Practical Testosterone Support Strategies That Work
By Dwayne Jackson, PhD | Thursday, October 13, 2016 9:25:31 AM America/New_York
Lifestyle and Diet Guidelines,
Plus a True Clinical-Grade
T-Level Support Technology
Are you worried about your testosterone levels? If you’re not, recent research conducted on populations of normal healthy North American males suggests you should be. And if you are concerned about your levels of a man's most important hormone, you should know that there are practical, common-sense steps you can take to address the problem.
Before we get to both those alarming findings and some very promising solutions, let’s make sure we’ve defined the terms of the dilemma many men like yourself find themselves in.
Testosterone: The Basics
Testosterone is an androgenic anabolic steroid hormone that is derived from cholesterol and secreted by the testes and adrenal cortex (in small amounts) in males. A normal healthy young man produces about 7 mg per day, of which less than 5% is derived from adrenal secretions. In healthy aging, the amount of testosterone produced progressively decreases to about 50%. However, many factors can prematurely lower the amount of free testosterone, leading to hypogonadism, even in young men.
Hypogonadism is a clinical condition caused by disturbances in testosterone bioavailabilty and/or its actions. Hypogonadism may be due to abnormalities of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, testes or target tissues, environmental factors, as well as increases in the amount of testosterone converted to estrogen by aromatase enzyme. Common symptoms of low testosterone are loss of vitality, fatigue, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, sleepiness, depression and poor concentration. Overall, hypogonadal men tend to gain fat mass and lose muscle mass, bone mass, and strength.
Testosterone Levels are Plummeting in North America
Perusal of published meta-data quickly highlights how several common North American behaviors and traits exacerbate the decline in testosterone levels among young and older men. Although aging seems to contribute naturally to this decline, it is made worse by increasing cases of obesity, work stress, alcohol use, inactivity, and lack of adequate quality sleep.
Even if you are young, fit, and eat/sleep well, you are not immune to sub-optimal testosterone levels!
A large-scaled population-level study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that testosterone levels have declined among American men by about 17% overall in less than 20 years! This is alarming considering the study controlled for health and lifestyle characteristics known to decrease testosterone levels, like smoking and obesity. This means that, although you may be a young and fit non-smoker, you are still susceptible to several factors that lower testosterone. Testosterone’s profound effects on strength, protein synthesis, recovery, appetite stimulation, energy, and aggression highlight the importance of optimizing blood testosterone in athletes of all types and at all levels.
Testosterone: Total, Bound, and Free?
Optimizing serum testosterone levels goes beyond simply increasing total testosterone, as blood testosterone comes in 3 ‘flavors’ --- total, bound, and free:
1) Total testosterone refers to all testosterone (i.e., free + bound) found in the blood.
2) Bound testosterone is all of the testosterone in the blood that is bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and to albumin. The largest fraction of blood testosterone is bound to SHBG and, since it cannot interact with testosterone receptors in the body, SHBG-bound testosterone is considered non-bioavailable.
3) Free testosterone and albumin-bound testosterone are the most bioavailable fractions of testosterone in the blood, with albumin-bound testosterone being slightly less bioactive. However, since albumin binds testosterone weakly, it dissociates from albumin and becomes free testosterone in the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels and the site of molecular exchange in all of our organs and muscles).
Figure 1-Fractions of circulating total testosterone in men. Non-SHBG-bound testosterone is considered bioavailable testosterone and comprises both albumin-bound testosterone and free testosterone. Bioavailable testosterone is readily available to the tissues and correlates more strongly with bone mineral density and muscle strength than total testosterone.
Adapted from Clinical Endocrinology Volume 63, Issue 3, pages 239-250, 15 JUN 2005
Optimizing Testosterone Levels
Studies have shown that small elevations in testosterone for short periods of time can have robust effects on body mass, exercise strength, and anaerobic power. However, such past studies have employed synthetic testosterone injections to achieve elevated hormone levels. No discussion about testosterone boosting and fitness is protected from the epidemic of anabolic steroid use in sports and fitness. But, it cannot be overstated that anabolic steroid use is a known health risk, banned from most sports, a temporary approach to achieving fitness, and contrary to a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Fortunately, there are more practical alternatives. So, here are 7 ways for you to safely and naturally optimize your serum testosterone levels, independent of age:
1) Train hard, rest adequately, and don’t over-train!
