It's not enough just to increase the testosterone your body produces, because as we age, the testosterone we naturally produce is often bound by SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) thus becoming unavailable for use in the body. It’s imperative that your testosterone remains unbound or “free” if you want to enjoy all the wonderful benefits testosterone provides.

The amount of testosterone synthesized is regulated by the hypothalamic–pituitary–testicular axis (see figure to the right).[133] When testosterone levels are low, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released by the hypothalamus, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH and LH. These latter two hormones stimulate the testis to synthesize testosterone. Finally, increasing levels of testosterone through a negative feedback loop act on the hypothalamus and pituitary to inhibit the release of GnRH and FSH/LH, respectively.
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Testosterone fluctuates according to age and life circumstance, often plummeting at the onset of parenthood, and spiking (for some) during moments of triumph. Romantic relationships, too, can impact a person’s testosterone production; though the reasons are still not fully understood, entering a relationship tends to increase women’s testosterone levels, while decreasing men’s. Since males produce significantly more testosterone than females—about 20 times more each day—females can be more sensitive to these fluctuations. High levels of testosterone, particularly in men, have been correlated with a greater likelihood of getting divorced or engaging in extramarital affairs, though a causal link has not been established.
It's important to understand that your body requires saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meat, dairy, certain oils, and tropical plants like coconut) for optimal functioning, and if you neglect this important food group in favor of sugar, grains and other starchy carbs, your health and weight are almost guaranteed to suffer. Examples of healthy fats you can eat more of to give your testosterone levels a boost include:
“This study establishes testosterone levels at which various physiological functions start to become impaired, which may help provide a rationale for determining which men should be treated with testosterone supplements,” Finkelstein says. “But the biggest surprise was that some of the symptoms routinely attributed to testosterone deficiency are actually partially or almost exclusively caused by the decline in estrogens that is an inseparable result of lower testosterone levels.”
It also had a purpose. It turns out posing in powerful stances causes your testosterone to increase within 20 minutes [13,14]. In those two studies, power posing for just a few minutes also dropped cortisol and boosted confidence. It’s a great way to start your day, or to give yourself an edge before a job interview or a big presentation. They don’t call it “warrior pose” for nothing!
In 1927, the University of Chicago's Professor of Physiologic Chemistry, Fred C. Koch, established easy access to a large source of bovine testicles — the Chicago stockyards — and recruited students willing to endure the tedious work of extracting their isolates. In that year, Koch and his student, Lemuel McGee, derived 20 mg of a substance from a supply of 40 pounds of bovine testicles that, when administered to castrated roosters, pigs and rats, remasculinized them.[183] The group of Ernst Laqueur at the University of Amsterdam purified testosterone from bovine testicles in a similar manner in 1934, but isolation of the hormone from animal tissues in amounts permitting serious study in humans was not feasible until three European pharmaceutical giants—Schering (Berlin, Germany), Organon (Oss, Netherlands) and Ciba (Basel, Switzerland)—began full-scale steroid research and development programs in the 1930s.
Sprinting has been shown numerous times that it has positive effects on testosterone levels. One 2011 study (ref 84) looked at weightlifters who performed 4x35m sprints twice a week. In contrast to the control group (who continued lifting but did not sprint), it was found that “After the 4-week training program, total testosterone and the total testosterone/cortisol ratio increased significantly in the (sprinters) EXP group”.
“We need carbs, fats, and proteins to have optimal T levels,” says Howse. A healthy amount of carbs, for example, keeps cortisol levels low (more on why this is important to come). Meanwhile, dietary fats produce cholesterol, which our body can later convert into testosterone. And, finally, protein supports body composition by enhancing muscle repair and growth and increasing satiety.
Hi I just turned 50 , and for the past 6 years I have been going through depression , low energy , insomnia , but my sex drive was not bad, I really did not know what it was , so last month my family doctor asked that I test my testosterone and the result was 7.2 noml/l (208 ngdl. So I was prescribed 2.5g 1% androgel, after two weeks I did not feel a difference , on the box it says that the recommended dose is 5g 1% , so my doctor prescribed the 5g 1 % , its now a week since I started the 5 g ( all together three weeks since I started androgel ) & now I feel great, my mood and energy level is way better, I never had an issue with my libdo , so no difference there. I asked my family doctor to refer me to an endocrinologist, just to get a second opinion but that appointment will happen only after 5 months, huge wait time. I am not worried about all that is said about side effects like prostate cancer , heart issues etc because otherwise I am very healthy and have family history of cancers and heart issues , but what worries me is , will my testes & p.glands stop producing Testosterone because of this external replacement? Something I would not want to happen at 50, because probably with exercise & diet I could try boosting by my T.Level naturally. More over will I become sterile , I have a young wife and we may have more kids. Also the gel application is very uncomfortable since I have young kids in the house I have o take extreme caution. Last was it worth starting TRT without finding out the level of my free testosterone. appreciate your advise. Thanks.
Fenugreek is an enigma, deep-fried in a mystery, and wrapped in secrecy. It can actually LOWER your testosterone levels while simultaneously increasing your libido and athletic performance, 2 effects that correlate with elevated testosterone levels.  Strange.  This is the first supplement I have come across that might have the opposite of the desired effect, and yet be worth taking anyway.

