- Treating low testosterone levels
- Diagnosing low testosterone
- Testosterone therapy for low levels
- Testosterone Therapy in Boys with Delayed Puberty
- Meeting pretty women makes men feel good
- 8 science-backed ways to boost testosterone naturally
- 1. Getting enough sleep
- 2. Maintain a balanced diet
- 3. Lose weight
- 4. Stay active
- 5. Stress reduction
- 6. Vitamins and supplements
- 7. Review medications
- 8. Avoid drugs and alcohol abuse
- Blood Test: Testosterone
- Why It's Done
- The Procedure
- What to Expect
- Getting the Results
- Helping Your Child
- If You Have Questions
- Are testosterone-boosting supplements effective? Not ly
- Effect of testosterone boosters on body functions: Case report
- 5 Foods That Naturally Boost Testosterone – We Love Cycling magazine
- Stinging nettle
Treating low testosterone levels
Testosterone is the hormone that gives men their manliness. Produced by the testicles, it is responsible for male characteristics a deep voice, muscular build, and facial hair. Testosterone also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, keeps bones strong, and aids thinking ability. Lack of testosterone, often nicknamed, low-t, can cause unwanted symptoms.
Testosterone levels peak by early adulthood and drop as you age—about 1% to 2% a year beginning in the 40s.
As men reach their 50s and beyond, this may lead to signs and symptoms, such as impotence or changes in sexual desire, depression or anxiety, reduced muscle mass, less energy, weight gain, anemia, and hot flashes.
While falling testosterone levels are a normal part of aging, certain conditions can hasten the decline. Low t risk factors include:
- injury or infection
- chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer
- medications, especially hormones used to treat prostate cancer and corticosteroid drugs
- chronic illness
Millions of men use testosterone replacement therapy to restore low levels and feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional. But it's not that simple. A man's general health also affects his testosterone levels.
For instance, being overweight, having diabetes or thyroid problems, and taking certain medications, such as glucocorticoids and other steroids, can affect levels.
Therefore, simply having low-t levels does not always call for taking extra testosterone.
Diagnosing low testosterone
Doctors diagnose low testosterone a physical exam, a review of symptoms, and the results of multiple blood tests since levels can fluctuate daily.
If your doctor diagnoses low testosterone, other tests may be considered before therapy. For example, low-t can speed bone loss, so your doctor may recommend a bone density test to see whether you also need treatment for osteoporosis.
Prostate cancer is another concern, as testosterone can fuel its growth. As a result, the Endocrine Society recommends against testosterone supplementation for men in certain situations, including those who:
- have prostate or breast cancer
- have an elevated blood level of prostate-specific antigen (a blood test used to screen for prostate cancer)
- have a prostate nodule that can be felt during a rectal exam.
Other circumstances in which testosterone supplementation is not recommended include:
- a plan to become a father in the near-term
- an elevated red blood cell count
- severe, untreated sleep apnea
- severe lower urinary tract symptoms
- poorly controlled heart failure
- heart attack or stroke within the last 6 months
- a tendency to form blood clots (a condition called thrombophilia)
Testosterone therapy for low levels
In most cases, men need to have both low levels of testosterone in their blood and several symptoms of low testosterone to go on therapy.
It is possible to have low levels and not experience symptoms. But if you do not have any key symptoms, especially fatigue and sexual dysfunction, which are the most common, it is not recommended you go on the therapy given the uncertainty about long-term safety.
Even if your levels are low and you have symptoms, low-t therapy is not always the first course of action. If your doctor can identify the source for declining levels—for instance, weight gain or a particular medication—he or she may first address that problem.
If you and your doctor think testosterone replacement therapy is right for you, there are a variety of delivery methods to consider, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Men's Health: Fifty and Forward.
- Skin patch. A patch is applied once every 24 hours, in the evening, and releases small amounts of the hormone into the skin.
- Gels. Topical gels are spread daily onto the skin over both upper arms, shoulders, or thighs. It is important to wash your hands after applying and to cover the treated area with clothing to prevent exposing others to testosterone.
