Natural Testosterone Enhancers
- 02-04-2003, 06:13 AM
Natural Testosterone Enhancers
Natural Testosterone Enhancers By: Chemical Evolution
Calcium D- Glucarate Herbs
While all vitamins and minerals are important for optimal health. There are a few specific vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body to be able to maintain healthy levels of testosterone. There are also a variety of herbs and phytonutrients that can be very helpful in supporting hormonal balance. And lastly, with the proper use of prohormones you can provide the body with the building blocks to produce testosterone.
Of all the minerals in the body zinc is most important in the production of testosterone. Studies show that without adequate zinc, the testicular cells lose the ability to convert lipids, concentration of androgen receptors decrease and levels of aromatase in the liver are inhibited. In clinical practice, many men have restored healthy testosterone to estrogen ratios just with zinc replacement.
Studies with young men on restricted zinc diets show testosterone decreased 73% after 20 weeks. While older men with marginal zinc status increased testosterone 90% when given zinc. And these levels were 50% more than the young men with decreased zinc.
Unfortunately zinc deficiency is common in the US population, especially among athletes and the aging population. Not only is zinc deficient in many of todayís world of commercially processed foods but it is leached from the body by alcohol and many medications including diuretics. Athletes are commonly deficient as exercise increases the bodyís requirement for zinc.
Signs of zinc deficiency are often hard to determine. But think zinc when:
you have white streaks or spots on your nails
you have decreased testosterone/estrogen ratios
poor wound healing
age associated decreased in energy
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms or suspect zinc deficiency, the recommended treatment is to supplement with zinc picolinate.
Take 100 mg for 6 weeks than 50 mg for 6 weeks at bedtime away from other minerals except magnesium. Afterwards take a high quality multi-mineral supplement such as the Life Extension Mix.
Ironically, as zinc levels are increased, copper can be leached from the body, potentially disrupting vital nerve, coronary and muscle functions. To guard against copper depletion brought on by the increased ingestion of zinc, It is recommended that if you are taking large amounts of zinc use copper 3 mgs daily in the morning.
Balco Laboratory has been performing mineral analysis on athletes for years. I have successfully used their comprehensive testing many times in my clinical practice.
Lorrie Brilla, PhD, a sports performance researcher at Western Washington University, announced in June 1999 that a novel zinc-magnesium supplement called "ZMA" significantly increased muscle strength in NCAA football players.
Remember zinc will only increase testosterone if you are deficient in zinc.
Although known mainly for itís many other benefits on health as an anti-oxidant, vitamin C is essential for healthy pituitary responsiveness to changes in hormones levels. Vitamin C is also important for the formation of the basic steroid hormones of the adrenal gland and the gonads. Low levels of vitamin C have been found to increase levels of the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. And interestingly enough through an unknown mechanism testosterone levels naturally raise vitamin C levels.
Another benefit to vitamin C is itís ability to decrease cortisol levels. Research has shown that three grams prior to high intensity training resulted in significantly decreases in post exercise cortisol levels which can inhibit muscle repair, decrease immunity and lower testosterone.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is well known for itís involvement in sex hormone physiology. A deficiency in B6 has been shown to effect sex hormone receptors and steroid binding proteins. B6 is also crucial for the body to efficiently utilize zinc.
Vitamin A is important in the maintenance of the secretory cells of the prostate and is involved in testosterone metabolism. Prostate zinc levels have been shown to correlate with vitamin A levels.
Tribulus Terristis may increase production of LH (lutenizing hormone) in men. LH is secreted form the pituitary gland and transmits instructions directly to the testes to naturally increase the bodyís own production of testosterone. A few foreign studies have indicated that men who have been administered 750mg daily have shown increases in the active free testosterone of 41%.
In my experience the only form of Tribulus to consist of the necessary active ingredients is Tribestan. MedLean will be performing a small clinical study on this nutrient and will report the results in the near future.
Serenoa Repens (Saw Palmetto)
Saw Palmetto Extract is a plant common to Georgia and Florida. It contains lipid and plant sterols (steroid like compounds). It has been available since 1982 in Europe as the prescription drug, Permixon, for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (enlargement of the prostate gland)
Saw Palmetto has been thought to benefit the prostate by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) yet studies show it has no effect on overall DHT levels. DHT is created from testosterone by the action of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. It is an important stronger cousin of testosterone responsible for secondary sex characteristics such as increased muscle, acne and facial hair that begin at puberty.
Then why is it effective?
Most likely Saw Palmetto inhibits or interferes with DHT after the formation (blocks bound DHT and receptor into cell nucleus) therefore it stops the message. Saw Palmetto also blocks testosterone at the androgenic receptors sites and estrogen at its receptors.
So Saw Palmetto minimizes the negative effects of hormonal imbalance such as male pattern baldness, acne formation and prostate enlargement. To be effective you will need to take a concentrated extract that is 85 to 95% pure at 320 mg per day. I recommend Solaray 160mg per cap.
Proscar, a prescription drug prescribed for BPH acts differently than Saw Palmetto. It exhibits its benefits by reducing DHT. DHT is an important hormone for erectile function explaining the reasons Proscar has a common side effect of impotence. And because DHT is also an important anabolic hormone, Proscar is not recommended for endurance athletes or body builders.
Urtica Dioca Ė Nettles Extract
Nettles root like Saw Palmetto has been used for years in the treatment of BPH. Itís effectiveness is due to inhibition of DHT at the receptor sites on the prostate. High concentrations of the nettle root has also been shown to bind to sex hormone bounding globulin in place of testosterone therefore increasing the amount of free testosterone.
Soybeans contain the phytochemicals, isoflavones. Recent research indicates these phytochemicals have many health benefits including reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancer..
Because they are high in phytoestrogens (naturally occurring compounds similar in structure but with only 1/500th the activity of the most potent estrogen, estradiol) isoflavones compete with estradiol for the receptor sites in the body and therefore block itís actions Ė which can include inhibition of the pituitary gland. Isoflavones also stimulate the cytochrome P450 system in the liver to actively process and excrete excess estrogen. Read this artice for the science behind Soy products.
It has been reported that one of the key substances that gives wine itís protective health benefits of reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease is a class of chemicals present in the skin of the red grape. These chemicals called proanthocydins are powerful anti-oxidants. Equally important is that these compounds improve the function of the liver P450 system allowing the body to more effectively remove excess estrogen.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts contain a compound indole-3-carbinole which stimulates the liver to actively process and excrete estrogen. A new product to the market called Diindole Methane seems to be providing promising effects for hormonal balancing of estrogen by promoting healthy metabolism and clearance of estrogen form the body.
Calcium-D-Glucarate helps the body excrete excess levels of estradiol It is very effective nutrient for removing toxins, carcinogens, and excess steroid hormones. It is being studied effects for preventing lung, prostate, and breast cancers.
Source: Prasad AS. Zinc deficiency in humans: a neglected problem [editorial]. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17(6):542-543.
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