Top 5 Testosterone Supplements
Testosterone is a Hormone
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In male humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair. In addition, testosterone is involved in health and well-being, and the prevention of osteoporosis. Insufficient levels of testosterone in men may lead to abnormalities including frailty and bone loss.
Testosterone is a steroid from the androstane class containing a keto and hydroxyl groups at positions three and seventeen respectively. It is biosynthesized in several steps from cholesterol and is converted in the liver to inactive metabolites. It exerts its action through binding to and activation of the androgen receptor.
In humans and most other vertebrates, testosterone is secreted primarily by the testicles of males and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. On average, in adult males, levels of testosterone are about seven to eight times as great as in adult females. As the metabolism of testosterone in males is more pronounced, the daily production is about 20 times greater in men. Females are also more sensitive to the hormone.
What are the Problems of Low Testosterone?
The most common “out of balance” testosterone levels are found to be on the low side of normal; this occurs because a male’s highest testosterone level usually peaks at about age 20, and then it decreases slowly with age.
It has been suggested that a 1% decrease in testosterone level per year is not unusual for middle-aged (30 to 50 years old) and older males. While this decrease may not be noticeable in some men, others may experience significant changes starting in their middle-aged years or more commonly at age 60 and above. This drop in testosterone levels is sometimes termed hypogonadism, “male menopause” or andropause.
Low testosterone levels may result in a decline in
- physical energy,
- stamina, and
- diminished mental aggressiveness.
Additional symptoms of in low-T in men may include the following:
More aches and pains in the bones and joints than normal
- A decline in libido and erections
- Weight gain
What are the Benefits of Testosterone?
Testosterone is an anabolic hormone that regulates the development of muscles, bones, and sex organs. Although it is essential for male growth and many masculine characteristics, it is also found in much lower levels in women. Testosterone levels increase during puberty, then begin to decline after early adulthood. Hypogonadism, or very low levels of testosterone, generally affects men, but women can also suffer from the condition. Low testosterone has been linked to decreased muscle mass, low libido, and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, there are several benefits to boosting testosterone.
Among its many functions in the body, testosterone stimulates red blood cell production, which helps provide oxygen to the muscles and organs. While too many red blood cells can pose its own risks, an abnormally low amount, or anemia, can cause organ damage or other health problems. Studies have found that testosterone therapy can help correct anemia.
Testosterone therapy like natural hormone replacement has also been found to increase bone-mineral density. Bone density decreases over age, raising the risk of osteoporosis. Boosting your testosterone can strengthen your bones, which also provides structure and protection for your organs.
There is a reason why steroids in general are popular among athletes. Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroid that can increase and maintain muscle mass. Subsequently, it also leads to more energy and a reduction in fat mass. Implementing a regular strength training program may further enhance the benefits, as this serves to naturally raise testosterone levels. This contributes to more productive exercises that can reap further health benefits.
A healthier body mass and improved energy levels can also have a positive effect on your mental health. Hypogonadism is generally characterized by fatigue, a loss of libido, and symptoms of major depression. Studies have found that testosterone therapy treatment reduced these symptoms, and it may even be an effective anti-depressant treatment.
In addition to your mental health and overall mood, testosterone can benefit the brain in other ways. Studies have found a link between higher levels of testosterone and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Higher testosterone concentrations may also contribute to improved memory and cognitive function, including spatial abilities.
Although the studies are ongoing, evidence suggests that testosterone may help to treat and prevent certain cardiovascular diseases. Lower testosterone levels have generally been associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. This may be because other factors, such as obesity, are also linked to lower levels of testosterone. However, researchers are currently trying to confirm the effects of testosterone therapy on cardiovascular health.
Even though there are a number of advantages to boosting testosterone, it is important to make sure the dosage is safe to avoid any adverse effects. In addition to gels, skin patches, and injections, there are a number of testosterone enhancements available, including creatine supplements, that do not require a prescription. Certain foods and vitamins can also help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, including vitamin D, zinc, tuna, and eggs. In general, a sensible diet and basic strength training regime can help you boost and maintain a healthy amount of testosterone. However, if you suspect hypogonadism, talk to your doctor about testosterone therapy treatments.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. It’s mainly produced in men by the testicles. Testosterone affects a man’s appearance and sexual development. It stimulates sperm production as well as a man’s sex drive. It also helps build muscle and bone mass.
Testosterone production typically decreases with age. According to the American Urological Association, about 2 out of 10 men older than 60 years have low testosterone. That increases slightly to 3 out of 10 men in their 70s and 80s.
Men can experience a range of symptoms if testosterone decreases more than it should. Low testosterone, or low T, is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
A normal range is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to determine your level of circulating testosterone.
A range of symptoms can occur if testosterone production drastically drops below normal. Signs of low T are often subtle. Here are 12 signs of low T in men.
1. Low sex drive
Testosterone plays a key role in libido (sex drive) in men. Some men may experience a decline in sex drive as they age. However, someone with low T will likely experience a more drastic drop in their desire to have sex.
2. Difficulty with erection
While testosterone stimulates a man’s sex drive, it also aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. Testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps trigger a series of chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or having spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep).
However, testosterone is only one of many factors that aid in adequate erections. Research is inconclusive regarding the role of testosterone replacement in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
In a review of studies that looked at the benefit of testosterone in men with erection difficulties, nearly halfTrusted Source showed no improvement with testosterone treatment. Many times, other health problems play a role in erectile difficulties. These can include:
high blood pressure
3. Low semen volume
Testosterone plays a role in the production of semen, which is the milky fluid that aids in the motility of sperm. Men with low T will often notice a decrease in the volume of their semen during ejaculation.
