Step-Up Testosterone Naturally
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Step-Up Testosterone Naturally
Home  / Step-Up Testosterone Naturally

Testosterone is more than just a manly hormone essential for the continuum of the human race. It is crucial for energy pathways, robust heart health, mental clarity, insulin sensitivity, protein synthesis, and bone and muscle density. Like estrogen in women, it helps us keep our peak performance and delay the major factors associated with degenerative disease processes.

While men have about ten times the amount of testosterone as women, it has potent anti-aging effects for both men and women. In a symbiotic liaison, it works with estrogen to influence skin and cell integrity, increase bone mineral density, and helps us manage moods and to handle stress.

Decreased levels of testosterone are a normal feature of aging, but in the past few decades, more men are experiencing harsh declines in testosterone which often goes undetected as they misdiagnose the underlying cause. Symptoms of dipping levels include low libido, decreased sperm count, depression, lack of motivation and low energy, impaired memory and decreased mental clarity, reduced muscle and bone mass or difficulty building muscle with exercise, faster aging, increased belly fat, blood sugar imbalances, erectile dysfunction and frequency, although this is more of an early sign of vascular problems. Research shows that in the long term, low testosterone levels have been linked with increased risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, hypertension, cardiovascular events, and depression.

While testosterone levels may decline at varying rates as men age, often due to other causes, remaining testosterone converts to estrogen, a process known as aromatization. The signs of this are weight gain, hair loss, gynecomastia or man boobs, a tendency to gain weight on thighs, beer belly, prostate problems, atherosclerosis, and impotency. Aromatase activity does increase with aging, but lifestyle changes over the past forty years have had a dramatic effect and testosterone replacement is frequently requested. However you cannot just throw a hormone into the system when levels appear low as you will disrupt the entire balance. The natural way to reinforce the body is to boost liver enzyme activity, consume a diet which manages insulin levels to reduce glucose fluctuations and inflammation, help the body detox chemicals and excess toxins in the liver as well as discard old levels of estrogen trapped in fats; and reduce body fat as this is what drives excess estrogen production.

Many more conventional food products and modern lifestyle habits are estrogenic in nature. The term Xenoestrogenic are artificially made compounds produced by industry which interact with cellular receptor sites to block the effects of true estrogen causing a number of endocrine issues but notably influencing fat cells and their resistance to breaking down.

Over weight and obesity are a major disruptor of hormones for both men and women. Fat cells synthesize the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estradiol. Excess estrogens in men and women causes many issues and when estrogen starts to dominate, health issues such as Pre Menstrual Tension, endometriosis, fibroids, and estrogen dominant cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer can be triggered. Excess body fat and man boobs are a strong indication of high estrogen in relation to testosterone in men, driven by the real issue, insulin resistance and inflammation.

Certain foods are full of estrogenic molecules including meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy from animals fed genetically modified grains. Other common foods to have entered our food chain are genetically modified soy and cereal grains, altered sugars such as highly concentrated fructose corn syrup which has replaced natural sucrose and is added to most canned goods, sodas and packaged fruit juice; as well as additives and preservatives in all processed foods intended to improve shelf life, texture, flavor and colour.

There are many great anti-estrogenic foods which should become everyday foods to at least help to combat the bombardment of altered foods, rather than just an “occasional” or “never” food for the picky eater. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and kale are powerful detoxes due to their chemical nature to bind up estrogen in the liver and eliminate it. To be more specific, indole-3 acetate, indole-3 carbonyl and diindolylmethane are the nutrients involved. They are also rich in sulfur containing amino acids also found in onions, garlic and scallions which help in the detoxification process and are powerful anti-oxidants that destroy cancer cell formation.

Anti-inflammatory foods are those rich in omega-3 fatty acids and include grass fed beef, lamb and dairy found in New Zealand raised lamb and beef; organic poultry, wild salmon and plant based fats such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, raw nuts, chia seeds, flax and hemp seeds.

Let’s not forget some great herbs to naturally enliven our cooking. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and turmeric contain volatile oils that promote liver detoxification. Use fresh and root varieties that have maximum oil retention. And getting back to a great start to the day, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dash of cider vinegar is a good way to boost liver activity, lower stomach acid for better digestion and enhance the body’s ability to remove unwanted estrogenic molecules.

