It’s the substance that every red blooded male obsesses over, and is present in both humans and other mammals of both genders– the distinguishing factor being that significantly larger quantities of it are to be found in the male species as opposed to the female. We are of course referring to, the steroid hormone from the androgen group known as Testosterone.
Testosterone in women is produced in the Ovaries and Adrenal Glands, and although it provides many important functions such as bone strength and sensitivity in the erogenous zones, the principal sexual hormone in females is not Testosterone but Estrogen.
For men the converse is true– that is to say a normal healthy male produces much smaller amounts of Estrogen and greater quantities of Testosterone. The majority of Testosterone comes from his Testes, while smaller quantities are also produced by the adrenal glands.
From the point of conception up until about the seventh week of gestation every Fetus is actually female– after the seventh week however some fetuses will start producing Testosterone, which causes the development of external male genitalia.
At puberty there is a sudden surge of Testosterone which causes the genitals of adolescent males to enlarge and start producing a fresh supply of sperm each day. In addition to this, other characteristics inherent of manhood will begin to form, such as the deepening of the voice and an increase in body hair.
Testosterone not only produces physical evidence of masculinity but also has a powerful effect on the brain, invoking certain innately macho behaviors. These include, an increase in aggression and the the desire to dominate– Testosterone also triggers an intense competitive propensity in males.
The body has a built in biological mechanism for controlling Testosterone Levels (T-levels)– the portion of the brain known as the Hypothalamus tells the Pituitary gland exactly how much Testosterone is needed, the Pituitary gland then responds by sending chemical messages to the testes via the bloodstream.
A man maintains the highest T-Levels between the time he enters puberty and early adulthood, where they peak around his late twenties. From the age of about 30 onward T-Levels begin to drop by roughly 1% per year. According to research normal T-Levels in men range between 270-1070 ng/dl with an average level of 670 ng/dl.
Some men maintain higher than average T-Levels and there are benefits and disadvantages to this condition– those with higher T-Levels are associated with the ability to main normal blood pressure more effectively and a lower risk of obesity and heart attack. However research also suggests that men with higher T-Levels are more likely to smoke and consume alcoholic beverages in larger quantities– In addition to this, they are prone to risky behavior such as participating in dangerous stunts with the possibility of physical injury, unsafe sex, and even criminal activities.
As was mentioned earlier T-Levels begin to deplete each year starting from around the age of about 30 years, this is just a normal part of the aging process. However, in recent years there has been increasing concern regarding the number of reports pertaining to significant T-Level reductions in men as young as their early 20’s.
According to Dr Mercola some of the biggest Testosterone killers are Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals which are synthetic man made substances and are found in many types of pesticides, metals, household cleaners and modern chemical based air fresheners and even food additives. One of the most common EDC’s that almost everybody is exposed to is Bis-phenol-A (BPA) which is found in reusable water bottles, food cans and dental sealants, BPA can alter a growing fetus while increasing the risk of breast cancer in women.
In an article for Men’s Magazine, Tina Benitez-Eves describes how researchers discovered men who consumed just 120mg of soy per day suffered a decrease in T-Levels while a 2008 study published in the journal Human reproduction found that soy can lower a man’s sperm count.
Junk foods are probably one of the worst food types for lowering testosterone, for one thing the meat based items are made from the cheapest cuts of processed meat from animals which have been fed with cheap Genetically Modified (GMO) grains pumped full of growth hormones and chemicals, as if this weren’t enough consider how everything is fried in cheap low grade oil produced from GMO grains, and to add insult to injury don’t forget the sugary soda contained in the BPA container.
Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to prevent substances into your body which are killing your T levels, however there are several steps listed below which may significantly increase your chances of optimizing your T levels naturally:
1) Drink water from glass or stainless steel and avoid plastic Tupperware.
2) Avoid soy like the plague.
3) Limit your alcohol consumption.
4) Drink vodka on special occasions instead of beer.
5) Sleep eight hours at night in a dark room.
6) Eliminate stress when possible. laugh and hang out with people who make you happy.
7) Decrease your body fat.
8) Eat foods rich in zinc.
9) Eat healthy fats from the sources listed above
10) Think about sex and openly discuss any issues with your partner.
It is not only your Mojo that suffers from decreased levels of Testosterone,other more serious side effects such as the adverse effects on cholesterol metabolism, fatigue, depression, increased body fat (which leads to other health issues), fragile and brittle bones, decreased strength and muscle mass and hot flashes. You owe it to yourself to take the most effective measures possible to ensure that you maintain optimum T levels throughout your life.