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Testosterone is an important hormone produced by the body that regulates reproductive development in men as they hit puberty. Yep boys, you have testosterone to thank for all the voice changes, facial and body hair, and sudden spurts in height that entering your teen years entail. Testosterone levels in men are typically at their highest between the ages of 20 and 30, but begin to decrease after that. As such, men may want to support their testosterone levels by taking natural supplements that aid in the production of testosterone. As with any new supplement, it’s important to consider the potential pros and cons of taking a men’s testosterone booster before adding it to your routine. – Testosterone Boosters
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced by the hypothalmus and pituitary gland, which is then synthesized by the testes. While present in both men and women, testosterone plays a vital role in the development of the male reproductive organs. It also aids in male muscle growth, bone density, and mood regulation. Given all of the bodily functions testosterone affects, it’s paramount that men have sufficient testosterone levels in their body.
What Happens When Testosterone Levels Drop?
While testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, men can be subject to a variety of adverse effects if their testosterone gets too low. Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Reduced sex drive
- Poor sexual function (erectile dysfunction)
- Reduced sperm count
- Mood changes, including irritability and depression
- Reduced muscle mass
- Unexpected weight gain
- Painful joints
- Chronic mental and physical fatigue
- Brain fog (easily forgetting things or losing one’s train of thought)
What Causes Low Testosterone?
Apart from the natural effects of aging, low testosterone can be caused by a variety of medical conditions and external factors:
- Injury to the testes – This can include physical trauma, or a reduction in blood flow to the testes, both of which can limit testosterone supplies to the male reproductive organs.
- Cancer – Chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies needed to treat different forms of cancer can cause a decrease in testosterone production.
- Tumors of the pituitary gland – Tumors affecting the pituitary gland can affect the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are needed for the testes to synthesize testosterone.
- Chronic exposure to stress – Studies have shown that when men are exposed to constant forms of mental or physical stress, they tend to produce less testosterone.
- Alcoholism – Prolonged heavy alcohol intake can impair the functions of the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes, all which are required to produce and synthesize testosterone.
- Inflammatory diseases – Various inflammatory diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, sarcoidosis (inflammatory cell growth in the lungs and lymph nodes), histiocytosis (abnormal increase in immunes cells), and tuberculosis (cavitary lung infection), all affect the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, thus resulting in lower testosterone production.
How to Naturally Boost Testosterone
While dealing with low testosterone levels can be challenging, there are a number of natural supplements that can act as men’s testosterone boosters.
Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that we get by absorbing the sun’s rays through our skin. Studies have shown low levels of vitamin D to be concurrently associated with low testosterone levels. As such, increasing vitamin D intake can aid in the increase of testosterone levels.
Ashwagandha is an herb known for its anti-inflammatory and stress reducing properties. As such, ashwagandha can support in reducing stress and cortisol levels in the body that may have caused lowered testosterone in men.
Zinc is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and plays a key role in immune system upkeep. Zinc supplements have also been shown to support the increase of testosterone levels in men with lower testosterone.
Cons of Testosterone Boosters
As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with your doctor on whether taking a natural testosterone booster is right for you. This ensures that you’re not taking anything that may poorly interact with medications you’re already on. Additionally, in the case of natural testosterone boosters, some studies have found their effects to be inconclusive, which might impact a doctor’s decision to recommend them to you.
Low testosterone levels in men can lead to a variety of side effects such as low sex drive, chronic fatigue, and mood swings, among others. As such, men who suffer from low testosterone may benefit from taking a men’s testosterone booster. There are many natural supplement options, such as vitamin D, ashwagandha, and zinc, which have been shown in preliminary studies to aid in increasing testosterone levels. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed on these supplements to provide conclusive evidence that they boost testosterone. As with any new supplement you’re considering taking, be sure you talk to your doctor before adding a men’s testosterone booster to your routine.