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido. In one study, overweight men who were given vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year.5


Our bodies make testosterone while we sleep. In one study, men who got five hours of sleep a night had testosterone levels 10 to 15 percent lower than when they got a solid eight hours. The study, conducted by the University of Chicago, found that skimping on sleep reduced the men’s T levels by an amount equivalent to aging 10 or more years. While it can be challenging to change your sleep habits, says Natasha Turner, ND, you can “start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach your target time.”
Hacking your testosterone influences everything from body composition to energy levels to mood. It’s easy to eat more butter; it’s hard to visit a doctor and get tested, but that’s what I recommend: know your levels. If you’re 25, you’ll know what your target is when you’re 35. By the time you’ve noticed symptoms of low testosterone, it’s too late to get your “normal” measurements!

*IMPORTANT TESTOSTERONE TREATMENT WARNING: Who Should Not Enroll in Testosterone Replacement Therapy? Men who have or had prostate cancer or breast cancer should not take testosterone replacement therapy. All men considering treatment should undergo a thorough prostate cancer screening prior to starting any therapy program with a rectal exam and PSA test. *Men who have or have had cardiovascular disease, or are at risk for coronary disease, or have had a history of heart disease may not be candidates for testosterone treatment. Blood testing, thorough physical examination and careful screening by your physician is absolutely essential before considering a hormone therapy program of any kind. Always discuss the potential benefits, uses, side effects and risks of prescription hormones and steroid drugs with your treating physician. Hormone Treatment is for medically qualified candidates only. The FDA has cautions about using testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging; requires labeling change to inform of possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke with use - FDA Testosterone Safety Update

The potential downside of this positive feedback loop, Coates argues, is that testosterone levels can eventually surge past optimal levels and have the opposite effect – leading to overconfidence and poor decision-making. When this happens to animals, Coates, observed, they “go out in the open, pick too many fights [and] patrol areas that are too large…Risk taking becomes risky behaviour.”
The science is clear: Men’s body fat drains testosterone. We’re not talking pinchable back fat or squishable love handles. We’re talking classic belly fat. In medical parlance, it’s called visceral fat. Unlike fat that lies just beneath the surface of the skin, visceral fat nestles deep in the abdomen around the organs. It’s tenacious, dangerous, and hormonally active. The more visceral fat a man has, the higher his risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, and colon cancer.
There is a large body of evidence linking the onset and/or progression of cardiovascular disease to low testosterone levels in men. It is now apparent that an increased cardiovascular risk and accelerated development of atherosclerosis occurs not only in elderly men or men with obesity or type 2 diabetes mellitus, but also in non-obese men with hypogonadism.14 Current best evidence from systematic review of randomized controlled trials suggests that testosterone use in hypogonadal men is relatively safe in terms of cardiovascular health and do not produce unfavorable elevations in blood pressure or glycemic control, and does not adversely effect lipid profiles.4,15
Overall, few patients have a compelling contraindication to testosterone treatment. The majority of men with late onset hypogonadism can be safely treated with testosterone but all will require monitoring of prostate parameters HDL cholesterol, hematocrit and psychological state. It is also wise to monitor symptoms of sleep apnea. Other specific concerns may be raised by the mode of delivery such as local side effects from transdermal testosterone.