The first step is to identify why hormones are dipping as it may be an insufficiency or it can be that they are being diverted due to aromatization. A routine hormone panel will identify this. If you strongly suspect that diet and lifestyle influences are the cause, it is worth considering protein intake, stomach acid levels, zinc deficiency and levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

Factors that Influence Testosterone

Lack of sleep has consistently shown to reduce testosterone in men. This is particularly evident in men who sleep less than 4 hours in a 24-hour period but also measureable in those getting less than 5 hours.
Natural aging, although lifestyle, diet and stress has a greater influence.
The Standard American diet based on regular processed foods, packaged and industrialised.
Insulin resistance, and poorly managed blood sugar levels
Inflammation from over-weight, too much or too little exercise, re-occurring infections, and toxic overload.
Prescription medications, steroid use, drugs and other stimulants to include solvents in the environment and in the workplace.
Chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, elevated cortisol levels which breakdown muscle and contribute to belly fat deposition.
Lack of stomach acid which may now be presenting as gastric reflux, poor digestion and malabsorption of nutrients to affect sleep and mood.
Nutrient deficiencies of zinc critically lowers testosterone while vitamin D raises testosterone.
Excess body fat and obesity
Spearmint tea and licorice lower testosterone and show strong research for women producing too much testosterone.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals – target the estrogen receptors. They include plant and insect sprays, plastics especially after heating, industrial chemicals, dioxins, PCBs, BPA, pollution, PVC, phthalates, parabens, soaps, emulsifiers, and artificial fragrances in soaps and skin care products, cosmetics and household cleaning products.
Diet is the best medicine to start with. Managing insulin to stabilize blood sugar which is about reducing foods that cause spikes followed by troughs. Inflammatory foods are simply refined, processed and industrialised foods made to please and mostly don’t resemble their original ingredients.

Read labels to see what the first few ingredients are. Numbers shouldn’t really be a threat unless there are too many added to improve the product. Keys words to avoid are genetically modified, added soy, fructose, MSG or E621, trans-fats, artificial colourings and preservatives and sulphites.
Vegetables are the key to good health and are not interchangeable with fruit. A smoothie must be vegetable based and not a sugar bomb from 5 fruits with no fibre. A fantastic breakfast smoothie can be ½ cup coconut milk, a large handful of baby spinach, ½ an avocado, 1/3 cup frozen strawberries and a scoop of whey protein or vegetarian protein. It is delicious. Add more water to thin down. Don’t believe me just blend it and try it.
Protein should be a component of every meals. Always choose grass-fed, free-range pastured animal protein as much as possible which is the norm in all New Zealand agricultural products.
Refined grains and cereal have been the driver of the obesogenic diet of the lats forty years. They are mass produced, genetically modified much of the time and heavily sprayed. Animals have to eat the entire grain to get to the endosperm or white part, we have it packaged and added to the greater percentage of our foods while we discard to nutrient density as bran, the germ and fibre.
Eat more fat such as coconut oil, grass-fed Anchor butter, avocado, egg yolks, grass-fed meats, wild fish, omega-3s, and seafood. Avoid “all” polyunsaturated vegetable oils where you can – corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola oils, and trans fats associated with most pre-baked biscuits and cakes and margarines.
Avoid low calorie dieting, and low-fat, artificial foods
Choose soy very carefully and not genetically modified. Soy does nothing for boosting testosterone levels.
Include plenty of foods rich in zinc – wild shellfish, oysters, organic whole eggs, grass-fed red meat, cherries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and magnesium – pumpkin seeds and green leafy vegetables such as baby spinach.
Strength training, circuits and intervals burst style exercise such as sprints stimulate testosterone and natural growth hormone. Long distance and endurance sports are catabolic in nature and demanding on testosterone.
Respect rest, recovery and sleep, as well as managing the inevitable stressors.
Lifestyle

Prioritize sleep! Never underestimate the power of sleep for optimal hormone function. Instead of testosterone injections, get to bed by 10:30 p.m. and sleep 7-9 hours every night. Trouble sleeping? Check out these Sleep Solutions
Managing inevitable stressors is crucial for optimizing testosterone levels.
Everyone’s nutrient requirements are very individual and if there are more serious concerns, nutrient deficiencies such as minerals, toxicity, hormone levels, fatty acid balance, amino acids, and gastro-intestinal information, can be identified through a blood chemistry analysis, overnight urine and stool sampling. There are many supplements that can be used to target your biochemistry to get it back on track and make the biggest impact in the shortest time span. Minerals, enzymes, vitamin D, HCL for digestion, as well as whey protein and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be very useful. Other support identyified after testing are DHEA, tribulus, maca root, Siberian ginseng and natural aromatase inhibitors such as DIM, Calcium d glucarate, sulforaphane, chrysin.

Take some time to assess the changes you have experienced over the past two years and decide if there are changes you can make to reset the clock and allow your body to heal. Diet is natures medicine.