4. Hair loss
Testosterone plays a role in several body functions, including hair production. Balding is a natural part of aging for many men. While there is an inherited component to balding, men with low T may experience a loss of body and facial hair, as well.
Men with low T have reported extreme fatigue and decrease in energy levels. You might have low T if you’re tired all of the time despite getting plenty of sleep or if you’re finding it harder to get motivated to exercise.
6. Loss of muscle mass
Because testosterone plays a role in building muscle, men with low T might notice a decrease in muscle mass. StudiesTrusted Source have shown testosterone affects muscle mass, but not necessarily strength or function.
7. Increased body fat
Men with low T may also experience increases in body fat. In particular, they sometimes develop gynecomastia, or enlarged breast tissue. This effect is believed to occur due to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen within men.
8. Decreased bone mass
Osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone mass, is a condition often associated with women. However, men with low T can also experience bone loss. Testosterone helps produce and strengthen bone. So men with low T, especially older men, have lower bone volume and are more susceptible to bone fractures.
9. Mood changes
Men with low T can experience changes in mood. Because testosterone influences many physical processes in the body, it can also influence mood and mental capacity. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that men with low T are more likely to face depression, irritability, or a lack of focus.
10. Affected memory
Both testosterone levels and cognitive functions — particularly memory — decline with age. As a result, doctors have theorized that lower testosterone levels could contribute to affected memory.
According to a research study published in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationTrusted Source, some smaller research studies have linked testosterone supplementation with improved memory in men with low levels. However, the study’s authors did not observe memory improvements in their study of 493 men with low testosterone levels who took testosterone or a placebo.
11. Smaller testicle size
Low testosterone levels in the body can contribute to smaller-than-average sized testicles. Because the body requires testosterone to develop the penis and testicles, low levels could contribute to a disproportionately smaller penis or testicles compared to a man with normal testosterone levels.
However, there are other causes of smaller-than-normal testicles in addition to low testosterone levels, so this isn’t always just a low testosterone symptom.
12. Low blood counts
Doctors have linked low testosterone with an increased risk for anemia, according to a research article in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationTrusted Source.
When the researchers administered testosterone gel to anemic men who also had low testosterone, they saw improvements in blood counts compared to men who used a placebo gel. Some of the symptoms anemia can cause include problems concentrating, dizziness, leg cramping, problems sleeping, and an abnormally rapid heart rate.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that affects more than just sex drive. The hormone is also responsible for:
bone and muscle health
You can lose testosterone as you age, as well as from chronic illnesses. Hypogonadism, also called low testosterone or low T, is often medically treated to prevent future health problems.
An overall balancing of hormones is important to manage testosterone levels. This means consuming a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
Being mindful of total intake of foods containing hormones or hormone-mimicking nutrients, such as phytoestrogens, is recommended to achieve improved testosterone levels.
Some studies have shown these nutrients may have an effect on overall hormone balance.
Along with your doctor’s recommendations, you may consider potential testosterone-boosting foods as a natural complement to low T treatments.
Two nutrients that are especially important to your diet are vitamin D and zinc, both of which are precursors for making testosterone. This article will focus on the foods highlighting these two nutrients.
Tuna is rich in vitamin D, which has been linked to a longer life and testosterone production. It’s also a heart-healthy, protein-rich food that’s low in calories.
Whether you choose canned or fresh, eating this fish can be a natural way of boosting testosterone. A serving of tuna fulfills your daily vitamin D needs.
If you aren’t a tuna fan, you may consider other fishy sources of vitamin D, such as salmon or sardines.
Remember that moderation is key. Aim for a max of two to three servings a week to minimize your intake of mercury, which is found in seafood.
2. Low-fat milk with vitamin D
Milk is a great source of protein and calcium.
Children and women are encouraged to drink milk for better bone health, but milk can also keep men’s bones strong too. The vitamin D content may also keep testosterone levels in check.
Make sure you choose milk that’s fortified with vitamin D. Choose low fat or skim versions. They have the same nutrients as whole milk without all of the saturated fat.
3. Egg yolks
Egg yolks are another rich source of vitamin D.
While cholesterol has a bad reputation, egg yolk contains more nutrients than egg whites.
The cholesterol of egg yolks may even help low T. As long as you don’t have any preexisting cholesterol issues, you can safely eat one egg per day.
4. Fortified cereals
Eggs aren’t the only breakfast food that can help low T. If you have to watch your blood cholesterol, this is especially good news.
Certain cereal brands are fortified with vitamin D, not to mention other heart-healthy nutrients. Consider incorporating fortified cereals into your breakfast routine to jump-start your day and your testosterone levels.
Zinc is an essential nutrient during puberty, and its effects can keep male hormones in check throughout adulthood.
Men who have low T benefit from increasing their zinc intake if they also have zinc deficiencies. Oysters are good sources of this mineral.
An occasional serving of crab or lobster may do your testosterone levels some good. This is thanks in part to the zinc content in these seafood favorites.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Alaskan king crab has 43 percent of your daily value of zinc in just a 3-ounce serving.
There are real health concerns about the overconsumption of red meat. Not only do some cuts have more fat than poultry, but eating too much is also linked to certain cancers, such as colon cancer.
Still, some cuts of beef have nutrients that can boost testosterone. Beef liver is an exceptional source of vitamin D, while ground beef and chuck roast contain zinc.
To keep animal fats in check, choose only lean cuts of beef and avoid eating it every day.
When it comes to male-hormone health, beans may offer more benefits than you think. Many legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and baked beans, are all considered good sources of zinc.
As a bonus, these foods are full of fiber and plant-based proteins that can protect your heart health.
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