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Does Diet Affect Penis Size? | Foods To Avoid

In the Internet age, it’s virtually impossible to escape the odd email or pop up extolling astounding advances in the field of male enhancement. From miracle pills, to powerful pumps, to bizarre contraptions, and even serious surgery, the sensitivity of penis size leaves countless men trying out untested and potentially unsafe methods. But one factor rather absent from the male enhancement racket is the impact of one’s diet—could it be that what you eat affects the size of your penis? [tweet this]

So far in the Men’s Health Series with Dr. Michael Greger of, we’ve covered the impact of diet on testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, and prostate enlargement and cancer risk, as well as pitted soy against beer to see which has a stronger estrogenic effect on male hormones.

Outside of the obvious, two common themes throughout this series have been: the prevalent and disturbing predisposition of medical professionals to ignore prevention and simple and effective treatment in favor of ineffective and debilitating measures while keeping patients in the dark to their own detriment; and the preponderance of medical evidence that the foods and beverages most associated with “manliness” in our society are the most damaging to men’s health, while those deemed “feminizing” or “emasculating” actually lead to hormonal balance, virility, and unencumbered sexual performance. And of course have the added bonus of cancer prevention and enhancing overall health.

In this fifth and final installment in the series, we’ll address perhaps the most stereotypical, oft-trivialized, yet intensely personal and sensitive topic: penis size. [tweet this]

While this may appear to be purely an issue of ego, as with the previous topics in this series, the dietary factors affecting penis size have significant health impacts beyond that singular manifestation.

So let’s hear from Dr. Greger for what the science says about size:

“Women like to say, “oh size don’t matter,” but if you actually ask them in surveys, when men aren’t around, three-quarters of women consider penile length and girth to be somewhat or very important. Supposedly, that’s the largest survey ever performed.[1]

But wait a second, what does that have to do with diet? Well there are these phthalates—phthalates chemicals, which are kind of industrial pollutants—these are plastics made in the plastic industry.[2] Oh in fact, I actually had a video recently about phthalates in sex toys.[3][4] You should check that out. There are phthalates implications for women too.

But in terms of men, so these phthalate industrial pollutants, how did we become exposed? What they did was do a survey where they measured the phthalate urine levels, which is an indicator of how much is falling through your bodies. Then they looked at your and did dietary analysis. And they found were actually what is that in the diet that is leading to the highest levels.[5]

So they were looking for something called MEHP, one of the phthalates associated with smaller penis size in infants. So, if pregnant women exposed to a lot of phthalate in their infant sons are born with smaller penises and lots of other more meaningfully negative effects.[6][7]

In addition to a smaller penis, MEHP appears to increase the odds of boys later growing breasts,[8] 25-fold, and then decreased testosterone later in life.[9]

The chicken phthalates have also been associated with increased odds of Caesarean section, diminished child intelligence (particularly in boys),[10] attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms,[11] later in life, abdominal obesity,[12] altered thyroid function, [13] damaged sperm,[14] and a lower sperm count.[15]

One study also found that, ‘the phthalates found in chicken were significantly associated with less [stereotypical] masculine behavior in boys.'[16][17]

And actually poultry consumption was associated most with MEHP levels in the urine.[18] It wasn’t clear exactly we’re not sure exactly where that’s coming from. Recent thought it’s coming from the plastic, from the plastic wrapping the chicken, but it turns out eggs really have high phthalate levels as well.[19] So it may be coming from the chicken itself. Perhaps something that we’re feeding the chickens,[20] it’s not particularly sure.

So I have a video about this kind of feminization of male genitalia with maternal phthalate consumption but I think for men who are going to this video and be like, ‘well, I have no control over what my mom ate but what about now? I’m out of the womb. Is there anything that I eat that is going to affect the length of my penis?' And there is actually.

I have a video coming up—there's a certain a different class of pollutants PCBs, a certain class of PCBs that can actually affect the size of penis in boys found predominantly in fish. And so they found that boys who ate a lot of fish,[21] contain a lot of the PCB pollutants, actually grew up with shortened penises.[22] We are talking three-quarters of an inch, at the most.[23] So it wasn’t really a big effect.

