Testosterone levels peak in men at the age of 19 and decline with age. Men don’t usually notice this change until their late 30s or early 40s and just assume the symptoms are signs of ageing. The symptoms such as low sex drive, weight gain, poor mental health, hair loss and decreased stamina are implicated in serious illness, impacting men’s wellness and lifespan and important to address. Express.co.uk chatted to Bertie Stringer, Head of Nutrition at men’s hormonal health company Dynamic Nutrition Academy (DNA) to find out how to raise testosterone levels.
We all talk about menopause and reduced estrogen, but we aren’t as open about low testosterone in male ageing.
The symptoms of this natural change (or the disorder Testosterone Deficiency) include:
- reduced sex drive
- erectile dysfunction (loss of morning erections is often the first sign)
- low sperm count
- enlarged breast tissue (this is due to oestrogen imbalance – particularly common over the age of 40 when andropause – the male menopause – occurs)
- loss of body hair
- loss of muscle bulk
- loss of strength
- weight gain (leads to further loss of testosterone)
- depression and moodiness (low T is often misdiagnosed as depression)
- frequent urination
- lack of energy
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There’s a direct correlation between men’s fat and testosterone levels, so reducing your weight could help.
Mr Stringer said: “Studies showed found that each one-point increase in BMI was associated with a two percent decrease in testosterone.
“With testosterone declining one to two percent a year from the late thirties, this is significantly negatively impacting men’s T levels.
“Fat cells release more oestrogen which starts to rob testosterone leading to even more unpleasant symptoms (such as man boobs) and it’s a catch 22 situation from here on in as weight increases.”
Pre-lockdown statistics showed that 68.2 percent of men were overweight, but this number is likely to have increased further affecting even more men.
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Ditch the booze
It’s okay to have a drink every now and then, but alcohol affects the liver’s ability to get rid of excess oestrogen and this causes hormone imbalance.
Mr Stringer explained: “If beer is your booze of choice, you should know that phytoestrogens (compounds that mimic true oestrogen in the body) are present in the hops used to make beer.
“You will also benefit from a reduction in the excess calories from booze will be driving your waistline.
“Alcohol also impacts your sleep pattern which is when testosterone is replenished (it’s on a 24-hour cycle) so make sure you have at least every other night off.”
Ensure you rectify nutrient deficiencies
Your hormones require optimal levels of key nutrients to be able to flourish, so keep on top of any deficiencies!
Mr Stringer said: “The endocrine system is responsible for hormonal functions in the body and produces 30 distinct hormones, each of which has a very specific job to do.
“When it’s not working properly, hormones are unbalanced, and you become more susceptible to disease and your ability to fight off infection is weakened.
“Men need to make sure they keep their nutrient levels optimal which is increasingly hard with the modern diet and lifestyle.
“This is why we developed a pioneering range of natural testosterone support supplements to help men of all ages support optimal T levels and hormone production, promoting balance and overall wellbeing.”
Be mindful of chemicals and toxins
Chemicals and toxins are the driving force behind the continual decline in male sperm health and rapidly deteriorating testosterone levels.
Mr Stringer said: “Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that get into the body and mimic our natural hormones by binding or blocking hormone receptors.
“The most common, BPA, was actually developed as an oestrogen therapy before scientists found it could help with packaged goods as well.”
Have a health MOT
Don’t suffer in silence, there’s no shame in seeing your doctor about Low T and finding a solution.
If you want to reverse the symptoms, it’s absolutely possible
Mr Stringer said: “If you are experiencing symptoms of Low T, it’s never a bad idea to book a check-up with your doctor and check out the options available to you.”