Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
66983

How can you increase testosterone naturally?

Recommended Posts

 
Written by Michael Hull and verified by the Examine.com Research Team. Last updated on Jun 22
 
Testosterone is an androgen, a male sex hormone, though females need it too. In males, low testosterone has been associated with low libido[1] and poor health outcomes, such as the development of metabolic syndrome.[2] In males and females, low testosterone has been associated with depression.[3][4]

Middle-aged[5] and older[6] males see their testosterone levels decrease by 0.4% to 1.6% per year, and many are the males who experience lower-than-average levels even in their 30s.[7] Fortunately, quality sleep, physical activity, weight management, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D can all help sustain healthy testosterone levels.

increasing-testosterone1.png

 

Lifestyle

To optimize your testosterone levels, you don’t only need the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals; you also need to sleep well, exercise, and keep a healthy weight.

 

Sleep

Lack of sleep causes numerous health issues. Notably, it decreases testosterone production[8][9][10][11][12] and facilitates fat gain[13] (and we’ll see that fat gain itself can impair testosterone production). Getting enough quality sleep is so important that we will be publishing an article on that soon.

 

Physical activity

Resistance training can raise testosterone levels for 15–30 minutes post-exercise.[14][15] More importantly, it can benefit testosterone production in the long run by improving body composition and reducing insulin resistance.[14]

Overtraining, however, is counterproductive. Prolonged endurance exercise especially can cause your testosterone to drop.[16][17] Ensuring adequate recovery time will help you receive the full benefits of physical activity.

 

Weight management

Weight gain and the associated chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,[18][19][20] are strongly linked to decreases in testosterone, particularly in middle-aged and older men.

If you gain weight (as fat), your testosterone production drops. Fortunately, if you lose weight, your testosterone production can climb back up.

increasing-testosterone2.png

Grossmann and Matsumoto. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 March 1.[21]

As this figure shows, observational studies have seen consistent results: in people who are overweight or obese, the greater the weight loss, the greater the testosterone increase.[18]

These results have been echoed in clinical trials. A meta-analysis of 24 RCTs looked at weight loss caused by diet or bariatric surgery:[22] In the diet studies, the average 9.8% weight loss was linked to a testosterone increase of 2.9 nmol/L (84 ng/dL). In the bariatric-surgery studies, the average 32% weight loss was linked to a testosterone increase of 8.7 nmol/L (251 ng/dL).

You need not lose huge amounts of weight to see a bump in testosterone levels, either: a 5% loss in weight can increase total testosterone by 2 nmol/L (58 ng/dL).[23]

Quality sleep, physical activity, and weight management support healthy testosterone levels, and they’re synergistic: If you lack sleep, you find it harder to exercise and easier to gain fat. If you exercise, you find it easier to sleep and to keep a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, you find it easier to exercise and easier to sleep.

If you want to know more about the lifestyle-testosterone connection, check out our infographic and article here.

 

Supplements

Only a few supplements have been shown to benefit testosterone production. Among those, the evidence mostly supports vitamin D and zinc, followed by magnesium. Two caveats should be kept in mind, however:

  • Supplementing with a vitamin or mineral is likely to help you only if you suffer from a deficiency or an insufficiency in this vitamin or mineral.

  • Correcting a deficiency or an insufficiency is more likely to raise your testosterone levels if they are low.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps regulate testosterone levels.[24][25] Ideally, you would produce all the vitamin D you need through sunlight exposure, but if you live far from the equator, have dark skin, or simply spend most of your time inside, you may need to complement your own production with the help of foods or supplements.

increasing-testosteronetable1.png

In Canada and the United States, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D falls between 400 and 800 IU (International Units).[26] These amounts, which some researchers criticize as wildly inadequate,[27][28] are attainable from only a few food sources, which is why vitamin D has become a popular supplement.

increasing-testosteronetable2.png

 

