Although many men have commented that their beer belly is indeed a fuel tank for a love machine…don’t be fooled…sadly the biochemical picture all points to lower Testosterone, higher Oestrogen, man boobs and lower sexual performance.
Optimizing androgens (male sex hormones) is not as simple as increasing free testosterone. There are many other considerations such as the oestrogen / testosterone ratio, aromatase inhibition, inhibition of 5–reductase, production of dihydro-testosterone (DHT), binding of testosterone to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), body fat levels especially visceral fat surrounding the organs, liver function and detoxification of harmful oestrogen metabolites, also good sleep and exercise also come into play.
Tongkat Ali in studies revealed a significant increase in the total testosterone… up to 95% (1) Tongkat Ali has become hugely popular since Andrew Huberman shared his insights and experience on the Joe Rogan podcast.
Ashwagandha in a recent study shows improved exercise performance, strength, and fat loss while boosting testosterone levels What’s more, one small study in 57 men found that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha extract increased testosterone levels by nearly 15% after 8 weeks compared to a placebo. (2)
Nettle and Zinc are well known to block production of DHT which has been shown to be elevated in disorders such as prostate disease, excessive acne and benign prostatic hypertrophy. Nettle may inhibit the binding of testosterone to SHBG, resulting in lower levels of “bound” testosterone and higher levels of “free” testosterone. Zinc deficiency reduces the concentration testosterone and may contribute to low sperm count. Zinc inhibits 5-?-reductase activity both in the skin and in the human prostate and therefore plays a role for regulation of testosterone metabolism.
The issue with Testosterone converting to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in excess can be an increase in health concerns such as baldness, aggression and prostate enlargement.
For optimal health you can inhibit the conversion of Testosterone to DHT. We consider Nettle, Zinc and Saw Palmetto to be the most useful herbal / nutrient interventions here.
Boosting nitric oxide production
L-Arginine and L-Citrulline are two amino acids bundled into a single powerful supplement. L-Arginine is an important factor in muscle metabolism and a precursor for nitric oxide, which promotes
increased circulation by regenerating and relaxing blood vessels. L-Citrulline helps helps keep nitric oxide present at the arterial wall and help the body rid itself of ammonia, a by-product of exercise. This ammonia clearing enables the body to recover after a workout.
Tribulus Some researchers found that when men with reduced sex drives consumed 750–1,500 mg of Tribulus terrestris daily for two months, their sexual desire increased by 79% (3). Multiple studies revealed an important role for Tribulus in treating erectile dysfunction and sexual desire problems; However, the research shows that the mechanism of action is not increasing testosterone, it is thought that possible endothelium and nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms underlie the aphrodisiac and pro-erectile activities. (3)
With higher body fat and visceral fat levels higher amounts of testosterone are aromatised into oestrogen metabolites. Nettle ( with phytochemicals secoisolariciresinol, oleanolic and ursolic acid) and Zinc promote a healthy testosterone/ oestrogen balance via aromatose inhibition. Resveratrol, Flaxseed and Sesame have also been shown been shown to inhibit aromatase activity and should be considered.
Reducing harmful oestrogen metabolites
DIM Indolplex an extract from Broccoli sprout, has been shown to decrease oxidative stress and increase phase II liver detoxification, reducing harmful oestrogen metabolites.
The other issue that men face these days is elevated oestrogen. A big factor in this is the high carbohydrate (especially refined carbohydrate) and low exercise environment. This causes weight
gain (especially problematic is high fat around your organs / visceral fat or central obesity) where your Testosterone is converted to Oestrogen.
The other major factor increasing our oestrogen levels is the toxic / plastic environment we live in. These ‘plastic oestrogens’ are known as xenoestrogens.
The short list of Xenoestrogen sources!
