Ashwagandha: One of the hottest herbs out there right now, this adaptogen packs a one-two punch. First, it helps the body fight off stress: According to one Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine study, ashwagandha has a cortisol-lowering effect—a major benefit to anyone who wants their body to be more T-friendly. And, second, it can also support your T-boosting training efforts. One Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition study, for example, found that men who supplemented with ashwagandha saw significantly greater strength and T gains after eight weeks of resistance training than those who took a placebo.
If low T is your initial concern, lifestyle changes may help. “Dietary and exercise changes, particularly limiting sugars, especially fructose, eating healthy saturated fats, and engaging in high-intensity exercises may relieve symptoms of low testosterone," Lucille says. "Strength training, reducing stress, and optimizing vitamin D levels can also be very effective at boosting testosterone levels naturally."

This is because your body is really good at self-regulating your hormone levels. So if you have normal testosterone levels, boosting above your natural base level may at best give you a few hours while your body makes, and then immediately processes out, the excess testosterone. This means you might experience higher than your average testosterone levels, but not by much, and only for a little while.


Testosterone was first used as a clinical drug as early as 1937, but with little understanding of its mechanisms. The hormone is now widely prescribed to men whose bodies naturally produce low levels. But the levels at which testosterone deficiency become medically relevant still aren’t well understood. Normal testosterone production varies widely in men, so it’s difficult to know what levels have medical significance. The hormone’s mechanisms of action are also unclear.
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).
Consuming high amounts of sugary foods raises your blood glucose levels, which causes your body to release insulin as a response to the raised blood glucose levels. If not managed correctly, the body begins to develop a tolerance to insulin and cannot absorb the sugars in the blood stream as it used to, causing you to become insulin resistant. Being insulin resistant releases cortisol, and as you know, cortisol has extremely negative effects, lowering testosterone by quite a bit.
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The one side effect that no one talks about is psychological for me. Because I am 67 years old and suddenly look, feel and act 37 I only want to be around younger people. I have no use associating with people my own age. I have nothing in common and even look different. This year at my class reunion was a glaring example…..no doubt I looked younger than anyone, but it is sooo much more than just very that. My customers are young, all my girlfriends and associates. This all has a large effect on my mind. It’s hard to grasp suddenly looking and acting 30 years younger than your friends. My mind is so confused about how old I really am. I do a lot of adrenalin sports for my age snow ski, wake-surf, wake-board, scuba dive and it is no doubt just a matter of time till I get hurt doing these wild sports. In my mind I’m 37 so I think it’s all normal. This whole experience has been incredible and very positive with the only one psychological effect and no other physical side effect.
This has become a common practice despite an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report issued in 2003, indicating insufficient evidence of any benefit derived from testosterone hormone therapy to address expected symptoms of male aging.4  These studies, and 2 others (to be presented in a separate EW research brief) come on the heels of research on the efficacy of prescribing testosterone5 that appeared in the NEJM last year.
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Testoshred stands out as a muscle hardening testosterone booster as it first combines 3 clinically studied and effective testosterone boosting agents with the powerful estrogen reducer Arimistane. The addition of Arimistane helps to prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen resulting in higher testosterone levels, while increasing muscle hardness and reducing body fat.
Amazing this thread is going after 3 years. Very good indeed. I have low cortisol and my doctor decided to check testosterone. It came back at 5! Not 500, but 5! My doctor did not believe this to be correct. She indicated I would not be able to grow facial hair and that my arm hair would have fell out. She retested. It came back at 23. WTH. So she wanted to start me on Clomid. Well of course my insurance would not cover this. Most pharmacies wanted $300-400 for a 30 day supply. Can’t afford that! The 2 pharmacies that were reasonable cannot get it from their suppliers at this time. So my doctor wants to start weekly injections. I do not know what to think but am trying to find all the information I can on the subject as I am quite nervous. So if anyone else is still reading or comes across this please let me know what you think or your story. it would very much be appreciated. i will be 38 next month and am a little “lost” about all of this. Many thanks! 🙂
Another way to look at it is like this: Women are only capable of building a small amount of muscle without the use of performance enhancers, regardless of how hard they train or how rigid their meal plan is. When women reach their physical peak and are unable to move any further than that point, it’s because of their naturally low levels of testosterone.
Lets touch on these individually. Gluten has been shown to increase prolactin levels in male mice (48 & 49). Increased prolactin levels in males leads to all sorts of horrible things: Man Boobs (50), High inflammation (51), and most importantly, higher prolactin levels have been shown to be testosterone lowering and lead to shrinking of the testicle (52).
Zinc is little more of a nice-to-have ingredient than a must-have. It’s on our radar as an ingredient that possibly boosts testosterone levels, and while we couldn’t find enough supporting evidence that taking zinc would increase natural testosterone, low zinc levels have been connected to infertility. A low zinc level is also possibly a sign of hypogonadism. The closest support we found is in a study which found that people recovered from nutritional deficiency-related problems more quickly if they took a zinc supplement than those who did not. Zinc is available in many foods, such as oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, and red meat.

