Testosterone is a human hormone that is primarily produced by the male testicles. Although it is often considered a male hormone, women have low levels of testosterone as well. Testosterone is known to play important roles in the human body regarding muscle growth and fat loss.
Moreover, in men, testosterone actively regulates male sexuality and the reproductive function. Bone density and red blood cell levels are also influenced by the levels of testosterone in the body.
On the downside, the natural levels of testosterone begin to decrease around the age of 30. Although the decrease is natural, it can also be accentuated by several factors, such as statin intake or estrogen-like compounds that are found in food and water.
In order to combat the decrease of testosterone men usually resort to various testosterone supplements or testosterone replacement therapy. Not all supplements work through the same mechanism: some may directly increase the levels of testosterone while others may prevent already-existing testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
Low Testosterone Symptoms in Men
Low testosterone causes a wide range of symptoms in men. However, most of these symptoms are often subtle. According to the latest medical consensus, low testosterone levels are considered to be those under the value of 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). In order to determine the exact value of circulating testosterone, a serum testosterone test is used.
Low Sex Drive – Although the majority of men experience loss of sex drive as they age, low testosterone levels can accentuate this loss even further.
Erectile Difficulties – Testosterone doesn’t directly cause and maintain an erection but it plays a key role in regulating the hormones and enzymes that do.
Hair Loss – With aging, most men start losing their hair. However, while this usually occurs at scalp level, low levels of testosterone may cause the loss of facial and body hair as well.
Muscle Mass Loss – Low levels of testosterone have been shown to cause a decrease in muscle mass. However, it should be noted that testosterone doesn’t play a role in muscle strength.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels
There are two ways to go about increasing your testosterone levels: naturally or artificially. Currently, there is not enough scientific data available to classify either method as better than the other.
Lose Weight – Excessive weight can be both a cause and an effect of low testosterone levels. Several studies have shown that patients who reduce their weight also have increased levels of circulating testosterone.
Strength Training – Since testosterone plays a role in muscle mass, intense strength routines can increase the levels of testosterone. A lower number of reps paired with increased weights should be prioritized over anything else.
Reduce Stress – Cortisol, the hormone released during stress is known to reduce or even completely block the positive effects of testosterone. Reducing daily stress levels decreases the amount of circulating cortisol, therefore increasing the effect and levels of testosterone.
Best Testosterone Supplements
One alternative to natural remedies is to use the best testosterone supplements to increase one’s levels of circulating testosterone. Here are some of them:
D-Aspartic Acid - Recent studies have shown that D-aspartic acid is responsible for increasing the levels of luteinizing hormone. In turn, the luteinizing hormone pushes the Leydig cells to produce more testosterone.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D can be obtained either through sunlight exposure of through vitamin D3 supplements. Both solutions have been shown to greatly increase the levels of testosterone in patients.
Ginger - Ginger works in a similar way to D-aspartic acid by increasing the levels of luteinizing hormone. A 17% increase in testosterone levels was observed over the course of a new study.
DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone is one of the most studies testosterone-boosting supplements that are currently available on the market. Patients usually experience an increase of 20% in their testosterone levels after taking 50-100mg of DHEA every day.