- Oral therapy. Capsules are swallowed or tablets are attached to your gum or inner cheek twice a day. Testosterone is then absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Pellets. These are implanted under the skin, usually around the hips or buttocks, and slowly release testosterone. They are replaced every three to six months.
- Injections. Various formulations are injected every seven to 14 days. Testosterone levels can rise to high levels for a few days after the injection and then slowly come down, which can cause a roller-coaster effect, where mood and energy levels spike before trailing off.
Most men feel improvement in symptoms within four to six weeks of taking testosterone replacement therapy, although changes increases in muscle mass may take from three to six months.
– By Matthew Solan
Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Testosterone Therapy in Boys with Delayed Puberty
Am Fam Physician. 1999 Apr 1;59(7):1956-1959.
While boys with a constitutional delay of puberty eventually have normal activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, their sexual immaturity and relative short stature may contribute to psychosocial problems.
Androgen therapy, commonly given as a four-month course of testosterone injections, provides a boost in physical growth and maturity. In addition to constitutional delay of puberty, obesity and growth hormone deficiency may cause delayed puberty.
Kaplowitz conducted a retrospective study to compare responses to testosterone therapy in boys with delayed puberty from constitutional delay, obesity and possible gonadotropin deficiency.
All of the boys were 14 years of age or older when they received testosterone injections.
Twenty-three had constitutional delay of puberty and were of short stature, six had obesity and were of normal stature, five had hypopituitarism and growth hormone deficiency and two had isolated gonadotropin deficiency.
They were prepubertal or in early puberty according to both physical characteristics and serum testosterone levels, which were less than 40 ng per dL (1.4 nmol per L). All received a course of testosterone enanthate injections, 100 mg intramuscularly, once a month for four months.
Testosterone therapy resulted in an increase in height and weight velocity in the 23 boys with constitutional pubertal delay. Penis and testicular size also increased during treatment. The six obese boys also had an increase in penis and testicular growth.
The five boys with growth hormone deficiency received growth hormone replacement in addition to testosterone injections. Two of these boys had severe gonadotropin deficiency and did not demonstrate increased maturation rates.
In two boys, testicular size increased, although not as rapidly as in boys with constitutional delay of puberty.
The author concludes that monitoring the response to testosterone injections in boys with delayed puberty helps to differentiate constitutional delay of puberty from gonadotropin deficiency in boys with delayed puberty.
Since a rapid growth rate requires increased androgen and growth hormone production, the response to testosterone augmentation in the boys with constitutional delayed puberty excluded the possibility of growth hormone deficiency.
In the obese boys, progression of maturation may have occurred after testosterone injections because of the inhibitory effects of androgens on leptin levels, which are presumed to be inceased in obese adolescent boys.
After age 10, as testosterone and gonadotropin levels increase, serum leptin levels normally decline to levels found in boys five to six years of age, suggesting that increasing testosterone levels may inhibit leptin production. The author also believes that a lack of response to four testosterone injections may be useful in identifying boys who require long-term therapy because of gonadotropin deficiency.
In an accompanying editorial, Saenger and Sandberg note that testosterone therapy in boys with delayed maturation may help increase the velocity of maturation, but there is insufficient documentation to show that the psychosocial stress from delayed maturation is severe enough to warrant intervention with testosterone injections. Most of these children have a healthy adaptation, and treatment decisions should be weighed carefully. The authors believe the psychosocial benefit of treating constitutional delay of puberty may be overstated.
Meeting pretty women makes men feel good
Researchers found that just being in the presence of a pretty member of the opposite sex causes a temporary boost in levels of testosterone and cortisol – both hormones associated with alertness and wellbeing.
However hanging around with other men has the opposite affect – reducing the levels of both substances in the body.
The findings suggest that men could be better off having a chat with their female friends than going down the pub with their mates.
The researchers at the University of California, whose findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, carried out the study to see if humans replicated the boost found in animals known as the “mating response”.
They recruited 149 male students aged between 18 and 24 with a third interacting with a male researcher of 25 and the others talking to one of seven young female undergraduates aged 18 to 22.
