Are flaxseeds really ok for men?

Hi there. Just bought my first two bags of Huel and I was delighted until I read about flaxseeds. I actually did not go with Soylent because of the estrogen found in soy, and I thought Huel would be ok, but it actually has even more.

I know Huel is addressing this issue in their FAQ. Apparently, the phytoestrogens found in flax are not a threat to our male hormone inbalance (testosterone).

But after hours of research, I was able to see that the case is not settled among the scientific community. Some say, with studies in their hand, that flaxseeds and soy increase the amount of estrogen in your body. Some say it blocks them.

Some studies show that women and men who’ve been on a flax seeds diet have seen decreased amounts of testosterone, especially DHT, the most available form of testosterone in the body.

As a man trying to gain muscle, I wanted to have 2500 calories a day from Huel. That’s A LOT of flaxseeds, and way above the recommended amount of phytoestrogens a day.

I still have concerns about this and they’re legitimate. Does anybody have real proof that it’s not going to be a problem? Or that it’s going to be? If I can’t put my doubts at rest, I will have to return my bags and not use Huel. I don’t want to eat something on which I have doubts about its effects on my body.

Thank you

This study is a meta-analysis that looks at all papers up to 2008 (it was released in 2009) and analyses whether or not the overall results show a significant effect of soy and isoflavones on testosterone level. In the words of their conclusion, “The results of this meta-analysis indicate that neither soy protein nor isoflavones affect reproductive hormone concentrations in men regardless of age or cancer status. Although the duration of most trials was <6 months, soy protein and isoflavone intake greatly exceeded typical dietary Japanese intake (2. These results suggest that consumption of soy foods or isoflavone supplements would not result in the adverse effects associated with lower T levels (31, 32, 33). Conversely, these data also suggest that lowering either free T or T is not a likely mechanism for the proposed role of soy in reducing prostate cancer risk”.

I haven’t been able to find a similar meta-analysis for flaxseeds, but bearing in mind that is also a case of phytoestrogens (same as with soy) and soy doesn’t have an impact, I’m pretty sure there’s no issue at all. Additionally, I browse these message boards quite often and I don’t recall seeing anyone posting about having testosterone issues whilst on Huel (though I may have missed something, so it may be wise to use the search function).

I appreciate your help. In most studies, it seems that the dosage makes a difference. Under 30g of flaxseeds it has no effect. But since I intend to get around 60g a day, I still don’t know if I can trust this product…

Can’t comment on any of the science stuff, but Huel is fine for gaining while lifting. Anyone who tells you otherwise is looking for excuses.


Well, this is my area of expertise! :slight_smile:

I do various Work for/with the TDC (testosterone deficiency centre) amongst other things such as article writing, and working with YouTuber and TRTHub owner/creater Paolo Broccardo.

Currently there is limited evidence to suggest Flaxseeds are estrogenic in men, most of the studies currently out there are done in women with PCOS, there is some evidence that they can ‘potentially’ very slightly lower DHT levels, but I doubt this is anything worth getting excited over. Do bare in mind Green tea can do the same, as can various vegetables and fruits.

The soya debate is another separate story, contrary to what I’ve previously said in the past, I have actually found some very limited evidence that soya can Increase aromatase, very slightly in high quantitys, However when soya protein is isolated, in the form of powders etc, most of the phytoestrogens end up getting removed! So I’d just suggest to be mindful over the quantity consumed, but not necessarily avoid it. I’ve used it with no issues as have many others, although I do now tend to avoid where possible.

Another point going back to flax is the huge benefits it has to ones arterial health, and think about what that means for us men? That’s right, better erections! So it’s not all “anti-male” as we think when it’s looked at holistically in the big picture. I’ll take that over obsessing

I do know a major study is actually being done in men on flax apparently, there was a user here who signed up and commented last time this was brought up, explaining he was involved etc, so I’m actually hoping that will 100% clarify its safe for us men, which I personally think it is.

Not an easy topic.

Hope this helps!


Didn’t know you that people are fed up of experts? OP has spent a couple of hours clicking around google, your so called expertise is worth nothing here :stuck_out_tongue:



Haha, your not wrong! :joy::joy:


Thank you for your reply. So you’re saying there’s no problem with it but then you say you try to avoid them… If there’s no issue with it, why avoid them?

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No. I said I avoid consuming much soy. Flax I’m totally cool with. I really wouldn’t worry basically. :slight_smile:

What’s the difference between them? Apart from the fact that flax has even more phytoestrogens than soy…

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Well, obviously they both have a phytoestrogens, however they both contain different phytoestrogens from one another. Soya has isoflavones, Genistein and Daidzein respectively, flax has various lignans instead.

There are countless foods that already contain lignans, such as many vegetables and grains, such as oats!

They are there naturally anyway in your diet, no matter if you eat Flaxseeds or not. I do see your point regarding the fact that flax does have a denser amount of lignans, but as a whole flax is dense anyway, from a calorie and nutritional standpoint, it’s not exactly like you’re eating an entire kg of flax.

