Boys, if you’re a big fan of beer, we’ve got bad news for you.
The hops used in your favorite drink could be giving you man boobs.
That’s because hops contain a high amount of phytoestrogen — a plant-derived chemical that is similar to the female sex hormone estrogen.
Got your attention yet?
Several studies have shown that these tasty little hops can have an estrogenic effect on a man’s body.
To put it another way, it boosts the levels of female sex hormones in your body.
The plants are commonly used as an herbal remedy for menopause for the same reason.
It is thought to help reduce hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and other symptoms that come with menopause. It’s like an herbal hormone replacement therapy.
But in men, increased levels of estrogen can result in man boobs.
Man boobs, or “moobs,” are usually caused by a medical condition called gynecomastia.
It can be caused by a hormone imbalance or a buildup of fatty tissue around the breast area.
The most common hormone imbalance that causes moobs is, you guessed it, too much estrogen.
Hops are commonly used in a variety of herbal remedies for conditions like insomnia and menopause, and are a natural diuretic to help improve the flow of pee.
There is even some suggestion that hops could help stimulate the flow of breast milk and treat a prolonged, painful erection.
All of these are down to the plant’s estrogen-like properties.
But according to Buster Grant, head brewer and managing director of Brecon Brewery and chairman of the Society of Independent Brewers, you’re more likely to get moobs from a lack of exercise.
He told the Sun Online: “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 man boobs seems 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.
That’s because the hormone starts to outweigh testosterone, the male sex hormone.
Testosterone is responsible for a man’s libido, muscle mass, sperm production and keeps the tissue in the penis in working order.
Men with low testosterone levels often experience erectile dysfunction, which can also lead to a range of other illnesses including depression and anxiety.
A healthy balance of estrogen and testosterone levels in the body is required for a man to get and maintain an erection.
Low levels of testosterone can also lead to infertility as the hormone is responsible for maintaining healthy sperm.
If your swimmers aren’t healthy, it makes it much harder for you and your partner to conceive.
But don’t panic and pledge sobriety for the rest of your life just yet.
You’d 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.”[Source]