'Male-Menopause'...What? Maximizing Your Testosterone Level Naturally
by Max Wettstein, Copyright 2012
No doubt by now you’ve already heard me speak of what I call the ‘fountain-of-youth’ hormone, Growth hormone, simply known as GH or hGH. This hormone is primarily secreted during our deepest phase of sleep and is responsible for things like tissue repair and growth, and promotes lean body mass. It literally heals your body, and combats aging. There is also another hormone that promotes muscle repair and growth, lean body mass, enhances physical performance, and increases libido. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about testosterone. Primarily produced in the testes, of course we men have significantly higher levels than women, but, women also make testosterone by way of their adrenal glands, (Just like men also produce estrogen). And, testosterone is in fact, what causes increased sexual desire in both men and women, so both can benefit from testosterone production. But testosterone is very much a part of why we are so different from women, physically and psychologically. Not only do men produce much higher levels of testosterone, but we have many more T-receptor sites in our bodies as well, whereas women have many more estrogen receptor sites.
There are many other hormones produced by the body that play a role in physical performance and musculature, such as DHEA, Luteinizing hormone, Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors (IGF-1), and Adrenaline (epinephrine), but in order to limit the scope of this article, I will focus on Growth Hormone, and Testosterone, which are by far the most significant players, having the most direct positive effects on musculature, performance, and libido.
As we age, especially after age 30, unfortunately all of our hormone levels decline. We are all aware of menopause in women, when estrogen levels drop off significantly and women are no longer fertile. Well men take note! Did you know that we can experience the same type of rapid drop-off in our testosterone levels as we approach middle age? Some doctors are even calling this down turn of testosterone, ‘male-menopause’, with symptoms including decrease in stamina, loss of libido, muscle atrophy, decrease in lean body mass, and enlarged prostate, among a myriad of other symptoms – rather vague I know, and sounds like the way most of us feel after flying a redeye and then commuting home - “Sorry honey, not tonight”.
Combine the physiological effects of decrease in GH and testosterone, compounded with chronic elevated levels of stress hormones, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a ‘body-by-Budweiser’, without even factoring in diet and exercise! But read on, because I will provide you with the knowledge you need to know in order to boost GH and testosterone levels naturally. These simple tips really work, and while they require some effort, they are much better than the alternatives, such as injecting prescription cadaver hGH at $1000 per shot, or taking black market mystery steroids from Mexico. By the way, just in case you were considering the latter, repeated anabolic steroid use side-effects include liver damage, testicle shrinkage, elevated estrogen levels and gynecomastia (male breast tissue), decreased libido, irritability (‘roid-rage’), baldness, acne, and higher blood pressure.
Growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland in short spurts primarily at night during our deepest phase of sleep, but also during intense physical activity. GH is directly involved in all tissue repair, muscle growth, protein synthesis, fat burning (lipolysis) and decreased adipose tissue, among many other restorative physiological processes. Testosterone as we all know is primarily produced in the testicles, but also by our adrenal glands and various other mechanisms, and our levels naturally peak about 5 AM each morning. Testosterone greatly enhances physical performance, causes protein synthesis by muscles, promotes lean body mass, and, is the primary hormone behind sex drive. (Luteinizing hormone, which stimulates sperm production also drives libido). Contrary to what you may have heard, testosterone is NOT the cause of male-pattern baldness, acne, or enlarged prostate. These are related to a different metabolite of testosterone known as Di-Hydro-Testosterone, DHT. Also, elevated levels of estrogen in men have been associated with enlarged prostate, (More on estrogen later). Testosterone when created naturally by the body’s own processes is a good thing and we should encourage it.
We’re talking about testosterone here, the ‘manliest’ of all hormones, so why the need to talk about T’s antagonistic and feminizing hormone – estrogen? I’ll tell you why. A big secret to boosting your own testosterone levels is by minimizing your estrogen levels. Yes – all men make some level of estrogen, via the adrenal glands, and, for some sad reason, our own liver will convert some of our precious testosterone into estrogen, via an enzyme known as Aromatase. I guess Mother Nature thought we men needed some estrogen so that we didn’t kill each other off, or blow up the earth. Anyway, it is not just low testosterone levels that cause symptoms of male-menopause, but higher estrogen levels as we age past 40. Estrogen abounds in obese men because extra body fat/adipose tissue seems to promote more of the aromatase enzyme, converting much of your T into estrogen. This is why many obese men look like the have ‘man-boobs’…they have actually developed breast tissue. High estrogen levels also promotes higher body fat, so it is a vicious cycle, not to mention estrogen is now being linked to enlarged prostate along with DHT.
Okay, enough hormone physiology. Let’s get to the crux and figure out how we can boost testosterone and growth hormone naturally, as promised. Coincidentally, many of the things you can do to boost T will also boost GH. Like I said some effort is required, but it is not complicated:
Now I will mention several OTC supplements you can purchase from any vitamin store, that serve as natural testosterone boosters, and two that are Prohormones that were not reclassified as steroids by the FDA. Speaking of the latter, don’t expect any dramatic results from any of these. After all, they are legal and OTC…not steroids! If you genuinely suspect you have low testosterone and you’re over age 40, your primary care physician or FAA doctor should be able to give you a blood or saliva test to check you, and if you’re low he can prescribe some testosterone creams or patches that absorb through the skin, making you feel like the young stud you once were.
6. Pumpkin Seeds. Eat raw pumpkin seeds!!
Note: All Prohormones need to be cycled in their use, because over time, you can suppress your body’s own hormone production. Also, they require some metabolizing by the liver, so liver health needs to be a consideration. Additionally, most Prohormones will partially convert into estrogen as well.
Hopefully you now feel empowered to master your own testosterone production and feel young and manly again. As always your own genetics play a major role. If nothing else gained, at least you’re now aware of the symptoms of ‘male menopause’ and can use this to get some sympathy from your wife.
Sources: The Testosterone Advantage Plan by Lou Schuler; Men’s Health Book of Muscle by Ian King; The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook by James Duke, PhD; Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary; The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger; www.naturalhealthplus.biz
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