has been kept in the shade?

Because, there’s some hard evidence that proves it can help your body increase and maintain testosterone levels.

Does Luteolin Boost Testosterone?

Luteolin works in two ways. It can suppress estrogen and fight antioxidants.

This is a win-win scenario.

Here’s how it works.

Estrogen blocker

Luteolin is a flavanoid that is commonly found in a variety of plants, fruits and vegetables which have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.

More recently it has since been discovered that luteolin can block aromatase enzymes.

It is known that these enzymes convert testosterone in to estrogen, which is the female sex hormone.

Luteolin is able to do this because this flavanoids interferes with the production of estrogens.

This is because flavanoids with 5,7-dihydroxy substituents such as luteolin [1] are able to block the aromatase of testosterone to estrogens. [2] [3]

The side effects of too much estrogen are listed below [4]:

– Cardiovascular risks

There’s evidence that if you are at risk from dying of a heart attack, this risk could be elevated with too much estrogen.

– Bone Density

Your bones can become less dense, more brittle and at a higher risk of fracture.

– Change of mood

Yes, you can start to feel more depressed and feel more irritable, or your mood can be less stable.

– Cognitive decline

Unfortunately an unbalance of your hormones can result in a deterioration of brain function.

This can result in memory loss or just becoming more forgetful.

– Body composition

One of the benefits of high testosterone levels is a reduction in body fat plus an increase of lean muscle.

Guess what too much estrogen does? Yes, the exact opposite.

– Sexual dysfunction

This includes difficulty in getting erections, sexual desire plus an increased risk of infertility.

– Breast development

You can start to notice fat tissues developing under the nipple area.

This is known as gynecomastia or gyno for short.


So, in short, we need to reduce the amount of estrogen to prevent these unwanted side effects.

This is doubly true because if there’s a rise of estrogen, this creates a hormone imbalance which means testosterone has fallen.

Therefore, the primary function of luteolin is to stop a surge of estrogen which would harm testosterone levels.

So, we have seen that luteolin blocks the enzymes which convert testosterone to estrogen, how does it increase testosterone?

lutoelin testosterone artichoke

Luteolin as an antioxidant

Studies demonstrate that antioxidants harm testosterone and fertility. [5]

When the leydig cells are subject to oxidative stress is can reduce the production and secretion of naturally occurring testosterone. [6]

In addition, it as been identified that there is a common prevalence among middle aged men whereby they are suffering from chronic oxidative stress which is coupled with low testosterone.

During the ageing process the leydig cells are exposed to more oxidative stress which damages the leydig cells inhibiting testosterone levels.

Qualified research dictates that low levels testosterone also decrease the amount of antioxidants which protect the testes from free radicals. [7]

Therefore, we are stuck in a viscous circle.

-> Low testosterone

-> Increased oxidative stress

-> Further reduction of testosterone

As a result, it is important to protect the function of the testes from free radicals with antioxidants.

This is exactly where luteolin comes in to play.

Luteolin is one of the most common flavonoids and play an important role in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

This is because luteolin possesses pharmacological constituents which fight oxidative stress and inflammation. [8]

Furthermore, the reduction of inflammation is important, because chronic and acute inflammation reduces testosterone production.

As a result inflammation reduces the function of the leydig cells, these cells are controlled by luteinizing hormone which is directly responsible for testosterone secretion. [9]

luteolin is found in celery

Further Benefits

Due to its protective qualities as a aromatase inhibitor, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, luteolin is under the spotlight for its health benefits.

This has steered it towards a treatment for cancers, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases such as arthritis obesity and cardiovascular disease. [10]


It seems that luteloin’s ability to fight cancer is because it can kill cells and prevent further cell growth. [11]

It is also able to suppress tumor growth and development.

This evidence suggest that luteolin has an ever increasing role in cancer treatment.

Organ Protection

As already mentioned, luteolin protects the male sexual organs from inflammation and oxidative stress.

However, it seems luteloin has a role in further organ protection, such as the brain, liver and kidney. [12]

Moreover, this protection has led to a reduction in the number of seizures suffered by epileptics.


Studies have highlighted that the flavonoids contained within luteolin have a positive impact on autism when tested on children. [13]

“…gains in eye contact, attention and social interaction according to parental reports…” 

Sources of luteolin

So, with all of these benefits in mind, where can we get enough luteolin from?

Fortunately, they are freely available in foods.

So look out for the following and include them in your diet:

  • Olive oil
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Lentils
  • Olives
  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli
  • Onion leaves
  • French bean
  • Celery
  • White radish

Side Effects

Luteolin displays many beneficial anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, estrogen inhibition and neuro-protective markers.

This translates to helping those suffering from chronic diseases, autism and even low testosterone.

Equally important, these therapeutic effects are met with little to no adverse side effects. [14]

Luteolin Video Review

Take Home

Our first questions was how luteolin effects levels of testosterone.

It has been established that luteolin protects the function of the testes by harnessing its anti-oxidant effects.

It also contributes to hormone balance by preventing the aromatase enzymes from converting precious testosterone to estrogen.

However, further research in to luteolin has also unearthed its other qualities.

It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that can kill cells to treat cancer while being able to improve the condition of autism in children.

All of this protective power from a variety of natural plant, nuts and fruit sources.

This benefit comes with little to no unwanted side effects.

Final words

Therefore, it is prudent to ensure that you either supplement with luteolin or enrich your diet with the foods sources available.



[2] Spectral perturbation of human microsomal cytochrome P-450 by flavonoid binding. Moochhala SM, Loke KH, Das NP. Biochem Int. 1988 Oct;17(4):755-62.

[3] Inhibitory effect of luteolin on estrogen biosynthesis in human ovarian granulosa cells by suppression of aromatase (CYP19). Lu DF, Yang LJ, Wang F, Zhang GL. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 29;60(34):8411-8. doi: 10.1021/jf3022817. Epub 2012 Aug 20. PMID: 22838964


[5] Antioxidant supplements and semen parameters: An evidence based review. Ahmadi S, Bashiri R, Ghadiri-Anari A, Nadjarzadeh A. Int J Reprod Biomed (Yazd). 2016 Dec;14(12):729-736. Review. PMID: 28066832 


[7] Increase of glutathione, testosterone and antioxidant effects of Jurenia dolomiaea on CCl4 induced testicular toxicity in rat. Shah NA, Khan MR. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Apr 8;17(1):206. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1718-z. PMID: 28390404

[8] Distribution and biological activities of the flavonoid luteolin. López-Lázaro M. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2009 Jan;9(1):31-59. Review. PMID: 19149659

[9] Endotoxin-initiated inflammation reduces testosterone production in men of reproductive age. Tremellen K, McPhee N, Pearce K, Benson S, Schedlowski M, Engler H. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Mar 1;314(3):E206-E213. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00279.2017. Epub 2017 Nov 28. PMID: 29183872 

[10] Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of luteolin. Seelinger G, Merfort I, Schempp CM. Planta Med. 2008 Nov;74(14):1667-77. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1088314. Epub 2008 Oct 20. Review. PMID: 18937165

[11] Cheng A-C, Huang T-C, Lai C-S, Pan M-H. Induction of apoptosis by luteolin through cleavage of Bcl-2 family in human leukemia HL-60 cells. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2005;509:1–10.




Testosterone and Luteolin
Article Name
Testosterone and Luteolin
We look at luteolin and how is may be able to effect hormones

Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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