Free T Improvement Suggestion

Hello, quick introduction since this is my first post:

I am 37yo male, 183cm, 86kg (usually 15-19% bodyfat), generally pretty active (I love cardio, sports, moderate weight training 3x a week), usually 5-8 stronger activities per week or so. Good diet, except occasional alcohol (beer mostly, which I always liked on weekends etc…)

Lately, past 2 years, I noticed some changes and did few blood tests to check hormonal status (3 tests each 6 months span)

What I noticed in past 2 years:

  • loss of muscle mass in shoulders, upper chest, neck
  • gained some fat, especially lower back/love handles, I was always very lean
  • strength is somewhat similar, but progress and recovery slower
  • muscles feel “softer” and emptier, only feels good during arm training when I get some pump, later they shrink a bit…
  • generally I feel little bit off physically, slow recovery/stale progress and hard to lose fat which was always easy for me before.
  • I look like I lost weight, but my bodyweight has always been at the same level ±2kg

Here is last tests, most were similar to this one. So seems that low free test is the problem. I never did tests before, so not sure how was it then… But I suspect at low free T.

Albumin 43.7 (35 - 52 g/L)
Prolactin 244 ( 86 - 324 )
FSH 8.77 ( 1.50 - 12.4)
LH 6.68 ( 1.50 - 12.4)
IGF-1 271.1 ( 102-257 ng/mL)
Cortisol 490.6 ( 133 - 537 nmol/L)

TSH 1.07 (0.27 - 4.2 μIU/ml)
Free T3 5.12 (3.1 - 6.8 pmol/L)
Free T4 17.65 ( 12 - 22 pmol/L)

DHEA-S 259.4 (88.9 - 427 μg/dL)

ALT 30.6 (≤ 40 IU/L)
AST 26.6 (≤ 40 IU/L)

Cholesterol 3.68 (3.9 - 5.2 mmol/L)
HDL holesterol 1.63 (>1.55 mmol/L)
LDL holesterol 1.61 (<3.30 mmol/L)
Triglyceride 0.97 (1.7 mmol/L)

Testosterone 24.3 ( 8.64 - 29 nmol/L) or 701 ng/dL
Free Testosterone 27 ( 15 - 50 pg/mL)
SHBG 54 ( 18.3 - 54.1 nmol/L)
Estradiol 128 ( 28.00 – 156.0 pmol/L)

My ideas:

  • I will try to reduce bodyfat further
  • reduce alcohol intake
  • what about trying clomid/enclomiphene/ Nolvadex to get some boost?, I have never been on any drugs, took antibiotics twice in my life :slight_smile:
  • trt? I want to be natural as longest as possible and keep fertility

thanks for any ideas…


No, and good. Your labs look like you don’t need it tbh. Stay lower in bodyfat, cut out alchohol, work on dialing in your sleep regimen, ensure you’re getting 0.3g/lb fat as a daily standard (less will hurt hormone production, more is not beneficial unless you prefer it this way).

I do believe there is evidence to support Boron supplementation for reducing SHBG and increasing Free T. I also believe Tongkat Ali has a good reputation for this. Couldn’t tell you from my own experience, just what others have said.


Quit the alcohol. It raises SHBG. Takes a while to come down.

Somewhat similair to my starting point, but my SHBG was above range making free t very low.

Wouldnt worry about boron. The beer is likely the cause.


These two goals of wanting TRT and fertility, 73% of men become infertile on TRT. The rest are on TRT and AAS and having no trouble fathering children, even without clomid/hCG.

This is far from common, unicorns do exist. @bnrs Your Free T won’t increase even if you manage to half your SHBG, because reducing your SHBG by 50% doesn’t increase testicular output of testosterone. That’s a matter of stimulation via → LH to the testes.

SHBG doesn’t increase LH.

