Nutrition and lifestyle tips for men to help support their testosterone levels
Are there things men can do to help support their testosterone levels if test results show that it is low? According to the research, the answer is yes! Although nothing is a magic-bullet, data suggests that there are some things men can do that may support his testosterone levels naturally.
First, what is testosterone? It is a main male hormone that can directly affect fertility. If levels are too low, men may see a reduced sperm production and even a lower sex drive.
Some tips to help support your testosterone levels naturally, according to the research:
Note: These are interventions that may help improve testosterone levels assumingthere are no other underlying medical conditions, medications prescribed, or supplements taken. This is not a substitute for medical advice, and any supplementation or dietary plans should be verified by your doctor. This post is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a recommendation.
It is best that interventions are implemented for at least two months to see the best results. These are dietary and lifestyle changes you can implement as a starting-point to support your goals. It is unrealistic to implement all of these interventions at once, and the guidance of a registered dietitian is recommended for personalization. This is not a complete list, but is instead a starting point. Unless otherwise noted, citations for claims can be found in the book Fueling Male Fertility. This is not an all-inclusive list.
Avoid testosterone replacement therapy without your doctor’s consent. Use of testosterone supplements (“T”) is used by many men, and many intuitively believe that supplementation will help support their fertility. Unfortunately, it’s use may result in essentially turning off their sperm production. Men struggling with fertility should not go on testosterone unless a specialist is recommending it and monitoring it very closely. If he is already taking it, he should bring up fertility concerns with his doctor.
Avoid endocrine-disrupting items like cans that contain BPA and fragrance-filled body sprays. If your endocrine system is disturbed, your fertility may be negatively affected. Dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides, brominated flame retardants, bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan, perfluorinated compounds and phthalates are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals. Reduced sperm production as well as congenital abnormalities of male genitalia can be seen in laboratory animals by exposing them to chemicals with endocrine-disrupting effect, and in humans similar effects have been seen following accidental exposures to very high concentrations of these environmental toxins.
One easy swap to reduce exposure to potentially harmful ingredients is choosing a natural deodorant. My hubby’s fav is Primally Pure Charcoal. It smells very manly and works! Use code LAUREN10 for 10% off.
Include zinc-rich foods like oysters, crab, baked beans, and cashews in your diet. Zinc is essential for male fertility. It has many unique properties in males. It acts as a hormone balancer and may increase testosterone levels. It also acts as an antibacterial agent in men's urea system.
Zinc deficiency has been shown to hinder creation of new sperm and plays a role in the development of sperm abnormalities.
Do not eat soy foods in excess. Soy contains phytoestrogens, or components that act in the body like the hormone estrogen. Some studies suggest that consumption of soy foods may negatively affect male hormone levels. Although it is important to note that soy intake may not affect the end-goal of pregnancy, at least when undergoing IVF.
Ensure a Vitamin D deficiency does not exist and consume adequate vitamin D or supplement if necessary. Vitamin D is a hot topic these days. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that gets converted into a hormone in the body. It is found in some foods and can also be converted through skin from UV light from the sun.
Vitamin D plays many roles in the human body, and some theorize that a deficiency may influence infertility. In general, the recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin D for adult men under the age of 70 years old is 600 IU/day, although some argue it should be higher due to the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the United States. Some studies suggest that Vitamin D supplementation supports normal testosterone levels. However, it is important to note that the studies that vitamin D supplementation does not appear to exert an important role in human fertility in the absence of deficiency. In other words, if a man already has adequate Vitamin D levels, supplementation will not likely provide a benefit.
Avoid chronic alcohol consumption.Data suggests that testosterone levels are decreased in men who are labeled as “chronic alcohol drinkers”
Consider exploring the use of ashwagandha, fenugreek, ginger, and black seeds (Nigella sariva).There is LIMITED research on the use of these but can be explored with a LICENSED health care provider. Please do not use these without professional guidance. (1, 2)
Increase intake of onions.Your female partner may not love the smell of this, but onions have been shown to support healthy testosterone levels. The mechanisms by which this occurs is mainly by increasing the production of luteinizing hormone, enhancing the antioxidant defense mechanism in the tests, neutralizing the damaging effects of the generated free radicals, ameliorating insulin resistance, promoting nitric oxide production, and altering the activity of adenosine 5′-monophosphate -activated protein kinase. (3)
Discuss supplementation of NAC (600 mg) with your doctor. NAC, or N-Acetyl Cysteine may be considered for men who are having testosterone challenges. Again, supplementation should be discussed with a health care provider who holds a license to practice medicine or dietetics before taking these. (4)
Ensure that you are getting between 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and never less than 5 hours a night. It is amazing how sleep can mess with hormones. Getting GOOD sleep is SO important for hormone regulation. Also making sure you are going to bd at a reasonable time is recommended (no burning the midnight oil, please!) (5)
Consider magnesium supplementation (10 mg magnesium per kg body weight). (6)
Learning that you or your male partner’s testosterone level isn’t where you want it to be can be stressful. Choosing some interventions from this list may help you overcome this obstacle and ultimately help you become a parent. If more guidance or assistance is needed, please feel free to email me at NutritionNowCounseling@gmail.com.