Can you improve testosterone through nutraceuticals: What does the literature say?

Testosterone

One way of improving testosterone is by mingling with ovulating females.  Yep, according to Miller and Maner (2010) simply detecting the scent of ovulating ladies can boost one’s testosterone and libido.  But, there are less predatory ways of doing so.  Not to mention, that’s just kinda creepy.  Actually….VERY creepy.

  1. Creatine – yep, good ole creatine has some ergogenic effects in terms of increasing one’s testosterone albeit not highly notable.  From being researched in treating Alzheimer’s to having some level of efficacy in treating depression, creatine has proven itself as star the supplement world.  Furthermore, creatine has demonstrated an ability to increase dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  When choosing creatine, opt for creatine monohydrate as it’s the cheapest form and has proven itself worthy of consumption.  The other forms of creatine are often many times more expensive and yield the same results; why spend more when you don’t have to?  If creatine monohydrate gives you some gastric distress, then opt for micronized creatine.  Simply take 3-5 grams daily.
  2. Vitamin D – vitamin D is involved in steroid hormone synthesis.  Unless you’re getting plenty of sunshine you most likely have low vitamin D levels.  Put it this way, you could draw vitamin D labs on most random people and I would put money on it that they are low or low-normal in their levels.  Long-term studies have also demonstrated that taking supplementary vitamin D has increased baseline levels of testosterone in males.  For the purposes of increasing testosterone levels, vitamin D supplementary ranges should be between 2000-3000IU daily.  I would suggest taking vitamin D with food as it is a fat-soluble vitamin and doing so would maximize absorption.
  3. Zinc – this one is a no-brainer.  Yes, zinc can increase testosterone levels, but only in people who have a deficiency.  However, if your zinc levels are normal, then you will not get an increased benefit beyond baseline.  Even more, excessive zinc beyond physiologic levels can make your tummy upset.  Since zinc is found primarily in meat products if you consume plenty amounts of animal-based proteins, then you may not need it.  Regardless, I’m presenting it as many people tend to have somewhat lower zinc levels, especially exercisers since it is lost in sweat.  When supplementing with zinc observe the package for elemental zinc; zinc products are often combined with another product which aids in digestion, such as gluconate.  Shoot for 25-30mg of elemental zinc daily if you are sedentary or have very minimal sweat losses.  If you are athletic and consuming a relatively high protein intake, then 10mg/daily will suffice.

 

Miller, S. and Maner, J. (2010). Scent of a woman:  men’s testosterone responses to olfactory ovulation cues. Psychological Science, 21(2).

Wehr, E., Pilz, S., Boehm, B., Marz, W., and Obermayer-Pietsch, B. (2010). Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. Clinical Endocrinology, 73(2).

Pilz, S., Frisch, S., Koertke, H., Kuhn, J., Dreier, J., Obermayer-Pietsch, B., Wehr, E., and Zittermann, A. (2011). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 43(3)

Netter A., Hartoma, R., and Nahoul, K. (1981). Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Archives of Andrology, 7(1).

Jalali, G., Roozbeh, J., Mohammadzadeh, A., Sharifian, M., et al. (2010). Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis. Renal Failure, 32(4).

Roitman, S., Green, T., Osher, Y., Karni, N., and Levine, J. (2007). Creatine monohydrate in resistant depression: A preliminary study. Bipolar Disorders, 9(7).

Van Der Merwe, J., Brooks, N., and Myburgh, K. (2009). Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 19(5).

Volek, J., Ratamess, N. Rubin, M., Gomez, A., French, D., et al. (2004). The effects of creatine supplementation on muscular performance and body composition responses to short-term  resistance training overreaching. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 91(5-6).

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