How Important are Micronutrients in Testosterone Production?
Micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals, are essential in various functions within the body. In most of these functions, the micronutrients act as catalysts as well as co-factors. They are critical for the proper functioning of the endocrine system which synthesizes testosterone, thyroid and other hormones.
Micronutrient deficiency leads to increased estrogen and estrogen receptors. Consuming food rich in micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals and other trace nutrients, ensures that you get a healthy production of testosterone besides overall good health. It is worth noting that testosterone is one of the most important hormones for health and vitality, especially in males.
Some of the most important micronutrients include vitamins A, B-complex vitamins, C, D, E, K, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, boron, manganese, selenium, and iodine.
Deficiencies in micronutrients are associated with poor health including low testosterone and related problems like infertility. However, infertility and poor sex drive are not the only problems of low testosterone. Studies show that micronutrient deficiency and the resultant low testosterone are responsible for conditions like excess weight, and specifically belly fat. Other conditions associated with low testosterone include poor muscle growth even when training, development of type-2 diabetes, poor reproductive health, and higher risk of prostate cancer. These are good reasons for men to take charge and ensure that their bodies are properly nourished to produce adequate testosterone and support good overall health.
Eating diverse and well balanced foods can help in this respect. There are specific micronutrients that play a major role in the production of testosterone. Eating foods rich in these vitamins and minerals will help your body to synthesize the necessary amounts of testosterone.
5 Most Important Micronutrients for Testosterone Production
While the following 5 minerals and vitamins are not the only ones necessary for the healthy production of testosterone, they have been found to have major roles. Moreover, recent studies have led to a better understanding of the processes through which they function.
Magnesium is among the most important minerals in the human body. It is involved in at least 300 functions. And while you may be aware that magnesium helps in maintaining good bone and cardiac health, it does a lot more. An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, magnesium supports the production of testosterone. It is also a component of many enzymes including those involved in the absorption of vitamin D, regulation of blood sugar, muscle functions among others. Studies involving supplementing magnesium for 4 weeks led to a rise in testosterone levels by up to 26 percent.
Important dietary sources of magnesium include spinach, buckwheat and chard.
Vitamin D is essential for human survival. It is involved in more than 1,000 functions in the body including development of strong bones and production of testosterone.
Studies have established that vitamin D deficiency in men, which means blood levels below 20ng/ mg; leads to low testosterone and higher estrogen. This leads to reduced lean body mass, increased body fat, higher risk of depression, low fertility, and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that, when such men take vitamin D supplements, their testosterone levels improve considerably.
Vitamin D supports testosterone production because the cells in the testosterone synthesizing glands have vitamin D receptors. Additionally, vitamin D is believed to inhibit the aromatization process that changes testosterone into estrogen.
Food sources of vitamin d include dairy products, cod liver oil and white mushrooms.
Zinc is an essential mineral for survival. Moreover, you must get it from food or supplement source since your body has no way of synthesizing or storing it. Zinc is involved in various body functions including metabolism at cellular level, protection and healing from diseases, and production of testosterone.
It is a known fact that zinc is important for male reproductive health, and this has been supported by scientific studies. One study conducted in 1996, involving healthy young men of reproductive age and older men with low testosterone levels; found that depriving the young men of zinc for five months led to significant drop in their testosterone levels. At the same time, giving zinc gluconate to the older men led to doubling of their testosterone levels.
Adequate zinc intake is necessary for the production of testosterone besides other hormones including the insulin-like growth factor-1. By contrast, insufficient zinc can lead to low testosterone. It can also lead to infertility in both men and women, increased aromatization of testosterone to estrogen, increased production of estrogen, and an increased risk of cancer.
You can get high dietary zinc from oysters, beef and lamb.
Vitamin A is composed of various important ingredients including provitamin-A carotenoids like alpha carotene, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Other constituent compounds include retinol, retinal, and retionic acid. Vitamin A is critical in maintaining overall health including maintenance of sight, immune system functions, absorption of fat and fertility.
Vitamin A, together with receptors called peripheral benzodiapine receptors (PBRs) have been found to play a part in the multiplication of cells, and in this case, within the testicles. Vitamin A deficiency leads to poor cell proliferation and division. This leads to decreased testosterone production.
Food sources of vitamin A include carrots, kale, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin K affects production of testosterone, with deficiency leading to low vitamin K in the testicles and a significant reduction testosterone production. In a study, involving male rat subjects, it was shown that vitamin K has a direct effect on the levels of testosterone. Intake of vitamin K suppresses inflammation within the testicles. This leads to steady production of testosterone.
Important dietary sources include kale, prunes, scallions and spring onions.
Many studies show that there exists a relationship between different micronutrients and testosterone production. The 5 micronutrients that we have discussed here are some of the main players in testosterone production. Eating foods that are rich in these and other micronutrients will help you achieve and maintain healthy levels of testosterone production. Additionally, eat a wide variety of foods, exercise regularly and lead an overall healthy lifestyle. These practices will help you achieve optimum testosterone levels.