What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in humans and other mammals.
Testosterone, a hormone produced primarily by the testicles and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females, is often associated with the epitome of “manhood”.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Indeed, it does play a large role in male sexuality and reproduction, impacting such factors as sexual and reproductive function, muscle mass, and hair growth, but also has some less “flashy,” albeit equally important, roles like maintaining bone density, levels of red blood cells and a sense of well-being.
Production of testosterone
Beginning around age 30, a man’s testosterone levels begin to decline, and continue to do so as he ages.
A wide range of chemical exposures included prescribed drugs like statins, adversely impact testosterone production in men.
At the same time, estrogen levels typically increase due to widespread exposures to estrogen-mimicking compounds in food, water and environmental pollutants.
What are your options for replacement?
If you’re a man who’s experiencing symptoms such as decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depressed mood, and difficulties with concentration and memory, and you think low testosterone may be to blame, you can have your levels tested.
Since testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, you’ll probably need more than a blood test to get a true picture of your levels.
If your levels are indeed low, there are a number of synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products on the market, as well as DHEA, which is the most abundant androgen precursor prohormone in the human body, meaning that it is the largest raw material your body uses to produce other vital hormones, including testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
Better yet, consume plenty of zinc
The mineral zinc is important for testosterone production, and supplementing your diet for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a marked improvement in testosterone among men with low levels.1
Likewise, research has shown that restricting dietary sources of zinc leads to a significant decrease in testosterone, while zinc supplementation increases it2 – and even protects men from exercised-induced reductions in testosterone levels.3
Better sex, more muscle, improved mental focus: these are just some of the benefits of boosting testosterone to healthy levels.
On the flip side, a deficiency in the major male sex hormone – a condition that burdens some 13.8 million American men over the age of 45, according to US census data – is, well….a far from sexy.
Side effects of “Low-T” include low libido, limp erections, hair thinning, muscle loss, fat gain, and depression. In fact, one study found that that the lower a man’s testosterone levels, the higher his risk of death from any cause—heart disease in particular.
The good news is you can boost your testosterone naturally, and diet plays a key role
Your diet is the best source of zinc; along with protein-rich foods like meats and fish, other good dietary sources of zinc include raw milk, raw cheese, beans, and yogurt or kefir made from raw milk.
It can be difficult to obtain enough dietary zinc if you’re a vegetarian, and also for meat-eaters as well, largely because of conventional farming methods that rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
These chemicals deplete the soil of nutrients… nutrients like zinc that must be absorbed by plants in order to be passed on to you.
In many cases, you may further deplete the nutrients in your food by the way you prepare it. For most food, cooking it will drastically reduce its levels of nutrients like zinc … particularly over-cooking, which many people do.
Now that we’ve got the science talk out the way I’ve compiled a list of foods you can eat to boost your testosterone levels and how often you need to eat them. This list will be available in Part 2 of this article, be sure to keep an eye out!
Connect with Expert Annette Hasalone.