Does Apigenin Increase Testosterone?

Does Apigenin Increase Testosterone?

Testosterone is important in overall fitness and health due to its crucial role in muscle growth, energy levels, and overall vitality. Unfortunately, as we age and due to lifestyle factors, the production of this male sex hormone begins to decline.

Numerous substances and compounds have been scrutinized for their ability to influence testosterone production. One such compound that has piqued the interest of researchers and enthusiasts alike is apigenin, a flavonoid found in various fruits and vegetables, particularly parsley, celery, and chamomile.

This article delves into the existing research to determine whether apigenin holds the potential to increase testosterone levels.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testes in men and in smaller amounts in the ovaries in women. It plays a pivotal role in the development of secondary sexual characteristics in males, such as increased muscle mass, bone density, and facial hair growth. Testosterone also influences libido, mood, and overall well-being in both men and women.

What is Apigenin?

Apigenin is a naturally occurring plant compound belonging to the flavonoid class of polyphenols. It is found abundantly in fruits, vegetables, and herbs, particularly parsley, celery, chamomile, and certain types of peppers. Flavonoids like apigenin are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to their numerous health benefits.

But what is its role in increasing testosterone levels?

Apigenin Benefits for Testosterone

Proponents of apigenin supplementation suggest that it may stimulate testosterone production or inhibit its breakdown, thereby leading to increased levels of this hormone in the body. While research in this area is still emerging and somewhat limited, several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how apigenin may influence testosterone levels:

Stimulation of Leydig Cell Activity

Leydig cells are located in the testes and are responsible for producing testosterone. Some studies suggest that apigenin may stimulate the activity of these cells, leading to increased testosterone synthesis. For example, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that apigenin significantly increased testosterone production in mouse Leydig cells. This finding suggests that apigenin may directly stimulate steroidogenesis, the process by which testosterone is synthesized within Leydig cells. However, it's important to note that this study was conducted on mice, and further research is needed to confirm these findings in human subjects.

Inhibition of Aromatase Activity

Aromatase is an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen. By inhibiting aromatase activity, apigenin may help maintain higher levels of testosterone in the body. Elevated estrogen levels relative to testosterone can lead to hormonal imbalances and may negatively impact various aspects of health, including muscle growth and libido.

The effects of apigenin on inhibiting aromatase activity are evident in the literature. For example, research suggests apigenin acts as an estrogen receptor agonist and inhibits aromatase enzymes. Elevated levels of estrogen due to increased aromatase activity can contribute to the growth and progression of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers. By inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, apigenin can decrease estrogen production within breast tissue, potentially limiting estrogen-driven tumor growth.

Apigenin's ability to treat hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer patients demonstrates its potential to modulate hormone signaling pathways, including estrogen receptors and aromatase enzyme activity. This dual action not only addresses breast cancer pathology but also suggests its capacity to influence hormonal balance, including the regulation of testosterone levels.

Reduction of Stress and Inflammation

Chronic stress and inflammation can suppress testosterone production and disrupt hormonal balance in the body. Research suggests apigenin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

By mitigating these factors, apigenin could indirectly support healthy testosterone levels. However, the specific impact of apigenin on stress-related testosterone suppression requires further investigation.

Enhancement of Gonadotropin Release

Gonadotropins are hormones produced by the pituitary gland that stimulate the activity of the testes and ovaries. Research suggests that apigenin may influence gonadotropin release, thereby indirectly affecting testosterone production.

However, the precise mechanisms by which apigenin interacts with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, which regulates sex hormone production, remain to be fully elucidated.

Other Apigenin Benefits

  • Antioxidant Effects: Apigenin exhibits potent antioxidant activity, scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the body.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: It has been shown to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions.
  • Neuroprotective Potential: Apigenin may have neuroprotective effects, protecting against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Research suggests that apigenin may contribute to heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, and improving blood vessel function.
  • Digestive Health: Some studies indicate that apigenin may support digestive health by promoting gut microbiota balance and exerting anti-inflammatory effects in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Anti-Cancer Properties: Apigenin has been investigated for its potential to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), and interfere with various stages of cancer development and progression.
  • Skin Health: Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, apigenin may benefit skin health by protecting against UV-induced damage, reducing inflammation associated with skin conditions, and promoting wound healing.
  • Reducing Anxiety and Depression: Apigenin holds promise as a natural remedy for reducing anxiety and depression through its modulation of neurotransmitter activity, anti-inflammatory effects, and neuroprotective properties.

How is Apigenin Consumed?

Apigenin, as a naturally occurring compound found in various plant-based foods, can be consumed through dietary sources or as an apigenin supplement. Here are some common ways apigenin is consumed:

Dietary Intake

Apigenin is present in a variety of food sources, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Foods rich in apigenin include parsley, celery, thyme, oregano, oranges, grapefruit, and onions. Incorporating these foods into your diet can provide a natural source of apigenin.

Herbal Teas

Chamomile tea is one of the most popular herbal teas that contain apigenin. Brewing chamomile tea and consuming it regularly can be an enjoyable way to incorporate apigenin into your daily routine.

Apigenin Supplements

Apigenin supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. These supplements are typically standardized to contain specific amounts of apigenin per serving. They offer a convenient way to ensure consistent intake of apigenin, especially for individuals who may not consume sufficient amounts through dietary sources alone.

NMN Bio adds 50 mg of apigenin per serving to its NAD+ Brain supplement. As well as support for testosterone level, the supplement has great benefits for alleviating stress, slowing down aging in the brain, and improving focus and concentration. The NAD+ Brain is the proprietary blend of 12 ingredients that can help enhance performance over 30, developed by a scientist. Available as a standalone supplement, or combined with NMN for cellular energy, and TMG to reduce fatigue as a Morning Bundle, a perfect addition to your pre-workout stack!

Final Thoughts: Does Apigenin Increase Testosterone Production?

Apigenin emerges as a multifaceted compound with numerous therapeutic benefits, ranging from its potential to boost testosterone levels to its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anticancer properties.

While research into the effects of the naturally occurring flavonoid on testosterone production continues to evolve, preliminary findings suggest promising avenues for further investigation. For example, its role in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer treatment underscores its versatility in modulating hormone signaling pathways. Additionally, the potential of apigenin to alleviate anxiety and depression expands its repertoire as a natural remedy for mood disorders.

Whether consumed through dietary sources or supplements, apigenin intake appears to offer a holistic approach to wellness, supporting various aspects of physical and mental health. As scientific inquiry delves deeper into the intricacies of apigenin's mechanisms of action, its therapeutic potential is poised to shape future advancements in preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Discover NMN Bio's NAD+ Brain. Experience reduced stress, enhanced cognitive function, and support for testosterone levels. Elevate your mental and hormonal well-being naturally.

Researched and reviewed by Dr Elena Seranova, Ph.D.

Dr Seranova holds a master's degree in Translational Neuroscience from the University of Sheffield, UK, and a Ph.D in Stem Cell Biology and Autophagy from the University of Birmingham, UK. She is a published author in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including Cell Reports and Developmental Cell.


Mushtaq et al. Therapeutical properties of apigenin: a review on the experimental evidence and basic mechanisms. International Journal of Food Properties. (2023)

Li et al. Effects of apigenin on steroidogenesis and steroidogenic acute regulatory gene expression in mouse Leydig cells. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. (2011)

Tascioglu Aliyev et al. In vitro evaluation of estrogenic, antiestrogenic and antitumor effects of amentoflavone. Human & Experimental Toxicology. (2021)