I’ve had low testo in the winter for the last 10 years, with the lowest values around april (live in the north). But last year (in september) I started using vitamine D (10 000 IU) and K2 (180 mcg), combined with magnesium (200 mg malate) and zinc (25 mg malate and piccolinate) every night, and since then I no longer have low testo in the winter, and is feeling like I do in the summer and have normal testo levels. This combo may work for other people as well. And the risk for dangerous side effects is probabaly neglectable. But it takes a couple of weeks before it kicks in.
The most commonly used testosterone preparation in the United States — and the one I start almost everyone off with — is a topical gel. There are two brands: AndroGel and Testim. The gel comes in miniature tubes or in a special dispenser, and you rub it on your shoulders or upper arms once a day. Based on my experience, it tends to be absorbed to good levels in about 80% to 85% of men, but that leaves a substantial number who don’t absorb enough for it to have a positive effect. [For specifics on various formulations, see table below.]
Joe Costello is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA), author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 9 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a certified NWC who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers. You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website joecostellonwc.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube.
I know many of you are clamoring for the “how-to” part of this series (which will go up on Thursday), but before we get to that, it’s important to cover why you should even care about your testosterone levels in the first place, what T is and how it’s made, and how to get properly tested for it. Building a sound foundation before we dive into the nitty gritty details will be highly beneficial.
Keep in mind that you can use virtually any type of equipment you want for this – an elliptical machine, a treadmill, swimming, even sprinting outdoors (although you will need to do this very carefully to avoid injury) -- as long as you're pushing yourself as hard as you can for 30 seconds. But do be sure to stretch properly and start slowly to avoid injury. Start with two or three repetitions and work your way up, don't expect to do all eight repetitions the first time you try this, especially if you are out of shape.
Fortunately supplementation of Vitamin D3 has been noted to significantly boost testosterone levels up to 20%.[40,41] This occurs via a reduction in sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and aromatase expression, which limits the breakdown of testosterone into estrogen. It’s also worth mentioning that Vitamin D3 has been shown to raise levels of the anabolic hormone IGF-1.[42,43]
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in the testicles for men and the ovaries and adrenal glands for women. This hormone is essential to the development of male growth and masculine characteristics. For women, testosterone comes in much smaller amounts. Testosterone production increases about 30 times more during adolescence and early adulthood. After early adulthood, it’s natural for levels to drop slightly each year. Your body may see a one percent decline after you’re 30 years old.
I think that the biggest hurdle for most physicians prescribing testosterone is the fear that they’re going to promote prostate cancer. [See “Incongruous findings,” below.] That’s because more than six decades ago, it was shown that if you lowered testosterone in men whose prostate cancer had metastasized, their condition improved. (It became a standard therapy that we still use today for men with advanced prostate cancer. We call it androgen deprivation or androgen-suppressive therapy.) The thinking became that if lowering testosterone makes prostate cancer disappear, at least for a while, then raising it must make prostate cancer grow. But even though it’s been a widely held belief for six decades, no one has found any additional evidence to support the theory.
There is a negative correlation of testosterone levels with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) (Glueck et al 1993; Phillips 1993), which is a major prothrombotic factor and known to be associated with progression of atherosclerosis, as well as other prothrombotic factors fibrinogen, α2-antiplasmin and factor VII (Bonithon-Kopp et al 1988; Glueck et al 1993; Phillips 1993; De Pergola et al 1997). There is a positive correlation with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) which is one of the major fibrinolytic agents (Glueck et al 1993). Interventional trials have shown a neutral effect of physiological testosterone replacement on the major clotting factors (Smith et al 2005) but supraphysiological androgen administration can produce a temporary mild pro-coagulant effect (Anderson et al 1995).
Next, while testosterone levels do decline with age, this may simply be because the older that men get, the less they take care of themselves – they stop exercising, start putting on weight, and don’t pay as much attention to their diet. A recent study suggests that age-related T decline is not inevitable, and that if you keep living a healthy lifestyle, you can maintain healthy testosterone levels. So if you’re an older guy, try to do all you can as far as lifestyle changes before you get on the prescription T. I don’t mean doing a little cardio a few times a week, using the machines at the gym, and eating “pretty” healthy. Follow the guidelines above, and see what happens first.
Testosterone boosters are formulated for men in most cases, though there are a few brands that are appropriate for women. These are generally for men who want to improve their lean muscle mass, stamina, and energy levels. If you have low testosterone levels, these are great to ward off symptoms like low energy, excessive body fat, and a low sex drive. Some athletes might benefit from these boosters. You should always check with your doctor before adding these supplements or any other supplements to your regimen, particularly if you have chronic health conditions or if you are already taking medications or supplements.
And the ads have been working: The number of prescriptions written for testosterone have skyrocketed by more than 300 percent since 2001, reaching 7.2 million in 2013, according to a report published in 2016. Another study, published in JAMA in 2017, found that between 2009 and 2013, testosterone testing and treatment rose substantially in areas of the U.S. where such ads were very common.
Gary Womble… Get out of here with your quackery nonsense. No one likes trolls that want to push diet and weight loss pills as a serious solution to low t and ED. Anyone who reads your comment will waste at least 20 seconds of their life. What’s worse, they might listen to you instead of getting real medical advice that might actually help with an issue that is devastating to their lifestyle. And btw, before you decide to respond to this with more quackery, testimonials or fake research, know that I am a pharmaceutical scientist and won’t fall for your bogus statements
Hypogonadism is a disease in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles. Testosterone replacement therapy can improve the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in these men. Doctors may prescribe testosterone as injections, pellets, patches or gels.