T Nation

Bright light therapy to boost T

Hi all,
This study was reported recently and I didn’t see it mentioned here. Looks like another way to naturally support good hormonal production. I don’t have a lux meter to measure the lighting level, but I started turning on all my bedroon lights when waking up and have noticed some improvement. I’m 41 and one of the first things I noticed was quite an improvement in morning wood!

Bright Light May Boost Testosterone

Light Therapy Might Ease Sexual Dysfunction

By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Tuesday, April 22, 2003

April 22, 2003 – Waking up to bright light may trigger a rise in male hormones that could ease sexual dysfunction and other symptoms of depression. A new shows that early morning light therapy caused a surge in a pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) that raises testosterone levels in men.

Previous studies have shown that bright light therapy of daily exposure to specially designed, high-intensity light boxes can alleviate many symptoms of depression, especially among people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during winter months.

Researchers say sexual dysfunction, including loss of libido and decreased sexual activity, are commonly reported symptoms among people with depression as well as frequent side effects of antidepressant medications.

In this study, published in the current edition of Neuroscience Letters, researchers examined levels of LH following one hour of bright light therapy (1,000 lux) from 5-6 a.m. for five days in a row among 11 healthy men ages 19-30. The same group also was exposed to a placebo light (less than 10 lux) over a similar period.

Researchers found that LH levels increased by 69.5% after bright light therapy, but those levels were unchanged after placebo light exposure.

The study also looked at whether levels of the hormone melatonin, which rises at night and is thought to play a role in the natural sleep cycle, might be affected by light therapy. Previous studies in animals had suggested that melatonin might interfere with a light therapy-induced LH boost, but researchers found no evidence of this effect in humans.

Researcher In-Young Yoong, MD, PhD, who conducted the study at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues say their findings suggest bright light therapy may not only ease sexual dysfunction in men, but it may also trigger ovulation in women, which is also controlled by LH.

Researchers say future studies should look at the effect of light therapy on LH levels in depressed people to see if it has the same hormone-raising effect found in these healthy volunteers.

SOURCES: Neuroscience Letters, 341, 2003. News release, University of California, San Diego

Interesting stuff. Maybe I should turn on the lights more often in the morning just to be sure the morning wood continues with age.

I’ve noticed that I am highly affected by the weather (sunny days versus cloudy and rainy days). Whenever it gets cloudy and rainy, I tend to get depressed and low on energy. If it lasts for days, I feel horrible. But as long as it’s sunny, I always feel good and have an abundance of energy and state of well-being.

It’s been good for me to live where it is sunny and warm the majority of the time, as I can tell the difference. So I can see how light would definitely affect T-levels.

Hello Nate-Diggity. I read about this from a second source (I read Reuters Health news and WebMD newsline on the WEB), and there was apparently a comparison between light therapy and T replacement gels and patches that showed they had the same effect. So… flip a switch and BOOIIIINNGGGG!!! heh heh heh

Nylo, my bedroom window faces east, so I’ll be sure to keep the blinds open so I can have bright light first thing in the morning to help reinforce the morning wood!

No wonder I was so much hornier right around the time change to Daylight savings. The additional sunlight at six in the morning was feeding my T-levels and springing parts of me to life before I was completely awake!

Don’t ever, ever move to the Pac. Northwest. :slight_smile:

Well, at least the western 1/3 of Washington & Oregon.

Hey Ike, I know what you mean. I live in Seattle and plan on moving down to Cali. soon:)

Ike,

I’ve been to Portland in the summer, and it was awesome because the days were so long (it didn’t get dark until nearly 10 p.m.). But I’m sure this only happens for a few months out of the year. And all that rain and cloudy days would kill me.

I think it’s absolutely beautiful in that area, but I could never live there because of the weather and the fact that going to the beach and actually going in the water is not going to happen (too damn cold!). I love the beach and warmer water.