If you take a sponge, representing the SHBG molecule, poor water (Free T) on the sponge, The sponge will reach full saturation at some point, leaving spillover (Free T) in the bloodstream and equilibrium occurs. The only instance, where SHBG would change Free T, is only right after the increase in SHBG, which is temporary.

SHBG is one of the most misunderstood of all the sex hormones.

Free T on TRT is a matter of the dosage, once the SHBG is fully saturated, the Free T rises, therefore the same is true naturally.


What would happen if I tried clomid for a month let’s say, would it increase LH, FT?


I actually did some research and tried few supplements last year (Boron, Fadogia and Tongkat Ali) in between tests, but seems SHBG was very similar always or even slightly higher, hard to say if any of this helped, off/on tests were similar. As i understood, SHBG cannot be lowered with supplements/drugs with a goal to get FT up, so I stopped with Boron.

One thing, 3 years ago, I had varicocele surgery, it bothered me on the left side. I did fertility tests, which was average, now it is even better. Unfortunately I never did hormonal test before to compare. But seems like alcohol is the reason for lower FT.

I just feel like at 34-35yo, response to exercise and muscle/bodyfat ratio was much better, with similar or even worse regime than now. I would like to get FT in mid-upper range somehow to see if it changes things.


  • to get bodyfat lower I am doing 10k+ steps daily, mostly rucking in nature (20+lb), slight calorie deficit, 3x gym, 2x cardio, 1x HIIT weekly (hill sprints, or swimming “sprints”).
  • more fat in diet, not sure how much I eat right now

Energy/Performance wise I still feel ok, the most changes I notice in body composition and recovery…

How much time did it take, and how much did you lower SHBG and increased FT by quitting? I need some compromise, since it feels too good to have few drinks here and there, few times a month, nothing crazy. I always balanced alcohol with more exercise and activity, but seems it is not working that well anymore :slight_smile:

No, Clomid increases SHBG substantially! You would most likely end up with even lower Free T.

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So what else to do naturally, since Total T is in somewhat ok range, 700-750 ng/dL in last two tests. I will see if I can lower bf without losing too much muscle in process, more fat in diet and month off of alcohol, to do another test.

Total T is irrelevant, the Free T drives all the positive effects. There are some doctors that don’t even pay attention to the Total T, only the Free T.

If you do the carnivore diet, not only will you be cutting sugar and carbs out but you won’t lose any muscle.

I am dropping weight and gaining muscle on the carnivore diet! I’m leaning out and building muscle. Nothing but fatty meats.

Yeah I know it is all about FT.

I do no like extreme diets, like it more diverse. I think that I do not do well without carbs at least around exercise time before/after. Since I easily lose weight. But I do eat a lot of good/various meat. Maybe I could give it a try for two weeks or so, more meat.

It’s not an extreme diet, it’s the original human diet. During the Ice Age, there was no agriculture or plants, just ice and snow. We ate meat, and nothing but meat. We likely caused the woolly mammoth extinction.

Then, when everything thawed and the animal population declined, We started introducing plants to our diet, far from optimal, and we got shorter, dumber, smaller jaws, and crooked teeth.

There’s irrefutable proof and it’s not genetics, is developmental. When we started doing agriculture, there was a steep sharp decline in our stature, brains shrunk 11% and skulls narrowed, and crooked jaws and teeth followed.

In 1931 we visited at two African tribes sharing the same region, a carnivore tribe, and a vegan tribe. The carnivore tribe ate, fatty, red meat, drank milk, and blood.

The vegan tribe, ate plant-based diets. The carnivore tribe warriors were on average 5 inches taller, 23 pounds heavier and 50% stronger.

Our bodies weren’t meant for carbs, vegetables and fruits. Herbivores have an appendix about 4 feet long that processes plant fiber, our appendix is non-functional for at least 2 million years.

We have no need for vegetables and fruits, no more than a lion needs to eat vegetables.

Autism, autoimmune conditions, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and even cancer and many other diseases get better when you introduce a carnivore diet.

