Have you had your testosterone level checked recently? This hormone has a surprising degree of influence on your quality of living whether you are a man or woman, it is not merely an aphrodisiac as many people think. Testosterone is the hormone of vitality, energy, excitement and the zest for living. Low levels can have a serious physical and psychological impact on you in ways you will not like. But if you suspect you have “low T” you have in front of you an easy and effective way to dramatically change your outlook and your life. And you can do it without drugs. I have a nice protocol below that will do just that!
Low testosterone turns a vital go-getter into a drone, it can leave him a husk of what he once was. And in women it can turn the bright colors of love into dull pastels, and take the enchantment out of any relationship. It’s all true. We too often attribute the drop in vitality and zest for life to aging and dull routine, but the facts show that neurotransmitters and hormones turn a sad life picture into an exciting cheerful one, or vice versa. Testosterone is a major player in this scenario. Here are some surprising facts about this “powerful life source”:
* -Testosterone is the most “cardio-protective” hormone in the body. Among many things testosterone is required for HDL (good cholesterol) to do its work. It promotes “reverse cholesterol transport” which facilitates the removal of LDL to the liver.
It’s interesting when you recall a few decades ago how researchers speculated that testosterone might be the cause of men’s shorter life-span in relation to women! Amazing.
* – Testosterone is one of the most “brain-protective hormones available. In fact, studies show that at least with men, higher testosterone equates to higher scores in cognitive tests like IQ tests. This effect does not apply to steroid drug abuse however. This can lead to the opposite effect. Testosterone is also well known to affect the levels of mood in aging men, and it can be a leading cause of depression.
* – Low Testosterone has been implicated in diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and even cancer. It has a powerful effect on immunity, and in metabolism and protein synthesis.
* – The lowered levels of testosterone in aging men is largely responsible for diminished energy, bone and muscle mass, and is listed in one study as a cause of falling in seniors. In one study men with the lowest levels of testosterone had a 40% higher risk of falling than those with the highest levels. In this test the results were independent of the subjects state of physical fitness. Testosterone has a clear impact on ones levels of strength, balance as well as alertness. (Archive Internal Medicine 166:2124-2131, 2006)
* Testosterone is also very important to the mood and libido of women. They must also strive to keep it at an optimum level; interestingly, obese women were found to have much higher levels than normal weight ones, yet this does not confer a protective effect. Excessive testosterone in women is suspected in breast cancer and can result in hirsutism (body hair) and other masculinization symptoms.
Unfortunately for many of us, just as in everything else testosterone levels diminish with ageing (for both sexes). In men this decline begins at around age 30, and by age 61 we have lost over 1/3 of this valuable hormone. And with this decline comes a heightened risk of death and incapacitation, and a lowered quality of life. The good new is that just as in aging itself we have a very pronounced ability to lessen and even reverse this effect. Here are some easy and simple ways to approach it:
1) Get 15-20 minutes of anaerobic exercise every other day. Weight lifting, cross training, high intensity workouts of any type all promote heightened levels of testosterone. But don’t overdo it. Extreme exercise and prolonged endurance training have a negative effect. One simple way to do this? Instead of a 45 minute run, shorten it to 30 minutes and tack on 15 minutes of calisthenics or weights at the end. Easier still, go for a 35 minute run and then walk or run for 5 minutes carrying a medium-heavy object (30-40lbs). Working out this way will promote a better overall body, and you will feel the results.
2) Adjust your diet to optimize testosterone. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, consume adequate amounts of meat – but don’t eliminate all the fat! Very low fat diets inhibit testosterone production. Go easy on the starchy carbohydrates. They are cold water on that hormonic fire. The Mediterranean diet appears to be best. (Intl Journal Impotence Res, 18:405-410,2006)
3) Get plenty of sleep. Self-obvious one here. Sleep deprivation is toxic to hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, etc.
4) Get a lot of sex. Sex begets sex. You don’t get it out of your system, the opposite is true. So do your bodily duty!
5) Lose weight. Fat cells have a disastrous effect on testosterone levels. They express the hormone aromatase which converts testosterone to estrogen, which is not good for guys. As a matter of fact, most overweight men over 50 have higher levels of estrogen than their wives. Good news however, if you follow the above guidelines the weight will come off too.
6) Take simple testosterone promoting supplements. Fish oil, saw palmetto and nettle leaf or root extract, forskolin, etc. A profound trouble of senior men is a lowered level of Free testosterone, instead of general overall levels. Most testosterone gets bound up in SHBG – sex hormone binding globulin, a protein that essentially renders it inert to the immediate requirements of it. These supplements can inhibit the binding process, allowing more free testosterone to circulate and work it’s magic. They also have many side benefits by the way.
I hope these suggestions can be of help to you. Don’t let “low T” extinguish that fiery spark in your life. If you give em a try you will see what life can really be!