For the 3rd year in a row, DAA Max claims the #1 spot in the Top 10. A product that stands out in all categories with a formula that has been shown in studies to increase free testosterone levels after just 12 days of consistent use. DAA Max’s feedback over the years has shown that this product is not only potent in terms of elevating testosterone and boosting one’s libido, but at its low price it just can’t be beaten.
I have tried pellets, I went from 5 grams/day gel, to 10 grams, had little change due to work schedule and no energy made it difficult to manage daily. Levels got down to 78 at one point. Testo pellets worked great but it took 10 to make a difference and it brought me up to the 300-400 range. My body rejected 3 pellets and expelled them. Tried axiron, didn’t work, natesto, which the doc never heard off next, a Nasal spray which helped but the bottle ran out 5 days early either by my mistake or dosage problems. Back to 10 grams Testim AG ($360 after deductible) which helps if i could stay consistent but I’m 28. With a job, and health insurance, deductible issues I can not afford 800 dollars a month, 360 after deductible. Recent levels of FSH/LH are .7 and 1.2 (low). Total testosterone 114, free 18.9, and bioavalability at 39.6 (low). I had a MRI of my pituitary gland today, and get results next week. Hoping to start depo T next week as I return to work. If I can recommend anything to anyone, is make sure it’s affordable, you have the time or energy to apply/administer, and understand most people will not understand what you are going through. 2 killers of testosterone are chronic stress and lack of sleep. In 3 years of treatment I wish I came to this man’s article and others and read up prior because I’m on the brink of losing everything I’ve worked for due to hypogonadism. Wish you all results and good health, and thank you for a great article!

Overseas right now, and have an appointment in a few days to get all my levels checked. BTW, I want to just throw this out there. There are a number of companies that are selling “legal pro-hormones” or “test boosters”. I used several types. They were banned several times, and re-introduced, and ultimately have no real FDA oversight. Specifically LG Sciences, and a couple of others I tried. They do work, you will see gains, and quickly. You will gain a lot of water weight. You will get angry. You will eventually damage your liver no matter what their advertising tells you. I had a general physical, and my doctor thought I was an alcoholic…when I do not drink, he was shocked. I’ve flushed it all down the toilet, and the doc said to trim down the powdered supplements as well, as they can be very harmful. So….please heed my warning, that stuff will hurt you.
The second theory is similar and is known as "evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory of male aggression".[82][83] Testosterone and other androgens have evolved to masculinize a brain in order to be competitive even to the point of risking harm to the person and others. By doing so, individuals with masculinized brains as a result of pre-natal and adult life testosterone and androgens enhance their resource acquiring abilities in order to survive, attract and copulate with mates as much as possible.[82] The masculinization of the brain is not just mediated by testosterone levels at the adult stage, but also testosterone exposure in the womb as a fetus. Higher pre-natal testosterone indicated by a low digit ratio as well as adult testosterone levels increased risk of fouls or aggression among male players in a soccer game.[84] Studies have also found higher pre-natal testosterone or lower digit ratio to be correlated with higher aggression in males.[85][86][87][88][89]
Hello everyone. First off, thank you Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, for the excellent and refreshing article. I do not intend to spill my guts about symptoms or values on here as it has already been done so many times over. I will say that I am an RN BSN and have been on HRT for going on 6 yrs. I live in Oklahoma and when I first started noticing symptoms I knew something was wrong and began to do research myself. With an initial level of 241 no doctor here at that time, would even consider HRT as I was only 35ish at the time.

Recently, a panel with cooperation from international andrology and urology societies, published specific recommendations with regard to the diagnosis of Late-onset Hypogonadism (Nieschlag et al 2005). These are summarized in the following text. It is advised that at least two serum testosterone measurements, taken before 11 am on different mornings, are necessary to confirm the diagnosis. The second sample should also include measurement of gonadotrophin and prolactin levels, which may indicate the need for further investigations for pituitary disease. Patients with serum total testosterone consistently below 8 nmol/l invariably demonstrate the clinical syndrome of hypogonadism and are likely to benefit from treatment. Patients with serum total testosterone in the range 8–12 nmol/l often have symptoms attributable to hypogonadism and it may be decided to offer either a clinical trial of testosterone treatment or to make further efforts to define serum bioavailable or free testosterone and then reconsider treatment. Patients with serum total testosterone persistently above 12 nmol/l do not have hypogonadism and symptoms are likely to be due to other disease states or ageing per se so testosterone treatment is not indicated.