When you go to the zoo, the zookeepers tell you not to feed the animals because if they eat something that’s not in their evolutionary diet, they get sick.

Kellogg Food corporation, founded by religion, who believed God told them to eat only plants-based diets, that red meat caused lustful and uncontrolled sexual thoughts, which has influenced nutritional thought in the US for over 100 years.

So, eat grains, corn, wheat, in other words eat only our products and less red meat.

Doctors perpetuate this to this day!

If you remove all the unhealthy foods from the grocery stores, sugar, grains, bread, pasta, seed and vegetable oils, you’re left with some cheese, meat and eggs.

The rest of the shelves are empty!

We’ve all been brainwashed!

You’re eating a diet that doesn’t fit our evolutionary past.

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You sound like Carnivore Vegan :slight_smile:, some truth there but you are cherry-picking things from evolution/history and making conclusions to suit your narrative, it is not that black and white. Nothing wrong with carbs, even plain white sugar by itself is not bad, most efficient energy you could possibly eat if body needs it in the moment. Obesity, overeating, no activities are the problem, not sugar or fat, etc… All in moderation and as per need.

On other hand it is not that healthy to be in ketosis long term. Just pick best foods (non processed) from both worlds, we are omnivores…


My 50 pence on the diet is it lies somewhere between whay you two are saying.

Sugar is bad full stop, its just not natural to have to dump that much insulin in one go.

But eating whole real foods will make a lot of difference to someones health and athletic performances.

I also believe too much carbohydrates even from natural sources isnt great.

But I also dont subscribe to the no veg and fruit nonesense.

My views based on studies re- Jeff S Volek PhD and Stephen D Phinnet MD PhD.

Also Tim Noakes.

Low carb and all natural food sources for the health win!

Processed food is the enemy of health.


Yes! And…


I’m not against the carnivore diet per se, but I’ve had great success on simply being lowish carb and wholesome foods. I’m not in ketosis and my carbs are prob <60-80g per day. Works well for me and I’m very lean now. I also have not lost any muscle mass but must eat a lot of fat and protein to feel satisfied.

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Similar for me, I eat low carb diet, mostly eat them around activities.

Usually more protein and some fat, I feel better that way. But I really get better recovery when I eat carbs right after intense workout. Otherwise next workout suffers. Especially if I have two workouts a day, gym morning and swimming afternoon, or similar.

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Interesting take on SHBG:

Sex hormone binding globulin and insulin resistance - PubMed (


So, to get diabetes to lower SHBG :slight_smile:

I have metabMetabolic syndrome will do it. My SHBG has gone up on TRT, I have metabolic syndrome/T2D, and I have improved my insulin sensitivity. Men without insulin resistance, who start starvation diets, due to the improvements in insulin sensitivity, these men usually end up with high SHBG and low Free T or low-T.

Now this is very interesting.

I had a brush with type 2 diabetes. Was fat and a workaholic. Took up cycling- dropped a load of weight and ended up with sky high shbg and low free t. Grew tits- had them chopped off. Felt like I was an old man- tired/no libido. No drive. Even kept crying.

Ended up on trt and myself and my wife are very glad I did. Changed my life for the better x10000

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@systemlord @roadie What TT, FT, SHBG levels do you maintain on TRT? I wil give my best to bring it up naturally, will see what month of no alcohol and 2-3% reduction of bodyfat will do to the blood work. I would be happy with TT 750+ and FT in the mid/upper-mid range.

Two hours after my Jatenzo, dosing twice daily, 988 ng/dL, with a 100 ng/dL decline per hour and a trough of 264 ng/dL. SHBG is 20-24 and Free T 6.67-28 ng/dL.

My average Total T over the course of 24 hours, 479 ng/dL and average Free T of 12.9 ng/dL.

@bnrs Your timeline to expect significant improvement isn’t realistic. One month doesn’t erase years of bad lifestyle choices.

Alcohol can affect the brain for several weeks after cessation of alcohol.

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