This hormone is powerful! The effects are approximately the same in both sexes, but a little goes a long way in women. There is no reason women can’t pay attention to the following diet and lifestyle suggestions, but only a doctor skilled in testing and bioidentical hormones should attempt supplementing the hormone itself…really for men or women. I was answering a listener question last week on the radio show and said I’d review the subject in writing with more details. I’ll focus here a bit more on men.
What does it do? It supports muscle mass, bone strength, energy, libido and sexual performance. Oh and that’s right, a longer healthier life!
What happens if you don’t have enough? Fatigue, blue moods, indecision, loss of muscle mass, low sperm count, prostate trouble, hair loss and a need for blue pills for bedroom issues.
What is a healthy level for total testosterone? A now out of print book by Kyle Smith, DC said that for men the range was 348 – 1197 ng/dL. However, in a study of elderly men, those who had levels above 550ng/dL had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular events. Most readers will probably have to request a test if they are experiencing some of the symptoms of low testosterone.
Does losing weight help? Yes, for those who are overweight. That is mainly because fat generates estrogen which has somewhat opposite effects of testosterone.
What changes in diet might help? Reducing sweets and refined starches usually helps with weight loss. There is another reason to go that route for boosting testosterone because eating fast-acting carbohydrates increases insulin. High insulin levels are associated with low testosterone, and conversely, low insulin is associated with high testosterone. That means eating a low glycemic diet. Foods that are high in antioxidants (vegetables, berries, spices, etc.) is also a good idea.
What lifestyle improvements might help achieve a healthy balance?
- Physical exercise – even weight lifting.
- Getting sufficient restful sleep.
- Reducing psychological stress. For one thing, when under stress we tend to eat more carbohydrates. As noted above, that raises insulin. Insulin in turn packs pounds around the middle which increases levels of aromatase enzyme in men. That matters because the enzyme turns testosterone into estrogen.
What supplements might I consider?
- Boron. Our friend Bill Sardi reminded me that 12 mg of the mineral Boron daily helps to release testosterone from its binding protein.
- Zinc. Because it has more than other multis and in a good form, I recommend Molecular Multi.
- Phosphatidylserine (PS). Supplementation may help lower the serum cortisol (stress hormone).
- Ashwagandha. This herb is an adaptogen. Those normalize various factors up or down as needed. It is especially known to be calming and to help testosterone.