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Natural alternatives to Testosterone Replacement Therapies

Men's Health | May 9, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

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Natural alternatives to Testosterone Replacement Therapies

Testosterone plays a very important role in the growth and development of an average male. However, with advancing age and certain health issues, the function of testes may reduce, resulting in a decreased secretion of testosterone that may be symptomatic in some cases. Although healthcare providers may advise testosterone replacement therapy (which may be a suitable option in some cases), you should also know that the serum testosterone concentration could also be maintained under normal levels with the help of diet, lifestyle modification and regular exercise. Testosterone replacement therapy is generally recommended for the management of male menopause, maintenance of normal hemoglobin concentration, prevention of anemia in males and other metabolic disorders in the setting of AIDs and other chronic diseases.

Natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy

Natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapyExercise and physical training

Physical exercise, especially that which involves sprinting or weight lifting, is known to boost testosterone levels immediately.

Moderate resistance training exercises such as bench presses or squatting, followed by short resting intervals of at least 90 - 120 seconds during the regimen is helpful in improving testosterone serum concentration by 65 to 76% as compared to baseline. Likewise, resting intervals of 60 seconds or less is associated with substantial increase in serum Growth Hormone concentration.

Other exercises that are also associated with improvement in testosterone natural secretion are sprinting and jogging.

It is important to note - over-training or over-exertion may negatively affect testosterone secretion.

Zinc supplementation

Normal intake of essential vitamins and minerals is important for adequate secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters.

For example, research data indicates that zinc deficiency can lead to a substantial decline in testosterone secretion. Study conducted by Prasad provided the statistical evidence that zinc supplementation in deficient males can increase testosterone basal serum levels from 8.3 to 16.0 nmol/L within weeks. You can increase your dietary intake of zinc by consuming shell fish and other zinc rich foods. Although zinc supplementation in the form of over the counter pills is effective in extreme zinc deficiency, several researches suggested that zinc intake in high doses does not improve testosterone secretion. Therefore make sure to speak to your healthcare professional before initiating any drug regimen for the management of hypogonadism or andropause.

Diet Modification

Reduce sugars. Certain nutrients can interfere with the normal metabolic processes and have an affect testosterone secretion. One of these is glucose. The pathophysiological basis involves digestion and assimilation of glucose via insulin secretion which can negatively affect testosterone release. According to research conducted in diabetic and pre-diabetic males, intake of only 75 grams of sugar can decrease the testosterone secretion by 25%. 

Maintain your blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, your chances of developing hypogonadism (reduced testes size) are higher than a non-diabetic male. Maintain your blood sugar levels under recommended limits via diet and lifestyle modification, and medications if necessary.

Increase proteins intake. Whey from dairy and eggs boost testosterone naturally due to abundant quantities of essential enzyme hydrolysates.

Healthy fats. TDiet Modificationhe basic building block of testosterone is cholesterol. A healthy daily intake of monosaturated fatty acids is highly reocomended. 

One study published in Journal of Applied  Physiology revieled an intake of high quality nutrients like monosaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and other lipids increased testosterone secretion, especially after activity.

High fibre. Increasing fibre in the diet can help with lowering unhealthy fats.

 

Reduce processed, inorganic and toxic 

Maintain Vitamin D levels by  eatiing dairy food, from sunlight or supplementation.

Foods to Include

Foods that are strongly associated with boosting testosterone concentration are flaxseed oil, olive oil, fish, garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, beef, turnip, radish, oysters, avocados and peanuts.

 Avoid stress 

Testosterone is classified under anabolic hormones: substances that build muscle and synthesise proteins in the body to serve different functions. Likewise, cortisol is classified under catabolic hormones: substances that degrade proteins and oppose the secretion of anabolic hormones like growth hormone and testosterone.

Other 

Maintain a normal body weight. Being over-weight can lead to tissue degradation of testosterone

Maintain healthy sleeping habits

Herbs to increase testosterone 

  • ‚ÄčHerbs to increase the testosterone¬†Tribulus Terrestris
  • Ginseng
  • Mucuna Pruriens
  • Epimedium / Horny Goat Weed

It is recommended you seek the advice from a registered healthcare professional before initiating any hormonal, herbal or medicinals to avoid any possible interactions.

To sumarise

Eat a healthy diet low in sugar, high in protein and healthy fats.

Regular physical exercise involving high intensity and muscle building.

Sleep well and stress less

Talk to a healthcare provider for supplements

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References

Rahimi, R., Qaderi, M., Faraji, H., & Boroujerdi, S. S. (2010). Effects of very short rest periods on hormonal responses to resistance exercise in men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(7), 1851-1859.

Prasad, A. S., Mantzoros, C. S., Beck, F. W., Hess, J. W., & Brewer, G. J. (1996). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition, 12(5), 344-348.

Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Incledon, T., & Boetes, M. (1997). Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 82(1), 49-54.

Wang, C., Catlin, D. H., Starcevic, B., Heber, D., Ambler, C., Berman, N., ... & Swerdloff, R. S. (2005). Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 90(6), 3550-3559.

Chen, K. K., & Chiu, J. H. (2006). Effect of< i> Epimedium brevicornum Maxim extract on elicitation of penile erection in the rat. Urology, 67(3), 631-635.

Yakubu, M. T., & Afolayan, A. J. (2009). Effect of aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis (Baker) stem on the sexual behaviour of male rats. International journal of andrology, 32(6), 629-636.

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