How to maintain and Restore Healthy Testosterone Level In Men
Testosterone is the main male hormone which is essential for male sexual health, energy, mood, body composition, and bones. Testosterone levels gradually decrease by ageing contributing to appearance of some disorders including low libido, depression, fatigue, and weight gain. Low testosterone has been found to be related with greater risks of developing metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. This article explores function of testosterone, and the steps to take for maintaining healthy levels of testosterone.
To find out about any hormonal change, series of medical tests are performed. Male hormone tests provide information on free and total testosterone, estradiol (Estrogen), and the ratio of the testosterone to estrogen. This information will help to provide individualized protocols unique to everyone's conditions. (Health Palace provides hormone tests and interpretation for your tests; for more information please contact email@example.com)
Free testosterone is the active form of the hormone which includes only 2% of the Total Testosterone. Besides natural decrease in testosterone level due to aging, low free testosterone is usually caused by the following reasons;
- It gets converted to the estrogen
- Some of it get bound to testosterone carrier called SHBG and become non active testosterone and does not get to the tissues in which needs to perform.
- The pituitary gland in the brain for some reasons is not producing enough gonadal stimulating hormone of LH.
- Even thought the LH level reads normal, the Gonadal gland is not able to respond
- Due to adrenal insufficiency; Since some of the male and female hormones are produced by adrenal, low levels of adrenal DHEA may cause lower testosterone.
- Injuries or treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy
- Certain medications such as steroids
Liver is responsible to remove the extra estrogen and SHBG, therefore any disturbance in liver function could affect the healthy hormonal balance. Optimizing the liver function, helps to improve hormone health.
Increased body fat and more specifically abdominal fat contributes to the higher activity of an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase converts the testosterone to estrogen and its higher activity causes lower level of free testosterone and imbalance ratio of the testosterone to estrogen in men. Moreover, excessive weight suppresses the function of LH hormone in the gonads leading to significant decrease in testosterone production.
Beneficial Functions of Testosterone:
Healthy testosterone level plays an important role in maintaining healthy bone density and better muscle mass. Testosterone also is important in regards to healthy mood and cognition. Low level testosterone has been associated with depression, irritability, lack of focus, and psychological disorders. Unfortunately treatment by antidepressant alone does not fix the low testosterone and actually contributes to low libido as a side effect.
Testosterone provides neuro-protective activity. It prevents the accumulation of beta amyloid protein in the brain. Beta amyloid accumulation in the brain is one of the factors in Alzheimer's disease.
Healthy testosterone level is important for healthy metabolism. Studies suggest diabetic men have lower level of testosterone. Those men with testosterone levels at lower one-third of the reference range are more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.
Testosterone also affects the prostate gland. Men with BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) show higher concentrations of estrogen in the prostate tissue. Prostate health indicators including its volume and PSA level, and urinary symptoms improved when testosterone level was normalized.
How to Address Low Testosterone Level:
Naturally Testosterone levels decrease due to ageing, however it becomes a real concern when tests show a more rapid decline in testosterone levels, when levels stay on the lower end of the normal range, or when the symptoms are observed.
Hormone replacement therapy is an options only when the body is not producing enough testosterone relative to the age and health conditions of the individuals. However, it will not be beneficial and even might be harmful if the symptoms are due to the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, when the liver is not clearing the excess estrogen and HSBG, when the adrenal is compromised, when simply the testosterone ratio to estrogen is low due to exposure to estrogen like toxins or foods, and when it's because of excess weight and nutritional deficiency from poor diet.
Also testosterone replacement therapy is not safe to be used for those with history of Cancer, Heart disease, Blood disease, and sleep disorder as it may contribute to further progression of such conditions. According to the New England Journal of Medicine men on the testosterone replacement therapy have more than 4 times developed cardiovascular disease.
Nutrients to Improve Testosterone & Men Health:
Tribulus terrestris contains an active compound that could convert to DHEA, promoting better adrenal function. Animal studies suggest that tribulus improve sexual function.
In studies amino acid L carnitine was found more efficient than testosterone in improving erectile dysfunction, libido, energy, and mood in men with low hormone production.
Zinc is an important mineral in men's health by playing a role in the pathways through which testosterone and sperms are made. Study on men with low testosterone and sperm count found supplementation by zinc for 2-3 months increased both sperm count and testosterone levels significantly.
Nettle root contains lignans that according to the studies prevent the bounding of the free testosterone to the HSBG, therefore, it helps to improve the level of free testosterone.
In multiple studies supplementing with Ptychopetalum olacoides(Muira Puama) was used as a treatment for men suffered from impotency and loss of libido. Results showed significant improvement in libido, mood, sleep, energy and intimacy.
Balanced protein intake in men is found to maintain muscle mass and healthy testosterone level. Men on low protein diet have higher levels of SHBG and that causes reduction in bio active testosterone.
Leafy green vegetables like broccoli and cabbage contain an ingredient called I3C (Indole 3 carbinol). I3C helps to reduce the unwanted estrogen metabolites. Research found this may reduce risk of developing prostate cancer and mainlining healthy testosterone level.
Lifestyle and Balanced Nutrition for Healthy Testosterone
Proper nutrition and diet combined with physical activity is the most natural way to help maintaining right hormonal balance.
Estrogenic foods and toxins have a great impact on hormone health. For example, frequent consumption of soy and soy by products which often used in the food industry contributes to the higher estrogen level due to its high concentration of phyto-estrogenic compounds.
Some plastic materials containing BPA (Bisphenol-A) found in cans, water bottles, and other food packaging interrupt the hormone production.
High sugar content foods and drinks are negatively affecting the hormone health. Based on Endocrine Society reports, High blood glucose level actually decreases the blood testosterone level by 25% and the results were found to be similar for all three groups of pre-diabetic, healthy, and diabetic.
Instead, Foods such as beans, whole grains, nuts, oysters, and lobsters, lean beef and poultry are rich in minerals more specifically Zinc. Usually adult healthy men requires about 10 mg of Zinc daily.
Working with muscles and moderate exercise routine helps to maintain healthy hormone level and prevents the formation of abdominal fat. Several studies confirm that loosing the excess weight through proper diet and exercise improves the testosterone level.
Good restful sleep also helps with keeping good hormone health. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only one week of sleep deprivation causes a significant reduction in testosterone levels in young and healthy men.
Managing mental health and keep the stress, anxiety and depression under control is beneficial for maintaining healthy testosterone level. Stress affects the adrenal glands and promote cortisol production, chronic high levels of cortisol interrupts and lowers testosterone production.
All in all, hormone health for men is as important as it is for women. Taking steps toward maintaining healthy testosterone level not only is beneficial for overall health and well being of men, but also can positively help them keeping balanced mood and healthy intimate relationships.
Articles and products featured by Health Palace are collected from a variety of sources and are provided as a service by Health Palace. These newsletters, while of potential interest to readers, do not necessarily represent the opinions nor constitute the advice of Health Palace. Presented materials are only for information purposes and do not intent to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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