Keep Healthy Testosterone Level in Adult Men
Testosterone is the primary male hormone. Testosterone in men is responsible for the development of male reproductive organs and glands. It also promotes male secondary sexual characteristics including increased muscle and bone mass. Testosterone is involved in health and well-being. Managing right levels of Testosterone helps to prevent many related health issues such as osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, low libido, low level of red blood cells, and fatigue. Testosterone's production is naturally decreased by aging; but, North American lifestyle has shown to accelerate this decline and because of that recently the low T has become a popular topic. Other causes of the Low T is due to health conditions such as male Hypogonadism and some types of breast cancer.
It is very important not to confuse the disease related low testosterone with the lifestyle related low T. Even though, both may demonstrate the same signs and symptoms, Hormone Replacement Therapy will not address the causes in the lifestyle related low T and only will remove the symptoms. The Hormone Replacement Therapy for men recently has increased substantially, just simply because more men demonstrate the signs and symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of male hypogonadism are not exclusive and can result from many other existing conditions. Observational studies pointed out that low testosterone levels are common in men with diabetes mellitus, obesity, metabolic syndrome, sleep disorders, chronic stress, and/or nutritional deficiency suggesting a correlation between the conditions. Also, low testosterone level is a side effect of some medications such as some pain killers including carbamazepine, opioids, and glucocorticoids.
Side effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy:
Results from researches from TRT and based on other hormone replacement therapies are indicative of lower HDL( beneficial Cholesterol), and increase risk of stroke. Other studies suggest when there is not an indication of hypothalamic, pituitary or testicular disorders, testosterone therapy is not justified in cases with medical conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical comorbidities. Overweight men who may have reduced testosterone levels should be encouraged to lose weight using a combination of diet and exercise.
If you like to maintain healthy levels of testosterone or just like many other men with low Testosterone level, would prefer to improve your health, natural medicine can help; actually the following testosterone boosting guidelines will help you to notice changes much quicker without being worried about side effects.
Exercise & keep active:
Data from studies shows that strength training can induce growth hormone and testosterone release, regardless of age. Even though it showed that the elderly response does not equal that of the young, still the results are significant.
Recently High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained much popularity as several well documented researches and studies are shown HIIT improves Glucose metabolism, and it is also beneficial in successfully reducing fat mass of the whole body.
HIIT is performed in a variety of forms and today's scientists believe it is most effective way of improving cardio-respiratory and metabolic function. HIIT practically starts with warm up period followed by repeated short periods of high intensity anaerobic exercise with recovery intervals of a brief low intensity activity. This cycle is repeated until too tired to continue. There is not a universal time limit for this exercise, and usually it does not take more than 30 minutes. So it is considered an excellent way to gain maximum benefits from your exercise in a limited time.
HIIT needs to be done near the maximum intensity, while medium exercise is done around 50% of the intensity. The length and the number of repetitions depends on the type of exercise and it can take as little as 3 reps of 20 seconds. In most studies on HIIT , Cycling is used as a performed high intensity exercise, but other exercises like running, stair climbing and uphill walking are also found to be effective.
While there is not a common formula for HIIT, it is suggested to include a 2:1 ratio of intense exercise to recovery period. For instance; follow 15-20 seconds of walking after 30-40 seconds of sprinting and repeat until exhausted to continue.
Generally your brain responses according to your body's needs, Therefore the brain responds differently to the active body and the none active body. Active body initiates the brain's response to produce whole set of hormones necessary for physical activity and building a healthy body shape.
Improve your liver health:
Liver plays an important role in metabolizing hormones including male and female hormones as well as in producing enzymes and proteins which are necessary for hormones production, function, and transportation throughout the body. One of these proteins is called Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which bounds to testosterone and carries this hormone in the blood. Majority of the Testosterone is bound to SHBG which makes it unavailable, while only small percentage is available in free form. Since Testosterone binds with high affinity to SHBG, higher levels of SHBG means lower levels of free functional testosterone.
Conditions such as Hyperthyroidism, High estrogen levels ( due to certain drugs), liver disease such as cirrhosis and non alcoholic fatty liver (NATLD), smoking, and anything that compromises liver detoxification like alcohol, medications, and heavy metals contributes to high production of SHBG.
Reduce stress & improve sleep:
Under constant stress body produces steady stream of stress hormone called cortisol. when cortisol levels is high, body produces less testosterone. A study suggests in men, primarily the testosterone level goes up as a result of high cortisol, but soon later it drops to much lower level than before cortisol went high.
Plasma's testosterone level is peaked during sleep and drops to the lowest point in the afternoon. Research suggests at least 3 hours of sleep is necessary for testosterone levels to increase.
