What’s testosterone and why is it important?

Testosterone is vital to the health of  men’s development. Testosterone assists in creating muscle mass and strong bones that help support internal organs. And, most notably, is necessary for sperm development in men and controls sexual drive and sexual performance of men, which is directly related to your testosterone level.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Symptoms of low testosterone include low energy, little to no sex drive, infertility, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, increase of body fat and breast tissue, slow metabolism, loss of muscle mass or inability to gain muscle, decrease in bone mass, decrease in height, low self esteem, depression, irritability and lack of focus. Low testosterone also puts one at risk for obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and thyroid dysfunction.

Causes of Low T?

Processed refined sugar– increases insulin levels which is a testosterone inhibitor.

Soy – Contains Phytoestrogens that throw off natural hormone production and conversion, according to the National Center of Biotechnology information (NCBI), researchers have found that 95% of men who consumed as little as 120 mg of soy a day had a decrease in testosterone. Soy is common in many food products including ones that are not labeled ‘soy.’

Stress– Harvard Researchers have found a link between mental, emotional and physical stress depleting the body of water soluble nutrients including amino acids which are hormone building blocks.  Stress can slow down digestion which affects nutrient absorption which can affect the adrenal and reproductive systems and in turn directly affect sex drive and performance.

Xeno-estrogens – Another study done by the National Center of Biotechnology (NCBI) concludes that estrogen mimicking compounds similar to soy, throw off natural testicular hormone production. This includes safflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, commercially raised animal meat and dairy products (preservatives and injected hormones), non-organic coffee (commonly sprayed with pesticides), unfiltered water/tap water, commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners, shampoos, conditioner, soaps and lotions containing parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, BPA (plastic) and several different types of insecticides and weed killer.

How to increase testosterone?

According to physicians, it’s wise to have a blood or saliva test to rule out dangerously low testosterone levels. For those looking to simply boost testosterone levels, there are many ways to prompt the body to do that naturally, beginning with plenty of exercise and adequate sleep, according to medical researchers. Consider adding a DIM (diindolylmethane) Complex supplement. This chemical is found in broccoli and cabbage and can help eliminate harmful phyto-xeno estrogens from the body. Other supplements include vitamin D, Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), zinc (40mg max per day), magnesium and healthy fats such as avocados and almonds, professional nutritionists advise.

If “clinically” low testosterone levels are present, a medical practitioner can prescribe injections, which may be the safer and more expeditious way to go. Hormone patches and creams can expose women and children to excess testosterone if contact with the hormones is made, so caution with use is strongly advised.

The American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, states, researchers at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida analyzed 3,703 older men taking testosterone, comparing differences in how methods of administration affected the men’s health. The study found that men who received testosterone injections achieved a “moderate” increase in muscle strength compared to only a “modest” benefit achieved from creams, gels, and patches. Men have a major concern about increasing frailty and testosterone can protect this by increasing muscle strength and bone density, the study found that [testosterone] injection works best for this issue. Additionally the study showed that Creams, Gels and Patches elevate the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at far greater levels than injections even though testosterone injection delivers more testosterone thus making injections a safer delivery method as it is believed that significantly elevated levels of DHT may have negative health consequences.

If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, get your levels checked.

 

 

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