Testosterone is a male hormone. Besides promoting libido it has other important functions such as maintaining muscle mass and forming bone,and regulating heart muscle and cholesterol. It also helps to improve the oxygen levels throughout the body as well as controlling blood glucose and strengthening the immune system. As men age, the pituitary gland produces less free testosterone while more free testosterone is being converted to estrogen which results in many health problems. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of testosterone deficiency.
As we mentioned in the previous articles, human aging is the biological and pathological processes that vary from person to person and that are controllable to some degree. Starting at age 40 levels of testosterone start to diminish. The levels of the by-product prolactin of testosterone of men increases, stimulating the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that causes the conversion of testosterone to gihydro-testosterones DHT thus triggering low levels of testosterone.
2. DHEA deficiency
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a substance made by the adrenal gland. It is the precursor of the sex steroids estrogen and testosterone. DHEA has some male hormone effects and deficiency of DHEA contributes to fatigue, poor concentration and diminished overall body functions.
Zinc is a natural aromatase enzyme inhibitor. It helps to block the conversion of testosterone into excess estrogen. Inadequate zinc levels block the pituitary gland from releasing lutein and follicle stimulation of hormone which stimulates the production of testosterone.
Aromatase is an enzyme of the cytochrome P450 superfamily, whose function is to aromatize androgen and produce estrogen. As men age they produce greater amounts of aromatase enzymes that cause the conversion of testosterone into estrogen resulting in male hormone deficiency.
5. Liver disease
Damage to liver causes extra estrogen and sex-hormone binding globulin resulting in lower levels of testosterone.
6. Frequent sexual activity
Normal sexual activity helps to improve the yang qi in the kidney according to Chinese herbalists (that is the reason why most kings in Chinese history have some sources of sexual dysfunction). Frequent sexual activity (more than once a day and every day) will cause the depletion of yang qi resulting in low levels of testosterone, sexual dysfunction and libido in the future days.
1. Decreased sexual function
As we mentioned in the last article, starting at age 40 levels of testosterone start to diminish. The levels of the by-product prolactin of testosterone of men increases, stimulating the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that causes the conversion of testosterone to gihydro-testosterones DHT thus triggering low levels of testosterone resulting in sexual dysfunction.
2. Loss of bone density
The brain and bone are the important tissues that have the primary effect of testosterone is by way of aromatization to 17² estradiol in the bones. 17²-estradiol accelerates maturation of cartilage into bone, leading to closure of the epiphyses (a rounded end of a long bone) and conclusion of growth.
3. Loss of muscle mass
As men start aging or damage of pituitary gland, extra estrogen builds up in the body causing low levels of testosterone being produced resulting in loss of muscle mass. Testosterone effects can be classified as anabolic effects that include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of height growth and bone maturation. Testosterone effects can also be classified by the age of usual occurrence.
4. Memory loss
Low levels of testosterone allows beta-amyloid, a toxic peptide to accumulate in certain regions of the brain causing memory loss.
5. Abdominal fat
Fat cells create aromatase enzymes that contribute to fat build up and low levels of testosterone which allows the forming of abdominal fat that produce more aromatase enzymes resulting in more formation of estrogen. It also causes insulin resistance by increasing fat around the stomach/waist area and fat mass.There are more symptoms of low levels of testosterone such as timidity, feeling of weakness, and passive attitude.
III. Prevention and Treatment
a) With Foods
1. Oyster and crustaceans
Oyster and crustaceans contain high levels of magnesium and zinc that is a natural aromatase inhibitor playing a key role in regulating testosterone levels as well as improving circulation of blood to the penis vessels.
Cabbage contains vitaimn C, iron, calcium, and potassium. It not only helps in exhibiting the estradiol-restricting properties as other cruciferous vegetables, but its fiber also helps to control weight gain resulting in a decreased risk of estrogen binding.
3. Dark green leaf
Dark green leaf juice contains high amount of vitamin C and E, besides helping to reduce levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure and regulate blood glucose resulting in improved blood circulation to vital organs in our body. It also helps to fight the forming of free radicals and rejuvenates our cell and cleans up the clogged up receptor sites that helps to raise levels of testosterone.
