Testosterone is a male sex hormone synthesised by Leydig cells of testicle in men that plays critical role in fetal development, sperm production and development of primary and secondary male characteristics in men. Therefore it is not only a sex hormone that affect men's sex drive but it has effect on overall body function.
Testosterone plays vital role throughout the lifespan of man by contributing in development of not only his sexual functions but also in his cognitive behaviour too. During the foetus development stages, it determines its sex but the most visible effects of testosterone on male body is during its pre-pubertal stage where it helps in development of body odor, oiliness of skin and hair, and helps in development of early facial, axillary and pubic hair growth.
Whereas in puberty, testosterone causes enlargement of sebaceous glands, penis enlargement, increased frequency of erections, development of body muscle mass, increased libido power, increased height and bone maturation.
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How diet can help to increase testosterone level?
Testosterone deficiency is also referred as hypogonadism may be present from birth (congenital) or it can develop later in life (acquired). Studies have proved around 5-8 million men in American population is found to be experience testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone hormone begins to decrease in men with increase in age. Along with aging, there are various other factors which lead to hypogonadism such as injury to testes, mumps infection affecting testicles, chemotherapy (exposure to radiation) and syndromes like Klinefelters’s syndrome.
The problem of hypogonadism can be medically treated to prevent further health complications such as infertility, erectile dysfunction etc. Along with testosterone replacement therapy, and medications by doctor’s recommendations, there is high potential to increase the level of testosterone in body by incorporating certain testosterone boosting foods as a natural treatment method.
Taking testosterone supplements for treatment of testosterone deficiency is considered as easier option, but testosterone boosting foods are also found to be safer and effective method which increase the concentration of testosterone in body and thus help in problems like hypogonadism.
Testosterone boosting foods
Vitamin A rich food
Vitamin A rich food such as carrot, potatoes, eggs, squash and cantaloupe are found to increase the testosterone production in body too and hence their incorporation in diet is beneficial in treatment of hypogonadism problem in men.
In a study showed that when vitamin A supplementation was given in boys suffering from delayed pubertal maturation showed significant improvement in their puberty level and overall growth of body too. These results were similar to those with oxandrolone and testosterone treated boys indicating vitamin A rich foods have significant role in inducing the sex hormone in men.
Vitamin D rich food
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required for formation of healthy bones, immune systems and proper functioning of other body functions. This is because vitamin D helps to absorbs calcium from food thus helping in proper formation of bone cartilage and tissues.
Along with these vital functions of vitamin D, it is essential for proper development of sperm cell nucleus which in turn helps to promote better semen quality and sperm count in men. Therefore vitamin D is found to increase overall level of testosterone which boosts libido power in men.
Vitamin D rich food includes fortified dairy products, eggs, salmon, and mushrooms are also found to have positive effect in production of testosterone hormone in body like vitamin A rich diet. This was proved in a study published in The Journal of Clinical endocrinology where it was shown that vitamin D had significant role in inducing androgen levels in men.
When overweight men were administered with vitamin D supplements for one year as compared to placebo group (not given vitamin D supplements), showed significant improvement in testosterone level in body.
Similarly in a study published in European Journal of Endocrinology, it was clearly indicated that secondary hypogonadism was associated with vitamin D deficiency and hence vitamin D rich diet can help men in regaining their testosterone level in body.
Zinc rich food
Zinc is proved to be one of the key mineral in boosting testosterone production in body. Therefore it is highly recommended to increase intake of zinc loaded food such as shellfish like oysters, protein-rich meats and fish and raw dairy products like milk and cheese in men suffering from hypogonadism.
Researchers showed that there is correlation between cellular zinc concentrations and serum testosterone in men. In a study carried out with 40 normal men ranging from 20 to 80 years and having zinc deficiency showed that zinc supplementation in zinc deficient men for 6 months resulted in an increase in serum testosterone considerably.
Another group study showed oral administration of zinc in 37 male patients with idiopathic infertility showed significant increase in plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and overall sperm count. Thus it can be concluded from above studies that zinc plays critical role in modulating the serum testosterone levels in normal men.
