How to Deal with Testosterone Decline
This hormone plays a big role in men’s sexual and reproductive function. It contributes to their muscle mass, hair growth, maintaining bone density, and even red blood cell production.
The prostate gland requires testosterone for it to remain at optimal condition
Normal testosterone levels in men decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years.
It has been found that widespread chemical exposure is also causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood. Recently, for instance, both statin drugs and the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide were found to interfere with the testicle’s ability to produce testosterone. See Research
Environmental Factors of Testosterone Decline
Environmental toxins disrupt the body’s endocrine system (the glands and hormones).
This is called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
These EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production. EDCs are also a threat to male fertility, as they apparently contribute to testicular cancer and lower sperm count.
Pregnant or nursing women who are exposed to EDCs can transfer these chemicals to their child. They can create birth defects and abnormalities.
These chemicals (EDCs) are found everywhere. They are in your home and come from personal hygiene products, chemical cleaners, contraceptive drugs, etc. They end up in your food and drinking water where you will ingest them. They enter rivers and other waterways through sewage systems.
What are some EDCs?
A chemical often added to plastics is phthalates.
Phthalates are found to cause poor testosterone production by disrupting an enzyme required to create the male hormone.
Women with high levels of DEHP and DBP (two types of phthalates) in their system during pregnancy were found to have sons that had feminine characteristics
Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soaps and shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays, plastic bags and food packaging, among a long list of common products.
Other chemicals that are EDCs:
BPA (bisphenol-A) common in plastic products such as water bottles and food cans.
PFOA (perfluoroocatanoic acid) commonly used in water and grease resistant food coatings.
NPEs (nonnylophenol ethoxylates) they are estrogen mimicking chemicals.
Bovine growth hormones –added to commercial dairy products.
Unfermented soy products – Contain female hormone-like substances (soy is not a healthy product)
MSG – A food additive that can impact reproductive health and fertility.
Fluoride – A potent neurotoxin found in certain US water supplies and is linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility rates, and lower sperm counts.
Pharmaceuticals that provide synthetic hormones –Pharmaceuticals like contraceptives that provide you with synthetic hormones that your body isn’t designed to respond to and detoxify properly.
Metalloestrogens – estrogen-mimicking compounds that can be found in thousands of consumer products.
How to Address Testosterone Decline
Work on eliminating products with EDCs (always check the labels)
Stop using Teflon cookware as this contains EDCs that can leach out. Replace them with ceramic ones.
Stop eating out of cans, the sealant used is almost always made from BPAs. (Note: I recently noticed that can’s with Amy’s Organic Soup had a red sticker put on it announcing “Non-BPA lining”. I’m sure more companies will be doing this).
You should also get rid of cleaning products with lots of chemicals as well as artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, vinyl shower curtains, chemical-laden shampoos, and personal hygiene products.
Replace them with all with natural, toxin-free alternatives.
Adjusting your diet can also help; since many processed foods contain these chemicals. Switch to organic foods, which are cultivated without chemical interventions.
How to Address Age related Testosterone Decline
Reduced testosterone symptoms include decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depressed mood, memory problems, impaired concentration, irritability, fatigue and poor energy levels.
A blood test may not be enough to determine your levels, because testosterone levels can fluctuate during the day.
There are synthetic and “bio identical” testosterone products out on the market.
Oral testosterone is available. However, some experts believe oral testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. Using other methods, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypasses the liver and gets testosterone into the blood directly.
The main problem with synthetic hormones is that they last too long. All the natural hormonal “feedback loops”, which are not even completely understood, are disrupted because the synthetics can’t act the same as the body’s natural hormones.
The hormone system works as messages from one gland to another and they then return messages. It is like a communication that goes from one person to another and the second person answers the first letting the first person know he’s been heard and also answering his message.
With hormones this becomes fragmented with millions of one-way communications that are supposed to have return messages. The synthetics keep coming in. The result is loss of proper communications between the reproductive, adrenal, and thyroid systems. They now all suffer.
Recently synthetic male hormones have been controversial with different side effects. Experts emphasize that the benefits and risks of long-term testosterone therapy are unknown, because large clinical trials haven’t yet been done.
Some studies have found that men taking testosterone have more cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease. Some physicians have concern that testosterone therapy could stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. Yet the evidence is mixed, with some studies showing a lower cardiac risk with testosterone therapy and no apparent effect on prostate cancer.
Men should take a cautious approach, per Dr. Carl Pallais (Carl Pallais, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.)
“I can’t tell you for certain that taking testosterone raises the risk of heart problems and prostate cancer, or that it doesn’t,” Dr. Pallais says. “We need a large study with multiple thousands of men followed for many years to figure it out.”
Nutrients that Can Help Boost Testosterone Levels
Zinc is an important mineral in testosterone production.
Zinc can be found in
Protein-rich foods like meats and fish
Raw milk and raw cheese
Fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir
Vitamin D is a cholesterol-derived steroid hormone. It plays a role in the development of the sperm cell nucleus, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count.
Vitamin D can also increase your testosterone level.
Also helps increase Testosterone
Overweight men were more prone to having low testosterone levels, and shedding excess pounds may alleviate this problem.
Managing your weight means you have to manage your diet.
Limit processed sugar
Eliminate refined carbs
Consume vegetable carbohydrates and healthy fats.
According to research, there was a decrease in testosterone stores in people who consumed a diet low in animal-based fat.
Ideal sources of healthy fat that can boost your testosterone levels include:
Olives & olive oil
Coconuts and coconut
Butter – made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as almond or pecans
Unheated organic nut oils
Consume organic dairy products, like high-quality cheeses and whey protein, to boost your “branch chain amino acids” (BCAA). According to research, BCAAs were found to raise testosterone levels, particularly when taken with strength training. While there are supplements that provide BCAAs, leucine, found in dairy products, carries the highest concentrations of this beneficial amino acid.
Exercise - Unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, short, intense exercise was found to be beneficial in increasing testosterone levels.
Stress - The production of the stress hormone cortisol blocks the production and effects of testosterone. Cortisol increases your “fight or flight” response, thereby lowering testosterone-associated functions such as mating, competing, and aggression. They body is now focused on fighting or in taking flight.
Chronic stress can take a toll on testosterone production, as well as your overall health. Therefore, stress management is equally important to a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Tools you can use to stay stress-free include proper nutrition, laughter, and yoga. Acupuncture and Acupressure are also good choices.
We always recommend you take the approach of building health – and low testosterone is no different.
Dr. Berg has a Testosterone Kit that builds male health.
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