Testosterone is an important hormone for sexual and reproductive growth & development. The National Institute of Health considers it as the most important hormone. It is responsible for sex drive, sperm production, fat distribution, maintenance of muscle mass and strength.
It is well established now that with age, its levels decrease in men. Here are some very important and simple tips to maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
Weight lifting and stamina building exercises
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can also boost your testosterone. Vaamonde et al reported that there are differences in semen and hormone values of physically active subjects and sedentary subjects. Physically active subjects seem to have a more anabolic hormonal environment and a healthier semen production. Ari et al studied effect of exercise on testosterone levels growth hormone levels etc. They observed that long-term exercise decreased reaction time and increased maximum oxygen uptake capacity, testosterone levels growth hormone levels in elderly males; elevated serum T and GH levels may be advantageous for brain functions.
Obesity is known to have negative impact on testosterone levels.
Kumagai recently reported that serum testosterone levels in the high physical activity group were significantly higher than those in the low activity group. This effect was not observed between the groups based on calorie restriction levels. They found a significant positive correlation between the changes in serum testosterone levels and the number of steps. The results suggested that an increase in physical activity greatly affected the increased serum testosterone levels in overweight and obese men during lifestyle modification.
Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost.
Diet has major impact on your testosterone levels. Dieting or overeating has negative impact on testosterone levels. Lado-Abeal reported that satisfactory function of the HPG axis requires a functional (protein) reserve as well as an energy (fat) reserve.
Protein diet can help you in fight against obesity, enhances weight loss and improves your testosterone levels.
A diet based mainly on whole foods is best, with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. This can optimize both hormone levels and long-term health.
Vitamin D supplementation
Pilz et al studied influence of Vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels. The results clearly showed that vitamin D supplementation does increase testosterone levels. A year long study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25%.
Vitamin D and calcium supplementation improved testosterone levels and further improved bone strength in older patients.
Long term stress has negative impact on various functions of the body. It also causes decrease in testosterone levels and increased levels of cortisol. Cummings reported that hypercortisolism of endogenous or exogenous sources suppress T secretion by a direct action on the testis. This adrenal-testicular axis may have biological implications on the reproductive adaptation to stress.
A caution effort to reduce stress, healthy diet, exercise, balanced lifestyle, along with good sleep helps in maintaining normal hormone levels and good health.
It has been reported that Zinc and multivitamin supplementation improved sperm quality and testosterone levels. In a research study 10 male wrestlers were supplemented with oral zinc sulfate (3 mg/kg/day) for 4 weeks in addition to their normal diet. Thyroid hormone and testosterone levels of all subjects were determined as resting and exhaustion before and after zinc supplementation. Both resting and exhaustion total and free testosterone levels following 4-week zinc supplementation were found significantly higher than the levels (both resting and exhaustion) measured before zinc supplementation (p<0.05).
Take Fenugreek as natural testosterone booster
Steels and co workers conducted a study on 60 healthy males aged between 25 and 52. The extract (600mg) was consumed orally by all the subjects. At the end of the study period serum testosterone and prolactin levels were estimated. The levels of testosterone and prolactin were maintained within the normal physiological limits. The subjects reported increased muscle strength and improved libido without any change in mood or sleep patterns. Fenugreek extract helps maintain natural healthy testosterone levels.
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- Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E,Zittermann A. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1269854.
- Cumming DC, Quigley ME, Yen SS. Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Sep;57(3):671-3.
- Kilic M, Baltaci AK, Gunay M, Gökbel H, Okudan N, Cicioglu I. The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2006 Feb-Apr;27(1-2):247-52.
- Steels E, Rao A, Vitetta L. Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation. Phytother Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):1294-300. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3360.
- Vaamonde D, Da Silva-Grigoletto ME, García-Manso JM, Barrera N, Vaamonde-Lemos R. Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep;112(9):3267-73.