After the short five minute sessions the men were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of the women between one and seven. The average was 5.83 showing they found them alluring.
The participants then swished with mouthwash before providing a sample of saliva into a collection vial which was tested within 20 to 40 minutes of exposure to the women.
Psychologists found that just a five minute talk with an attractive women raised the levels of testosterone by 14 per cent and the anti-stress hormone cortisol by 48 per cent.
Spending the same time with men saw the hormones drop two per cent and seven per cent respectively.
Research into animals have long shown the same effect in animals which is known as the “mating response”.
Testosterone is linked with the male libido, as well as health and wellbeing. It can also provide an energy boost.
Cortisol also boosts alertness and calms the nerves at the same time. Together they can produce the effect of feeling more alive, it is said.
Dr James Roney, who led the study, and his colleagues believe that the increases do replicate the boosts found in animals.
They said: “Both testosterone and cortisol increased among men who spoke with women but declined among men who interacted with other men.”
Dr Leslie Knapp, a biological anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, said the response was evolutionary and was to do with finding and competing for possible mates.
“It all boils down to sex,” she said. “High levels of testosterone are associated with boosting sexual performance whereas cortisol helps focus your energy and helps you deal with anxiety.”
Testosterone levels peak in a man by his early twenties, and then gradually diminish. Men who are married or in long-term relationships have lower testosterone levels than those still playing the field.
It is thought that when men find women attractive, their brains send messages to the pituitary gland, triggering production of testosterone.
8 science-backed ways to boost testosterone naturally
Share on PinterestStaying active may help to boost testosterone levels.
According to a recent study of 9,054 men aged between 19 and 39 who were of a healthy weight, normal testosterone levels range from between 264 and 916 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dL).
Drug companies promote products that are supposed to increase testosterone, and while these might help some people, they may also slow down the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone.
Also, these medications are not without risks.
A 2016 study noted that the benefits and safety of long-term use of testosterone replacement products are not known.
The best way to improve testosterone levels is by adopting some lifestyle habits that can improve overall health and well-being.
1. Getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep can adversely affect the levels of hormones and chemicals that the body needs to function correctly, including testosterone.
One study from the University of Chicago found that testosterone levels can drop in men who do not get enough sleep.
Ten healthy men aged around 24 years old spent 1 week sleeping for 8 hours per night at home, they then spent the next 11 nights in a lab.
They slept for 10 hours per night for 3 nights, followed by 8 nights of restricted sleep, when they slept for only 5 hours.
Doctors checked their blood every 15 to 30 minutes during the last night that they slept 10 hours, as well as on the sleep-restricted session.
The researchers found that after only 1 week of restricted sleep, daytime testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent. By contrast, normal aging sees testosterone decreases of just 1 to 2 percent per year.
Making sleep a priority may help maintain testosterone levels. People should aim to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours each night. Anyone having problems getting good quality sleep on a regular basis should talk to their doctor.
2. Maintain a balanced diet
Research has long shown that eating well is essential to maintaining testosterone levels and overall health. According to one report in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, low testosterone levels and being overweight may contribute to a variety of inflammatory conditions and impaired neurological function.
Additional research showed overeating and yo-yo dieting disrupted hormone levels. This effect is most evident in athletes and people who are very active.
The best diets are ones that include mostly whole foods and offer a healthful balance of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Eating a healthful and nutritious diet can keep all hormones levels in the body balanced and promote optimal long-term health.
3. Lose weight
Research has shown that men who carry more weight have lower levels of testosterone. One study in the journal Clinical Endocrinology reported that some obese males between the ages of 14 and 20 have up to 50 percent less testosterone than those who are not overweight.
4. Stay active
A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that the more active an individual is, the more testosterone they will have.
Another study suggested that increasing physical activity was more beneficial than weight loss for improving testosterone levels.
However, it is a good idea not to overdo it, as higher levels of exercise may cause low testosterone.
In fact, the same study found that long-distance runners may experience low testosterone levels. The researchers speculated that this might be due to inadequate energy and improper nutrition.
