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I thought your article was informative if researching effects of testosterone on cardiovascular and urological findings. However, it failed to key in on the psychological effects which cause noted behavioral changes. My husband was diagnosed with mildly low testosterone level and a fatty liver. Upon convincing his NP to put him on the topical gel as a first course of treatment he has stated he feels great, no longer foggy, and energetic like never before. Please understand, he was not having any sexual dysfunction but instead decreased energy and increased fatigue. What I also noticed is that he is now acting more dominant and agressive in his behavior. He speaks with the intent that nothing he says matters to him regardless of bluntness or disrespect. He has requested a divorce after 18 years of marriage without any prior indication that this was his intentions blindsiding our entire family and friend network. He recently got a job promotion since being on testosterone therapy and has a grandiose personal about him. He has lost 22 pounds and has decreased communications and contact with loved ones. He is scheduled to return to practitioner for a refill on his gel prescription and we, his family, are hoping that he may be taken off this medication which has drastically changed the man I have known for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately because he is a pilot and travels frequently we can only hope that he has not allowed his mental alertness spill over into his physical needs and allowed for infidelity to occur as he has changed all personal passwords, eliminated me accesss to flight benefits and checking account. We no longer get his schedule and therefore only await his sporadic call/texts to let us know if his whereabouts. He has developed a despiteful attitude towards me in a matter of 3 weeks which weeks. He has been on this medication for almost one month now. Prior to the medication, all was well and happy. This medication has completely changed our lives in a negative way. Perhaps practitioner need to consider the behavioral outcomes as well especially in men in their 40’s who may also be going through a mid life crisis. Take it from my firsthand experience that it is not been considered thoroughly in his case.
Vitamin D is arguably the most important vitamin when it comes to testosterone. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology examined the relationship between vitamin D supplementation and testosterone levels in men. The authors found that participants with higher levels of vitamin D had significantly higher levels of free testosterone compared to those with insufficient levels of vitamin D.8 Based on these study results, it appears vitamin D has a strong relationship with testosterone levels.
Let’s first start off by saying, there is no comparison of natural testosterone boosters to synthetic. When referring to synthetic, we’re talking anabolic steroids. At that point, you’re comparing apples and oranges. Which is best—natural or synthetic? Synthetic. It is much easier to put on quality muscle mass while using anabolics than it is using a natural testosterone booster. One is basically giving you synthetic testosterone while the other is giving you a minor boost in natural testosterone production. However, not only are there side effects to the use of anabolics, but they are also illegal in the United States unless used under a doctor’s supervision with a prescription.
Testosterone boosters are a class of herbal supplements aimed at naturally increasing your testosterone levels. Usually, they contain micronutrients that men are commonly deficient in, such as zinc, and which have been connected in research to healthy testosterone levels. They also may contain adaptogens, which are a class of supplement that are thought to help the body adapt to stress, or ingredients which have been connected to improved sleep. Sleep restriction has been shown to reduce testosterone in healthy young men, and as Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., notes, disturbed sleep is a common symptom of low T-levels.
If testosterone deficiency occurs during fetal development, then male characteristics may not completely develop. If testosterone deficiency occurs during puberty, a boy’s growth may slow and no growth spurt will be seen. The child may have reduced development of pubic hair, growth of the penis and testes, and deepening of the voice. Around the time of puberty, boys with too little testosterone may also have less than normal strength and endurance, and their arms and legs may continue to grow out of proportion with the rest of their body.
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From there, you’ll want to adjust how you train, since certain activities provide an especially powerful stimulus for testosterone. Research published in the journal Sports Medicine found that in order to experience a strong testosterone response from exercise, your workouts should be high in volume and produce a metabolic response. Churn through many exercises, sets, and reps, and focus on intense bursts of exercise with short rest periods.
Miscellaneous: Sleep: (REM sleep) increases nocturnal testosterone levels. Behavior: Dominance challenges can, in some cases, stimulate increased testosterone release in men. Drugs: Natural or man-made antiandrogens including spearmint tea reduce testosterone levels. Licorice can decrease the production of testosterone and this effect is greater in females.
Some studies have looked at testosterone therapy and cognition. Although the findings weren’t definitive, there was some evidence of cognitive improvement. Other studies have shown that it improves mood. Testosterone therapy has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of osteoporosis and in increasing muscle bulk and strength. [See “Testosterone’s impact on brain, bone, and muscle,” above.]
It could be said that testosterone is what makes men, men. It gives them their characteristic deep voices, large muscles, and facial and body hair, distinguishing them from women. It stimulates the growth of the genitals at puberty, plays a role in sperm production, fuels libido, and contributes to normal erections. It also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, and aids cognition.
The testicles produce an enzyme called 11ßHSD-1 which protects your testosterone molecules from the effects cortisol. During times of prolonged stress and chronically elevated cortisol, there simply is too much cortisol for 11ßHSD-1 to handle. This results in testosterone molecules being destroyed inside the gonads before they even enter the bloodstream (8, 9).
We should probably start with the elephant in the room: do these supplements increase testosterone? The answer is probably yes. There are some ingredients that help convince your body to produce more testosterone, but there’s a catch. Testosterone boosters aren’t actually great at boosting; that is, at pushing your testosterone levels above your healthy, normal balance. Boosters typically act more like restorers — helping bring low testosterone levels back to that healthy equilibrium rather than boosting you above normal testosterone levels. Just like how if you have anemia, taking a vitamin B12 supplement can help restore your energy and reduce fatigue, but if your B12 levels are good, a supplement won’t give you super energy levels to stay awake for three days — your body will likely just process (read: pee) out the extra.
Testosterone is responsible for increased muscle mass. Leaner body mass helps control weight and increases energy. For men with low testosterone, studies that treatment can decrease fat mass and increase muscle size and strength. Some men reported a change in lean body mass but no increase in strength. It’s likely you’ll see the most benefits when you combine testosterone therapy with strength training and exercise.
Two of the immediate metabolites of testosterone, 5α-DHT and estradiol, are biologically important and can be formed both in the liver and in extrahepatic tissues. Approximately 5 to 7% of testosterone is converted by 5α-reductase into 5α-DHT, with circulating levels of 5α-DHT about 10% of those of testosterone, and approximately 0.3% of testosterone is converted into estradiol by aromatase. 5α-Reductase is highly expressed in the male reproductive organs (including the prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and epididymides), skin, hair follicles, and brain and aromatase is highly expressed in adipose tissue, bone, and the brain. As much as 90% of testosterone is converted into 5α-DHT in so-called androgenic tissues with high 5α-reductase expression, and due to the several-fold greater potency of 5α-DHT as an AR agonist relative to testosterone, it has been estimated that the effects of testosterone are potentiated 2- to 3-fold in such tissues.
"Some say it's just a part of aging, but that's a misconception," says Jason Hedges, MD, PhD, a urologist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. A gradual decline in testosterone can't explain a near-total lack of interest in sex, for example. And for Hedges' patients who are in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s and having erectile problems, other health problems may be a bigger issue than aging.