4. Goat Meat
Goat meat contains high amounts of protein, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Iron specifically offers the added benefit of raising levels of oxygen in the blood that is essential for providing nutrition to cell needs. High protein and zinc are two nutrients that help to optimize free testosterone levels and muscle-building.
Egg contains zinc, iron, vitamin A, antioxidants, protein and testosterone. The antioxidants and testosterone present in egg have an effect in testosterone-boosting ratio of saturated fat to polyunsaturated . The high amounts of vitamins B5 and B6 in egg also helps to balance the hormone levels in our body and fight stress. Overloading with eggs may increase levels of cholesterol but eating one egg a day is ideal for vitalizing and regenerative effects in resulting more production of testosterone.
6. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries contain vitamin P (bioflavonoid) that helps to promote health by strengthening capillaries, protecting blood vessels from clogging up, other connective tissues and muscle building in the body resulting in improved blood circulation and immune system in fighting the forming of free radicals.
7. Cold water fish
Besides plenty of omega 3, cold water fish is an excellent source of vitamin A and zinc that help the binding of sex hormones, specifically testosterone and estradiol.
b) With herbs
1. Sting nettle roots
Sting nettle root binds to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in place of testosterone resulting in a reduction of SHBG binding of free testosterone, therefore helping increase the levels of free testosterone. It also promotes healthy prostate gland that helps to stimulate the sexual desire.
2. Muira Pauma
Muira pauma is stems and roots of a ptychopetalum plant in South America. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, tonic and cure for muscle paralysis and strengthening the liver function that helps to cure the hormone imbalance in aging men. Study shows that muira pauma is a libido enhancer.
Yohimbe contains the compound yohimbine that has been used as a major ingredient in several prescription drugs for impotence. Yohimbine helps impotence caused by poor circulation and emotional problems resulting in raising your testosterone levels and your libido.
4. Milk thistle
Milk thistle helps restore the liver function that helps to eliminate the surplus of estrogen and sex hormone binding globulin that allow the increasing of levels of free testosterone.
5. Saw palmetto
Saw palmetto help to promote prostate health and increase sexual stimulation. It also helps estrogen and estrogen receptor activity resulting in a healthy hormone balance, thus increasing sexual desire in men.
Maca is a vegetable root or tuber that grows in the high Andean plateaus of Peru at high altitudes. It helps our body to nourish the pituitary gland that help to increase the production of our own human hormones such as testosterone.
7. Tongkat ali
Tongkat ali has been shown to raise testosterone by stimulating the leydig cells of the testicles to produce more testosterone. Tangkat ali also helps in supporting erectile function and ejaculatory function as a direct consequence of increasing the size of male penis and sexual desire.
c) With Chinese herbs
1.Gou Zhen (Chinese pine pollen)
Gou zhen contains high amounts of amino acids, vitamins, trace-elements, enzymes, flavonoids, nucleic acid and unsaturated fatty acids that help to stimulate the activity of liver cells and regulate bile secretion and endocrine resulting in increased production of free testosterone that in turn promots men’s libido.
Cordyceps is one of the primary herbal substances used in tonic herbalism as an anti-aging agent and for the purposes of rejuvenation. It also helps to nourish and strengthen the kidneys and lungs and tonifies qi, relieves depression of liver qi as resulting of eliminating the surplus of estrogen and sex hormone binding globuline.
Ginseng in Chinese medicine is used as a pituitary strengthening herb. It also contains herbs that benefit the endocrine system which results in tonifiying the entire endocrine system and helping the release of human growth hormone (HGH).
Reishi is a supreme protector that helps to strengthen the immune system, anti-forgoing stress, improves blood, and qi circulation and memory. Reshi also helps to protect the liver from toxins and protect the lungs from pollutants as a resulting of eliminating the surplus of estrogen and sex hormone binding globulin and helping the release of human growth hormone (HGH).
5. Tribulus terrestris
Tribulus terrestris is a sexual enhancer and testosterone stimulator that benefits the sexual functions of men resulting in increased sexual potency in men. Studies show that intake of tritbulus terrestris will help to increase the amounts of free testosterone in the body systems.
