Androgen hormones are produced by the adrenal glands and reproductive organs in both men and women, and are responsible for male physical characteristics. These hormones are converted into testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, its active form, explains the Merck Manual. Excess androgen levels may occur with certain medical conditions. The University of Maryland Medical Center lists these to include polycystic ovarian disease in females, ovarian or adrenal glands tumors that secrete excessive androgen, hirsutism or excess hair growth and Cushing syndrome. In men, reducing androgen hormones helps to treat benign prostate enlargement, prostate cancer and in some cases male infertility.
Soy plant proteins are found in soybeans, tofu, soy oil and soy milk. A study published in 2003 in the Journal of Perinatal Education reports that these proteins contain phytoestrogens and isoflavones, which help to balance high levels of androgen hormones. Soy proteins also contain essential amino acids, calcium, potassium, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids.
Green tea is popularly consumed for its antioxidant benefits. It is also thought to have weight loss and improved metabolism effects, and raise insulin sensitivity of the muscles and tissues. A study published in the medical journal "Endocrinology" notes that green tea contains the antioxidant phytochemicals polyphenols and flavonoids, which help to balance the production of androgen hormones.
Red clover is a herbal food supplement that helps to treat symptoms of menopause by balancing hormone levels. The medical publication "The Prostate" reports a study that states that red clover contains anti-androgenic compounds such as isoflavone that reduce androgens. However, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Balanced Diet to Reduce Androgens
The Mayo Clinic recommends an active lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet with more foods that are low in saturated fats such as raw, fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, whole wheat and barley. Eating too many simple carbohydrates and sugars cause your body to release higher levels of the hormone insulin, which in turn stimulates further androgen production. Additionally, eating a balanced diet helps you to lose weight and deplete fat stores that produce androgen hormones.