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Testosterone: Research Update

Brian Turner

Posted on August 23 2022

By Steve Blechman

           

Are testosterone boosters safe? A new study published June 1st, 2022, in the prestigious journal The Lancet Healthy Longevity “found no evidence that testosterone increased long-term to medium-term cardiovascular risk in men with hypogonadism.” The study was a most in-depth “meta-analysis of more than 3,000 patients with hypogonadism from randomized placebo-controlled trials done by 17 research groups.” 1,750 patients received testosterone and 1,681 were given a placebo for about 9.5 months.

The researchers found that “testosterone treatment did not have adverse effects on blood pressure or glycemic markers compared to placebo; furthermore, it did not increase thrombotic events despite increased haematocrit. Testosterone treatment was associated with a modest lowering of total HDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentration compared with placebo.” Currently, a long-term 5-year testosterone clinical trial is being investigated in 5,000 men.

A study published March 2022 in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America reported that “middle-aged and older men with lower testosterone concentrations are more likely to have or to develop metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Central adiposity is risk factor from metabolic syndrome and diabetes and predisposed to lower testosterone concentrations. Conversely, testosterone treatment reduces fat mass and insulin resistance. In a randomized control trial of 1,007 men with either impaired glucose tolerance or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, two years of testosterone treatment on a background of lifestyle intervention reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%; this demonstrates the potential utility for testosterone pharmacology to prevent diabetes in men,” according to the researchers.

A study published January 2022 in the journal Andrology reported that “circulating testosterone levels have been found to be reduced in men with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, COVID-19, with lower levels being associated with more severe clinical outcomes.

In a seven-month cohort study in males with COVID-19, “testosterone levels increased over time after COVID-19, more than 50% of men who recovered from the disease still had circulated testosterone levels suggested for a condition of hypogonadism at seven-month follow up. In as many as 10% of cases, testosterone levels even further decreased.”

Recently, “Decreased serum testosterone levels have been reported to be caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A new study published July 29th, 2022, further confirmed that OSA is “significantly correlated with the decrease in serum testosterone levels in men.” The researchers “performed a meta-analysis to assess the association between OSA and serum testosterone levels.”

The meta-analysis “included 24 case-control studies with 1,389 patients (1,268 male patients) and 845 controls (745 male control). The serum testosterone levels in the male OSA group were significantly lower than the control group.” The researchers said that “male patients with OSA should be alerted to secondary diseases caused by low testosterone.”

A study published June 2022 in the journal Endocrine Connections, reported that a random population sample of 1,400 men in Sweden that high C-reactive protein (CRP) was associated with lower “bioavailable testosterone and increased risk of biochemical hypogonadism.” CRP is the measure of systemic inflammation. It is produced in the liver and released in response to inflammation in the body. A simple blood test can measure CRP and inflammation in the body. The researchers acknowledge we need to “better understand the possible impact of inflammation on sexual hormonal secretion and male health.”

Certain weight-loss diets can lower testosterone. It was reported in the journal Nutrition and Health, March 7, 2022, a meta-analysis of 27 studies including 309 participants reported that a low carbohydrate and “high in protein diets cause a large decrease in resting testosterone.”

It was also reported in the journal Nutrients on June 3rd, 2022 that “intermittent fasting reduced testosterone levels in lean, physically active, young males.” The researchers said “fasting men may be shown to decrease androgens among males, which could negatively affect metabolic health and libido. More research is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings.”

THE BEST TESTOSTERONE BOOSTING DIET

When it comes to diet, low-fat diets lower testosterone levels. Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids have been shown to directly and systematically boost testosterone while polyunsaturated fats, by and large, inhibit testosterone production. Arachidonic acid, an omega-6 derived polyunsaturated fatty acid, does support testosterone production, but I do not recommend it as a dietary supplement because it is a substrate for the inflammatory cascade and inflammation in the body. You get all the arachidonic acid you need from the diet. No need to take supplemental arachidonic acid, as it may increase inflammation and the risk of heart disease and other degenerative diseases. The best and healthiest fats for boosting testosterone are monounsaturated fats, which are found preferably in extra-virgin olive oil, avocados and nuts. Not saturated fats, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nuts are high in zinc and magnesium. Diets deficient in zinc can lower testosterone levels. Zinc supplements have also been shown to increase testosterone in zinc-deficient adults. Also, oral zinc supplements increase total and free testosterone levels in elite athletes after exhaustion exercise. Also, low vitamin D is linked to low testosterone.

Coffee is also good for boosting testosterone. A Harvard University study led by Nichole Wedick showed that men who drink caffeinated coffee show increases in total testosterone and decreases in free estradiol (estrogen). Coffee is loaded with phenolic antioxidants that act as natural aromatase inhibitors, which prevent the conversion of testosterone to estrogen (Nutrition Journal, 2012). Among men, consumption of caffeinated coffee has been shown to raise testosterone levels and decrease total estrogen and estradiol levels.

So, if you want to boost testosterone and enhance fat loss, follow the Mediterranean diet. A study published in JAMA on April 25, 2018 found that the Mediterranean diet fights against frailty. It’s just another study that supports the Mediterranean diet to preserve lean body mass and health during aging. It’s also especially important to follow a high-intensity resistance training program for maintaining testosterone and enhancing lean body mass. Don’t overdo long periods of cardiovascular, aerobic exercise as it can lower testosterone and encourage overtraining. Overtraining can lower testosterone and raise cortisol. Rest and recovery are important in maintaining normal, healthy testosterone levels.

 

© Published by Advanced Research Media, Inc., 2022

© Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.

 

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