The human body is complex, but most of what control its operations is hormones. These also determine the predominant features in either males or females. The dominant hormones in females are estrogen while in males it is testosterone. However, both sexes produce these two hormones but in varying degrees. If testosterone levels are high in females, it can result in undesired consequences like:
- Deepening of the voice
- More hair on the body than an average woman
- Masculinity associated with men
- In extreme cases it can lead to infertility.
- Acne and instances of breakouts
- Menstrual irregularity
- Apple shaped body
Testosterone – the principal male sex hormone that is produced by the Leydig cells of the testes in response to luteinizing hormone (LH) secreted by the pituitary gland. It is also produced by the adrenal cortex in both males and females. Its chief function is to stimulate the development of the male reproductive organs, including the prostate, and the secondary sex characters, such as the beard. It encourages growth of bone and muscle, and helps maintain muscle strength.
Normal testosterone production is about six milligrams per day. The normal level of testosterone in your bloodstream is between 350 and 1,000 nanograms per decilitre (ng/dl). Those quantities silently start to wane around age 40. You lose about 1 percent a year – a harmless decline in the short term, but a cause of obesity, brittle bones, muscle loss and impotence by the time you reach your 60s — if you live that long. Testosterone levels in the low range (a blood serum score below 350 ng/dl) may increase your chances of dying of a heart attack.
In the same way there are women with higher testosterone levels; there are also men with less testosterone levels than desired. As a result this category of men might experience undesired consequences like:
- Reduced sex drive
- Changed sleeping pattern or insomnia
- Weight gain
- Reduced red blood cells production
- Decreased hair density
- Fragile bones
- Sadness and frequent depression
- Gradual decrease in the size of the testes
What causes low testosterone levels?
Eventually, imbalances of testosterone can set the stage for the development of even more serious diseases. Low levels can disrupt the body’s blood sugar metabolism, leading to obesity and diabetes. Chronic deficiencies may also promote the early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Testosterone levels are at their highest normally during a man’s early twenties and naturally decline with age, gradually declining to about 20% of their maximum. While you are almost assured to have diminished testosterone at an advanced age, a number of other factors are now known to accelerate testosterone loss at early ages. Stress, physical inactivity, excessive training, illness, smoking, alcohol and the use of both prescription and “recreational” drugs, can contribute to less than ideal levels of testosterone. All of these things are pervasive in our society and have contributed to the onset of the low testosterone syndrome.
A normal testosterone level in males is between 350-1100 nanograms per deciliter. Anything outside that range is either low or high testosterone levels. There are a variety of reasons why specifically the testosterone level might fall:
Aging: Production of testosterone is at its peak at the age of 20-30 years. Beyond the age of 30, the production of testosterone reduces at a rate of 1% per year. This is mostly due to the aging of testicle glands where most of the testosterone is produced.
Obesity: Obesity is one among many silent killers since it carries a string of complications with it. For example, the mortality rate in obese people is high. New studies have also established that obesity and low testosterone levels form a vicious cycle that aggravates each other. For example, people who are not sexually active are likely to be obese due to excess fat deposits, and also those people who gain excess weight are likely to become sexually inactive, or their testosterone levels can drop drastically.
Diabetes: Research has established that there is a positive correlation between high insulin level or insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels. According to an analysis by Ding, Men with type2 diabetes are two times likely to suffer from low sex drive or low testosterone levels compared to the men who are healthy.
Infections: Certain infections inhibit the proper functioning of the organs or the glands that produce testosterone, namely the testis and the adrenal glands. Some of these infections include sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes as mentioned above, and infectious diseases. According to a research carried out in Tokyo Japan, a conclusion was reached that there was a high relationship between people with infectious diseases or other diseases and low testosterone levels.
Medications: Certain medications are associated with reduced testosterone levels. Some of these drugs include antidepressants, sulfonylurea, beta-blockers, tranquilizers, hair –loss treatment medications, ketoconazole, cimetidine, and chemotherapy.
How to increase testosterone levels:
- Exercise and lift weights: On top of proper diet, another thing that can make your life enjoyable is regular exercise. These will help you to burn that extra fat which inhibits the proper functioning of testes and also reduces cholesterol. This will improve blood flow to all the organs of the body not excluding the genital organs.
Low testosterone levels are associated with senility and aging especially where the level of activity is a determinant factor. Both the aged and the aging can improve their testosterone levels through exercise. To know your testosterone levels, you can buy a home testosterone test kit.
