Vitamin D Increases Testosterone? Understand the Relationship
Vitamin D is responsible for various functions in the body, such as leukocyte production, blood pressure regulation and calcium absorption control. It can be found in foods like mushrooms, salmon, eggs and dairy, or synthesized in the skin through exposure to the sun.
In addition to these functions mentioned above, is it true that vitamin D increases testosterone in the body?
It is the hormone responsible for bone density, musculature formation, libido and sperm production. In adolescence, testosterone levels are higher, and decline after 30 years, which are evidenced by depression, fatigue, reduced sex drive and increased fat, according to data from the Urology Care Foundation.
Testosterone production in 95% of adult men ranges from 3 to 10 mg per day. This process occurs in the testicles, and the rest of this hormone is produced by the adrenal glands. When testosterone breaks down from proteins, sex hormone globulin and albumin, we have the so-called "free testosterone," which laboratories use in clinical research.
Each laboratory has different references for the testosterone count. What we find in the results of laboratory tests are free, total and bioavailable testosterone. Total testosterone includes testosterone along with blood proteins plus free testosterone. Free testosterone has been mentioned above, and the bioavailable refers to testosterone with a little albumin plus free testosterone.
It is important to remember that the age factor contributes to the fall in hormone levels. Chronic diseases such as HIV, cancer, acute inflammatory diseases in the lungs and kidneys, also decrease testosterone levels, plus drugs such as marijuana, alcohol, chemotherapy, and Nizoral.
Responsible for regulating more than 1,000 body functions, it is true that vitamin D boosts testosterone as well. It is framed among the 24 essential vitamins for survival.
We can get it simply with a sunbath, or through the consumption of foods like fish and eggs, or supplements.
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- See more:Foods rich in vitamin D.
The functions regulated by it include sexual functions, fertility, the endocrine system and growth. These functions will be normal if vitamin D levels are balanced.
It is also known as "wonderful vitamin" and "bone vitamin", allusions made to the benefits that vitamin D produces to the heart and bones.
Studies on Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels
- In the first study, it was found that men who have high levels of vitamin D have significantly higher testosterone levels, and SHBG, a glycoprotein that binds to sex hormones, was lower compared to men with insufficient amounts of vitamin D (or hormone) in the blood serum.
- Healthy men participated in a study taking 3332 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily for one year. The result found was an increase of 25.2% of testosterone, on average, in relation to the group that received the placebo.
- Older men who ingest vitamin D supplements are less likely to have lower testosterone levels compared to those who do not use supplements.
- In a study conducted in Australia, the researchers found that the low vitamin D pattern in older men is linked to the risk of increased fractures and low free testosterone.
- Another study has analyzed the positive association, previously shown, with testosterone and vitamin D levels. A total of 1,362 men were observed, and the results showed that vitamin D has a linear positive association with total serum and free testosterone levels . This means that vitamin D actually boosts testosterone, but it will not do any good if you're already within that optimal range (which is definitely not where most men are).
- Experts advise that vitamin D should be obtained with sun exposure, according to the results of a study done in 1939 by Dr. Abraham Myerson. He showed that exposure to UV rays for 5 days in the chest region increased testosterone levels by 120%.
- There is some evidence that exposure to sunlight sends messages to the brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates testicular cells to produce testosterone. So it's a great idea to go outdoors and bathe in the sun to get vitamin D.
- Vitamin D levels in the blood are positively associated with sperm quality and mobility, according to some studies done with humans and animals.
Conclusions of Vitamin D and Testosterone Studies
Exposure to ultraviolet rays appears to increase testosterone production.
You may not get the benefits of an increase in testosterone with extra vitamin D supplements if your serum vitamin D levels are already at their optimum. An increase of testosterone in the bloodstream, on the order of about 25%, was observed in healthy men who decided to use supplements with low doses of vitamin D for one year.
Men with low vitamin D levels are more likely to have lower testosterone levels when compared to men with adequate amounts of the vitamin.
These studies seem to indicate then that vitamin D actually boosts testosterone, from several points of view.
Vitamin D Supplements
A study published in March 2011, "Metabolic and Hormonal Research", conducted by Medical University of Graz, Austria, confirms the increase in testosterone levels in participants who ingested vitamin D supplements for one year.
Vitamin D dosage for testosterone
You can keep the optimal amount of vitamin D in the blood serum, which revolves around 50-70 ng / dl, in three very simple ways.
- Spend a few hours in the sun every day.
- Take daily supplements of a normal dose of high-quality vitamin D3. The recommended daily dose for University of Maryland Medical Center, in agreement with other institutions, is 400 to 800 IU (international units), but may vary depending on the country in which you live.
- Take multivitamins. Some experts argue that the ideal dose is actually 3000 to 5000 IU for adults and only above 10,000 IU would have side effects.
Minerals also affect testosterone levels. Zinc, for example, can reduce testosterone in the event of deficiency, so it is not recommended to eat meats and crustaceans, or through supplements.
- See more: Does zinc increase or reduce even the same ester?
Studies have shown that very high doses of vitamin D may have the opposite effect, that is, instead of increasing testosterone levels, can decrease fertility.
- Zanatta L, Zamoner A, Zanatta AP, et al. Nongenomic and genomic effects of 1α, 25 (OH) (2) vitamin D (3) in rat testis.Life Sciences. 2011 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]
- Foresta C, Strapazzon G, De Toni L, et al. Bone mineral density and testicular failure: evidence for a role of vitamin D 25-hydroxylase in human testis.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011 Apr; 96 (4): E646-52.
- Zittermann A, Frisch S, Berthold HK, et al. Vitamin D supplementation enhances the beneficial effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease risk markers.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.2009 May; 89 (5): 1321-7.
- Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.Hormone and Metabolic Research. 2011 Mar; 43 (3): 223-5.