6. Horny Goat Weed
Horny goat weed contains a variety of flavonoids such as icariin that helps to relax the blood vessels leading to the penis, which allows them to expand resulting in stronger and harder erection. It also helps to treat low levels of testosterone and increased sexual desire at the same time.
d) With Nutritional Supplements
DHEA allows our body to create other hormones such as testosterone. Study shows that DHEA is a precursor to sex hormones. The deficiency of DHEA causes the deficiency of other sex hormones resulting in loss of bone density, increasing of body mass, hardening of blood vessels and low sex drive.
Chlorella containing beta carotene and chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant that helps to strengthen the immune system by blocking the formation of free radicals, improving oxygen levels for cell needs and nitric oxygen thus stimulating the enlarging of the penis through sexual desire.
Garlic is one of nature’s superfoods that helps lower levels of cholesterol, normalizes blood pressure and increases circulation of oxygen levels in bloodstream. Garlic is also a stimulant that helps to increase men’s libido by promoting the production of sex hormone in the pituitary gland. Please consult with your doctor if you have any bleeding problems before taking garlic supplements.
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is needed for skin rejuvenation. The depleting of vitamin K in the skin membrane causes the skin to become inelastic and wrinkle as a result of low levels of testosterone in men due to aging. Restoring the deficiency of vitamin K indirectly promotes production of levels of testosterone.
5. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid
Besides helping to lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and improving circulation of the levels of oxygen in bloodstream to cells, omega 3 and 6 fatty acid also helps to promote the restoration of any damage of heart tissues and hormone imbalance in aging men.
6. Nucleic acid
Nucleic acid besides promoting cell growth, boosting energy, smooth skin and keeping hair sleek, also helps to maintain the healthy levels of male sex hormone resulting in a normalizing desire of the sex drive.
7. Zinc and iron
Deficiency of zinc and iron causes the depletion of oxygen levels and poor circulation of the bloodstream as indirectly resulting in erectile dysfunction. Since zinc also promotes healthy prostate glands that increase the release of prostate fluids that help to stimulate the sexual desire by increasing the production of levels of free testosterone.
8. Potassium and magnesium
Potassium and magnesium help to inhibit the conversion of testosterone to estrogen resulting in more free testosterone that helps to normalize sexual desire.
e) With natural approaches
1. Cut down intake of saturated fat and trans fat
Our brain needs fat to function better, but unhealthy diet that is high in saturated fat and trans fat causes not only the build up of the abdominal area but also increases the risk of hormone imbalance by stimulating the binding of sex hormone binding globulin which clogs up testosterone receptor sites resulting in low levels of free testosterone and sexual desire. By reducing intake of above fats and replacing them by fish which contain high amounts of omega 3 and 6 will help to block the binding of SHBG, thus increasing the amount of free testosterone as well as libido.
2. Reduce intake of alcohol
Excessive drinking impairs the function of liver resulting in hormone imbalance as well as increasing the levels of estrogen in both men and women.
3. Stop smoking
Cigarette is a stimulant that not only increases heart beat but also causes the depletion of oxygen levels in the blood stream. It also increases binding of SHBG resulting in lowered levels of free testosterone.
4. Replace carbonated beverages with dark green juice
Carbonated beverages are absorbed more readily and it suppresses the testosterone production in men. Dark green juice contains a high amount of antioxidants, zinc, iron, vitamin C, etc. that not only helps to restore the damage of cells but also prevent the formation of free radicals. Dark green juice also reduces the binding of SHGB, nourishes the pituitary gland, thus increasing the production of free testosterone.
5. Moderate exercise
Walking 50 minutes a week will help to improve the circulation of oxygen levels in the bloodstream and increase the human growth hormone as well as helping to regulate the testosterone levels in the body.
6. Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are equally important to our body, as well as maintaining sexual activity and vitality, and should come from whole foods and balanced diets.
7. Put on a happy face Stress drains your body energy by causing the metabolism to fluctuate, thus changing your body normal physical and emotion functions resulting in fluctuation of testosterone production and hormone imbalance.
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