Much like menopause in women, men also have “andropause” (which is usually more gradual). Although not currently recognized by the World Health Organization, it is the result of a gradual drop in testosterone, which is an androgen (Wikipedia).
Some experts say that it is more likely that the decrease in the testosterone levels is a result from illnesses that men acquire as they age, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity.
Testosterone in men plays a key role in sperm production, libido, fat distribution, red cell production and maintenance of muscle strength/mass. Women produce testosterone too, but are about 5-10% of men’s levels.
As a result of the decline in testosterone levels, men typically experience reduced sex drive, impotence, loss of muscle mass, hair loss and weakened bones after about age 50.
There are different supplements available in the market but many of them are scams, and not really effective ways to increase testosterone production. One such scam that is extremely popular right now is a product by Force Factor, LLC, dubbed “Test X180 Ignite.” There is a good chance you came to this article using that name in the search box. You probably saw hundreds of wonderfully positive reviews for this stuff, which is the unmistakable mark of an MLM scam where the multi-loser-marketing droids are attempting to bury the negative reports by trying to rank high for terms like “scam” or “fraud.”
The makers of this pricey and ineffective supplement (“active” ingredient of which is fenugreek, or “French hay,” which is a spice used in some cuisines, but has no medicinal use at all) are currently the target of a class-action lawsuit (PDF).
There are many cheaper and more effective ways to increase your testosterone level, most of which are associated with just improving your overall health. Here are a few:
Limit your sugar intake
Too much sugar and starch in the diet can lead to a lot of health problems, including the decrease in testosterone. Acquiring Type 2 Diabetes can even furthermore destroy your testosterone production. In fact, ED is usually one of the early signs of diabetes. So if you want to save those T’s, avoid simple sugars such as white table sugar and sweetened beverages with high-fructose corn syrup.
Another dietary item to avoid like the plague is wheat (the modern Monsanto version of wheat is actually unrelated to real wheat), since it contains a powerful appetite stimulant called gliadin, and a new form of carbohydrate with 3 times the glycemic index of sugar.
Obesity impairs the testosterone production and low levels of testosterone make fat storage easier. So when you look at it, it is definitely a vicious cycle. So make sure maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise.
Weight-bearing exercise also has a proven effect on increasing the production of testosterone and preventing its decline. One of the most time-effective ways I have found for weight training is Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn method, which can give you an effective workout in just 2 15-minute sessions a week.
Limit stress and get adequate sleep
Too much stress makes way for your body to release high levels of cortisol which actually blocks the effects of testosterone. Another angle would be that high levels of cortisol can cause sleep interruptions, and poor quality sleep can cause up to a 15% decrease in testosterone level.
This mineral is very important in producing testosterone as well as keeping a healthy immune system and building proteins. Foods that are richest in Zinc are oysters, beef, lamb, spinach and pumpkin seeds. It is also available in inexpensive supplements.
Magnesium is a mineral that is vital to the body’s overall function. It keeps blood pressure normal, heart rhythm steady, kidneys functioning well and bones strong. At the same time, it plays an important role in testosterone production. Sources of Magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, modern agriculture (which resembles strip-mining more closely than farming, at least in the US) has caused many of the traditional sources of magnesium to become relatively poor.
A cheap and bioavailable source is Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, which can be absorbed through the skin by soaking in a warm Epsom Salt bath (which I find quite enjoyable). You can take Epsom salt orally, but it tastes awful, and the horrid taste is impossible to disguise, at least by any means I’ve tried. Regular “milk of magnesia” might help a little, but it’s not well-absorbed in the gut. Plus, if you try taking more than about teaspoon, you will find that it is a powerful laxative. Which I suppose is ok if you are constipated, but even then, you don’t really want to overdo it.
If you are looking for a good oral magnesium supplement, seek out the pills that say “chelated” somewhere on the ingredients list, and don’t bother with magnesium oxide (the main ingredient in milk of magnesia).
L-arginine is an amino acid that is thought to reduce blood pressure, improve kidney function and boost the body’s production of NO (nitrous oxide), which can have a slight positive effect on libido by enhancing the body’s ability to maintain an erection.
It is available as a relatively inexpensive supplement, but you can get enough in your diet. Some rich sources include red meat, poultry and dairy products.
Boron is a mineral that helps the body to build strong bones, treat osteoarthritis, form muscles and increase the testosterone levels. Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, avocados, chick peas, prunes and raisins are sources of this mineral, but again, those sources are a bit “iffy” thanks to modern agricultural abuses.
Fortunately, boron is available in supplement forms at a reasonable price. Just don’t look for “testosterone booster” on the label, since that pretty much guarantees that you will pay too much. Instead, just look for boron supplements.
Another thing to watch for is if you aren’t boron-deficient (you don’t really need much), a boron supplement won’t make any noticeable difference. So if you don’t notice any difference after a couple of weeks of boron supplementation, you can just drop it and save yourself a little money.
Here is the source I personally use for many of my vitamin and mineral supplements, and they are currently (through June 2016) running a special for new Customers Only: $10 off an order of $40+ or $5 off any order under $40 at Piping Rock Vitamins. Enter code: NEWDEAL10 at checkout. Expires: 6.30.16