You're likely losing testosterone. For years, researchers assumed that testosterone levels were relatively stable throughout adulthood. But, studies show that as you age, testosterone production decreases. Further complicating the picture is the fact that longitudinal studies over the last 40 years have shown that testosterone levels in men have been decreasing across generations. Meaning that the average hormone levels in the same age group today are less than they were a few decades ago.
This can impact more than just your strength in the gym or your ability to cover the miles on the bike or trail. Let's get into the effects of low testosterone and how you can support those hormone levels naturally.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone has slowly developed a stigma associated with it that creates a common misconception with the hormone. When you hear testosterone, what comes to mind? It’s not uncommon for thoughts of roided-up bodybuilders or emotionally out-of-control individuals to conjure. In truth, testosterone is simply a hormone that is produced by the testicles in men and by the ovaries in women. It plays a significant role in many functions in the body, including regulating bone density, muscle mass, fat distribution, red blood cell production, and sex drive. Testosterone also affects mood and cognitive function, and it plays a role in maintaining adequate blood sugar levels. Testosterone might help protect against osteoporosis and heart disease
Just like any hormone, having the appropriate levels of it are crucial to optimal performance.
Modern Men are Losing Testosterone
Research on declining testosterone rates in men has been growing. The most notable study, from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, revealed a "substantial" drop in U.S. men's testosterone levels since the 1980s, with average levels declining by about 1% per year.
A similar study in Denmark found that men born in the 1960s had 14% lower testosterone levels on average than males from the 1920s. The study also discovered that the testosterone-binding protein SHBG had fallen by 26% in the same period.
Low Testosterone and What It Means For You
A decline in testosterone can be cause for concern. Low testosterone levels can lead to various health problems, including decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, and reduced bone density. In addition, low testosterone has been linked to issues with moodiness and irritability.
It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with low testosterone levels and to take steps to keep your testosterone levels within a healthy range.
What Can You Do About Low Testosterone
So, how do you make certain your testosterone levels are within a healthy range? One option is testosterone boosters or estrogen blockers. These come in various forms, including pills, powders, and creams. Historically speaking, these products are generally used by bodybuilders and those looking to “get jacked.” Many of these synthetic boosters can be very damaging to the liver. They also require strict cycling and can mimic anabolic steroids in many ways.
A more recent trend has developed that is geared more towards the everyday man who’s looking to keep their testosterone levels in a healthy range. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a doctor-prescribed treatment that supplements testosterone to keep levels within a desired range. While TRT can improve symptoms, it has several potential side effects – including an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This discovery even prompted the FDA to force drug companies to add a warning to the drug labels about the potential increased risk for men over age 65.
Natural Hormone Support
What about a natural solution? For centuries, cultures have been using natural remedies to increase testosterone in the body. In fact, they often provide even better results than synthetic testosterone.
Natural solutions to hormone support help to stimulate the body's production of testosterone rather than artificially increasing levels. These plant-based solutions are typically made from ingredients that are safe and effective. On top of that, they tend to be more affordable than their synthetic counterparts.
What is Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat Ali is derived from a shrub that grows in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. For centuries, the root of this plant has been used as a traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Tongkat contains high levels of naturally occurring testosterone precursors, making it one of the most effective natural testosterone boosters available.
The plant has also received increased attention from researchers in recent years. The bioactive elements of Tongkat Ali demonstrate the ability to improve testosterone levels, increase muscle size and strength, improve overall well-being, accelerate recovery from exercise, and reduce symptoms of fatigue.
In one study of young men undergoing a weight-training regimen, Tongkat Ali supplementation improved lean body mass, 1-rep maximum strength, and arm circumference significantly more than a placebo group.
Another study of active male and female seniors gave participants a daily dose of Tongkat over 5 weeks. Supplementation resulted in significant increases in total and free testosterone concentrations. It also increased muscular force in both men and women. Researchers also reported no side effects for any of the participants.
What is Fadogia Agrestis?
Fadogia Agrestis is a type of flowering plant native to Africa. It has been used traditionally in Nigerian herbal medicine. The active ingredient is thought to be the alkaloid Fadogin, a compound has shown some promise in animal studies for increasing testosterone levels and enhancing sexual function.
While there are a limited number of clinical studies on Fadogia Agrestis, work from the Asian Journal of Andrology found that supplementation significantly boosted libido, sexual interest, and dominant behavior in male rats. A promising sign that this ancient herb can help solve the modern problem of low testosterone.
Regardless of gender, everyone should be proactive about their testosterone health as they age. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of low testosterone, the first step is to speak with your physician about what your current levels are and where your physician thinks they should be. The next step in the process is putting together a plan of action. Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are two natural herbs that show real benefits without the risks associated with TRT or synthetic prohormones. So, if you’re looking to improve your libido, increase muscle mass, or just feel more energetic, these two herbs are worth taking a look at.
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