T Nation

Naturally increasing Testosterone

Can anyone tell me how I can naturally increase testosterone levels.
I’ve been on a low carb diet lately and feel tired alot, and have been experiencing low sex drive.
I lift three days a week, and have been doing alot of cardio on my off days, could that be whats causing the problem?
I can’t really afford any supplements at the moment, I’ve got fish oils and take a multivitamin.

Wow - Tribex!!!

I’ve been using Tribex for about 9 months now and with the 2 for 2 sale, have my supplement cupboard stocked. Do the math, you’ll save at the Biotest Superstore compared to other on-line sources. I’m 31 years old, and I feel like I’m 17 in some areas while using Tribex.

I haven’t tried RedKat but it also supports natural testosterone production.

You should provide some more info.
How old are you? You said your diet is low carb. What is your fat intake like…what are your goals…etc. I did read here that excessive running/cardio can reduce T-levels.

Also - best way to tell is to have blood work done and get a physical. What about drug use (Pot & booze) will lower T levels. More thank likely it is not your T-levels that are causing you to feel like crap! Switch the diet…the answer is probably right in front of you.

diets are very individual, so you could be on the wrong diet like W. said.

on a low carb diet, you should be getting plenty of animal fats. what is your daily animal fat intake? if this is low, this could cause problems.

or it could be other factors like W. said.

What will help increase your testosterone levels?

  1. More food/less cardio
  2. More fat in your diet. You need more monounsaturated fats (nuts, olive oil, etc)

Maybe it’s time for a week off your diet to eat maintenance. In addition to probably normalizing your hormones, it will also give your body a chance to ‘reset your metabolism’ so to speak.

How long have you been dieting?

morg, please tell us more about these animal fats. How much would you say is optimal and from what sources, exactly?

ceegeebee,

i can’t answer that. the amount of fat needed for an individual is, well, individual. some people do well on pretty low fat, others do well on high fat. for me to recommend any amount simply wouldn’t make sense, and i suggest that each person experiments to find their own individual need for animal fats.

as to sources, vary them: beef, chicken (skin, dark meat), possibly pork if you can find good sources, duck, seafood, butter, whole milk (i’d recommend raw), etc. variety is the key.

What makes you think that low sex drive = low testosterone.

CeeGeeBee, morg is on to something. Our hormones are made from fat. A pretty safe breakdown is 33% monounsaturated fat (olive oil), 33% EFAs (preferably Omega 3s like flaxseed oil and/or fish oil), and 33% saturated/animal fat.

None of us go to the trouble of breaking it down precisely, but that’s a pretty good mix to shoot for.

Tampa, have you read the research on high fat diets adn testosterone. Mostly short term has an affect, but once hte negative feedback situation kicks into gear the actual free T isnt changed much at all. THe body doesnt want raised T :slight_smile:

I should be more specific with it.

Both testosterone and free test, SHBG etc seem to be influenced by diet, but the actual level is relatively minor. By and large the actual research on dietary fat is rather equivicol. Epidemiological data seem to show a relationship, but unfortunately there is a rather wide range of things that can affect it that cannot be adjusted for in epi studies.
To show some information, there is some reports that show a negative relationship between PUFAS and fat, but the subjects were eating a vegetarian diet, which is significantly different from a noraml diet than just fat alone.
Short term studies are varied as well, with some showing increases in fat will increase, or decrease test or free test. So a clear picture cannot be achieved.
Chronic studies are very similar, with little confirmable evidence.

And for Morg, there is at least one paper showing that in a study of high pro vs high carb (fixed fat) the high carb diet increased T levels…(and lower cortisol levels) Anderson et al. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci 1987;40:1781-8

There is also a large review out on the effects of diet on testosterone, I dont know if its on pubmed, but if you want it fling me a PM
Allen NE, Key TJ. The effects of diet on circulating sex hormone levels in men. Nutr Res Rev 2000;13:159-84

Cycomiko,

I think what Morg and TT are getting at with the fat intake isn’t a matter of actually increasing your T count with the intake of fats, but one of not suppressing your T. Many who are dieting lower their fat intake, namely the saturates, which can suppress your T counts. So by adding back in fats in the correct %'s many will benifit by their T levels increasing back to their natural, non-dieting level.

Just my take on the subject.

Phill

cycomiko, that’s fair. However, I was talking about providing the body what it needs for health and hormonal homeostasis. Dieitng strictly and/or dropping one’s fat intake or BF% to ultra low levels causes T levels to drop like a rock.