There is only 12g if flax per 100g of huel apparently, so if you ate 2000 calories worth of huel that’s only 60g. Again it’s about perspective, yes flax has 3 tines the amount than soya, but it’s very likely if you’d eat a soya product that you’d be eating more than 3 times the amount that you would be able to in flax seeds.

Also worth pointing out that Chia seeds and Sesame seeds both contain lignans, no one talks about those for example.


Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

Huel saw me through some good gains last year. I didn’t worry about flaxseeds or estrogen at all and it all went swimmingly

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Thanks for all your answers. What do you guys think of this study:

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Good find.

Now, I’ll bullet point my thoughts on it.

  • Small group of people, only 13
  • one had a testosterone level of 1300ng/dl… That’s not normal, trust me. (possibly steroid use prior to study?)
  • the one guy with the high levels dropped rapidly, (suspiciously) thus skewing the results overall.
  • the other subjects showed either little variation or a small increase.
  • 30% of them already had lower testosterone levels to start with.
  • the LH level didn’t increase, which typically happens in the event of testosterone decreasing/ primary Hypogonadism.

Just remember it’s only one study, there are hundreds and hundreds done on soy, with varying results, I’m still in the camp that it’s probably fine. I just choose to avoid/lessen it for various other reasons.

Another point regarding phytoestrogens is that they always have a much lower affinity on the estrogen receptor compared to actual endogenous estrogen. About a few hundred times weaker.

I’d be more worried about the plastic bottle you’ve drunk out of, or the plastic container used to reheat food in the microwave to be perfectly honest.

From an anecdotal point of view (not which this matters), when I last had a Blood test done for Estradiol I was actually consuming a truckload of soy protein isolate, I wanted to try it out of curiosity, anyway it came back at 70 pmol/L, which is a decent number, the one prior without soy in my diet was around the same. For the record I’m on TRT, so if soy was going to cause high Estrogen from increased aromatase then its going to happen to me. I also know a vegan who is on TRT and consumes tons of soy and is also fine. Again anecdotal.

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I also have very little insight into the effect of phytoestrogens but have definitely increased muscle mass on around a 50% Huel diet.

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Bumping this and especially have two questions for you @Stole_My_Sweetroll.

  • What about DHT levels? I know they’re an important part of our manliness too, I don’t want them to drop because of flaxseeds and I saw on another thread that you said they dropped.
  • Could the fact that you’re on Hormone Therapy be responsible for your T levels staying normal?

Im getting worried of this kind of messages. Starting to see this more frecuentñy in forums such as Reddit

I get the humour… But…

The video is clearly a biased load of BS aimed at making some pontificated political assertion about soy causing left wing men, it’s also highly unscientific, and incorrect, the only part he got right was a couple of the symptoms of Low Testosterone, that’s it.

And also as might as I like elliot hulse who was featured in the video, he’s also wrong, soy is a very poor HRT for women, because it’s such a weak estrogen, it’s around 100x low affinity for the receptor, if it was so great then why isn’t every women using soy post menopause? :thinking: Oh wait, because it doesn’t work. :roll_eyes:


Yeah, fair points.

Yes there was some small evidence that it could potentially lower DHT, however when you dig deeper you’ll find tons of foods have the potential to do the same unfortunately, this includes tomatoes and even green tea, I also consume tons of those and I can assume my DHT levels are quite fine from my constant need to shave and all the rest of it haha.

The symptoms for low DHT would be erection issues, low sex drive and lack of facial and body hair growth, they do overlap with the symptoms of low T but tend to be related to the androgenic side of it all, aka what makes a male, male.

To be honest anything with fibre seems to lower DHT it seems, hence why flax could be linked mildly, not because of the phytoestrogens but because of the fibre.

This isn’t to say fibre is bad at all, unless you want constipation, hemorrhoids and/or possible future bowl cancer.

Once again, all of this is on mice feed the food in isolation, like most things when you sit and eat truck loads of one thing in isolation bad things happen, that’s just how it is. Hence why for example you’d consume Huel over a bag of flax seeds, who’d sit and eat an entire bag of flax?! You get my point.

Now, going back to me being on TRT, yes that’ll ensure that my levels of Testosterone remain fairly static and therefore won’t move too much in relation to the foods I eat, since my own endogenous production is now shut down and nonexistent. However my estrogen, DHT and even SHBG will still be effected because they work of the conversion of testosterone by aromatase (estrogen) or 5α-Reductase (DHT), so if those were being substantially altered then I’d soon know, trust me.

People seem to think one little bit of a phytoestrogen and poof out comes the gynecomastia fairy, on a rampage to cause some ED and bitch tits with a flick of her wrist… :roll_eyes:

You’ve only got the look at the Asian countries, they certainly don’t have issues procreating. :slight_smile:

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Not on topic as such, but isn’t it associated with Left Wing men? Typically submissive liberalism?