Optimizing Testosterone in Men
Two of your most important sex hormones are testosterone and estrogen. Both men and women produce testosterone, although men create it in greater quantities. A female body, on the other hand, produces more estrogen than a male body.
During puberty, male testosterone levels rise, affecting:
- Maturation of sex organs
- Body and facial hair growth
- Muscle growth
- Deepening of one’s voice
- Generation of sperm
Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, peaking in the early morning. Furthermore, levels fluctuate throughout a man’s life and decrease every 10 years, usually by 1 to 2% per year beyond the age of 30. Declining testosterone levels can impact a man’s psychological and neurological function, cardiovascular function, musculoskeletal function and hormonal health.
Aside from age, there are a number of other factors that can cause testosterone levels to decline, including:
- Testicular injury
- Pituitary problems
- Treatment for cancer
- Inflammatory disorders caused by HIV, such as sarcoidosis or tuberculosis (can cause testicular tumors)
- Diet and lifestyle factors
- Toxin exposure
- Chronic stress
- Obesity / blood sugar imbalances
Natural Remedies for Increasing Testosterone
There are some natural therapies you can try to help support testosterone levels, depending on the cause:
- Make sure you get adequate zinc. Zinc was discovered to be vital in helping men maintain their serum testosterone levels in a 2011 study. Zinc can be obtained via whole grains and seafood, as well as supplementation.
- Potassium-rich foods should be consumed, as testosterone synthesis is aided by potassium. Include potassium-rich foods in your diet, such as bananas, beets and spinach.
- Consider taking aromatase inhibitors, such as rhodiola. Rhodiola is a natural adaptogen that helps by controlling cortisol production, which directly supports a healthy testosterone-to-cortisol ratio.
- Exercise on a regular basis. Exercise has been demonstrated to naturally boost testosterone levels. Weightlifting and high intensity interval training (HIIT) have been shown to be particularly effective at increasing testosterone levels, although the increase may only last up to an hour.
- Reduce sugar intake
- Get some more rest
- Reduce anxiety. Learning and practicing stress management skills is one approach for this.
Testing Testosterone Levels
As men age and enter the andropause years, their production of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), free and total testosterone, and other hormones needed to maintain youthful vitality rapidly decline, while PSA and estrogen may rise. The Men’s Wellness Panel is a comprehensive test designed to help men establish a thorough baseline of their health, detect possible health risks, and provide indicators of health concerns. Among many markers, this test measures the level of testosterone in the blood and includes both Free Direct and Total Testosterone results. Known as the feel-good hormone, testosterone helps maintain a man’s bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength, sex drive, mood, energy, sperm production, and more.
Optimizing testosterone involves making healthier lifestyle choices, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and taking the right supplements. You can take a simple test to check your current levels, and consult with a health practitioner to determine which supplements are best for you.
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