Without testosterone, a man is not a man. But the hormone continually decreases with age. What are the reasons for this and, is it possible to do something to increase your low testosterone levels?
What is testosterone?
In men, 95 percent of testosterone is formed in the testicles and 5 percent in the adrenal cortex. It belongs to the androgen group and is the most important male sex hormone.
Testosterone is responsible for the appearance, influences the development of typically male characteristics during puberty, and ensures its maintenance.
The voice becomes deeper. Additionally, bone growth and bone density accumulation in teens are among testosterone’s tasks.
Regulates sexuality and reproduction, sperm formation, erection, and libido control, but also drive and aggressiveness. Men’s muscles cannot do without testosterone, since the hormone is responsible for the increase in muscle strength and mass.
It is also responsible for male body hair, as well as beard growth and skin sebum production.
Indicator of men’s health
The testosterone level shows the concentration of the hormone in the blood. It is subject to normal fluctuations during the day, therefore measurement is recommended during the so-called “morning maximum” between 8:00 and 10:00 am
A large part of testosterone is bound to the SHBG transport protein, so its concentration largely determines the amount of the value. For example, a tumor in the testicles or the adrenal cortex may be responsible for increased levels, just like other doping agents.
The congenital diseases are rarely the base. A low testosterone level can be the result of serious general illnesses, alcoholism, weight loss, stress, and nervous conditions or by damage to the testicles and taking certain medications.
Symptoms of age-related testosterone deficiency
The production of sex hormones continually decreases with age in men. Testosterone, which circulates freely in the blood, is reduced by about 1.2 percent per year after the age of 40.
It can be assumed that 20 to 30 percent of all men over the age of 50 have a deficiency. This phenomenon is often known as andropause, based on women’s menopause.
This term is misleading because women’s sex hormones decrease in a very short period of time, while this process in men takes years.
Often there is talk of mid-life crisis or just signs of aging. The symptoms that indicate a testosterone deficiency can be quite clear:
- Decreased spontaneous erections.
- Sexual displeasure and decreased desire.
- Reduced growth of pubic hair.
- Infertility and decreased sperm.
- Reduction of muscle mass and strength.
- Benign change in the male mammary gland (gynecomastia).
There are also non-specific characteristics that may indicate a low level of hormones, for example, sleep disorders, increased aggressiveness, loss of motivation, depression, decreased concentration, mild anemia, increased weight and body fat, hot flashes and reduction of bone density.
Too little testosterone favors secondary diseases
A low testosterone level is problematic because it favors many complications, especially metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
The risk of developing type-2 diabetes increases, as testosterone deficiency is often associated with obesity and increased blood lipid levels. Men who have had high levels at a young age are particularly affected.
An international study has determined testosterone levels in men between 40 and 75 years of age and used it to determine their risk of cardiovascular disease. A deficiency was also linked to erectile dysfunction or decreased libido.
Another study looked at the relationship between mortality and testosterone levels. Based on 10,000 candidates screened, it could be shown that men with good testosterone values have significantly longer life expectancies ( 1 ).
First steps against low testosterone levels
If your doctor diagnoses a low testosterone level, there are ways to stay active yourself. The more body fat there is, the less it is produced, this is due to the hormone aromatase, which overweight people produce more.
Some prescription pain relievers have a negative impact on testosterone levels, in which case you should consult your doctor and replace the medication. The chronic stress and lack of sleep should disappear from everyday life as much as possible, the meditation or autogenous training can help.
The Alcohol is a brake metabolic also affects the formation of testosterone, so drinking habits should be reviewed critically.
Environmental toxins like plasticizers and other chemicals also affect hormone production, especially when dioxins are ingested through the meat. Organic meat is a better option.
It depends on a zinc-containing enzyme that stops working if it’s deficient. If zinc is added, the level of testosterone also increases.
Taking vitamin D3 should increase testosterone levels. The B vitamins are also involved in the formation of the hormone and, therefore, should be taken. There are other nutritional supplements that are beneficial to men’s health and can be combined.
South American maca root powder can stimulate sperm formation, as can the amino acid L-arginine or Tribulus Terrestris. This has been shown in at least one study.
Foods against testosterone deficiency
The oleuropein substance contained in the olive leaf raises the LH level and, therefore, the testosterone. Diet can also affect hormone levels.
Certain foods increase the production of hormones because they contain substances similar to testosterone. Celery, corn, cucumber, kale, spinach, oats, pine nuts, and garlic should be on the menu more frequently if hormone formation is to be promoted.
However, garlic in particular needs an adequate amount to take effect. If you don’t want to eat five cloves a day, you can use garlic capsules. Hormone replacement therapy from a doctor should be the last step.
If all-natural measures like vital substances and food do not help, naturopathic treatment with bioidentical hormone preparations is an option.