And of course as with all industrial pollutants, the strategy is to eat as low as possible on the food chain, so plants would be the idea, then stay away from the aquatic food chain as much as possible because everything eventually flows into the sea, our oceans are humanity sewers. And so unfortunately without a time machine it’s very difficult to go back before the industrial revolution and get non-contaminated.[24]


I hope you found what Dr. Greger shared to be helpful. I’ve included more in-depth information, further resources, citations to specific studies, and more of Dr. Greger’s videos and essays below.

It is vital that men—and actually everyone—are proactive about their health. Unfortunately, relying on our doctors and the medical industry in its current state can be severely detrimental to our well being, even fatal.

And perpetuating the ideas of “manliness” ingrained within our cultures and societies under the charge of “preserving tradition” or “fighting overly PC culture” actually contributes to the decline in men’s health and leads to more men dying prematurely.

The good news is that there are more and more solid resources for evidence-based nutrition and health information. And luckily, when it comes to the influence of diet, to heighten sexual performance, prevent prostate cancer and enlargement, balance hormones, and maybe avoid loosing some length, the answer is the same across the board.

To make sure you’re getting the male-enhancing nutrition you need, check out Cronometer—a free website and app that I’ve used in several of my videos because of it’s uniquely detailed nutrition reports and ease of use. Cronometer has reached out to help sponsor the Men’s Health Series to get this vital educational information out to those who need it. Click the link in the description, or go here to make your free profile. It’s not an affiliate link, but it will let Cronometer know that Bite Size Vegan sent you.

On a personal note, even though I'm well aware of the misinformation and disinformation rampant within the medical industry, through making the men's health series I've become more and more frustrated and astounded by the level and nature of misinformation surrounding these issues.  When that's compounded with social and cultural taboos about manliness and discussing these kinds of issues, health concerns that literally mean life and death for men are reduced to comedic memes or written off as inevitabilities of aging.

To help combat this and actually save men's lives, please share this video and the information, and the whole series to help men take hold of their health.  The more we talk about it, the less of a stigma it has and the more access men can have to real life-saving information.

“Size matters when it's a matter of men's health” ? [tweet this!] ?

Please share this video and the whole Series to help men take hold of their health. Be sure to subscribe to the channel and click the bell to enable notifications for more fresh vegan content every week.

To support free education like this, please see the support links below or click the Nugget Army icon or the link in the sidebar.

Now go live vegan, enhance your health, and I’ll see you soon.

see ya next nugget!



★Watch More


The Full Men's Health Series
More With Dr. Greger
The State Of Our Oceans
Why Your Doctor Is Lying To You
How NOT To Die
What’s Really Killing You
Vegan Nutrition Concerns Playlist
Real Vegan Athletes
Dr. Greger Reacts to YouTube Fitness Nutrition ‘Experts'

▶︎➤Connect With Dr. Greger:
Nab His NYT Best-Selling Book!

CITATIONS: [bibliography available below citations]

[1] Aleksandar Stulhofer, “How (Un)important Is Penis Size for Women with Heterosexual Experience?,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 35, no. 1 (February 2006): 5–6, doi:10.1007/s10508-006-8989-7.

[2] Justin A. Colacino, T. Robert Harris, and Arnold Schecter, “Dietary Intake Is Associated with Phthalate Body Burden in a Nationally Representative Sample,” Environmental Health Perspectives 118, no. 7 (July 2010): 998–1003, doi:10.1289/ehp.0901712.

[3] Michael Greger, M.D., Avoiding Adult Exposure to Phthalates, vol. 30 (, 2016),

[4] Nils H. Nilsson et al., “Survey and Health Assesment of Chemicals Substances in Sex Toys,” Survey of Chemical Substances in Consumer Products, no. 77 (2006),

[5] Ibid.

