Unless you’re new to the health and personal development space, you’ve likely heard about how important testosterone is for everything from energy, metabolism, strength, and more.
This is for both men and women, but it’s especially important for men.
Kratom is a plant from Southeast Asia that contains a range of effects thanks to its two active alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine (7-HMG). It’s complex and nuanced substance, with benefits as well as risks.
We have written a lot about kratom and its potential uses to help improve focus, sleep, and more. You can see our full catalog of articles about kratom here.
But does kratom have a significant effect on testosterone?
Because kratom acts on the opioid receptors, and opiates like morphine have shown to decrease testosterone, it’s plausible that via a similar mechanism kratom could do the same.
Before looking at the available research studies on kratom and testosterone, first let’s look at probably the biggest data set on kratom: the millions of kratom users.
Many users say that in the short term, kratom improves sexual performance, by both improving libido and possibly even reducing premature ejaculation.
Over the long-term use, users report a lower libido and decreased sexual performance.
Again, though, this is just anecdotal, and it probably doesn’t inform us that much about kratom’s specific effects on testosterone.
If abused though, it could decrease testosterone. But if you’re abusing kratom testosterone will be the least of your concerns.
Fortunately, there are two studies we can turn to that look more specifically at kratom and testosterone.
A 2018 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology recruited 19 regular kratom users. They found that regular, long-term kratom use did not impair testosterone levels.
This was at a dose of 76-94mg of mitragynine per day. To translate this to grams of kratom, a typical gram of kratom has 12-21mg of mitragynine, according to a study of kratom products available in Japan.
You can run the numbers here based on your specific kratom products, which hopefully display their batch results and mitragynine content (if not, you should run for the hills and buy from a company that does.) A lot of kratom products will contain around 15-30mg of mitragynine which is the case with Hush kratom shots.
As a general recommendation try to stay under five grams of kratom.
Overall, this study suggests that relatively high, regular kratom use doesn’t impact testosterone.
This case study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in November 2021, looked at a 42-year-old man who reported decreased libido after regularly taking kratom.
This phenomenon appears to be consistent with anecdotal reports. Even though in the short term people use kratom to improve libido and sexual function, over the long term it may decrease.
They used this opportunity to measure other hormones, and they found elevated levels of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone typically associated with milk production in women, but men have prolactin too. Hyperprolactinemia in males is typically associated with lower testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction.
However, this is the first, and so far the only, case that has associated kratom use with hyperprolactinemia.
Since kratom is a highly controversial and politicized substance, more research is the clearest route to not only learn more about the nuances of its effects, but also to keep it legal for those who it can support in the right contexts.
Based on the limited research we have and a vast array of anecdotal reports, it seems that kratom probably doesn’t have drastic effects on testosterone, but over the long-term and with overuse, it likely negatively impacts sexual performance and libido.
This may change of course as we hopefully get more research, but of the potential negative effects of kratom, testosterone probably won’t be one of the main concerns.
Because kratom is unregulated in the US, it’s absolutely crucial that you buy it from a place that displays the test results and alkaloid content of their kratom, and are third-party tested.
This is for a few reasons.
First, kratom has had contamination problems in the US. Third-party testing greatly reduces this risk.
Second, testing ensures that you know how much mitragynine you’re consuming. You can run the numbers based on the kratom you buy, or if you buy an extract product, you’ll know that the mitragynine content on the label is what you’re actually getting.
To that, we only recommend one kratom company: Viable Kratom. They are GMP-approved, third-party tested, display their test results, and are completely transparent with their manufacturing facilities and practices.
So if you use kratom, take out some of those risks and headaches and buy it from Viable.