People have used Kratom for a wide range of medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational applications for thousands of years in Southeast Asia, but it has only started gaining popularity in North America and Europe over the last two decades.
This discrepancy explains why there is so much confusion among the general population about the short and long-term effects of Kratom use. One area riddled with potential misinformation is the relationship between Kratom consumption and hormone regulation. More specifically, whether or not Kratom consumption can affect testosterone levels.
To help clear up some of the confusion, we explore studies to see if Kratom can lower, or even increase, testosterone levels!
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is one of the primary hormones found in humans and other animals. The amount of testosterone found in the body may differ between the sexes, and levels are much higher in men.
In males, testosterone regulates a wide range of functions in the mind and body, including controlling sex drive.1 It also plays a vital role in the development of masculine physical characteristics, especially during puberty.
The Effects of Testosterone Loss
As men age, testosterone levels naturally decrease.2 Given that testosterone helps regulate a wide range of important functions, like sex drive, fat distribution, muscle size and strength, and red blood cell production, the loss of testosterone can have a major impact on the body.
Not only can testosterone loss affect a person’s mood and physical characteristics, but it can also trigger the development of a wide range of diseases, including various types of cancer. This is why it is so important that people, especially men, make sure their testosterone levels remain at healthy levels.
Why Do People Believe Kratom Impacts Testosterone Levels?
There may have been anecdotal claims that Kratom ingestion can impact sex drive and energy levels. Those who believe this might claim that this is because Kratom lowers testosterone temporarily.
Despite the claims, there is no scientific evidence supporting a connection between Kratom ingestion and libido.
Another reason why some people may believe that Kratom ingestion could impact testosterone levels might be due to the fact that many people begin taking Kratom to help them get over opioid addiction and opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Unfortunately, many people who suffer from opioid addiction also suffer from opioid-induced androgen deficiency (OPIAD). A potential side effect of OPIAD is decreased testosterone.3 So, what is being blamed on Kratom could instead be attributed to their previous opioid addiction, the very thing they are taking Kratom to overcome.
Related: Can Kratom Cause Hair Loss?
Is There a Scientific Connection Between Kratom Use & Testosterone Levels?
As mentioned earlier, there has not yet been any scientific evidence linking Kratom use to a reduction of testosterone levels in the body. There is still plenty to learn about this incredible plant and the natural products derived from its leaves, but as of now, there is no proof that its ingestion can impact testosterone levels.
2018 Scientific Study on the Topic
In 2018, researchers from the Universiti Sains Malaysia and the University of Florida teamed up to study the relationship between Kratom use and testosterone levels.4 The stated purpose of the study was to clinically investigate testosterone levels following long-term Kratom tea/juice use to determine whether or not there was a link.
According to the results, there was no link between Kratom ingestion and testosterone levels in humans. The research involved studying 19 regular Kratom users over two years. During the study, the researchers monitored participants’ testosterone levels regularly.
After two years of research, the results showed that sustained ingestion of large doses of Kratom (between 76.23 and 94.15mg per day) did not impair or impact testosterone levels. As a control measure, the study also included female participants.
What Are Some of the Effects of Kratom That Would Make People Believe it Impacts Testosterone Levels?
As previously mentioned, some of the effects of Kratom use may mimic some of the common symptoms of increased and decreased testosterone, which is part of the reason why many people have grown to believe that Kratom impacts testosterone levels, as well as levels of other hormones in the body.
Reduced Energy Levels
For example, some Red Vein Kratom strains in moderately high doses might create a state of relaxation, which explains why so many people ingest this type of Kratom to relax, unwind, and manage their stress levels.
Some people even report to use these strains as a sleep aid. Given that one of the primary symptoms of low testosterone is reduced energy levels, it makes sense that some would suspect Kratom ingestion was affecting their testosterone levels.
Increased Energy Levels
On the other hand, people may often take White Vein Kratom for its energizing effects on the mind and body. People report to ingest this strain as a stimulant. Just as low testosterone is associated with reduced energy levels, high testosterone levels are often linked with high energy levels and wakefulness.
What is the Truth?
While some of the effects of Kratom ingestion are reminiscent of both low and high testosterone levels, for now, the science simply does not show a link.
Of course, research about this plant is still fairly limited at this moment in time. It is possible and hopeful that we will learn more about the specific interactions of Kratom on our hormones as this area is studied further.
If you are interested in learning more about Kratom, it is important to understand that many of the things you will hear may be myths and misconceptions. Doing your own research is vital.
It is also essential to purchase your Kratom and Kratom extracts from a trustworthy retailer that only carries high-quality Kratom products from reputable suppliers, so you can at least rest assured you’re not being harmed by unwanted contaminants.
1. Corona G, Maggi M. The role of testosterone in male sexual function. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2022 Dec;23(6):1159-1172. doi: 10.1007/s11154-022-09748-3. Epub 2022 Aug 23. PMID: 35999483; PMCID: PMC9789013.
2. Stanworth RD, Jones TH. Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):25-44. doi: 10.2147/cia.s190. PMID: 18488876; PMCID: PMC2544367.
3. Marudhai S, Patel M, Valaiyaduppu Subas S, Ghani MR, Busa V, Dardeir A, Cancarevic I. Long-term Opioids Linked to Hypogonadism and the Role of Testosterone Supplementation Therapy. Cureus. 2020 Oct 5;12(10):e10813. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10813. PMID: 33173622; PMCID: PMC7645309.
4. Singh D, Murugaiyah V, Sahul Hamid SB, Kasinather V, Chan MSA, Ho ETW, Grundmann O, Chear NJY, Mansor SM. (2018). Assessment of gonadotropins and testosterone hormone levels in regular Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) users. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 219, 55-60. PMID: 29626673, DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2018.04.005.