- Eat a healthy meal: A healthy meal is the purest fuel to run the body. A diet rich in proteins ensures that hormones can be synthesized effectively. High vitamin levels create a conducive environment for the body enzymes to operate effectively. There are also some foods that are rich in antioxidant, stress depressants, and many more. Healthy fats help in the formation of cell membranes and provision of healthy lipids for balanced cholesterol.
- Get high-quality sleep: Sleep has a bunch of health benefits since the body is able to repair damaged cells and tissues during sleeping. Also, it’s a relaxing mechanism that helps to lower the cortisol levels. The body also burns calories during sleeping hours. The better the quality and quantity of sleep the more calories will be burned.
In as far as male sex hormone is concerned; a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-sponsored study published in the Men’s journal found that testosterone levels dropped significantly in men who had an inadequate sleep. In most of the instances, it was observed that lack of enough sleep can lower testosterone levels drastically in as low as one week.
- Eating garlic extracts: The garlic effect on testosterone is due to the presence of diallyl disulfide. This chemical restores and proliferates testosterone in our blood by increasing the level of luteinizing hormones which in turn activates the testes to produce more testosterone. The advantage with the garlic effect on testosterone is that it lowers the cortisol, or the stress hormone, while boosting the male sex hormone.
- Pomegranate juice testosterone: Pomegranate juice is one of the healthiest fruit juices you will find. The fruit is rich in a variety of minerals; it also has inflammation and antioxidant properties. Researchers from the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, U.K. gave pomegranate juice to 22 men for a period of two weeks. After the expiry of this period, testosterone levels were found to have risen by more than 24%.
The effect of pomegranate juice on testosterone is mainly attributed to the antioxidant properties. Also, the juice’s compounds inhibit the growth and, even in some instances, kill cancer-causing pathogens. Infections are also a major cause of low testosterone levels.
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are types of nuts, and they are rich in many nutrients that help in forming the cell membranes as well as boost the male sex hormones. More specifically the sunflower effect on testosterone is attributed to the following nutrients that are found in the nut:
A quarter cup of sunflower seeds supplies the following daily recommend value:
82% Vitamin E,
43% of Vitamin b1,
28% of Vitamin b6,
18% of Vitamin B3,
33% phosphorus and
All these contribute positively to the sunflower seeds effect on testosterone.
- Lose weight: Overweight and obesity does not only put you at the forefront of the next culprit of cardiovascular diseases but rather it also affects the sex drive especially in males. Many studies have been performed, and in particular, there was one published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. It found that weight loss alone even without testosterone therapy led to an increase in testosterone levels. The belly can be a big problem with aging males. You need to get rid of that belly or you’ll grow a pair of fetching breasts to complement it. Fat, it turns out, is not only ugly but also a threat to your manhood because it’s rich in aromatase, an enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen.
Also Body fat contains an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Having extra estrogen triggers the body to slow the production of dominant male hormones. The less male hormones you make, the more belly and abdominal fat you accumulate.
As your testosterone levels increase you lose more fat: – Doctors have beaten the beer belly, with the help of testosterone. They doubled the blood level of the hormone in a group of patients and reduced their obesity by more than 15 per cent in just six months. At the same time, cholesterol levels and blood pressure also dropped. The treatment could pave the way for new ways of tackling the fat concentrated around the male abdomen – popularly known as the beer belly or pot belly.
- Reduce or Eliminate sugary foods: Sugar in foods is what is converted to glucose, and eventually to blood sugar. The inability of the body to handle blood sugars effectively leads to diabetes. Diabetes on its own has been shown to cause a reduction in testosterone levels.
In a study that published in Clinical Endocrinology, 74 men of different ages took an oral glucose tolerance test. The research results showed that glucose induces a great reduction in total and free testosterone levels.
- Banana testosterone: Bananas are among the most consumed fruits in the world. The good news is that it has a positive effect on male sex hormones. Banana testosterone results from the presence of bromelain as well as Vitamins B which are in high concentration in bananas.
- Beets effect on testosterone: Beetroots are tubers are reddish and just as their color; they are associated with increased blood flow. Good blood flow in the genital organs especially the penis is what makes an erection to stay longer and feel harder. Beets effect on testosterone is mainly associated with the high nitrates levels in the tubers. Beets are one of the best things you can eat to increase your testosterone naturally.