One of the best ways to increase muscularity is to follow a training protocol that stimulates the greatest release of testosterone. To do this, you should emphasize heavy compound moves in your weight training – squats, deadlifts and bench presses should form the core of your training. An article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research illustrates that high load volume is the best training stimulus for increasing free testosterone. The researchers reported that completing 10 reps at 75% 1RM, with 2-minutes rest between sets, resulted in the greatest workout volume and highest testosterone levels. Long story short: A well planned training program, with adequate work-to-rest periods and recovery time, will help elevate and maintain bioavailable testosterone.
2) Do not get fat!
High body fat is detrimental to testosterone bioavailability. One reason for this is that testosterone is converted to estrogen by aromatase enzyme that is produced (in part) by fat cells. So, with high body fat, more of your testosterone is converted to estrogen. Unfortunately, low testosterone coupled with increasing estrogen levels results in decreased muscle growth and increased body fat storage. In an effort to optimize testosterone bioavailability you do not have to maintain sub 10% body fat, but you should be able to see your abs year round.
3) Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
Your diet must be balanced, have adequate calories, and must include fats. Eat a variety of foods, including vegetables, to ensure you take in an abundance of testosterone supporting micronutrients like vitamin D and zinc. Vegetables contain all sorts of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, many of which are beneficial for creating an anabolic environment by boosting testosterone levels. Three standouts are broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These are all high in indoles, nutrients that help to reduce the estrogenic effects of estradiol, a form of estrogen found in both men and women that undercuts testosterone levels. For best results, include at least two large servings of these vegetables each day. In terms of fat consumption, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported that a diet with fat content exceeding 100 g per day resulted in significantly decreased SHBG and increased free testosterone in healthy male subjects. When subjects were put on a low fat diet (<20 g of fat per day), the authors reported that blood cholesterol levels (which are used to produce testosterone) decreased and SHBG increased, leading to decreased free testosterone.
4) Sleep well!
The importance of sleep to overall health cannot be overstated. Sleep deprivation is a significant stress that impacts many body systems/functions--- especially hormonal balance. Ensuring consistent and high quality deep sleep night after night will keep catabolic hormones (like cortisol) low and anabolic hormones (like testosterone) high. We recommend getting 8 to 10 hours of quality sleep per night and avoid stimulants (like caffeine) and alcohol several hours before bedtime.
5) Avoid stress!
Daily chronic stress tends to elevate cortisol, increase body fat storage, and induce fatigue—all of which negatively impact free testosterone levels and health. Learning to effectively manage time can reduce stress significantly (and you will sleep better). You can stretch more out of your day by waking-up early and following a daily agenda. If time management isn’t a problem, then look to other stress reducing options like meditation or hiking.
6) Say no to booze!
Alcohol consumption provides no fitness benefit! If you drink, do not overdo it, no more than 2 measured servings of alcohol in a day. Alcohol overconsumption results in poor quality sleep, decreased energy levels, increased body fat, missed workouts, and decreases in free testosterone.
7) Use a true clinical-grade natural testosterone booster
Fortunately for those who do not want to risk their health by using anabolic steroids, modern nutritional science is now entering an age of highly effective natural testosterone support.
Research has illustrated profound positive effects of protodioscin-rich botanical extracts, primarily derived from the herb Tribulus terrestris, on total and free testosterone. Up until recently, human studies have reported conflicting results. Increasingly, we now know discrepancies in the human studies tend to be due to the administration of substandard compounds with low concentrations of steroidal saponins, especially protodioscin. In support, a study published in Phytochemistry in 2008 showed that the concentration of protodioscin in herbal extracts varies greatly from product to product, due to differences in geographical origin and quality and standardization procedures of raw materials. To date, every positive study has used a Bulgarian source of Tribulus terrestris (specifically from the southern region of that country) because of the herb's particularly high concentrations of protodioscin.
AndroTest: The First True Clinical-Grade
Testosterone Support Technology
Of all the T-boosters available, the one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. ProSource’s R&D team is comprised of Ph.D. level scientists, who use the most stringent state-of-the-art laboratory procedures, including High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and certified Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). To produce AndroTest, only the most potent raw Tribulus terrestris, harvested from southern Bulgaria, is used, which are then subjected to a highly advanced 4-phase multiple extraction method. In contrast to conventional alcohol extraction methods, 4-phase extraction reduces the involvement of solvents and high heat, which yields significantly higher purity, reduces residual solvents in the final product, and reduces thermal damage to active compounds. With such stringent levels of quality control, AndroTest is the only full spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical super compound standardized (and guaranteed) to contain a minimum of 80% total steroidal saponins, 60% total furostanol saponins, with up to 40% protodioscin and 28% steroidal glycopeptides---a level of potency that is not offered by any competitor.
