Men, if you are a big fan of beer, we have some bad news for you. You could be getting man boobs from the hops used in your favorite drink.
Because hops contain a high amount of phytoestrogen, a plant-derived chemical similar to the female sex hormone estrogen.
Several studies have shown that these hops can have an estrogenic effect on a man’s body. It boosts the levels of female sex hormones in your body.
These are the same plants commonly used as an herbal remedy for menopause. The plant is believed to help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that come with menopause. It is very similar to an herbal hormone replacement therapy.
However, in men, increased levels of estrogen can result in man boobs.
Man boobs, or “moobs,” are usually caused by a medical condition called gynecomastia caused by a hormone imbalance or a buildup of fatty tissue around the breast area. The most common hormone imbalance that causes moobs is estrogen.
Hops are commonly used in herbal remedies for conditions such as insomnia and menopause and are a natural diuretic to help improve the flow of pee. It has even been suggested that hops could help stimulate the flow of breast milk and treat a prolonged, painful erection.
According to Buster Grant, head brewer and managing director of Brecon Brewery and Chairman of the Society of Independent Brewers, you are more likely to get moobs from a lack of exercise.
He said: “It is dependent on the hop variety, some have more than others. In the end, we are talking about tiny, tiny amounts that are coming through in a pint of beer. It’s not something I would particularly worry about as a beer drinker or a brewer.
It is an interesting concept, but I think the reality is you are more likely to develop moobs from a lack of exercise rather than the estrogen in the beer.”
While moobs seem like a small price to pay for a couple of drinks, there are long-term effects that may have you reaching for another type of drink. High levels of estrogen in men can lead to a reduced sex drive and impotence because the hormone starts to outweigh testosterone, the male sex hormone.
Men with low testosterone levels often experience erectile dysfunction, which can also lead to other illnesses including depression and anxiety. Testosterone is responsible for a man’s libido, muscle mass, sperm production and keeps the tissue in the penis in working order.
It is necessary for men to have a healthy balance of estrogen and testosterone levels in their body for a man to get and maintain an erection. With low levels of testosterone, it can also lead to infertility as the hormone is responsible for maintaining healthy sperm.
You would have to be drinking excessive amounts of beer in order to boost your estrogen levels enough to cause problems in the bedroom.
“Realistically the amount of beer that you would need to drink would be astonishing,” Grant added.
“My understanding of it is you would almost need to drown in it before you would start to see any effect. If we are talking about the amount of hop in the average beer, you are into thousandths of a part of a percent, probably less than. Hops are essentially just a flavoring.”
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