What comes to mind when I say the word “testosterone”?
Probably men’s health, or sexuality.
Maybe improved athletic performance?
You don’t likely think of women’s health, or even realize all people require some amount of testosterone, although its role will vary depending on the person.
Keep reading to learn more about the role of testosterone in all bodies, and some natural solutions for men’s health when testosterone levels drop too low.
What Is Testosterone?
Primarily known as a sex hormone, testosterone is produced in either the testes, or in fat cells, ovaries, and adrenal glands.
It is important for growth, and reproduction.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Testosterone plays different roles in the bodies of men versus women.
In men, testosterone affects libido, is responsible for sperm production, and has impacts on red blood cell production, fat storage, muscle mass, and mood.
For women, testosterone also has effects on blood cell production, sex drive, as well as influencing hormones which affect reproduction.
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone display differently in men and women.
Let’s have a look at some of the things to look for, which can help to identify a deficiency of this important hormone.
Some of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels in men include:
- Changes in mood
- Lack of self-esteem
- Chronic fatigue
- Low libido
- Increased weight
- Low bone density
- Body hair loss
Symptoms of low testosterone in women include:
- Feeling lethargic
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of interest in sex
- Less satisfaction from sex
Naturopathic Treatments For Low Testosterone
If you are experiencing low testosterone levels, there are a number of steps you can take to remedy this.
Let’s review some of the natural options to provide treatment for low testosterone.
1. Start With A Healthy Lifestyle
Factors as simple as getting enough exercise, ensuring you get enough quality sleep, and limiting sugar intake can have significant effects on your testosterone levels.
A 2016 article in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed a link between an increase in physical activity and increased testosterone levels.
Additionally, an article in JAMA showed evidence of reduced sleep duration and quality leading to lower levels of testosterone in study participants.
Finally, a 2013 study showed high levels of glucose resulted in lower testosterone levels.
Zinc is a mineral which is required for human health.
Because it’s not stored by the body, it’s important to get enough via diet, or supplementation.
An article in Biological Trace Element Research found study participants with high zinc levels also had normal testosterone levels, compared to those with lower zinc levels.
Some natural food sources of zinc include:
- Whole grains
3. Vitamin D
Most people think of vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin” because one way to get enough of it is through sun exposure.
A study in Hormone and Metabolic Research found testosterone levels significantly increased in subjects given vitamin D supplements, compared to those in the placebo group.
In addition to sun exposure, some dietary sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish such as tuna or salmon
- Eggs (the yolks in particular)
- Beef liver
- Fortified foods such as dairy, orange juice, and cereals
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb which has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
There is evidence to suggest it can assist with boosting testosterone levels.
A 2019 study in the American Journal of Men’s Health found study participants given ashwagandha showed a 14.7% increase in testosterone levels over participants given a placebo.
Another study found it to have outsized effects on fertility, including a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume, and 57% increase in sperm motility over baseline levels taken before treatment.
Ginger is much more than a way to spice up your food.
A study in Tikrit Medical Journal looked at the effects of ginger on testosterone levels in infertile men.
It found a significant increase in testosterone levels in men who received treatment with ginger.
Book An Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
Are you experiencing symptoms indicative of low testosterone levels?
For men this may include fluctuations in your weight, low libido, or a change in mood.
If you’re a woman, you might be feeling weak, or experiencing a loss of sex drive.
If it’s a hormonal issue, Annex Naturopathic can help.
Contact us today for more information about how naturopathic medicine can help you, or to set up an appointment.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND