Testosterone is an essential hormone seen in much larger quantities for men, although women produce low levels of it too, and it is responsible for the development of male sex characteristics.
It also plays a role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production as well as several other functions in your body. I
f you have low testosterone levels, it can lead to a number of health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your testosterone levels naturally or by using supplements.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of testosterone and how you can increase your testosterone levels safely and effectively.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced in your testicles and it is the impetus for the development of male characteristics, such as facial hair and a deep voice.
Natural testosterone production levels typically peak during adolescence and early adulthood but after age 30, testosterone levels begin to decline by about 1% each year.
Women also produce much lower levels of testosterone in their ovaries, thecal glands, and adrenal glands, and are more sensitive to the hormone.
Besides aging, other factors such as injuries, illnesses, weight gain, obesity, lack of physical activity, and chronic stress can also lead to a decrease in your testosterone levels.
What are the benefits of testosterone?
- Bone density, bone growth, and bone strength
- Lean muscle mass growth and strength
- Sex drive and sexual function
- Sperm production
- Producing a deeper voice during puberty
- Development of an Adam’s apple
- Growing facial hair, body hair, and pubic hair
- Developing your penis and testes in utero
- May contribute to hair loss
- Enlargement of sebaceous glands which can increase body odor
- Growth of facial features such as the chin, jaw, and nose
- Growth of the penis or clitoris
- Increased energy levels and athletic performance
Not only does testosterone affect you physically, but it also plays a role in your mood and well-being.
Low testosterone levels have been linked with depression and anxiety.
In fact, testosterone replacement therapy has shown to be an effective treatment for men with low testosterone who are experiencing depression.
Testosterone levels can also affect your sex drive and erectile function.
Due to testosterone being the primary sex hormone when testosterone levels are too low, you may experience problems with your sexual performance such as decreased libido, difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, reduced sperm quality, and possibly infertility.
Testosterone levels that are too high may also lead to erectile dysfunction.
There is even a correlation between testosterone, aggression, and making risky financial decisions.
Can I take supplements to boost my testosterone?
If you think you may have low testosterone, it’s important to talk to your doctor first before taking any supplements.
Your normal testosterone level can fluctuate throughout the day and may be affected by other factors such as your diet, sleep, stress levels, and exercise.
Your doctor can order a blood test to check your testosterone levels and determine if you have low testosterone.
If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, there are a few different treatment options available to you.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be done through testosterone injections, patches, gels, or pellets implanted under the skin.
Testosterone boosters are supplements using natural ingredients that may help to increase your testosterone levels.
These dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA and there is no guarantee that they are effective or safe. Some of the most popular testosterone boosting supplements include:
Fenugreek is an herb that is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
It has also been traditionally used as an herbal supplement for medicinal purposes such as aiding in digestion, lowering blood sugar levels, and increasing milk production in nursing mothers.
Fenugreek extract is a popular natural testosterone booster because it contains compounds that may help to increase testosterone levels and improve libido although more research is needed.
Zinc is a mineral that is found in foods such as oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds. It is also available in supplement form.
Zinc is important for many functions in the body including immune function, wound healing, and fertility.
Zinc levels may be decreased in men with low testosterone and taking zinc supplements has been shown to increase testosterone levels and improve fertility in some men.
D-Aspartic acid is an amino acid that is found in foods such as eggs, meat, and fish.
It has been shown to increase testosterone levels in some studies although more research is needed to prove its benefits.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that is found in fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk. It can also be made in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D is important for many functions in your body including bone health, immune system function, and muscle strength. Low testosterone levels have been linked with vitamin D deficiency and taking vitamin D supplements may help to increase testosterone levels.
Saw palmetto extract
Saw palmetto is a plant that is native to the southeastern United States.
The berries of the saw palmetto plant have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
Saw palmetto extract is sometimes used as a testosterone booster because it may help to block the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
However, more research is needed before the effects of this herbal extract can be fully understood.
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Ginger is a spice that is commonly used in cooking and has also been traditionally used as an active ingredient for medicinal purposes including treating nausea and indigestion.
Some research has shown that ginger extract may help to increase testosterone levels.
Dehydroepiandrosterone is an anabolic steroid that is made in your body and can also be taken in supplement form.
DHEA levels decline with age and low testosterone levels have been linked with DHEA deficiency.
Taking DHEA supplements may help to increase testosterone levels although more research is needed to confirm its effects.
Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is thought to have a variety of health benefits including reducing stress, boosting testosterone levels, and improving fertility.
Some research has shown that using ashwagandha extract as a natural testosterone supplement may help to increase testosterone levels although larger studies are necessary to verify its benefits to low testosterone.
These are just a few of the most popular testosterone boosters.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as some may interact with other medications you’re taking or have other side effects.
There are also many other ways that you can boost your testosterone levels naturally to a normal level which we will detail below.
Before buying any supplement, always ensure that it has been third-party tested to help guarantee a quality product.
Are the benefits of testosterone supplements verified by science?
There is some scientific evidence to suggest that some of the supplements are effective testosterone boosters and may offer a variety of benefits but more research is needed to confirm the effects of testosterone supplements on the body.
For example, some studies may have been animal studies or the human studies may need larger sample sizes.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting any new supplements.
What are other ways to boost testosterone?
In addition to taking testosterone boosters, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to boost your testosterone levels.
Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress are all important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
When do I need to see a doctor about low testosterone?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as decreased sex drive, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, or erectile dysfunction, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Hot flashes may also be a symptom of low testosterone too. Low testosterone levels can be caused by a variety of medical conditions so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis, which your doctor will diagnose with a blood test.
Your doctor can also provide you with information about testosterone replacement therapy and other treatment options such as testosterone booster supplements.
Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in your body, for both women and men although it is seen in much higher quantities in men.
Low testosterone levels can cause a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, sexual dysfunction, and decreased sex drive among others.
Testosterone supplements may help to increase the production of testosterone and offer a variety of benefits, however, more research is needed to confirm the effects of testosterone booster supplements on the body.
There are also many other ways to boost testosterone levels such as getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and reducing stress.
If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, talk to your doctor or health care provider about testosterone replacement therapy and other treatment options to help improve your quality of life.
References and Sources:
- Secular trends in testosterone- findings from a large state-mandate care provider
- Partial Androgen Deficiency, Depression, and Testosterone Supplementation in Aging Men
- Testofen, a specialised Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract reduces age-related symptoms of androgen decrease, increases testosterone levels and improves sexual function in healthy aging males in a double-blind randomised clinical study
- Zinc is an Essential Element For Male Fertility
- Vitamin D and Male Sexual Function
- Causal Link Between Vitamin D and Total Testosterone in Men
- Relationship of Vitamin D status with testerone levels
- Saw Palmetto
- Evaluation of Resettin® on serum hormone levels in sedentary males
- Ginger and Testosterone
- Antioxidant and androgenic effects of dietary ginger on reproductive function of male diabetic rats
- A dose-response and meta-analysis of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation on testosterone levels
- Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Treatment in Aging Men: Are We All Set?
- Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults
- Limited effect of testosterone treatment for erectile dysfunction caused by high-estrogen levels in rats
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