Smoking Lowers Testosterone
Most studies indicate that smoking temporarily raises testosterone levels, but the long term effect is negative. The Australian physician Dr. M.H. Briggs, says that cigarette smoking produces carbon monoxide in the blood, which in turn inhibits production of the male sex hormone, testosterone.
Briggs, writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, cites a comparative study of smokers and non-smokers matched for height, weight, marital status, etc., which showed that the testosterone levels for non-smoking men averaged a healthy 747 nanograms per decilitre of blood, as opposed to 515 ng/dl for men who averaged a pack and a half or more a day.
When the smokers abstained for only seven days, their testosterone count increased an average of 165 ng/dl, almost up to the level of non-smokers. Additional studies show that cigarettes in combination with alcohol lead to an even lower testosterone level. Smoking can also hasten the deterioration of Leydig cells, and cause testosterone levels to drastically decline even faster. The cadmium in smoke interferes with zinc metabolism and can accumulate in the testicles. Without enough zinc, testosterone levels are low.
The Best Herbs to Raise Testosterone
Tribulus terrestris is a natural herb, which has been used for centuries in Europe as a treatment for impotence and as a stimulant to help enhance sexual drive and performance. This potent herb has been studied and observed to enhance LH (luteinizing hormone) production and boost testosterone levels and its effects have been coveted by Bulgarian athletes for decades.
Zinc – Another mineral essential to sexual function is zinc. The zinc content of the prostate gland and sperm is higher than in any other body tissues. A deficiency of zinc is associated with numerous sexual problems, including sperm abnormalities and prostate disease. Zinc is necessary for the production of testosterone, and also helps to maintain vaginal lubrication. Stress, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol consumption increase the need for zinc. Zinc-rich foods include nuts, eggs, beef, legumes, chicken, whole grains, and seafood — especially oysters! This may explain the legendary effectiveness of oysters as an aphrodisiac.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Eleutherococcus senticosus) – No herb has a stronger reputation for revving up the reproductive system. There are three major varieties of ginseng that all boast compounds similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. In addition, ginseng contains phytochemicals that lessen fatigue and increase stamina.
Ashwagandha Testosterone – Ashwagandha, besides being a thyroid adaptogen, will actually lower prolactin levels in men. Prolactin is the hormone secreted post ejaculation that causes a man to lose his erection. Now, prolactin is inversly related to gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). This means that as prolactin goes down, GnRH gows up. The significance of this is that GnRH has a testosterone boosting effect on the body. GnRH is sent to the pituitary gland telling it to increase luteinizing hormone (LH) production. LH is then sent from the pituitary to the testes with one simple message, PRODUCE TESTOSTERONE. So as you can see, ashwagandha can directly increase testosterone production via a boost in precursor hormones.
Ginger Testosterone – Very minimal side effects with ginger. If you are on medication, consult with your doctor. Other than that, I know of no concerns. Ginger is one of those superfoods that can help your health in many different ways besides just arterial/cardiovascular. Great stuff like onion, ginseng, garlic and many of the spices that is just packed with favorable properties
Thailand makes an extract and a tea from a root that is a member of the Ginger plant. Its commonly known as “Black Galingale tea” It seems to work more for sex drive and vitality rather than increasing test levels for the gym. You have to order from overseas…i used amazon for mine.
Forskolin – Forskolin simply increases Testosterone levels by increasing testicles’ cAMP and metabolism. It might be possible to increase Testosterone secretion by meditating/focusing on testicles’ blood flow to cause raise in their metabolism and hormonal secretion. But if that isn’t in your power, Forskolin may help.
Low Testosterone Levels Not Necessarily a Cause for Alarm
Low testosterone is a condition that can potentially affect anyone. However, it should not cause alarm in any way as long as it is detected on time. To achieve this, home testosterone test kit is crucial. Depending on the results, you can seek further medical help or just embark on healthy diets and other home remedies to boost the testosterone levels.
Some of the natural and herbal remedies for increasing the testosterone levels in your body are garlic, sunflower seeds, beetroots, and bananas. Sunflower seeds effect on testosterone and banana testosterone are easy to achieve since these are readily available products. There is nothing more offsetting feeling than the inability to have a healthy sex life. We believe the above–mentioned strategies will help you regain and improve the testosterone levels.
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Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/men/features/low-testosterone-explained-how-do-you-know-when-levels-are-too-low#1
- Publishing, H. (2018). Treating low testosterone levels – Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/treating-low-testosterone-levels
- 9 Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels. (2018). Retrieved from
How to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Increase-Testosterone-Levels-Naturally