Zinc

Zinc deficiency can hinder testosterone production.[29][30] Like magnesium, zinc is lost through sweat,[31] so athletes and other people who sweat a lot are more likely to be deficient. Although dietary zinc is mostly found in animal products, zinc-rich foods include some grains and nuts.

increasing-testosteronetable3.png

Consuming much more than your RDA[32] can be harmful. In the short term, high doses can cause nausea[33] and vomiting.[34] In the long term, they can lead to a copper deficiency.[35][36]

 

Magnesium

In males with low magnesium levels and low testosterone levels, an increase in magnesium intake can translate into an increase in testosterone production,[37] both directly and (since one of magnesium’s functions in your body is to help convert vitamin D into its active form[38]) indirectly.

While more common in the older population, magnesium deficiency isn’t unknown in younger people (notably athletes,[39] since, link zinc, magnesium is lost through sweat[31][40][41]). Yet getting your RDA should be easy: magnesium-rich foods are numerous and can fit all kinds of diets.

increasing-testosteronetable4.png

If you still feel the need to supplement, keep in mind that supplemental magnesium is more likely than dietary magnesium to cause adverse effects, which is why the FDA fixed at 350 mg the Tolerable Upper Intake Level for magnesium supplementation in adults. Also, you may want to avoid magnesium oxide: it has poor bioavailability (rats absorbed only 15% in one study,[42] and humans only 4% in another[43]) and can cause intestinal discomfort and diarrhea.

 

Overhyped supplements

Numerous products are advertised as Testosterone Boosters, but the vast majority don’t work, though some can make you believe they do by boosting your libido. Maca, for instance, can enhance libido without affecting testosterone.[44][45][46][47]

Maybe the most popular “testosterone booster” is D-aspartic acid (DAA, or D-aspartate). DAA did increase testosterone levels in two studies, one that used 2.66 g/day[48] and the other 3.12 g/day,[49]but two later studies found no increase with 3 g/day,[50][51] and the latest even noted a decrease with 6 g/day.[50]

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, so as to avoid nutritional deficiencies. If your testosterone levels are low, pay attention to your intakes of vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. Be skeptical of supplements marketed as testosterone boosters; there’s a good chance the only thing these supplements will boost is their manufacturers’ bottom lines.

Our constantly updated Testosterone Stack Guide is a complete, precise, step-by-step guide on supplementing for optimal testosterone production.

 

Bottom line

The interventions discussed in this article will work best for men with low testosterone, but they can also help men with normal testosterone to sustain their levels, year after year.
Supplements can help, but they can’t replace a healthy lifestyle. In order to optimize your testosterone production, make sure you get enough quality sleep on a daily basis, incorporate some resistance training into your workout program, and monitor your weight.
Try to get enough vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium through your diet. However, if dietary changes prove insufficient, supplementation can help make up the difference.
Not all testosterone deficiencies can be fixed through lifestyle or supplement interventions. It may be prudent to speak with your doctor if the options discussed above do not yield sufficient results.
Share our research-based analysis with your friends:

Read these related Nutrition Articles

 

References

  1. Travison TG, et al. The relationship between libido and testosterone levels in aging men . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2006)
  2. Chrysohoou C, et al. Low total testosterone levels are associated with the metabolic syndrome in elderly men: the role of body weight, lipids, insulin resistance, and inflammation; the Ikaria study . Rev Diabet Stud. (2013)
  3. Westley CJ, Amdur RL, Irwig MS. High Rates of Depression and Depressive Symptoms among Men Referred for Borderline Testosterone Levels . J Sex Med. (2015)
  4. Giltay EJ, et al. Salivary testosterone: associations with depression, anxiety disorders, and antidepressant use in a large cohort study . J Psychosom Res. (2012)
  5. Feldman HA, et al. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2002)
  6. Wu FC, et al. Hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis disruptions in older men are differentially linked to age and modifiable risk factors: the European Male Aging Study . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2008)
  7. Handelsman DJ, et al. Age-specific population centiles for androgen status in men . Eur J Endocrinol. (2015)
  8. Cote KA, et al. Sleep deprivation lowers reactive aggression and testosterone in men . Biol Psychol. (2013)
  9. Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men . JAMA. (2011)
  10. Penev PD. Association between sleep and morning testosterone levels in older men . Sleep. (2007)
  11. González-Santos MR, et al. Sleep deprivation and adaptive hormonal responses of healthy men . Arch Androl. (1989)
  12. Cortés-Gallegos V, et al. Sleep deprivation reduces circulating androgens in healthy men . Arch Androl. (1983)
  13. Nedeltcheva AV, et al. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity . Ann Intern Med. (2010)
  14. O'Leary CB, Hackney AC. Acute and chronic effects of resistance exercise on the testosterone and cortisol responses in obese males: a systematic review . Physiol Res. (2014)
  15. Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA. Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training . Sports Med. (2005)
  16. Daly W, et al. Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise . Eur J Appl Physiol. (2005)
  17. Hackney AC, Aggon E. Chronic Low Testosterone Levels in Endurance Trained Men: The Exercise- Hypogonadal Male Condition . J Biochem Physiol. (2018)
  18. Grossmann M. Low testosterone in men with type 2 diabetes: significance and treatment . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2011)
  19. Tajar A, et al. Characteristics of secondary, primary, and compensated hypogonadism in aging men: evidence from the European Male Ageing Study . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2010)
  20. Hall SA, et al. Correlates of low testosterone and symptomatic androgen deficiency in a population-based sample . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2008)
  21. Grossmann M, Matsumoto AM. A Perspective on Middle-Aged and Older Men With Functional Hypogonadism: Focus on Holistic Management . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (2017)
  22. Corona G, et al. Body weight loss reverts obesity-associated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism: a systematic review and meta-analysis . Eur J Endocrinol. (2013)
  23. Camacho EM, et al. Age-associated changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular function in middle-aged and older men are modified by weight change and lifestyle factors: longitudinal results from the European Male Ageing Study . Eur J Endocrinol. (2013)
  24. Pilz S, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men . Horm Metab Res. (2011)
  25. Wehr E, et al. Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men . Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). (2010)
  26. . Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D . . ()
  27. Heaney R, et al. Letter to Veugelers, P.J. and Ekwaru, J.P., A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D. Nutrients 2014, 6, 4472-4475; doi:10.3390/nu6104472 . Nutrients. (2015)
  28. Veugelers PJ, Ekwaru JP. A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D . Nutrients. (2014)
  29. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count . Arch Androl. (1981)
  30. Chang CS, et al. Correlation between serum testosterone level and concentrations of copper and zinc in hair tissue . Biol Trace Elem Res. (2011)
  31. Tang YM, et al. Relationships between micronutrient losses in sweat and blood pressure among heat-exposed steelworkers . Ind Health. (2016)
  32. . Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc . . ()
  33. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2011)
  34. Valentiner-Branth P, et al. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of zinc as adjuvant therapy in children 2-35 mo of age with severe or nonsevere pneumonia in Bhaktapur, Nepal . Am J Clin Nutr. (2010)
  35. Willis MS, et al. Zinc-induced copper deficiency: a report of three cases initially recognized on bone marrow examination . Am J Clin Pathol. (2005)
  36. Afrin LB. Fatal copper deficiency from excessive use of zinc-based denture adhesive . Am J Med Sci. (2010)
  37. Maggio M, et al. The Interplay between Magnesium and Testosterone in Modulating Physical Function in Men . Int J Endocrinol. (2014)
  38. Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function . J Am Osteopath Assoc. (2018)
  39. Nielsen FH, Lukaski HC. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise . Magnes Res. (2006)
  40. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Washington (DC). Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments, “Influence of Exercise and Heat on Magnesium Metabolism” . National Academies Press (US). (1993)
  41. Consolazio CF, et al. Excretion of sodium, potassium, magnesium and iron in human sweat and the relation of each to balance and requirements . J Nutr. (1963)
  42. Yoshimura Y, et al. Pharmacokinetic Studies of Orally Administered Magnesium Oxide in Rats . Yakugaku Zasshi. (2017)
  43. Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations . Magnes Res. (2001)
  44. Gonzales-Arimborgo C, et al. Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study . Pharmaceuticals (Basel). (2016)
  45. Zenico T, et al. Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial . Andrologia. (2009)
  46. Gonzales GF, et al. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men . Andrologia. (2002)
  47. Dording CM, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of maca root as treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in women . Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2015)
  48. G. D’Aniello, et al. D-asparate, a key element for the improvement of sperm quality . Advances in Sexual Medicine. (2012)
  49. Topo E, et al. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats . Reprod Biol Endocrinol. (2009)
  50. Melville GW, Siegler JC, Marshall PW. Three and six grams supplementation of d-aspartic acid in resistance trained men . J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2015)
  51. Willoughby DS, Leutholtz B. D-aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men . Nutr Res. (2013)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 3:37 PM, Sparkey said:
How can you increase testosterone naturally?

