It’s safe to say that testosterone is the substance inside the body that turns a boy into a man. The mere mention of the word itself leads women to conjure up images of hot men with tight abs, ripped muscles and an insatiable appetite to satisfy their women all night long.
Let’s face it, testosterone is sexy. The good news for men is that testosterone does more than make them look appealing. This stuff can do a lot of wonders for their health, too. This is why taking a natural testosterone booster in one way or another is highly recommended.
Hormones and Your Body: What You Should Know About Testosterone
The National Institutes of Health has referred to testosterone as the most important hormone in males. It is a 19-carbon steroid hormone that is produced primarily by a man’s Leydig cells in the testes. Meanwhile, women also produce some testosterone through their ovaries. The amount, however, is significantly smaller than what males typically produce.
Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones known as androgens. Together, these hormones are responsible for giving men their male characteristics. Along with testosterone, other androgen hormones include dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione, and androstenediol.
Normally, men tend to produce around seven milligrams (mg) of testosterone in their bodies each day. The moment testosterone is secreted into the bloodstream, about 96 to 98 percent of it binds to proteins in the body, better known as albumin and globulin.
The binding of the testosterone is necessary, so that the “T” hormone will become soluble and therefore, can travel through the blood. This way, there’s a less chance that your liver and kidneys will degrade the testosterone. In addition, the binding of testosterone will help create a storage space that will help your body fight off the fluctuations involving plasma testosterone.
On the other hand, the remaining two to four percent of testosterone that is not bound to the body’s plasma proteins are referred to as free testosterone. This is said to be the part of the hormone that is believed to biologically active. This because this is the type of testosterone that is responsible in helping a man’s body undergo a number of physiological changes.
Generally, testosterone production in a man’s testes begins during fetal development and goes on until a male baby is 10 weeks old after birth. Afterwards, however, your testosterone production stops until the male reaches puberty. Following puberty, a man’s testosterone production level will begin declining with age.
When Muscle Size Meets Physical Ability: Testosterone and Raw Male Strength
One of the most important reasons that men need optimal testosterone levels at all times has something to do with their muscle mass and raw strength. A previous study has pointed out that this may be due to testosterone’s ability to increase your muscle protein synthesis, thereby increasing a your muscle size, while also enhancing your physical ability.
To prove this, a study was conducted wherein participants were administered 600-mg testosterone injections every week for ten weeks. The result was astounding. Participants who were given testosterone hormone injections did not exercise, and yet they still experienced an increase in muscle size of at least 3 kilos.
As for participants who exercised while being given the injections, they reported experiencing three times more muscle gain. Overall, those who had testosterone injections also reportedly experienced an increase in strength of about 50 to 100 percent.
Not Just for Macho Men: How Testosterone Makes You Healthier and Live Longer
Men don’t just need testosterone to look manly and sexy. This hormone also plays a critical part in helping them live longer and healthier, too. Here are some of the ways that testosterone improves men’s health naturally.
- Testosterone helps look after your heart. Some doctors have come to believe that the testosterone hormone plays a critical part in strengthening your cardiovascular system. There have also been studies which found that men with lower testosterone levels tend to be at higher risk when it comes to heart problems. It seems, however, that further research is still needed in this matter as some studies also suggest that increased testosterone may contribute to an increased risk of developing heart disease.
- Testosterone helps keep your bones strong. This hormone has been found to have remarkable benefits when it comes to bone health. For one, testosterone aids in increasing your bone density by helping stimulate bone mineralization. Secondly, this hormone also helps in decreasing bone resorption.
- Testosterone enhances your thinking ability. Yes, the hormone can also help you get smarter. Studies have found that testosterone may play a critical role when it comes to keeping brain tissue from going into decay, especially among older men. This is further supported by a finding that men with low testosterone levels also suffer from memory loss, trouble concentrating and “fogginess.”
- Testosterone can naturally boost your blood count. In particular, this hormone helps in increasing your red blood cell count, so that you never have to worry about becoming anemic your entire life. This is because testosterone plays an important role in erythropoiesis, the body’s process in producing red blood cells.
- Testosterone helps prevent diabetes and obesity. Having an optimal level of testosterone in your body means you are able to metabolize sugar better, as one study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has pointed out. This hormone can also aid the body in reversing insulin resistance, thereby preventing diabetes.
Beyond the Health Benefits: What Testosterone Can Do for You
The wonders of testosterone go beyond the usual realm of medical benefits. Aside for making your body healthier, testosterone can do more for a man’s lifestyle, relationship status and sex life, too. Here’s some of the main benefits it can bring you:
- Testosterone can make you better in bed. This hormone is exactly what you need to have sex whenever the mood strikes you and your partner to make sure your sex life is always in the upswing and healthy. This is because testosterone helps in keeping your sex drive going. At the same time, it also improves your erections, helping you perform better in bed.
- Forget dating sites, testosterone can help you meet your dream woman faster. It’s almost like a woman can sense if one man has more testosterone than another. A study by Wayne State University revealed that when it comes to winning a woman over, men with higher testosterone levels are better at asserting themselves, controlling the situation and building rapport with their potential date.
