Testosterone is the most important male sexual hormone, and it helps regulate many different processes inside the human body. Testosterone plays a large role during puberty, but it’s just as important throughout a man’s adult life, and an imbalance in your testosterone levels can cause different health issues.
Men’s testosterone levels tend to naturally decrease with age, starting around 30 years old. According to the Urology Care Foundation, low testosterone can cause a wide range of unwanted symptoms, including:
- Low sex drive
- Decreased muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Loss of body hair
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Is it really possible to boost your testosterone levels naturally?
There are many different products that claim to act as natural testosterone boosters, but you should do your own research before trying them out.
It’s important to do some research or seek medical guidance if you want to boost your testosterone. Just like abnormally low testosterone can lead to unwanted symptoms, excessively high testosterone can also be harmful to your health. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, you should ask your physician before taking any new treatments.
Having said that, there are some evidence-based ways that can naturally boost your testosterone levels if they’re low. Read on to discover several natural testosterone boosters
Some science-based natural ways to boost your testosterone include:
- Manage your stress levels
- Avoid exposure to certain chemicals
- Eat a healthy diet based on healthy foods
- Consider natural testosterone booster vitamins
- Include regular exercise into your routine
Manage your stress levels
Stress is one of the biggest mood killers out there, and chronic stress can actually affect your hormone levels. Stress increases a hormone called cortisol, which in turn can decrease your testosterone levels over time. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that excessive cortisol levels can suppress serum testosterone levels.
You can use different strategies to manage stress, such as:
- Connecting with loved ones
- Practicing your favorite sport or hobby
- Making sure you get enough sleep
- Organizing your schedule
Avoid exposure to certain chemicals
BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that is sometimes added to different commercial products, such as plastic containers. BPA has been shown to have different harmful effects on human health, and as a result, BPA-free plastics have become increasingly popular.
Interestingly, a study published by Oxford University states that occupational exposure to BPA can lead to lower libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty ejaculating, and a decreased satisfaction with sex life.
Plastic can also contain compounds called phthalates. Another study published by Oxford University found that exposure to phthalates could have an adverse effect on testicular function and testosterone production.
According to the organization Safer Chemicals, they can be found in different food products as a result of contamination from food packaging or preparation materials. Products that have been found to contain phthalates include:
- Dairy products
- Recycled cardboard food packaging
- Vinyl building products
- Personal care items
- Medical equipments
- Older toys
Fortunately, occasional mild exposure to these compounds probably won’t harm you, but prolonged exposure can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Eat a healthy diet based on whole foods
Sometimes, the simplest strategies work best. And what’s simpler than a healthy diet? A study published in the Nutrients journal found a predictable relationship between dietary patterns and low testosterone levels. The dietary habits that were linked to low testosterone included:
- High consumption of bread and pastries, dairy products, and desserts
- Eating out often
- Low intake of homemade foods
- Low consumption of dark, leafy greens
Consider natural testosterone booster vitamins
In theory, a healthy and balanced diet should be enough to meet your daily micronutrient requirements. However, a daily multivitamin can give you a boost in case of deficiencies, and some vitamins could impact your hormone levels. Vitamins and minerals that could affect testosterone production include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
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Include regular exercise in your routine
Exercise can help prevent and treat many health conditions, and low testosterone levels are no exception. A study published by the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that simply increasing the number of daily steps in obese men led to a significant increase in testosterone levels. So remember to move your body everyday!
However, you should maintain a healthy balance — overtraining has actually been found to further decrease testosterone. A study published by Sports Health on overtraining syndrome states that excessive exercise without adequate rest can lead to imbalances in your neurologic, endocrine, and immune systems, including decreased testosterone.
What about natural testosterone booster supplements?
Certain supplements could act as natural testosterone boosters, although more research is still needed.
A study published by the American Journal of Men’s Health found that intake of the herb ashwagandha led to a significant increase in testosterone levels after 8 weeks. Participants in the study experienced a 14.7 percent increase in their testosterone when compared to placebo.
Ginger could also have a beneficial effect on your testosterone levels. A review conducted by the Biomolecules journal found that ginger supplementation increases testosterone levels in male animals, although more research is still needed to confirm this effect on humans.
But as we stated above, you should consider seeking medical advice before taking any new supplements or treatments. After all, even natural supplements can have side effects or interact with other medications.
Written by Dr. Andrea Pinto on July 9 2021
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- What is Low Testosterone? - urologyhealth.org
- Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Occupational exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) and the risk of Self-Reported Male Sexual Dysfunction - academic.oup.com
- Get the Facts: Phthalates - saferchemicals.org
- Phthalates might interfere with testicular function by reducing testosterone and insulin-like factor 3 levels - academic.oup.com
- Testosterone-Associated Dietary Pattern Predicts Low Testosterone Levels and Hypogonadism - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Overtraining syndrome - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Ginger and Testosterone - pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov