Everyone knows that good nutrition, proper sleep and regular exercise can help fend off a variety of ailments, from weight gain and high cholesterol to diabetes and heart disease.
But did you know these same healthy habits may also help boost a man’s dwindling testosterone levels? As men age, their testosterone levels naturally begin to decline. For most men, there’s no noticeable effect, unless their levels dip below normal for their age.
But some men experience a wide range of symptoms, including low energy, weakness, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in sex, reduced muscle mass and other troublesome effects.
To help maintain your healthiest self, consider these natural approaches to wellness, no matter your age:
• Diet – It’s no surprise that a poor diet – and being overweight – can impact testosterone levels. Studies show that testosterone levels are lower in men who are overweight or who have diabetes. 1 Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and “good fats” — such as olive oil, nuts and avocado, may have a positive effect on testosterone levels.2
• Stress — Stress can really take its toll on the body. When you’re stressed, your body releases a cascade of chemicals, including the stress hormone cortisol, which has a host of damaging effects on your heart, brain, digestive tract and immune system. Studies show excess cortisol can, over time, reduce testosterone levels. 3
• Vitamins and Supplements – While many natural supplements are purported to be effective in raising levels of testosterone, only a few are supported by scientific studies. Among them, the herb ashwagandha has been shown to increase testosterone and sperm count among infertile men.4 Vitamin D3 is another supplement that offers Low-T sufferers hope. A study of Vitamin D3 supplementation in healthy overweight men showed a significant increase in total, bioactive, and free testosterone levels. 10 Magnesium and Zinc are two additional supplement shown to be at least somewhat beneficial in raising low testosterone levels. 5 – magnesium
• Sleep – The majority of testosterone production occurs during sleep. 6 The more restful sleep a person gets, the better and more efficiently the body can produce testosterone.7 Thus, men who experience interrupted sleep and sleep apnea may have lower testosterone levels.8 For example, morning testosterone levels in older men can be predicted, at least in part, by the total amount of sleep experienced.9
If symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes, it’s best to get evaluated by a doctor to determine the underlying causes and seek appropriate treatments, if necessary.