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  • Testosterone

    As a 42 year old male I was wondering if the primal diet can increase testosterone

  • #2
    i know rob wolff gets in to this in a few of his podcasts. you'll have to figure out which ones yourself. but an increase in dietary cholesterol, coupled with an increase in dietary zinc and magnesium should help do the trick.

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    • #3
      Recent studies have shown that getting out in the sun can improve testosterone levels. I believe the reports said that it had to do with the increase in vitamin D. There is a connection between the level of vitamin D and Testosterone. As I understand it, as the level of Vitamin D increases so does testosterone.

      Sunbathing ups men's testosterone
      Last edited by DavidR; 03-09-2012, 09:00 AM. Reason: Added a link to an article in an effort to cite a source.

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      • #4
        Vitamin D, dietary fat (saturated animal fat, specifically), dietary cholesterol, zinc, and magnesium all increase testosterone levels.

        Dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach indirectly increase testosterone by erradicating 'bad' estrogen which in turn allows for more free testosterone in your blood.

        So yes.
        Fasting Evangelist - Embrace nothing, get everything.

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        • #5
          Do you lift weights? My understanding is that resistance exercise, especially movements that work your big muscles, trigger a testosterone release. I strongly recommend giving it a shot if you don't already.

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          • #6
            I'd also be interested on how to increase testosterone. I'm a 40-something female but my doctor told me recently that my testosterone was low even for a woman. But she didn't really say what to do about it. I already have very good vitamin D levels, I already eat plenty of cholesterol rich foods like eggs. I eat dark green veggies. What else can I do? Just life weights? Isn't that sort of a catch 22 though? If my testosterone is low I won't gain any muscle from lifting weights.

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            • #7
              It is never too late to boost your testosterone.

              As mentioned above, increase your saturated fat intake, increase your meat protein intake, increase your cholesterol (from which testosterone is actually made) intake, increase items like zinc/selenium/magnesium and you'll see a good boost. These all happen normally on the primal diet.

              Additional tips for getting the best bang for your buck: get a full night's rest every night (at sleep is when most of it is made), embrace cold weather or even cold showers, drop chronic cardio, pick up resistance training, and even adopt more dominant sitting and standing poses (just acting dominant causes your testosterone to rise in response oddly enough).
              "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."
              -J.Stanton

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ProtoAlex View Post
                It is never too late to boost your testosterone.

                As mentioned above, increase your saturated fat intake, increase your meat protein intake, increase your cholesterol (from which testosterone is actually made) intake, increase items like zinc/selenium/magnesium and you'll see a good boost. These all happen normally on the primal diet.

                Additional tips for getting the best bang for your buck: get a full night's rest every night (at sleep is when most of it is made), embrace cold weather or even cold showers, drop chronic cardio, pick up resistance training, and even adopt more dominant sitting and standing poses (just acting dominant causes your testosterone to rise in response oddly enough).
                From what I have read, all the suggestions on this page (summarized in the ones above) are accurate. Saturated fats, exercise (strength training, only modest cardio), selenium, Vitamin D etc., etc.

                Based upon my (casual and amateur) research into the subject, what's good for your glands as a whole are good for testosterone, HGH, and the production of dozens of other natural hormones we need. So all of the suggestions here about testosterone are also applicable to many other hormones we need but get deficient in. The body's hormonal activity has been described as a "symphony", and primal/paleo makes the orchestra get in tune and thundrous.

                I'd add one other thing, which is to avoid processed American soy like the plague! It is the biggest goitrogen (anti-hormonal, testosterone-inhibiting) chemical I've seen, and it is in over two-thirds of all processed food nowadays. I had a thread on that subject, which has many links related to testosterone and fertility in general:

                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread46490.html

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                • #9
                  So, what is the course of action when most of this is being followed pretty well, but T levels are still low?

                  I'm 45, Primal/PHD for about 16 months, and for the most part it 'just works' for me. Dropped ~20 lbs down to 12-14%BF, 2x week in the gym for a BBS style workout (augmented with 2x6 deadlifts). Pretty strict on the diet, aside from the last few weeks when we've been getting our house ready to list and we've been doing prepared food a bit more frequently (although it's the best 'processed crap' we can find)
                  I had a recent physical and my bloodwork was basically great - LDL up slightly from pre-primal but HDL way up and trigs way down, D up to 75 from 23 the previous test. The problems were
                  - TSH up slightly (from 1 to 3 in 2 years)
                  - CRP up slightly (1.something from 0.6 or so)
                  - Low T - total about 350, free 5.7 (no prior for comparison)

                  My concern is that aside from sprinting (which I'm still procrastinating on due to hip problems), I'm basically doing everything that 'should' support T-levels, but they're still very low. I don't really want to embark on a lifetime of replacement therapy, but I'm not sure how much more there is to get out of behavior/diet.