Tribex is a good recommendation for raising T lvels, but I think Thunder pretty well nailed it on this one. My little twist on what he said would be to also include refeeds.

TT, morg is onto nothing.

“butter, whole milk (i’d recommend
raw)”

We’ve discussed this to death. Most people don’t need to increase their intake of saturated fats. Most need to decrease.

As for raw milk…

Let’s talk food and not supplemetns at this point. This individual can likely accomplish what he wants through managing his diet. We don’t need to recommend a supplement fix for everything.

Just a comment on the whole “there’s a study that says …” statements.

As humans we have the tendency to seek out only those studies that support the beliefs we already have and criticize evidence that is in disagreement.

Basically, there’s a study for everything.

cycomiko also believes that white bread and sausages have equally poor nutritional value. he believes eating more carbs increases insulin sensitivity, and reducing carb intake decreases it.

i think thunder nailed it saying there’s a study for everything. i’m sure everyone has heard rediculous studies that could be used to “support” dumb ideas.

ceegeebee, that recommendation of mine was taken out of context. i didn’t say just eat butter and whole milk. that was just a part of a list of recommended animal fats. and saying people don’t need to increase their saturated fat intake doesn’t make sense. how do you know what people need? if one is consuming olive oil, then their mono fats will be much higher in proportion to the saturated fats. these two should be about equal, so having some butter or whole milk would help shift the balance back to normal. from a lot of diets people post, their fat ratios are pretty far off. we need to get out of the ice age believing that saturated fat is gonna kill you, and use it as a tool to create balanced healthy fat ratios.

Neil, becuase you are a fucktard I will spell it out simply for you.

Sure, tehre is the potential to provide a study for everything, however you cannot provide GOOD studies for everything. THe skill that you lack is to beable to critically analyse the research and compile it into a cohesive representation.

Neil grabs a bit of information from some ‘internet guru’ amongst otehrs so he thinks taht it will have an effect. I can find research taht shows raising fat intake reduces test, lowering fat reduces test, blah blah blah. So what does it show, that it is rather varied, showing potentially little to no effect overall. Everyone who has stated it here as if its a complete fact, which its not.
If raising T was a matter of eating more fat, 1) what is the mechanism? and 2) why does anyone by tribex when they could just go down to the shop and get some lard? (hint: because dietary fat will ahve fuck all effect)

and to the origonal poster once again,

what makes you think that low sex drive = low testosterone?

CeeGeeBee, I didn’t mean to step into the line of fire, here, but for your consideration:

  1. The following from Volek, J.S., W.J. Kraemer, J.A. Bush, T. Incledon, and M. Boetes. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 82(1):49-54. 1997.

“Diet may have a significant effect on blood concentrations of testosterone. A higher percentage of calories from protein may reduce blood concentrations of testosterone. And a higher percentage of calories from fat, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat may result in higher blood concentrations of testosterone. Extremely low fat diets (such as around 10% of calories) or extremely high protein diets may actually be detrimental to testosterone levels which could possibly have a detrimental effect on muscle mass gains.”

  1. From John Berardi in the Fat Roundtable:

“Personally, I think that eating moderate to high fat is ideal for both hormonal reasons and metabolic ones, too. With low fat diets, Testosterone levels crash.”

  1. From The Serrano Show by John Paul Catanzaro:

"T-mag: Okay, good info. Now, many people are looking for ways to naturally increase Testosterone levels. Any suggestions?

"ES: Believe it or not, there are some studies on resistance trained athletes that show eating too much protein can actually decrease Testosterone levels, especially when fat and carb levels are low. There’s a direct correlation between dietary fat (saturated and monounsaturated) and Testosterone. In general, the higher the fat intake, the higher the T levels.

“Olive oil, cheese, and red meat are excellent sources. Many athletes stick to only lean cuts of meat and it’s these guys in particular who can attain an erection but have a hard time keeping it! Also, a study just came out recently showing that the fruit of tribulus (not the stem or the roots) elevated LH and Testosterone levels.”

So to recap,

  • I do agree with morg’s statement about fat from a variety of sources being optimal as it relates to increasing T levels. (And I did provide precise ratios, those recommended by JB.)

  • I do agree with morg’s statement about saturated fat helping to increase T levels. (As does monounsaturated fat.)

It’s only a case of my style of communication, CeeGeeBee. When reading a series of posts in a thread, I would prefer to pull out statements I agree with, rather than the ones I don’t. And I would prefer to evaluate data based on science and fact, rather than dismiss something for no other reason than my feelings about the person who presented it.