5. Stress reduction
Share on PinterestManaging stress may help to increase testosterone levels.
Long-term and chronic stress is dangerous and can lead to many issues in the body.
Stress elevates the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for managing a variety of processes, including immune response and metabolism.
Elevated cortisol negatively impacts testosterone. One 2016 study found that stressful events contributed to erratic changes to testosterone levels in males.
In the 2 months before their final exams, 58 male and female medical students filled in questionnaires and gave saliva samples while under exam stress.
The men in the study showed significant increases in salivary testosterone under exam stress, while the women had substantially decreased testosterone levels.
The researchers suggest the stress response in the male study participants resulted in aggression, emotional inhibition, and rumination, and this could explain the differences in the sexes.
6. Vitamins and supplements
One study published in the Journal of Hormone and Metabolic Research found that taking vitamin D supplements might correct a deficiency and even contribute to increased testosterone levels.
Getting at least 15 minutes of direct sunshine each day can also keep vitamin D levels managed. Food sources high in vitamin D include salmon and other fatty fishes or fortified milk and cereal products.
DHEA is a hormone that helps to produce testosterone and other hormones that affect body composition. As a person ages, DHEA levels drop, as do testosterone levels. One study involved giving DHEA supplements to a group of older men. The researchers found that the supplements produced small but significant positive effects in body composition.
Eating healthful fats found in fish and flaxseed might help the body use the DHEA it produces.
Magnesium supplementation can help return testosterone levels to normal if the cause of the decrease is a deficiency.
One study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research found that taking supplements for at least 1 month might increase testosterone in all people. The report added that people who exercise would see a more significant increase in testosterone levels than those who are not active.
As with magnesium, zinc deficiency may contribute to a drop in testosterone. One older study from 2007 showed 4 weeks of zinc supplementation could prevent a decline in testosterone levels in sedentary men who do exercise.
It is possible to correct both magnesium and zinc deficiency through diet. Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains and dark leafy greens. Zinc is also an ingredient in dark greens, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Creatine is known for its small but reliable testosterone increases. A research study from 2006 found higher levels of testosterone in college football players after taking creatine supplements for at least 10 weeks. Creatine occurs naturally in salmon, tuna, and beef.
7. Review medications
While prescription medications can help manage a variety of health conditions, they are one of the most common reasons for low testosterone.
According to one report in BMC Medicine, statins, which are medications that lower cholesterol, may partially operate by reducing testosterone.
Anyone who suspects low testosterone is due to prescribed medications should bring these concerns to their doctor’s attention.
8. Avoid drugs and alcohol abuse
Abuse of drugs and alcohol has been linked to lower testosterone.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use affects the glands and hormones involved in male reproductive health.
Further, alcohol can cause low testosterone levels due to the effects it has on the body, including causing hormonal reactions and cell damage.
According to a report in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, there is little evidence to prove that testosterone therapy or marketed testosterone supplements can help men with age-related testosterone problems.
Testosterone therapy may, however, be helpful when the body cannot produce testosterone on its own.
Because testosterone therapy is not suitable for everyone, the best way to increase testosterone levels is naturally.
Anyone concerned about their testosterone levels should see their doctor for a testosterone test but also to discuss lifestyle changes and whether testosterone therapy or supplementation may help.
Testosterone development starts before birth and assists in the development of the male sex organs.
Testosterone drives libido, production of sperm, distribution of body fat, muscle strength, and creation of red blood cells in males. Women also produce testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands, but they produce significantly lower levels than men.
People can boost testosterone naturally through diet and exercise, or in some cases, through supplementation.
However, there is no evidence to prove that testosterone therapy raises testosterone in healthy males.
Blood Test: Testosterone
A testosterone test measures the blood level of the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone, which plays an important role in sexual development, is produced mainly by the testes in boys and in much smaller amounts by the ovaries in girls. Testosterone is also produced by the adrenal glands in both girls and boys.