                  Since TSH is rising and we eat basically zero salt, iodine supplementation at least to moderate levels might seem to be warranted. If there has been a decrease in thyroid activity that could presumably influence T levels, but I didn't think it was a huge/direct impact.

                  Absent any other ideas at this point, my plan is to get up to moderate iodine supplement levels (maybe 2.5mg/day - not the mega detox doses discussed in the iodine thread), and tightly manage behavior (reduce alcohol and caffeine, lift even heavier if possible) for a couple months and then re-test.

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                  • #10
                    I've started tracking my testosterone on a quarterly basis since committing to primal 100% in July 2011. For whatever reason, my July bloodwork did not include a starting level, but from October to January increased . It's purely anectdotal at this point, but my levels were up 18% over the first quarter I measured with the first number probably being close to "low-t" for a guy in his mid 30's. My next panel is scheduled for 4/20. I will post up those results when I get them, if I remember.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to dwkdnvr for also noting that iodine is also very important for hormonal production (including testosterone). I personally drink a lot of milk (I've not participated in any dairy restrictions as part of my diet), use TONS of salt and other spices on my food, and get a good deal of seafood, so I can't imagine I have low iodine levels.

                      Regarding tests for T-levels, people should bare in mind that there is substantial testosterone fluctuation throughout the week, month, and even the day. Levels are almost always higher in the morning or after a period of sexual arousal, for instance. So, just as most of us have learned to be skeptical when a doctor says, "High cholesterol, so buy statins!" also be leary if he's saying you have low testosterone and he's hawking synthetic testosterone to you. (It's also worth noting that there's a healthy variance between all people, and we're not all like Kobe Bryant or whatever.)

                      It's actually horrifying what's happened with testosterone and then replacement therapy: the powers-that-be have insidiously robbed Western males of it....and now they're trying to sell it back to us. This is like somebody stealing your car and then offering to give it back to you if you pay him money.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tcb View Post
                        I've started tracking my testosterone on a quarterly basis since committing to primal 100% in July 2011. For whatever reason, my July bloodwork did not include a starting level, but from October to January increased . It's purely anectdotal at this point, but my levels were up 18% over the first quarter I measured with the first number probably being close to "low-t" for a guy in his mid 30's. My next panel is scheduled for 4/20. I will post up those results when I get them, if I remember.
                        tcb - Please do remember to share your results and anything else you learn with us. (Although I would ask you to allow for the margin of error in the tests and the variance in the amounts of testosterone in your body throughout the day. But you sound more knowledgeable than me, so you probably take that into account, already.)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DavidBrennan View Post
                          tcb - Please do remember to share your results and anything else you learn with us. (Although I would ask you to allow for the margin of error in the tests and the variance in the amounts of testosterone in your body throughout the day. But you sound more knowledgeable than me, so you probably take that into account, already.)
                          I'm trying to keep the variables as close to the same as possible, ie fasted state, untrained, same time, same day of the week, etc. but I haven't been doing it long enough to put a whole lot of stock in the numbers yet. I feel like my testosterone levels are higher, more energy, better workouts, higher sex drive, etc.. but again it's all purely anectdotal at this point.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ProtoAlex View Post
                            It is never too late to boost your testosterone.

                            Additional tips for getting the best bang for your buck: get a full night's rest every night (at sleep is when most of it is made), embrace cold weather or even cold showers, drop chronic cardio, pick up resistance training, and even adopt more dominant sitting and standing poses (just acting dominant causes your testosterone to rise in response oddly enough).
                            Agree 100% with the comment above about sleep. And in addition reducing stress in every way that is reasonable for your lifestyle. Chronic stress means increased cortisol and lower testosterone.

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                            • #15
                              I don't have any test results but I'm pretty sure mine has gone up significantly. Hair has started coming back to my arms and legs. (I'm 69.) I just "feel" like I have more. And then there is that built in gauge that men have in the morning.
                              Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

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