What is testosterone?
Testosterone (T hormone) a sex-steroid hormone which is found in humans, as well as in other animals. The testicles primarily make testosterone in men. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone, though in much smaller amounts. Testosterone production starts to increase significantly during puberty and begins to dip after age 30 or so.
Testosterone is most often associated with sex drive and plays a vital role in sperm production. But it also affects bone and muscle mass, the way men store fat in the body, and even red blood cell production.
What are the symptoms of low T-level?
Low levels of testosterone can produce various symptoms in men, including:
- Reduced sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Low self-esteem
- poor growth of body hair
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia (fragile bone due to lack of calcium and porosity of the bone)
- Low testosterone can cause enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia).
The normal range of testosterone for men is between 250 and 1100 ng/dL for adult males, and between 8 and 60 ng/dL for adult females. You may ask your GP to check your T-level if experience most of the symptoms above as correcting the level of T-hormone will improve the symptoms.
What are the foods that help to increase T-hormone?
- Salmon and Tuna – Rich in Vitamin D which is a vital hormone for testosterone production.
- Milk fortified with Vitamin D – Milk are great source of protein and calcium. The presence of vitamin D help the body absorb the calcium better in the gut.
- Egg Yolk – The yolk contain cholesterol and vitamin D which help to increase testosterone production by the testis.
- Oysters – Rich in mineral Zinc which essential for testosterone production and boost your libido.
- Shellfish (crab and lobster) – Also rich in Zinc.
- Red meat (beef) – A great source of zinc and beef liver is great source of vitamin D & A.
- Beans – Vegetarians options for vitamin D and zinc.
What are vitamins and supplement that I can take to increase or maintain normal T-level?
- Vitamin D – No doubt is the most essential vitamin that you need to take. You can ask the doctor to check your vitamin D level if you are concerned that you may have low vitamin D level. Low vitamin D level is common in people who has low level of exposure to sunlight and low intake of foods in the vitamin D as described above. A study in Malaysian men showed that high level of vitamin D is positively associated with higher level of testosterone 1.
- Zinc – increased dietary zinc intake can stimulate testosterone synthesis in men and maintain normal level of testosterone 2.
- Vitamin E & C – Dietary supplementation with vitamin E and vitamin C in combination prevents the oxidative inhibition of testosterone synthesis induced by arsenic trioxide in male mice 3.
- Probiotics – A study in rats discovered that male mice routinely consuming purified lactic acid bacteria originally isolated from human milk had larger testicles and increased serum testosterone levels compared to their age-matched controls4.
What are herbal supplement that i can take to increase my T-level?
- Malaysian ginseng (Tongkat Ali) – Eurycoma longifolia is considered natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy and has been shown to restore serum testosterone levels and improving sexual health in men5.
- DHEA (Dehydroepiadrosterone)
- Tribulus alatus extracts – Animal study showed that extracts showed significant increase in the level of free serum testosterone in rats treated with Tribulus6.
- Pine bark extract – A clinical study using complex plant extract (Prelox®, a formulation of pine bark extract and l-arginine aspartate) for treatment of ED, found that Prelox cause significant increase in testosterone level and effective for treatment of ED7.
- Yohimbe (Pausinystalia macroceras) – Study in rats showed that treatment with Pausinystalia associated with increased in testosterone level and positive effects on sperm count and motility8.
What else I could do to increase my testosterone level?
- Exercise regularly – regular exercise known to increase T level. Regular exercise also reduce the adipose tissues (fat tissues) which associated with production of oestrogen which antagonist to testosterone
- Lift weight – Weight training was shown to stimulate production of the testosterone. Testosterone is produce to stimulate muscle growth and strengthen the bones.
- High intensity interval training (HIIT) – this exercise regime is also shown to increase the testosterone level.
- Get regular exposure to sunlight (between 30-45 min daily). A Dutch study showed that sun exposure still appeared to be the most important determinant of serum 25(OH)D (vitamin D) in older individuals, then followed by genes, and dietary vitamin D intake9.
- Have a good night sleep – Good quality of sleep is important for the body to have the time to repair the tissue and rejuvenate the body. During the sleep, the body produce the hormones necessary for the strong healthy body.
- Reduce the stress level – it’s important to manage your stress level as the production of testosterone is affected when the body is under constant stress.
- Avoid xenoestrogen chemicals that can antagonise the production of T hormone which can be present in plastics, shampoos, gasoline, cows, toothpaste.
- Stored food in glassware and never, ever, ever heated food in plastic containers. Most modern plastics contain phthalates (xenoestrogen).
- Avoided exposure to pesticides and gasoline (xenoestrogen)
- Eat organic when possible.
- Use natural grooming products. Most grooming products these days contain parabens, another type of xenoestrogen.
- Avoid BPA. Studies suggest that BPA, a chemical that lines food cans and thermal printer paper, may reduce testosterone.
- HAVE more SEX! Sexual activity stimulate natural production of testosterone.
- Chin, K.-Y., Ima-Nirwana, S. & Wan Ngah, W. Z. Vitamin D is significantly associated with total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin in Malaysian men. Aging Male 18, 175–179 (2015).
- Prasad, A. S., Mantzoros, C. S., Beck, F. W., Hess, J. W. & Brewer, G. J. Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition 12, 344–8 (1996).
- El-Shenawy, N. S., AL-Harbi, M. S. & Hamza, R. Z. Effect of vitamin E and selenium separately and in combination on biochemical, immunological and histological changes induced by sodium azide in male mice. Exp. Toxicol. Pathol. 67, 65–76 (2015).
- Poutahidis, T. et al. Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice. PLoS One 9, e84877 (2014).
- George, A. & Henkel, R. Phytoandrogenic properties of Eurycoma longifolia as natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy. Andrologia 46, 708–721 (2014).
- El-Tantawy, W. H., Temraz, A. & El-Gindi, O. D. Free serum testosterone level in male rats treated with Tribulus alatus extracts. Int. Braz J Urol 33, 554-8; discussion 558-9
- Ledda, A., Belcaro, G., Cesarone, M. R., Dugall, M. & Schönlau, F. Investigation of a complex plant extract for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study. BJU Int. 106, 1030–1033 (2010).
- Ikebuaso, A. D., Yama, O. E., Duru, F. I. O. & Oyebadejo, S. A. Experimental Testicular Torsion in a Rat Model: Effects of Treatment with Pausinystalia macroceras on Testis Functions. J. Reprod. Infertil. 13, 218–24 (2012).
- Brouwer-Brolsma, E. M. et al. Relative importance of summer sun exposure, vitamin D intake, and genes to vitamin D status in Dutch older adults: The B-PROOF study. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. 164, 168–176 (2016).