Sparkey, first of all, thank you for the upload. Examine .com is a respectable site for sure. Now I'd like to share with you my perspective on this subject, as it may differ in its foundation from what you have uploaded. No right or wrong here, just a different perspective/my two cents if you like Sir.

I don't like (never have) liked the idea of "increasing" my testosterone. Why is that you may ask. It's because I do not believe my testosterone was ever low to begin with ... in fact, I can even include you (and everyone else) in this as we get older. So what's my point? My point is, since I do not subscribe to the belief that my testosterone levels are low to begin with, and therefore are in no need of getting increased (yet I'm all for a healthy level of testosterone), my take on it is that I need to free up my testosterone, and by freeing it up, there'll be more of it for me to enjoy and make use of.

So it's a case of working from the inside out rather than from the outside in. We all have plenty of testosterone, yet as we get older (as I am now at 53), our testosterone becomes gradually more bound instead of being free as it once was when we were younger. How and why? The "why" would take too long of a discussion, but the "how" is straightforward, as its binding is due to that sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) we have in our body ... increasing as our age increases.

Again, what is my point? My point is to search for a natural way that would interfere with this SHBG. To that end, I have three (perhaps 4) natural supplements that I would consider to do the job, not just of taking care or my SHBG, but also my aromatase hormone, whereby reducing such a hormone, would result in reducing the conversion of androgens to estrogens.

The three supplements I put forth here, for anyone my age to consider, not only for freeing up our own natural testosterone, but also to guard our prostate against the ill effects of the hormone imbalance (between testosterone and estrogen) that occurs as we age, due to more reasons than one.

The three natural supplement are: Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle Root Extract, and Pygeum Bark Extract... a synergistic relationship between these three herbs delivers a better result in comparison to taking either of them individually.

http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/1999/2/bph/Page-01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, USERNAME said:

No Sir I would not recommend. These people have just shot themselves in the foot with their ad.  They’re talking about stinging nettle leaf extract, then attributing what stinging nettle root extract does as benefits.

I’ve just exposed one of their lies to you, which means mistrust and a kiss goodbye.

You wish to raise your testosterone? Raise your egg yolk consumption for one whole week, as well as your saturated fats like butter and ghee, whilst reducing your sugar and total carbohydrates consumption.

After that week, sit back and analyse how you felt both mentally, physically, including your libido and/ or having thoughts of a sexual nature.

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply Fadi. 

Do you buy each product seperately (Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle Root Extract, Pygeum Bark Extract).  It would be more convenient having it in one capsule but I cannot find such a product.

Couple of things that I have found that does increase my libido, - MSM, for sure.   And, in particular, fish & chips from the chippy - I guess it's all that saturated fat.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×