Healthy fats which help in increasing the concentration of testosterone in body include not only mono- and polyunsaturated fats (such as found in avocados and nuts) but also include saturated fats as these healthy fats are essential in building testosterone hormone.
Healthy fats present in olive oil and coconut oil are also found to be beneficial in increasing the concentration of testosterone level in body. Scientist have shown olive oil and coconut oil increasing the production of enzymes such as 3beta-HSDand 17beta-HSD enzymes which are involved in synthesis of testosterone in Leydig’s cells of testes. These healthy fats present in olive and coconut oil also helps to increase the antioxidant level in body which helps in more production of sex hormone.
As cholesterol is a major precursor in production of testosterone in body, increasing fat content can thus help in more synthesis of testosterone in testes. This was proved by a study when experimental rats were given olive oil, coconut oil for sixty days which showed in increase in their testosterone level at the end of the period.
Scientist have shown diet which is deficient in 40 % of energy as fats, especially from animal sources i.e. saturated result in decrease in testosterone level in body. Results indicated that decrease in dietary fat content leads to increase in degree of unsaturation of fatty acids which further reduces the serum concentrations of testosterone, androstenedione and free testosterone in body.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are believed to boost testosterone level in the body by getting rid of excess of estrogens hormone. This is because it is found that increase level of estrogens level in body decreases the testosterone production. Scientist has found that compound called 3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables is found to have positive effect in removal of estrogens in men thus increasing the level of testosterone hormone in body.
According to the study published in Journal of Nutrition indicated that consumption of garlic in diet significantly increases the testosterone production in body. In the experiment it was shown when experimental rats were administered with different protein levels (40, 25 or 10g/100g casein) in their diet along with garlic powder were found to produce more testosterone amount in body as compared to those which were administered with same protein diet but without garlic powder.
It was also indicated that garlic has positive effect in increasing testosterone level in body because it contains compound called diallydisulphide which plays important role in production of testosterone by releasing the hormone which stimulates the testosterone synthesis.
Malondialdehyde is a mutagenic substance which causes reduction in testosterone level in body is produced when free radical damage the unsaturated fatty acids present in cell membranes. Onion is rich in antioxidants such as quercetin and isorhamnetin (phenolic compounds) which neutralises these free radicals thus reducing the formation of malondialdehyde is found to increase concentration of testosterone in body.
A study showed that when 8 week old laboratory male rats were administered with onion juice which was pumped into their stomach using a tube showed improvement in their LH,FSH and testosterone level in blood as compared to control group, indicating that including onion in diet can help in increasing the level of testosterone in body.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) from Foods like Whey Protein
Scientist have shown that increasing the intake of branch chain amino acids which are present in proteins like whey protein in diet can significantly increase testosterone level.
A study published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed when trained males were asked to consume supplements containing high branched chain amino acids for 3 weeks, serum testosterone levels were found to show significant rise as compared to the control group.
Limit Sugar Intake
High sugar leads to high insulin level which is another factor in causing low testosterone in men. Therefore health experts always recommends to avoid high intake of sugar in diet if the person is suffering from hypogonadism.
Along with sugar, foods containing high level content of added sugar and fructose such as bread and pasta should be also avoided which can also has negative effect on hormone level in men.
Male hypogonadism is a condition in male where the body does not synthesize enough quantity of testosterone hormone; the hormone which plays critical role in masculine growth in men and development of sexual characteristics during puberty. Therefore the deficiency of this vital sex hormone should be treated to prevent further complications such as infertility, erectile dysfunction. Hypogonadism can be medically treated by the process of testosterone replacement therapy and with medication after doctor’s recommendation. But scientist have proved from their various studies and experiments that certain foods are beneficial in increasing the level of testosterone in body and hence termed as “testosterone boosting foods”. Therefore health experts recommend to incorporate these foods in diet which is considered as natural, effective and safer method in treatment of testosterone deficiency in men.