[6] Shanna H. Swan, “Environmental Phthalate Exposure in Relation to Reproductive Outcomes and Other Health Endpoints in Humans,” Environmental Research 108, no. 2 (October 2008): 177–84, doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.08.007.

[7] Shanna H. Swan et al., “Decrease in Anogenital Distance among Male Infants with Prenatal Phthalate Exposure,” Environmental Health Perspectives 113, no. 8 (August 2005): 1056–61, doi:10.1289/ehp.8100.

[8] Erdem Durmaz et al., “Plasma Phthalate Levels in Pubertal Gynecomastia,” Pediatrics 125, no. 1 (January 1, 2010): e122–29, doi:10.1542/peds.2009-0724.

[9] John D. Meeker, Antonia M. Calafat, and Russ Hauser, “Urinary Metabolites of di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Are Associated with Decreased Steroid Hormone Levels in Adult Men,” Journal of Andrology 30, no. 3 (June 2009): 287–97, doi:10.2164/jandrol.108.006403.

[10] Soo-Churl Cho et al., “Relationship between Environmental Phthalate Exposure and the Intelligence of School-Age Children,” Environmental Health Perspectives 118, no. 7 (July 2010): 1027–32, doi:10.1289/ehp.0901376.

[11] Bung-Nyun Kim et al., “Phthalates Exposure and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in School-Age Children,” Biological Psychiatry 66, no. 10 (November 15, 2009): 958–63, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.07.034.

[12] Richard W. Stahlhut et al., “Concentrations of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Are Associated with Increased Waist Circumference and Insulin Resistance in Adult U.S. Males,” Environmental Health Perspectives 115, no. 6 (June 2007): 876–82, doi:10.1289/ehp.9882.

[13] John D. Meeker, Antonia M. Calafat, and Russ Hauser, “Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Metabolites May Alter Thyroid Hormone Levels in Men,” Environmental Health Perspectives 115, no. 7 (July 2007): 1029–34, doi:10.1289/ehp.9852.

[14] R. Hauser et al., “DNA Damage in Human Sperm Is Related to Urinary Levels of Phthalate Monoester and Oxidative Metabolites,” Human Reproduction 22, no. 3 (March 1, 2007): 688–95, doi:10.1093/humrep/del428.

[15] Jaime Mendiola et al., “Shorter Anogenital Distance Predicts Poorer Semen Quality in Young Men in Rochester, New York,” Environmental Health Perspectives 119, no. 7 (July 2011): 958–63, doi:10.1289/ehp.1103421.

[16] S. H. Swan et al., “Prenatal Phthalate Exposure and Reduced Masculine Play in Boys,” International Journal of Andrology 33, no. 2 (April 2010): 259–69, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2605.2009.01019.x.

[17] Michael Greger, M.D., Chicken Consumption & the Feminization of Male Genitalia, vol. 5, 2011,

[18] Colacino, Harris, and Schecter, “Dietary Intake Is Associated with Phthalate Body Burden in a Nationally Representative Sample.”

[19] Ibid.

[20] D. L. Wood and J. Bitman, “The Effect of Feeding Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP) on the Lipid Metabolism of Laying Hens,” Lipids 15, no. 3 (March 1980): 151–56.

[21] Sabrina Tait, Cinzia La Rocca, and Alberto Mantovani, “Exposure of Human Fetal Penile Cells to Different PCB Mixtures: Transcriptome Analysis Points to Diverse Modes of Interference on External Genitalia Programming,” Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 32, no. 1 (July 2011): 1–14, doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.001.

[22] Walter J. Rogan and N. Beth Ragan, “Evidence of Effects of Environmental Chemicals on the Endocrine System in Children,” Pediatrics 112, no. 1 Pt 2 (July 2003): 247–52.

[23] YL Guo, et al., “Sexual Developments and Biological Findings in Yucheng Children,” Organohalogen Compounds 14 (1993),

[24] Emily Moran Barwick, “EMPTY OCEANS: Is The World Running Out Of Fish?” (Bite Size Vegan, March 7, 2016),



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