Effects of chrysin on urinary testosterone levels in human males

J Med Food. 2003 Winter;6(4):387-90. doi: 10.1089/109662003772519967.


The equilibrium of sexual hormones in both sexes is controlled in vertebrates by the enzyme aromatase, a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily, which catalyzes the conversion of androstenedione and testosterone into estrone and estradiol, respectively. Flavonoids are diphenolic compounds present in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that are strongly implicated as protective in coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. One flavonoid, chrysin, found in high concentrations in honey and propolis, has been shown to be an inhibitor of aromatase enzyme activity. These foods are often used as supplements, particulary by sportsmen for their energetic and antioxidant properties. The aim of this study was to verify if daily treatment for 21 days with propolis and honey, containing chrysin, would modify urinary concentrations of testosterone in volunteer male subjects. In fact, aromatase inhibition by chrysin could block the conversion of androgens into estrogens with a consequent increase of testosterone, eventually measurable in urine samples. The obtained data did not show alterations of the levels of testosterone in the volunteers after 7, 14, and 21 days of treatment in comparison with baseline values and compared with measurements on the control subjects at the same time. In conclusion, the use of these foods for 21 days at the doses usually taken as oral supplementation does not have effects on the equilibrium of testosterone in human males.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Androgen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Aromatase Inhibitors*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Honey
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Propolis / chemistry
  • Testosterone / urine*


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • chrysin
  • Testosterone
  • Propolis