- Testosterone keeps men happy. Yes, this hormone also plays a crucial part in keeping you in a good mood. In contrast, researchers have found that men suffering from depression typically also have relatively lower testosterone levels.
- Testosterone makes you bolder and increases your appetite for success. This hormone is also responsible for giving a man a much needed boost to his ego, which improves self-confidence. Studies have also found that men with higher testosterone levels tend to be more willing to take risks in their pursuit of success.
Testosterone and Prostate Cancer: Why More Research is Necessary
Recent studies have led to conclude that there is a strong link between your testosterone levels and the likelihood of developing prostate cancer; however, there is some disagreement as to whether testosterone prevents cancer or increases a man’s susceptibility to it.
A new study done by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile on 154 men who developed a low-risk case of prostate cancer found that low testosterone levels lead to a higher risk of developing a more severe form of cancer.
Among those who conducted this study was Dr. Ignacio San Francisco. Following the results, he now says that the presence of low levels of free testosterone in patient can help them determine whether the patient should begin treatment right way, instead of just remaining under observation.
On the other hand, other studies have also indicated that testosterone may also cause or even speed up the development of prostate cancer. This is further supported by the finding that having a patient undergo androgen deprivation therapy, which stop’s the body’s production of testosterone, has helped shrink prostate tumor in your body.
Which is worse, high or low T? Apparently, more research is needed to make a solid determination.
Low Testosterone and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Chinese – American Correlation
Studies have also recently indicated that there is a strong correlation between low testosterone levels among older men and the likelihood that they will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
To look into this further, the University of Hong Kong conducted a study involving 153 older Chinese men. Of the entire study population, 47 men were found to already have an evidence of mild cognitive impairment. On the other hand, 10 of them were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease the following year.
The study identified three independent predictors for a patient’s condition to progress to Alzheimer’s disease. These included a high systolic blood pressure, presence of apolipoprotein (ApoE) protein genotype and a low free testosterone level.
Similarly, Wayne State University also conducted a study involving aging men back in 2004. They had found that an increase of 50 percent in free testosterone in the bloodstream leads to a 26 percent decrease in your risk in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
How You Can Prevent Low T: Natural and Unnatural Causes of Concern
There are various factors that affect a man’s testosterone level or the lack of it. One of the most straightforward explanations is simply that men’s testosterone levels drop gradually with age. According to Dr. David Samadi, chairman of the urology department at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, men typically start experiencing a decline in their testosterone levels after reaching the age of 30.
What you need to remember; however, is that not all loss of testosterone is natural. For some, the reason for losing testosterone is caused by another condition, which may mean that you need to see a doctor right away. Some of the unnatural causes of testosterone decline in men include:
- Heart failure
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Infections, including mumps
- Testicular injury
- Prolactinoma in the pituitary gland
- Metabolic disorders
- Type 2 diabetes
- Genetic causes
- Chemotherapy drugs
How You Can Tell if Your Testosterone Levels are Dangerously Low
As with any other condition, it is highly recommended that you see a urologist or endocrinologist if you believe you are suffering from a low level testosterone. This is so you can start treatment as soon as possible, if necessary.
It’s understandable if you have a hard time figuring out if your testosterone levels are dangerously low. After all, a doctor typically uses a blood test to diagnose if you have an alarmingly low testosterone level. What would help is that if you observe yourself closely for symptoms that may indicate you have this kind of problem.
Some of the most common low T symptoms are:
- Low Sex Drive– When you’re suddenly not feeling like making love to your wife or girlfriend, it could mean that you’ve got a serious problem when it comes to your testosterone level.
- Problems with Erections– Since testosterone directly affects a man’s sex drive, it only makes sense that having a low level of this hormone would mean that you’ll have a hard time getting it up, too. Testosterone is responsible for stimulating receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide. This is exactly the molecule that you need to be able to have an erection.
- Low Semen Volume– When you are low in testosterone, your problems in the bedroom tend to continue. Because this particular hormone aids in the body’s production of semen you can expect that being low in testosterone would mean you have a lot less to ejaculate during sex, too.
- Hair Loss– Beyond affecting a man’s sexual health, testosterone is also responsible for producing hair in the body; hence, those suffering from low levels of this hormone can expect to experience hair loss not just on their head, but also on the body and face.
- Lack of Energy and Extreme Fatigue– You can do everything right, such as sleeping enough hours and getting some exercise, but you would still feel tired at the end of the day. That’s what a low level of testosterone can do to you. It brings your energy levels all the way down and makes you feel a whole lot more tired than usual.
- Loss of Strength and Muscle Mass– Not only will you feel unusually tired when you’re running low on testosterone, you will also feel weaker, too. This is because testosterone plays a critical role in building up and strengthening your muscles. In fact, you might even find it hard to do your usual activities, such as walking your dog or doing bench presses at the gym.