It is hard to know how many men among us have TD, although data suggest that overall about 2.1% (about 2 men in every 100) may have TD. As few as 1% of younger men may have TD, while as many as 50% of men over 80 years old may have TD. People who study the condition often use different cut-off points for the numbers, so you may hear different numbers being stated.
An international consensus document was recently published and provides guidance on the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) in men. The diagnosis of LOH requires biochemical and clinical components. Controversy in defining the clinical syndrome continues due to the high prevalence of hypogonadal symptoms in the aging male population and the non-specific nature of these symptoms. Further controversy surrounds setting a lower limit of normal testosterone, the limitations of the commonly available total testosterone result in assessing some patients and the unavailability of reliable measures of bioavailable or free testosterone for general clinical use. As with any clinical intervention testosterone treatment should be judged on a balance of risk versus benefit. The traditional benefits of testosterone on sexual function, mood, strength and quality of life remain the primary goals of treatment but possible beneficial effects on other parameters such as bone density, obesity, insulin resistance and angina are emerging and will be reviewed. Potential concerns regarding the effects of testosterone on prostate disease, aggression and polycythaemia will also be addressed. The options available for treatment have increased in recent years with the availability of a number of testosterone preparations which can reliably produce physiological serum concentrations.
We required all of our testosterone boosters to have magnesium, but gave preference to magnesium aspartate, citrate, lactate, and chloride. These forms have been found to be more easily absorbed than magnesium oxide and sulfate. (On the other hand, it didn’t count if the supplement had magnesium stearate, which is used to make pills not stick together.)
Have you ever wondered why? When we are under stress, our body produces cortisol that is bad for our testosterone levels. This particular component blocks the production of testosterone. In addition, if there is a lack of Z’s then this is the bad news for your testosterone. You should know that the huge amounts of testosterone are produced during our sleep. Every guy knows that the “morning wood” comes only after a good night sleep.
According to a study in the International Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine, D-Aspartic acid increases testosterone levels in some animals. However, studies that have looked at its effects on humans are inconclusive and mainly of poor quality. The paper says there is an urgent need for more research on this chemical, which occurs naturally in some human tissues.
An added testosterone benefit of my high fat and balanced protein and carb diet was that it probably helped me lose some body fat (I went from 18% to 12% body fat). Studies show that high fat diets actually contribute to increased body fat loss. And as we discussed earlier, as you lose body fat, your T production ramps up. Virtuous cycle for the win!
Xenoestrogen is a chemical that imitates estrogen in the human body. When men are exposed to too much of this estrogen-imitating chemical, T levels drop significantly. The problem is xenoestrogen is freaking everywhere — plastics, shampoos, gasoline, cows, toothpaste. You name it and chances are there are xenoestrogen in it. The ubiquitous nature of this chemical in our modern world is one reason some endocrinologists believe that testosterone levels are lower in men today than in decades past. It’s also a reason doctors say the number of boys born with hypospadias — a birth defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis and not at the tip — has doubled.  Note to expecting parents: make sure mom stays away from xenoestrogens during the pregnancy.

Sharma, R., Oni, O. A., Gupta, K., Chen, G., Sharma, M., Dawn, B., … & Barua, R. S. (2015, August 6). Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction. European Heart Journal, 36(40), 2706-2715. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/36/40/2706/2293361/Normalization-of-testosterone-level-is-associated
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