In young boys, testosterone levels are normally low. As puberty approaches — usually between the ages of 10 and 14 — the pituitary gland (a pea-sized gland near the base of the brain) secretes two hormones (luteinizing hormone, or LH; and follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH) that work together to stimulate the testes to make testosterone.
Increased testosterone production is what causes boys to develop deeper voices, bigger muscles, and body and facial hair. It also helps the testes produce sperm, and it plays a role in speeding a boy's growth in height during puberty. Testosterone is also important for bone health.
Two separate assessments may be performed as part of a testosterone test:
- total testosterone, which measures the entire amount of testosterone in the body, including both the amount bound to proteins that help transport the hormone through the bloodstream and free testosterone
- free testosterone, which measures only the testosterone that's not attached to proteins
The doctor may order one or both tests. However, because sexual development involves many other hormones, a more complete picture can often be obtained by performing other tests at the same time, including an LH or FSH test.
For example, low levels of testosterone can be due to a problem with the testes' production of testosterone or to the pituitary gland not making enough of the hormones that stimulate the testes to produce testosterone.
Why It's Done
Doctors may order a testosterone blood test if a boy appears to be entering puberty earlier or later than expected. High levels are associated with precocious (early) puberty, while low levels may indicate a delay in sexual development. In girls, high levels can be associated with the appearance of masculine characteristics, such as facial hair.
The test may also be used in either boys or girls to check for damage or disease of the testes, ovaries, adrenal glands, or pituitary gland, or to check for steroid use.
In teens and adults, testosterone levels can help doctors evaluate fertility or menstrual problems and sexual function.
No special preparations are needed for this test. The doctor may want to perform the test in the morning, when testosterone levels usually are highest.
On the day of the test, it may help to have your child wear a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt to allow easier access for the technician who will be drawing the blood.
A health professional will clean the skin surface with antiseptic, and place an elastic band (tourniquet) around the upper arm to apply pressure and cause the veins to swell with blood. Then a needle is inserted into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) and blood is withdrawn and collected in a vial or syringe.
After the procedure, the elastic band is removed. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed and the area is covered with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Collecting blood for this test will only take a few minutes.
What to Expect
Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel a quick pinprick. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.
Getting the Results
The blood sample will be processed by a machine and the results are commonly available after a few days.
The testosterone test is considered a safe procedure. However, as with many medical tests, some problems can occur with having blood drawn. These include:
- fainting or feeling lightheaded
- hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise)
- pain associated with multiple punctures to locate a vein
Helping Your Child
Having a blood test is relatively painless. Still, many children are afraid of needles. Explaining the test in terms your child can understand might help ease some of the fear.
Allow your child to ask the technician any questions he or she might have. Tell your child to try to relax and stay still during the procedure, as tensing muscles and moving can make it harder and more painful to draw blood. It also may help if your child looks away when the needle is being inserted into the skin.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions about the testosterone test, speak with your doctor.
Testosterone is the predominant male sex hormone that is produced by the testes beginning in the fetus' eighth week.
In the fetal and embryonic stages of development, testosterone promotes the development of the penis and scrotum and the formation of the structures involved in sperm production.
In the pubescent years (age 9 to 14), testosterone helps in the growth of the testes, body hair, muscles and bones as well as sexual maturation and deepening of the voice.
In adulthood, testosterone may play a part in sexual function, libido, loss of scalp hair, as well as accumulation of abdominal fat.
Between 9 and 14 years of age, the levels of testosterone rise sharply during puberty, which is characterized by enlargement of the testes, pubic and other body hair, muscle and bone growth, deepening of the voice and often acne. If these occurrences are not evident, doctors suggest a number of tests to determine if the male has a condition called hypogonadism.
Testosterone and Hypogonadism
A failure to produce or a decrease in the production of testosterone is called male hypogonadism. Hypogonadism results from failure of the testes to function normally because of genetic defect, illness or injury, or because of abnormal hormonal stimulation of the testes by other glands (e.g., pituitary gland).
Symptoms vary with the age of the male as well as the specific cause of hypogonadism. By the 12th week of gestation, male genitalia may not form fully or properly.