Plastic bottles (as well as the lining of many food cans and juice containers), PVC pipes, pesticides, herbicides, (go organic), meat or dairy products (bovine growth hormone – so go organic),
preservatives, marijuana, oestrogens from birth control pill and HRT ends up in the sewerage and then in the food chain, dry cleaning, copiers and printers, carpets, fiberboards, new carpets, electrical
oils, lubricants, adhesive paints, lacquers, solvents, oils, paints, fuel, industrial wastes, packing materials, harsh cleaning products, fertilizers. Especially avoid heated plastics (heated by microwave, oven, or sun), such as Styrofoam cups, heated take away food in plastic containers.
Benefits of increasing testosterone levels
• Improved muscle growth
• Andropause in ageing men
• Supports normal prostate health
• Supports healthy ageing in men & women
• Maintain normal healthy sperm count & mobility, and fertility
• Benefits women experiencing conditions associated with excessive DHT production
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone
After the age of 30 male testosterone levels decrease by approximately 1% every year but with a little help your levels can be optimised. Studies have shown that men with weight gain, diabetes or high blood pressure may be twice as likely to have low Testosterone. So let’s look at some of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone.
• Difficulty getting and keeping erections.
• Mood changes (commonly known as grumpy old man or I.M.S. – irritable man syndrome).
• Low semen volume.
• Reduced muscle strength.
• Low libido.
• Longer time to recover from exercise.
• Low energy.
• Poor concentration.
• Hot flushes, sweats.• Reduced beard or body hair growth.
• Gynaecomastia (commonly known as man boobs).
Other herbal and nutritional interventions and testing to consider
Overall studies show lower testosterone in vegans (I know there are conflicting studies here) L-carnitine supplements may work as effectively as testosterone for male vitality, libido, and to enhance erections, according to an Italian study. Comparing hormone treatment and placebo, 120 patients were divided into randomized groups. Taking carnitine as propionyl-L-carnitine at 2,000 mg/day, and L-carnitine, 2,000 mg/day, improved testosterone-related functions including erectile capacity, modestly exceeding the benefit seen with oral dosing of testosterone itself. Carnitine proved significantly more active than testosterone in improving nocturnal penile tumescence and International Index of Erectile Function score.
Carbon 60 may help boost bedroom stamina by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle fatigue (4) this is due to the carbon 60’s antioxidant properties improving mitochondrial function.
We recommend to optimize hormones with quality fats as these are the building blocks to hormones and have anti-inflammatory properties. Quality fats such as premium fish oil for DHA /EPA, coconut oil,
organic butter, evening primrose oil and olive oil.
The effects of sleep loss on testosterone levels were apparent after just one week of short sleep. Five hours of sleep decreased their testosterone levels by 10 percent to 15 percent. The young men had the lowest testosterone levels in the afternoons on their sleep restricted days, between 2 pm and 10 pm
We recommend your healthcare provider use testing services – Male Hormone Profile Extensive- Saliva by Nutripath https://nutripath.com.au/product/male-hormone-profile-saliva-basic-or-extensive-test-code-1007-or-1008/
Kristian Leisegang , Renata Finelli, Suresh C Sikka, Manesh Kumar Panner Selvam, First Published 2022 Aug 4, Reviewed 2022 Sept 6, Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) Improves Serum Total Testosterone in Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36013514/
Adrian L. Lopresti, Peter D. Drummond, and Stephen J. Smith First Published 2019 Mar 10., Reviewed 2022 July 2, A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males
(3) Vladimir Neychev, Vanyo Mitev, First published 2015 Dec 28. Reviewed 2021 Oct 21. Pro-sexual and androgen enhancing effects of Tribulus terrestris L.: Fact or Fiction https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26727646/
(4) Yurij I. Prylutskyy, Inna V. Vereshchaka, Andriy V. Maznychenko,corresponding author Nataliya V. Bulgakova, Olga O. Gonchar, Olena A. Kyzyma, Uwe Ritter, Peter Scharff, Tomasz Tomiak, Dmytro M. Nozdrenko, Iryna V. Mishchenko, and Alexander I. Kostyukov, First published 2017 Jan 13, Reviewed 2021 Feb 24,C60 fullerene as promising therapeutic agent for correcting and preventing skeletal muscle fatigue