Testosterone is a hormone found in both males and females that support reproductive health, sexual health, and general well-being.
- 10–40% of men around the world suffer from testosterone deficiency, and that number is increasing.
- Testosterone deficiency is common in women (primarily those over 40).
Symptoms of inadequate testosterone in men:
low sex drive, low energy, high body fat, loss of muscle mass, and reduced erectile function.
Symptoms of inadequate testosterone in women: low libido, reduced bone strength, depression, memory loss, skin health, and vaginal dryness.
- A nutrient-dense diet containing vitamin A
Vitamin A, also known as retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin key to the production of testosterone.
Specifically, Vitamin A in the diet assists in the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone – the base hormone responsible for the production of testosterone and other androgens.
Interestingly enough, “It has been known for a very long time that depriving male mice of vitamin A [causes them to] become infertile,” reports chemist Gunda I. Georg.
Great sources of vitamin A include liver, eggs, and cod liver.
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include skin problems such as dry skin, acne, and dandruff. Other symptoms include problems with night vision and hormonal issues, including low testosterone and estrogen dominance.
2. Maintain a healthy body weight
Healthy body weight is key to testosterone production because body fat levels have a strong and consistent negative correlation with serum testosterone.
Why? Fat cells can synthesize their own estrogen. Estrogen, in turn, can reduce testosterone production via negative feedback in the hypothalamus, so excess body fat tends to cause both high estrogen and low testosterone.
A major biomarker for sexual health is the testosterone/estrogen ratio.
3. Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus Terrestris is known as the passion-inducing plant, which increases testosterone production and sex drive.
One study on athletes showed that the concentration of blood testosterone increased to a statistically reliable amount during the first half (10 days) of the experiment (Zh F, 2009).
Treatment of rats with Tribulus Terrestris saponins “Dramatically increased the serum level of testosterone to about 150% of control” and led to a “Significant decrease in serum level of corticosterone” (the animal version of cortisol) and consequently a much higher T/C ratio (Yin L, 2016).
Tribulus Terrestris has also been shown to boost DHEA, decrease prolactin, and lower cortisol.
Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom that is often used in the sports realm for athletes and is used in traditional medicine to boost testosterone.
One study showed “Cordyceps extract reliably increases testosterone secretions from cells with an ideal concentration of 3mg/mL, shown in two separate studies on dose-response” (Hsu su CC, et al 2003).
In addition to improving hormonal health, research has shown Cordyceps has powerful effects in improving kidney, adrenal, brain, and pancreatic health.
5. Red light therapy
The healing properties of red light therapy were originally discovered by NASA when they found that red wavelengths of light shortened healing times for wounds.
Red light therapy has anti-stress mechanisms and is used for pain management, stimulating hair growth, improving post-workout recovery, and even boosting testosterone.
One study in 2013 confirmed “Serum T level was significantly elevated in the 670 nm wavelength group on day 4. Thus the LLLT using a 670-nm diode laser was effective in increasing serum T level without causing any visible histopathological side effects” (Ahn J et al., 2013).
Magnesium is a mineral that is necessary for both optimal health and the production of testosterone.
One study assessed how 4 weeks of magnesium supplementation and exercise affected the free and total plasma testosterone levels of sportsmen practicing tae kwon do and sedentary controls at rest and after exhaustion. “Our results show that supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values in sedentary and in athletes” (Cinar V et al., 2010).
Because it has a relaxing effect, magnesium may be best supplemented in the evening. Several forms of magnesium include magnesium gluconate, citrate and threonate.
Increasing physical exercise can raise testosterone — in addition to building muscle, stamina, and all the other benefits of exercise.
One study revealed, “Exercise also increased testosterone levels relative to sedentary subjects” (Cinar V et al., 2010).
Muscle itself produces testosterone, so activities such as weight lifting with dumbells can keep your muscles and testosterone levels strong.
Not only can exercise reliably boost testosterone, but inactivity induces resistance to the metabolic benefits following acute exercise. With exercise, you get massive benefits just by doing minimal amounts.
Cistanche is a herb that has been used for thousands of years to support sexual health. The plant is utilized for the treatment of kidney deficiency, impotence, female infertility, morbid leucorrhea, profuse metrorrhagia, and senile constipation.
This herb is mainly used for men, but it has also been shown to increase fertility in women. One study showed, “The serum level of progesterone and testosterone in rats was also increased” (Wang T et al., 2016).
In men, Cistanche shortened the time taken to get an erection and prolonged the erectile duration (Gu et al., 2017).
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