Research Supporting AndroTest
Research has illustrated profound positive effects of protodioscin-rich botanical extracts, primarily from the herb Tribulus terrestris, on total and free testosterone. But how does it do this? First, high levels of protodioscin stimulate luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion from the anterior pituitary gland. This support of circulating LH activates the Leydig cells in your testes to signal for testosterone production, thereby promoting increased total testosterone. Second, AndroTest’s bioactive glycopeptides support the release rate of testosterone from sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG), giving rise to higher blood levels of free-testosterone.
Several years ago, an independent laboratory validated the effectiveness of AndroTest and the results from this study still stand to suggest that it is the most potent T-boosting product available of its kind today. Subjects in this independent clinical trial were aged 35 to 55 years and were randomized to take either AndroTest or a placebo for 4 weeks. Results indicated significant increases in free testosterone levels, up to 218% over baseline, and significant increases in total testosterone levels, as high as 275% over baseline. Results of this kind are truly extraordinary for a natural T-boosting product and in fact even go beyond those seen with some of the most potent synthetics tested in separate studies.
A study published in 2013 illustrated that when stressed subjects took an active natural compound, that is also found in AndroTest, for 4 weeks, they had a 37% increase in testosterone status and 16% decrease in cortisol (a muscle wasting stress hormone). All in all, these data help support that that same active botanical in AndroTest can help to buffer the negative effects of everyday stress.
In a report published in Andrologia in 2016, 65 men (aged 18-65) with no hormonal issues took an herbal extract containing 112 mg of protodioscin daily for 12 weeks. Body fat percentage, lean muscle mass gain, steroid hormone levels and all semen quality parameters were analyzed during the period of treatment. It was concluded that taking the protodioscin-rich extract led to an increase in blood dihydrotestosterone levels, which coincided with decreased body fat percentage, and increases in lean mass. Along similar lines, in a pilot study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (2016), 30 male patients with clinical androgen deficiency were given 750 mg of a protodioscin-rich extract daily for 3 months. The research team found that this supplementation produced a 33% increase in total testosterone and 6% increase in free testosterone in this cohort.
AndroTest’s Potency: A Scientist’s Account
Beyond being a Professor and medical scientist, I am a 44-year old bodybuilder who has been competing on and off since I was 18. I first tried AndroTest a few years ago and was blown away by how it made me feel, so I decided to carry out an experiment of my own. I went off AndroTest for 8 weeks and took a baseline blood sample. I then started taking AndroTest (as directed) and took a blood sample every week at the same time. I analyzed my baseline and week 1 and week 2 AndroTest serum testosterone/free-testosterone levels using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) made by Diagnostic Automation Inc [catalogue #’s 2924Z (free-testosterone) and 2095Z (total testosterone)].
After the 1st week of AndroTest supplementation, my analysis gave me two surprises. First, I found out that my baseline testosterone and free-testosterone levels were naturally high, even for someone half my age. Second, after only one week on AndroTest, my total-testosterone increased by over 30% and my free testosterone went up by 40%, making my free testosterone about 61% higher than the highest clinically normal value for a man my age (and 53% higher than the highest clinically normal value for a 20-year old). In week two, my total testosterone increased again to over 80% and free-testosterone to 55% over already-high baselines. Based on my case, I am convinced that AndroTest is a must for men of all ages who want to naturally maximize testosterone levels.
Nationwide data notwithstanding, significant decreases in testosterone levels are not inevitable. Key lifestyle and dietary strategies, when adopted, can prove effective in supporting T-levels well within normal, healthy ranges. And that outcome is critical to your health and well-being as a man. Combine those strategies with the most powerful natural testosterone-support technology known to science, and you’ll be primed to enjoy all the health, training, and performance advantages that robust male hormone production can offer.
Read more about AndroTest here.
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Use as directed. Read product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. Endorser used this product in conjunction with diet and exercise and was remunerated for his appearance. Endorser’s results are not typical. A 4-week study of healthy males showed a 59.75% average increase in free testosterone compared to baseline and 59.88% average increase in total testosterone compared to baseline. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.