July 22nd, 2014

Low “T”

 

Low T refers to a decrease in men’s testosterone level.  Naturally, men’s testosterone levels should gradually decrease with age with roughly a 1% drop occurring annually over the age of 30.  Unfortunately, many men of all ages are experiencing a sudden drop in their levels with an estimated 13 million in the United States alone.   

Some common physical symptoms that are associated with low testosterone include increased body fat, decreased lean muscle mass, decreased strength, increased fatigue, inflammation or swelling of breast tissue, and diminished sex drive.

Like all hormones, testosterone is derived from cholesterol and goes through biosynthesis, a multi-step process that has enzymes modifying the original compound and converting its structural form.   What happens when levels are low is that the testosterone precursors or the ingredients to manufacture it are diverted away, leaving the body with less hormone production.  Factors that impact testosterone levels are deficiencies in key nutrients such as zinc and vitamin D, infections, Type 2 diabetes, trauma, overtraining, environmental toxicity, and poor quality of sleep.  Other factors that divert testosterone precursors into other agents are a sustained stress response which diverts testosterone into cortisol, a stress hormone; aromatase which takes testosterone and converts it into estradiol or estrogen, which can have feminizing effects; and 5 alpha reductase that diverts testosterone into another androgen called 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT).   

Men with low t can naturally boost their your testosterone levels incorporating simple lifestyle strategies like going to bed at or before 10pm daily, performing high intensity training like resistance training or interval training, eating good quality fats and foods high in key vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin D and zinc.  These foods are:

1. Fish/Sea Food

Tuna is rich in vitamin D and not only a natural way of boosting testosterone but a heart-healthy, protein-rich food that’s low in calories.  Eating fresh tuna over canned is better and if you aren’t a tuna fan, you may consider other fishy sources of vitamin D, like salmon or sardines. Oysters are exceptionally high sources of zinc, and can bolster issues with low testosterone or prevent levels from declining. If you aren’t a fan of oysters, crab or lobster can also do your testosterone levels some good, as they also contain sufficient levels of zinc.

2. Egg Yolk

Egg yolks are a rich source of vitamin D and contains more nutrients than egg whites . While cholesterol has gained a bad rap, it is however, as mentioned, needed for the production of every hormone in the body. 

3. Beef

Certain beef cuts also contain nutrients that can help boost low testosterone levels. Beef liver is an exceptional source of vitamin D, while zinc is found in ground beef and chuck roast.

If stress is a factor with someone’s low t, another strategy would be to incorporate work- in activities such as relaxing walks, yin yoga, tai chi, chi gong or zone exercises from How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.   Work-in activities are thoroughly explained in another blog series entitled Are You Healthy Enough to Work Out?  As well, it is covered on our CHI Training Studio youtube channel in Dr.Movement part 1 and 2 coming up in the next two weeks.

 

With chi,

Chris