Updated: May 1, 2020
We’re all familiar with the idea of “beer bellies,” but your love of a cold one with the lads could be affecting your body in another way. India pale ales (IPAs), it turns out, can contribute to a man developing “man boobs” - or gynaecomastia, as they’re officially known.
Half of men get moobs and they’re down to hormones as much as diet and lifestyle, and this is where IPAs come in. The hoppy ales contain phytoestrogens, which are compounds that naturally occur in plants.These phytoestrogens help you get to sleep at night and can be of aid to women going through menopause. However they also contribute to man boobs and what’s known as “brewer’s droop.” This refers to the erectile dysfunction many men experience after drinking too much.
In his 1998 book, Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner notes that hops found in IPAs can lead to man boobs.And they contribute to brewer’s droop too: “[From] long-term exposure to the estrogenic properties of hops, [they] eventually have difficulty sustaining erection,” Buhner says. But with hoppy beers very much in vogue, we could be seeing a growing number of men with moobs.
There are things you can do to combat this though.
The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you produce, but exercise boosts testosterone.
Reducing your intake of alcohol, sugar and refined carbs can help too.
There are certain foods you can eat which can make a difference, namely leafy greens like spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Green smoothie with the lads?