What’s the Big Deal About Testosterone?
“So my testosterone is low. I’m not a kid any more. What’s the big deal?”
My patient was expressing the opinion of a surprising number of men as they get older. They think, Testosterone is for young bucks… I don’t need it like I used to.
What they don’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how old you are. Men need testosterone. If your levels get too low, the consequences can be serious. And as we get older, our levels of this critical hormone drop.
Here’s what I tell my patients…
Low Testosterone Spells Trouble
Some people call it “male menopause.” Others use the term “andropause.” But whatever you call it, men’s body’s change as they age. We just don’t notice it as much as women, because our changes happen more slowly.
One of the biggest changes we experience is a drop in testosterone – the “male hormone.” But our levels of estrogen – the “female” hormone – don’t drop. The result is a double-whammy for your masculinity.
For one thing, as testosterone levels drop, you can kiss your physique good-bye. I’ve seen studies that show you can lose almost 20% of your body’s lean muscle.1 at the same time, you’ll start to pack on extra fat.2
In other words, you’re looking at developing “man breasts” and having trouble opening jars. You’re being feminized.
And if you want to look and feel like an old man, low testosterone is the quickest route. I just read a study that found mature men with low testosterone are more likely to suffer from fatigue… and even have trouble climbing stairs or walking any distance.3
Another new looked at 3,443 men. Those with the lowest testosterone levels were much more likely to have arterial leaks or blockages in the brain… leading to brain cell death.4
And then there’s the problem that gets every man’s attention. As your testosterone levels drop, so does your sex drive. Imagine finally having the kids are out of the house, the mortgage paid, and more free time to enjoy yourself… and you just don’t feel like it any more.
So, if you have low testosterone levels, you should be concerned. You’re running the risk of serious health problems. Your changing hormone ratio is slowly turning you into a “girly man.” And you can expect to see your desire pack its bags and move out.
Sounds pretty depressing, doesn’t it? Fortunately, there are ways to boost your levels safely and naturally. And when your testosterone goes back up, so does your masculinity.5
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Two of the best testosterone boosters are minerals.
Because it’s closely linked to sexual matters, zinc probably comes as no surprise. The highest levels of zinc in men are found in their sex organs. And a number of studies show that zinc helps your body boost testosterone levels.6
Another mineral with solid evidence is magnesium. For example, Turkish researchers gave magnesium to a group of athletes and a group of couch potatoes. In just 4 weeks, testosterone levels were up in both groups.7
Though human studies are in short supply on herbs, some show promise. For example, Tribulus terrestris – puncture vine – promotes testosterone production in rats8 rabbits and primates.9 In fact, in one study, testosterone levels in primates shot up by 52%!
Another herb to consider is Long Jack, or tongkat ali. In one study, male animals were treated with estrogen, which has a feminizing effect. But animals then given Long Jack for just 14 days experienced a reversal of estrogen’s effects.10 And Long Jack has been shown to support improved sperm production and quality in humans, too.11
So, yes, low testosterone levels are a big deal. But you can do something about it. And when you do, you can get back your muscle, your health… and your desire.5
Dr. Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
Best Lifer Herbals
1 Vermeulen A, et al. Testosterone, body composition and aging. J Endocrinol Invest. 1999;22(5 Suppl):110-6.
2 Abate N, eet al. Sex steroid hormones, upper body obesity, and insulin resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Oct;87(10):4522-7.
3 Hyde Z, et al. Low Free Testosterone Predicts Frailty in Older Men: The Health in Men Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print]
4 Yeap BB, et al. Lower testosterone levels predict incident stroke and transient ischemic attack in older men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Jul;94(7):2353-9. Epub 2009 Apr 7.
5 Rabijewski M and Zgliczyński W. Testosterone deficiency in elderly men. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009 Dec;27(162):517-23.
6 Kilic M. Effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on thyroid hormone and testosterone levels in sedentary males supplemented with oral zinc. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2007 Oct;28(5):681-5.
7 Cinar V, et al. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Testosterone Levels of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects at Rest and after Exhaustion. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]
8 El-Tantawy WH, et al. Free serum testosterone level in male rats treated with Tribulus alatus extracts. Int Braz J Urol. 2007 Jul-Aug;33(4):554-8; discussion 558-9.
9 Gauthaman K and Ganesan AP. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction–an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):44-54.
10 Wahab NA, et al. The effect of eurycoma longifolia Jack on spermatogenesis in estrogen-treated rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010 Jan;65(1):93-8.
11 Tambi MI and Imran MK. Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility. Asian J Androl. 2010 May;12(3):376-80. Epub 2010 Mar 29.