BASSETERRE St. Kitts, September 4th, 2013 -- Testosterone plays an important role in keeping your mind sharp and your body healthy—from the heart to muscles and bones to erectile dysfunction (ED). If you're middle-aged, your body's testosterone levels have already begun to decline.
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced primarily in the testicles. It is essential in the development of masculine characteristics, muscle strength, fat distribution and sex drive. Testosterone peaks during adolescence and as you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1 per cent a year.
Researchers have found low testosterone contributes to weight gain and obesity, elevated harmful blood fats, and insulin resistance – each of which is a risk factor for the development heart disease, type 2 diabetes and ED.
Heart health concerns with testosterone include elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, thus increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a UK-based study, having high testosterone isn’t what makes men susceptible to heart issues—it’s having too little.
Weight gain, diabetes and alcohol use can lead to fat forming around the mid-section — this contributes to the production of the female hormone oestrogen that counteracts the function of testosterone.
“Other men produce testosterone but may be resistant to it, just like diabetics are resistant to insulin,” says Dr Malcolm Carruthers, founder of The Centre for Men’s Health in London.
Low testosterone has also been linked to changes in sexual function. This may include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility. Many men blame their age or their relationship for problems with their sex lives, but it could be due to a hormonal imbalance.
Emotional changes have been linked to low testosterone as well. It can contribute to a decrease in motivation and self-confidence while increasing depression, trouble concentrating and forgetting things.
Low testosterone is partly due to the testicles not working properly, but a lot is related to the testes’ communication to the brain. Various underlying factors, including excessive levels of stress, medication side effects, thyroid disorders and excessive alcohol use can negatively affect the nervous system.
Raising your testosterone levels naturally
The most effective way to increase testosterone production is through one’s lifestyle. Decrease alcohol and sugar consumption while increasing vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and exercise. Sex can also raise your testosterone level.
The testes produce testosterone by converting cholesterol in to testosterone. We get cholesterol from eggs, red meats, fish, avocados and nuts. Natural sources of saturated, monounsaturated, and polysaturated fats won’t make you fat and will help in the production of testosterone.
Un-natural fats found in packaged and fried foods have the opposite effect. Sugars, carbohydrates and man-made fats facilitate gaining weight around the waistline and contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes and low testosterone levels.
A lack of sleep and excessive stress can lower testosterone levels throughout life. Stress triggers a hormone called cortisol that opposes testosterone. Cortisol also contributes to weight gain and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Exercise is an effective way to manage stress, balance hormones, increase muscle mass, and lower body fat levels. Lower body fat correlates to higher testosterone levels and lower risk of chronic-diseases.
By raising testosterone levels naturally, you’ll not only increase your body’s ability to gain lean, athletic muscle, but also improve your sex life. Testosterone is key to a healthier, more energetic life – both physically and mentally.
Dr Cory Couillard is an international health columnist that works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global health care education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.
Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKNVibes.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of SKNVibes.com, its sponsors or advertisers