- Fat Gain Throughout Your Body– It is unclear exactly why, but research has indicated that testosterone plays a role in the way the human body stores fat. This means a drop in your testosterone level may lead to an increase in body fat. Because of this, some men also develop a condition called “gynecomastia,” where they suddenly grow enlarged breasts.
- Loss of Bone Mass– If you think osteoporosis is a condition that only affects women, think again. Having a low testosterone level can cause a man to experience a significant decrease in his bone mass. This means that your bones would be more fragile and at risk to develop fractures.
- Sudden Mood Changes– If you think your wife or girlfriend’s sudden mood changes during that time of the month is awful, think about what would happen to your own mood when you’re running low on testosterone. Studies have found that men suffering from low levels of this particular hormone tend to experience depression, irritability and even, a serious lack of focus.
Having a low testosterone level can definitely be a big problem in a man’s daily life. This is why it’s important to go to the doctor the moment you believe you’re suffering from this problem. With a timely consultation, a specialist can put you on the right treatment course, so that your low testosterone problem will not drag on much longer. One of the most commonly recommended ways to bring a man’s testosterone level back up is testosterone replacement therapy.
Bring Your Levels Back Up with Testosterone Replacement Therapy
The truth is, you can receive testosterone replacement therapy in several ways. It is up to you and your doctor to determine which kind of therapy will work best for you. Some of the most common testosterone boosting therapy methods include:
- Gels – The most common brands of gels that boost testosterone are AndroGel and Testim. These clear testosterone gel often come in packets and you apply them directly onto your skin once a day. There are also other testosterone gels that come in a pump, such as Axiron and Fortesta. You can get AndroGel in this form, too. For a testosterone gel that is applied inside the nose, try a brand called Natesto.
- Skin Patches – For those who don’t want to apply a gel to boost their testosterone levels, they can also consider applying a special testosterone patch once a day. One common brand for this kind of skin patch is Androderm. You can wear it on your upperarm, or any part of the upper body.
- Mouth Patches – Doctors often prescribe Striant, a testosterone mouth patch to treat reduced testosterone levels. This is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums to continuously release testosterone into your body. Follow your doctor’s advice, but normally, you would insert this type of T therapy into your mouth twice a day.
- Injections and Implants – Some patients may prefer to get injections regularly with testosterone, while others would rather have testosterone pellets implanted into their soft tissues.
Discuss all your available options with your doctor before starting your T treatments. You doctor can help you decide which of these choices will work best for your particular situation.
When considering any of these testosterone boosters, keep in mind there are side effects you may suffer from, as well. These include:
- Increased Urination
- Decreased Testicular Size
- Breast Enlargement
- Fluid Retention
Help Your Body Make More T: All About Natural Testosterone Boosters as Supplements
Aside from undergoing regular testosterone replacement therapy, you may also take natural testosterone supplements to help treat your low testosterone levels. Usually, they come in capsules you take regularly in order to help your body make more T to bring your testosterone level back up to optimal. Here are some of the most recommended natural testosterone boosting supplements today:
- High T All Natural Testosterone Booster – Made of ingredients such as vitamins E, B6 and B12, and arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate 2:1, as well as the extracts of fenugreek, rhodiola root, eurycoma longfolia and trigonella foenum-graecum, this natural testosterone boosting supplement has been clinically proven to increase your strength and sex drive.
- True Grit Test Booster – This supplement also relies on fenugreek, an ingredient known for naturally boosting testosterone levels in a man.
- Evlution Nutrition Evltest – According to natural testosterone booster reviews, this supplement is made with fenugreek as well as D-Aspartic acid, tribulus extract and DIM or diindolylmethane, which comes from cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.
- ZMA – The name of this supplement stands for zinc, magnesium and aspartate. Together, they help maximize absorption in the body while improving your recovery from exercise. At the same time, it also helps men sleep better.
When considering testosterone boosters as supplements, beware of some natural testosterone booster side effects that you might experience including testicular shrinkage, enlarged breasts, acne flares and sleep apnea.
Eating to Feel Stronger: Using Food as Your Natural Testosterone Booster
Perhaps, the safest way to bring up your testosterone levels is through indulging in some natural testosterone booster foods. Here are some you can pick up in your favorite grocery right away:
- Honey – This natural sweetener is rich in boron, a mineral that linked to high testosterone levels.
- Asparagus – While it’s also a known aphrodisiac, this vegetable is also known to have all necessary nutrients to encourage optimal testosterone production.
- Garlic – The allicin compound in garlic helps bring down your stress hormone, allowing a man’s testosterone to unleash its abilities in the body.
- Eggs – Another good reason to have eggs for breakfast is that they’ve got omega-3’s, vitamin D, cholesterol, protein and saturated fat to help with your body’s testosterone production.
Depending on your preference and what works best for your lifestyle, you can take some natural testosterone booster supplements or even foods that boost testosterone. Go ahead and consult with your doctor about these boosters. With increased testosterone in your body, you’ll start feeling a whole lot stronger, too.