Any variation of the sleep disorders such as sleep abnormalities, sleep duration and quality, sleep disordered breathing, and change in circadian rhythm will negatively impact the testosterone level. Commonly the circadian rhythm disruption is observed due to shift work, resulting in lower levels of morning cortisol which in turn reduces the testosterone level. It is suggested low testosterone level in this condition is as a result of body's mal-adaptation.
Stay away from sugar:
One of the immediate ways to improve testosterone level is by cutting back on sugar and get the blood sugar under control. High caloric diet, rich in saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar and simple carbohydrates keeps the glucose level chronically high. Constant high blood sugar causes insulin production to remove the excess sugar from blood and take it to the cells where it can be stored or metabolized. Long time exposure of cells to high levels of insulin will cause insulin resistance initiating diabetes. Several studies have noted a correlation between diabetes and low free testosterone level. In fact high blood sugar starts a shift in body's metabolism which main part of it is controlled in the liver. As the liver responds to this shift, gradually other organs will be affected resulting in not only lower testosterone, but also whole set of other health issues.
Optimize your nutrients' level:
Certain nutrients are found to be important for regulating and maintaining healthy testosterone level. First and most important nutrient is the vitamin D3. Research showed taking vitamin D3 can improve the testosterone level overnight. Vitamin D deficiency definitely causes low testosterone. Higher Vitamin D3 is also found to lower SHBG level resulting in more Free Testosterone.
Low protein diet in elderly men has found to lead to elevated SHBG which decreases the Free testosterone level or bioavailability of the testosterone. Adding lean protein and fiber to the diet helps reducing SHBG, improving free testosterone level.
Results from studies suggests indicate that a decrease healthy fat intake in men's diet linked to lower free testosterone. Supplementing with Omega 3's provides added value by helping to reduce inflammation, improve mood, promote cardiovascular health, and lower bad cholesterol. Medium Chain Triglycerides ( MCTs) and mono unsaturated fatty acids like olive oil, and avocado oil also help keeping healthy level of testosterone by lowering SHBG.
Magnesium and Zinc are involved in many metabolic functions in the body. Magnesium deficiency is seen more commonly in north America. If you are deficient, supplementation is shown to help with lowering your SHBG.
Adaptogenic Herbs help to modulate cortisol level which is important in maintaining healthy testosterone. One of the well known herbs in this category is Panax Ginseng. Data from animal and human studies have shown a positive correlation between ginseng and improvement in energy and libido. In addition, ginseng is found to improve the sperm quality and count of healthy individuals as well as patients with treatment-related infertility. These actions are mostly attributed to ginsenosides, active components of ginseng. Animal studies indicate that supplementing with Panax ginseng can significantly increase blood testosterone level contributing to the other Ginseng's beneficial factors.
Some studies have found Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali; TA) in therapeutic concentration to be as effective as a hormone replacement therapy without side effects. It is shown to improve serum Testosterone and sexual health. Eurycoma longifolia in South-East Asia is known as Malaysian Ginseng , and traditionally it has been used to combat stress, disease, and to improve physical strength. In Human study 200 mg of the standardized root extract was prescribed for duration of one month; results showed patients who were given the extract significantly improved their serum testosterone concentration by which 90.8% of the participants showed normal values after treatment in addition to improving stress hormone profile and certain mood parameters. During the study at the therapeutic concentration no significant side effects were observed.
In other human studies male candidates were given oral dose of fenugreek seed extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract) at 500 mg daily for 3 months to determine its efficacy on the serum free testosterone level. Results confirmed that the protodioscin-enriched extract from fenugreek seeds is safe and effective in boosting serum free testosterone in middle aged and older men, healthy sperm profile, mental alertness, cardiovascular health and overall better healthy performance.
As per data suggest more men are seeking treatment for signs and symptoms of low testosterone such as; low mood, depression, fatigue, loss of muscle mass and low libido. This has created more prescriptions for TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) as a way to improve symptoms while the other causes are taken lightly or simply ignored. While there is not a single way and universal approach to treating low testosterone; and the safety of the TRT remains unclear, many of the cases on the TRT may could be prevented or treated by addressing lifestyle causes.
For safety of the consumers FDA requires labeling related to the possible increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke with the use of testosterone products and advises providers to use TRT only in cases of pathologic loss of testosterone, not that which occurs as part of the normal aging process.
- How Chronic Stress Affects Men's Health
- The best way to know your liver and protect it!
- How to Get the Most From Your Exercise
- Simple yet Important Nutrients Men Should Include in Their Daily Routine
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