Testosterone is general recognised as the ‘man’s hormone’. But testosterone is actually an androgenic hormone produced in both men (in the testes) and in smaller amounts in women (in the ovaries).
Testosterone levels are important in the body and it contributes to:
- Muscle mass
- Hair growth
- Increasing bone density
- Red blood cell production
- And emotional health
Testosterone levels naturally start to decline after your 30th birthday, but can be impacted much earlier by exposure to environmental toxins that are endocrine disrupting.
Limiting your exposure to these toxins is therefore critically important. The top 10 endocrine disrupting toxins that are all around us and that you need to avoid include:
- Bisphenol-A (BPA) – Common in plastic products such as reusable water bottles, food cans, and dental sealants. BPA can alter foetal development and heighten breast cancer risk in women.
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)– A potential carcinogen commonly used in water- and grease-resistant food coatings.
- Methoxychlor (insecticide) and Vinclozin (fungicide)– Shown in studies to induce changes in four subsequent generations of male mice after initial exposure.
- Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)– Potent endocrine-disruptors that can interfere with your gene expression and glandular system. They are also referred to as estrogen-mimicking chemicals that have been implicated in unnatural sex changes in male marine species.
- Bovine growth hormones– Estrogen-mimicking and growth-promoting chemicals that are added to commercial dairy products.
- Unfermented soy products– Contain antinutrients and hormone-like substances, and are NOT health foods (contrary to popular belief).
- MSG – A food additive that can impact reproductive health and fertility.
- Fluoride– A potent neurotoxin found in certain US water supplies and is linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility rates, and lower sperm counts.
- Pharmaceuticals that provide synthetic hormones – Pharmaceuticals like contraceptives and provide you with synthetic hormones that your body isn’t designed to respond to and detoxify properly. Chronic illnesses may result from long-term use of these drugs.
- Metalloestrogens – A class of cancer-causing estrogen-mimicking compounds that can be found in thousands of consumer products. Included in the list of potent metalloestrogens are aluminum, antimony, copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, and tin.
Weight loss, Low Testosterone and Exercise
Overweight men have been shown to have lower levels of testosterone and that losing the excess weight can alleviate this.
Increasing your testosterone level can be achieved by using a combination of a healthy diet, free of environmental toxins, supplementations and exercise.
Limit your processed sugar (mainly fructose) which is a driver for obesity. Resist the temptation to substitute with artificial sweeteners which are problematic as well.
Remove processed foods and refined carbohydrates as they lead to insulin resistance.
Consume carbohydrates from vegetables and healthy fats. Not all carbs and fats are created equal. Focus on carbs from vegetables and eliminate the grains and sugars. Also the fats found in avocados and raw nuts as well as saturated fats have been shown to help your testosterone production as well.
Eat high quality dairy products, whey protein and cheeses to increase your branched chain amino acids levels (BCAA’s). Research shows that increasing your BCAA intake will increase your testosterone levels, particularly when, like dairy products, the food is high in leucine.
Exercise in the form of aerobic, high intensity interval training and strength training have all been shown to increase your testosterone levels. Check out my favorite platform for core strength, HITT and cardio programs. Member ship is free. Crankitfitness.club
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry: Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men. Hämäläinen E, 1984 Jan;20(1):459-64