During childhood, the boy may begin puberty late or not at all and exhibit reduced growth of male organs and body hair. Additionally, the development of muscle and strength may be below average and retention of a high-pitched pre-pubescent voice may be evident.
In an adult, the effects of hypogonadism may include diminished sexual drive, potency, sperm production and overall body strength.
An accurate diagnosis of hypogonadism requires a detailed history, a physical exam and hormonal studies. Chromosomal analysis may determine the specific cause.
Testicular biopsy and semen analysis determine sperm production, identify impaired sperm formation and assess the effect of low levels of testosterone.
Treatment for hypogonadism depends on the underlying cause and consists of testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone and Aging
As men age, their testosterone levels may slowly decline. This occurrence has been called “viripause”, “andropause” or “male menopause.”
This menopause may be caused by the testosterone receptors becoming less receptive, while the amount of free testosterone in the body decreases. The decrease is due to an increase in a blood protein that binds with the hormone, rendering it useless.
The gradual fall in the testosterone levels (from 30 to 40 percent) is common in men between the ages of 48 and 70. As testosterone levels drop, men may experience a loss in muscle strength and function, increase in body fat, decrease in body density and a decrease in sexual function and drive. Of course, your physician first needs to rule out other medical causes for those changes.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Men
Testosterone replacement therapy can be used to treat hypogonadism in boys and men. However, some scientists believe that testosterone replacement therapy may help counter the effects of declining testosterone levels in “normal-testosterone producing” older men.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be administered orally, via injection or transdermally (applied as a patch).
In the mid 1990s, the FDA approved two transdermal patches (Testoderm and Androderm) that help men with hypogonadism boost their low testosterone levels. The patch releases a steady supply of the hormone into the blood.
The side effects of testosterone can include agitation, rapid heart rate, nervousness, and polycythemia (excess of red blood cells), and prostate gland growth. It is recommended that a prostate exam and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels be checked before and after therapy to help rule out prostate cancer.
Supplementing testosterone to increase athletic performance is harmful. Supplementation can cause abnormal bone growth, premature growth stoppage, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, blood clots, headaches, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol levels, and over a long period of misuse, it may suppress normal testosterone production.
Testosterone in Women
There is increasing awareness that many women experience symptoms of androgen deficiency after either natural or surgical menopause. The predominant complaint of affected women is less sexual desire and diminished libido.
Many women experiencing the clinical symptoms of androgen deficiency and low free testosterone levels respond well to testosterone replacement therapy, or menopausal androgen replacement therapy (MART). However, the efficacy of MART in alleviating these symptoms compared to traditional estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) remains controversial.
Additional concerns are related to the risks of developing endometrial hyperplasia and breast cancer when MART is used in conjunction with estrogens.
In general, the safety profile of MART seems to be acceptable when dosing avoids supraphysiologic testosterone levels.
However, in comparison to the many years and experience in evaluating the effects of estrogens, studies of androgen effects are still at a preliminary stage.
Testosterone replacement therapy for men and women as it relates to the aging process and body maintenance is far from the standard practice in the U.S. Whether science can establish a role for this hormone in the treatment of men and women is a question that awaits further research.
Is the diagnosis hypogonadism?
Do you recommend testosterone replacement therapy for the symptoms exhibited?
What is your opinion of treating normal testosterone-producing men with the replacement/supplementation therapy?
Is testosterone therapy useful in women?
Are testosterone-boosting supplements effective? Not ly
Men who want to improve their libido or build body mass may want to think twice before using testosterone-boosting supplements — also known as “T boosters” — as research shows these alternatives to traditional testosterone replacement therapy may not have ingredients to support their claims, according to Mary K. Samplaski, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
“Many supplements on the market merely contain vitamins and minerals, but don't do anything to improve testosterone,” says Samplaski. “Often, people can be vulnerable to the marketing component of these products, making it difficult to tease out what is myth and what is reality.”
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and the reason why men produce sperm and have Adam's apples. It's also why men develop more “masculine” features bulging muscles, a deep voice, broad shoulders and a hairy chest.