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In females, this test can find the reason you’re missing periods, not having periods, or having a hard time getting pregnant. Doctors can also use it to diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). That’s a hormone problem that can cause irregular periods and make it hard to get pregnant. A testosterone test can also reveal if you might have a tumor in your ovaries that affects how much of the hormone your body produces.
Before assessing the evidence of testosterone’s action in the aging male it is important to note certain methodological considerations which are common to the interpretation of any clinical trial of testosterone replacement. Many interventional trials of the effects of testosterone on human health and disease have been conducted. There is considerable heterogenicity in terms of study design and these differences have a potential to significantly affect the results seen in various studies. Gonadal status at baseline and the testosterone level produced by testosterone treatment in the study are of particular importance because the effects of altering testosterone from subphysiological to physiological levels may be different from those of altering physiological levels to supraphysiological. Another important factor is the length of treatment. Randomised controlled trials of testosterone have ranged from one to thirty-six months in duration (Isidori et al 2005) although some uncontrolled studies have lasted up to 42 months. Many effects of testosterone are thought to fully develop in the first few months of treatment but effects on bone, for example, have been shown to continue over two years or more (Snyder et al 2000; Wang, Cunningham et al 2004).
Hypogonadism is highly prevalent amongst men with diabetes mellitus type 2 or symptoms of the metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance, impaired glucose regulation, obesity, and hypertension.1,6,13,14,17,18 Low testosterone in many men with diabetes remains undiagnosed and untreated, and current guidelines recommend measurement of testosterone levels in such patients and, equally, that such chronic diseases should be investigated and treated in men with hypogonadism.1,6 It is not yet fully known whether diabetes is a cause or a consequence of low testosterone, and the full effects of testosterone administration on glycemic control in hypogonadal men with diabetes are unclear. However, there are indications that treating hypogonadism may have benefits on metabolic status in men with diabetes, and there is evidence that testosterone replacement therapy has a beneficial effect on risk factors for diabetes such as central obesity, insulin sensitivity, glucose control and blood lipid profiles in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes.14,19,20
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Autopsy studies have found histological prostate cancer to be very common, with one series showing a prevalence of greater than fifty percent in men over age sixty (Holund 1980). The majority of histological cancers go undetected so that the clinical incidence of the disease is much lower, but it is still the most prevalent non-skin cancer in men (Jemal et al 2003). Prostate cancer is also unusual in comparison to other adult cancers in that the majority of those with the disease will die of other causes. Treatment of prostate cancer with androgen deprivation is known to be successful and is widely practiced, indicating an important role for testosterone in modifying the behavior of prostate cancer. In view of this, testosterone treatment is absolutely contraindicated in any case of known or suspected prostate cancer. The question of whether testosterone treatment could cause new cases of prostate cancer, or more likely cause progression of undiagnosed histological prostate cancer that would otherwise have remained occult, is an important consideration when treating ageing males with testosterone.
Andy – If you take testosterone, your hypothalamus will notice an abundance of testosterone in your system and will instruct your pituitary gland not to send LH and FSH to your testicles. If you’re testicles are not receiving these two hormones, they will stop making testosterone. If you quit testosterone call turkey, you will likely fall back to your baseline level fairly quickly. There is a protocol however to get back to your normal production much quicker should you choose to quit therapy.
Low testosterone levels can cause mood disturbances, increased body fat, loss of muscle tone, inadequate erections and poor sexual performance, osteoporosis, difficulty with concentration, memory loss and sleep difficulties. Current research suggests that this effect occurs in only a minority (about 2%) of ageing men. However, there is a lot of research currently in progress to find out more about the effects of testosterone in older men and also whether the use of testosterone replacement therapy would have any benefits.
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