Just read a great article from Diabetes UK linking low testosterone levels in men to type 2 diabetes and another article on how to boost your levels:
Here is a summary of the findings:
- Testosterone is a hormone responsible for (among other things) how our bodies deposit fat.
- If the levels of testosterone are too low we deposit fat as “visceral fat” which means it is stored around our abdominal organs (as opposed to just under the skin as “subcutaneous fat”).
- Visceral fat has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers and Cancer!
- In women it is higher levels of testosterone (not lower levels) that causes increased visceral fat. This can be caused by polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS).
- Records from the NHS show 1 in 6 men with type 2 diabetes also having low levels of testosterone.
Here are 7 top tips for a man to naturally boost their testosterone levels:
- Exercise is important – two of the best exercises for boosting testosterone are weight lifting and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
- Eat a balanced diet of wholefoods consisting of protein, carbs and healthy fats. Don’t eliminate whole food groups but choose healthier versions like slow release carbohydrates and healthier fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados etc.
- Minimise your stress levels as the stress hormone Cortisol quickly reduces your testosterone. Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation and write down your worries in a note book so you aren’t constantly thinking about them.
- Up your Vitamin D levels. Dietary recommendations suggest 400IU or 10ug per day of vitamin D. Get more sun by walking outside (especially between 6 and 8 in the morning as this also helps you sleep at night). In winter when this is not possible consider a vitamin D3 supplement. I take this brand as it’s coupled with vitamin K2, has no sweeteners like Xylitol, Stevia etc and is relatively cheap (2 months worth for £9.99). Put B07QLZXTHV in the search bar of Amazon. 3 drops give you 1000IU so you could take 1 drop (330IU) and eat a large egg daily which will give you another approximately 40IU and some oily fish.
- Consider increasing your Zinc. Out of all the supplements Vitamin D and Zinc seem to show the best promise for increasing testosterone. Vitamin D has more research behind it but Zinc can also play a part.
- Get plenty of sleep. One study concluded that for every additional hour of sleep your testosterone levels rise by an extra 15% on average. Tips to improve your sleep include – buying a magnesium spray and massaging 10 sprays into your body before bed, take a small amount (1-2 strands) of saffron steeped in hot water for 5 minutes (discarding the strands and drinking the liquid) in the afternoon, and reducing your blue light exposure in the evening by switching your iPhone to night mode or buying blue light glasses (look like Bono from U2 to boot).
- Limit your alcohol consumption as this (along with drugs) can reduce your testosterone levels. Have some nights off the booze and limit yourself to a set number of drinks when you go out e.g. 3 pints. There are loads of great non alcohol beers and other alcohol free choices that taste OK.