After age 30, most men experience a gradual decline in testosterone, sometimes causing these features to diminish or new symptoms to occur, erectile dysfunction.
In an attempt to turn back the hands of time, some men will turn to T boosters.
Using a structured review approach, Samplaski and a team of researchers explored the active ingredients and advertised claims of 50 T boosting supplements. Their findings were published as an original article in The World Journal of Men's Health.
Researchers performed a Google search with the search term “Testosterone Booster,” thus mimicking a typical internet research for someone looking to increase testosterone levels, and then selected the first 50 products that came up in their search. Then, the team reviewed published scientific literature on testosterone and the 109 components found in the supplements. Zinc, fenugreek extract and vitamin B6 were three of the most common components in the supplements.
The team also compared the content for each supplement with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and the upper tolerable intake level (UL) as set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.
Of the 150 supplements, researchers came across 16 general claims to benefit patients, including claims to “boost T or free T,” “build body lean mass or muscle mass,” or “increase sex drive or libido.”
While 90% of the T booster supplements claimed to boost testosterone, researchers found that less than 25% of the supplements had data to support their claims. Many also contained high doses of vitamins and minerals, occasionally more than the tolerable limit.
Un drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases, according to the FDA.
As such, Samplaski would to see more regulation around testosterone-boosting supplements to protect consumers.
She also would to explore disseminating handouts to her patients with more accurate information in the hopes that it encourages patients to seek a medical professional for low testosterone issues.
While no one can escape the effects of aging, Samplaski says there is something men can do to address their concerns. “The safest and most effective way for men to boost low testosterone levels is to talk with a medical professional or a nutritionist.”
Materials provided by University of Southern California – Health Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Effect of testosterone boosters on body functions: Case report
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5 Foods That Naturally Boost Testosterone – We Love Cycling magazine
Do you want to recover well after exercise and grow muscles easily? Do you want to lower your overall disease risk, improve body composition, and have better sex? No, this is not an infomercial.
You can actually have all of this if you just manage to improve your testosterone levels. You know about four main lifestyle habits that will help you from the previous article.
This time, let’s look at five foods that can give you a real boost.
Ashwagandha is a herb that is consistently showing convincing results in increasing testosterone.
Most recently, in a 2015 study, subjects that received 300 mg Ashwagandha extract twice a day for 8 weeks showed a testosterone increase of 3,3 nmol/l or 16-20 % compared to the placebo group. Another study from 2013 observed a similar increase of 17 %.
And finally, a study from 2011 found that Ashwagandha increased testosterone by 13 % in healthy men, by 10 % in smokers, and by 22 % in subjects experiencing a lot of stress!
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Pomegranate, especially in the form of a juice, is another plant that is showing impressive results.
Researchers from a 2012 study fed 300 ml of pomegranate juice to 60 volunteers for 2 weeks and found out the following: the subjects had lower blood pressure and arterial plaque, improved mood and well-being, and both men and women registered an increase in testosterone of 24 % on average.
Ginger is most known for its ability to help treat nausea and indigestion and also for its anti-inflammatory properties. But some research suggests that ginger extract may also boost your testosterone levels.
Most studies hinting at this have been done on mice. However, a study from 2012 in infertile humans found that ginger was able to increase testosterone levels by 17 % and increase levels of other key sex hormones too.
Stinging nettle is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s often used as a natural diuretic and some research suggests it can even help treat enlarged prostates. It has one peculiar effect that helps increase free testosterone.
Most of the testosterone you have binds to sex-hormone binding globulin, which makes it inactive.
Stinging nettle extract contains a lignan called 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran that can partially block this process thus increasing the bioactive free testosterone in your blood stream.
Oysters can contribute to healthy testosterone levels mainly because they contain more zinc per serving than any other food. Zinc is essential for reproductive function as well as testosterone levels.
A study from 1996 measured the association between zinc and testosterone and found that restricting zinc intake from foods lowered testosterone levels in healthy men.
So, especially if your diet is lacking zinc, having oysters regularly may be very beneficial.
Ashwagandha Food Ginger healthy Oysters Pomegranate Testosterone