Top 6 Vitamins For Erectile Strength

Improving your erections boils down to two key things.

Can you guess what they are?

Yes, I’m talking about your libido and testosterone levels.

If your testosterone and libido don’t work properly, it’s a recipe for having weak erections. In fact, low testosterone and erectile dysfunction are very much interlinked.

So when choosing vitamins for erectile strength, you should look for the ones that also boost testosterone and sex drive.

These are the two secrets ‘ingredients’ for having erections as strong as an 18-year old teen.

In this article, I’ll explain how erections and testosterone are linked. I’ll also cover the best nutrients, herbs, and vitamins for erectile strength. Explaining how each works, along with their optimal dosage for boosting your erections, libido, and testosterone.

Okay, we admit it, ashwagandha and fenugreek aren’t vitamins, but they deserve to be on the list nonetheless as they allow the other vitamins and minerals to work effectively.

Vitamins for erectile strength, which are the best? Here’s a quick summary for you;

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Vitamin B6
  3. Zinc
  4. Vitamin K2
  5. Ashwagandha
  6. Fenugreek

Want to know how each of these ingredients boosts your manliness? Read on to find out…

Related: Most Effective Testosterone Enhancers

How Low Testosterone Causes Weak Erections

There’s a definite link between testosterone and erections.

Studies have shown that low testosterone could be one of the causes of erectile dysfunction.

Now, whether it’s a direct or indirect cause, is up to debate. Science is still not clear on that.

But one thing is very much clear – low T-levels lead to obesity, weak libido, cardiovascular diseases, and other health problems. All of which can cause weak erections. [1]

So the key to remember is, that while testosterone might not be a direct cause of weak erections, it can be an indirect one. Causing other health problems that then lead to ED. [2, 3]

Did you know? Over 40% of men suffer from some type of ED by the time they are 40. This number goes way up to 70% in men over 70 years old. [4]

Boosting Your Testosterone Naturally

Okay, since we know that having high T is crucial for healthy erections. Let’s look at the ways you could improve your T-levels naturally.

Here are the 5 best ways to boost your testosterone;

  1. Exercise – science has shown that regular exercise, especially weight training, leads to increased testosterone levels in men. [5, 6, 7]
  2. Eating a Nutrient-Dense Diet – It’s no surprise that what you eat governs how you’ll look and feel. If you want to keep strong erections, you need to eat libido-friendly foods. Including oysters, nuts, beef, and herbs such as Asian Ginseng. [10, 11, 12]
  3. Sunlight Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for keeping your erections strong and testosterone levels high. And the sun is the best source of vitamin D. If you can’t get at least half an hour of direct sunlight every day, consider taking a vitamin D supplement. [8, 9]
  4. Keeping Stress Levels Low Stress and hormones aren’t very good friends. In fact, when your stress levels are high, you start losing muscle mass, T-levels start crashing down, and your erections become flabby and weak. If you can’t seem to keep stress under control no matter what, consider taking adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha, which is shown to reduce cortisol by up to 30%. [13, 14, 15, 16]
  5. Natural Supplements and vitamins – Supplements are one of the best ways of obtaining key nutrients that make your erections strong. I’ll cover them in more detail below – sit tight.

Best Herbs, Nutrients & Vitamins For Erectile Strength

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has long been touted as one of the most important nutrients for humans. It’s linked with brain health, heart function, and testosterone production. Not only that, but vitamin D improves erections too, via the mechanism of increasing libido. [17]

In fact, a deficiency in vitamin D leads to a whole host of health problems. Including weak erections, low libido, crashing testosterone, and poor cognitive function.

It’s very hard to get vitamin D from diet alone. Only a few foods contain it in sufficient quantities. These include egg yolks, fatty salmon, and fortified cereals.

However, you’d need to eat these foods every day to reap the benefits of vitamin D. Which is not something you might want to do, if you’re looking to lose fat.

This leaves us with two other options – sunshine and supplements. And since most people don’t go in the sun often, vitamin D supplementation becomes crucial.


If there’s one vitamin that tops every other when it comes to boosting erections, it’s vitamin D. Studies show it helps improve blood flow to the penis, along with increasing T levels.


Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, is an important nutrient in keeping your erections strong.

When you’re looking to boost your erectile strength, there are much safer alternatives to viagra pills and other drugs.

Vitamins such as B6 reduce the production of estrogen (female sex hormone) in your body, thus leading to increased testosterone qualities – such as improved erections.

And the best of all, it’s a natural nutrient which your body needs to function optimally. Unlike with Viagra, there are no side effects from taking a vitamin B6 – only positives.

Regular intake of this vitamin doesn’t just support your erections, it also helps you keep a healthy liver, eyes, skin, and testicle function.

There are many sources of Vitamin B6 in your diet. Such as tuna and sunflower seeds. However, getting enough of tends to be an issue.

Studies show that sub-optimal levels of B6 lead to a reduced testosterone production. Which then leads to low libido & erectile problems. [18]

So if you’re looking to keep your erections strong, make sure to add vitamin B6 to your supplement stack.


Supplementing with vitamin B6 is shown to have positive effects on your testosterone, libido, and erectile strength.


Zinc

Zinc might not be a vitamin, but it’s one of the most important nutrients for erectile strength hands down.

With the ability to improve testosterone, strengthen the immune system, and boost your erections, it’s a must for anyone who’s looking to improve their health and masculinity. [20]

Since you lose zinc through sweat, it’s very common for men to become deficient in this mineral. In fact, a lack of zinc is one of the more common nutrient deficiencies among people. [19]

So considering zinc’s importance for health, taking a Zn supplement is a good idea. Just make sure not to overdo it – 10mg of zinc daily is enough to obtain its key benefits.


Zinc is a mineral that’s involved in many bodily processes. From testosterone production to heart health to keeping your erections strong.


Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is yet another nutrient on this list that’s essential for your erectile health. [21]

You see, there are two types of K vitamin: K1, and K2.

Vitamin K2 is the one that’s responsible for improving blood flow to the penis and boosting the effects of vitamin D3. It also plays a role in keeping your T-levels high.

These benefits make vitamin K2 even more important than K1 when it comes to keeping your erections strong. [22, 23]

However, while we get plenty of K1 through our diet, getting K2 is a little more tricky.

There are some foods which contain it, such as butter, egg yolks, and fatty meat. However, these might not be the healthiest choice.

That’s where K2 supplements come in.

By getting vitamin K2 in a capsule form, you ensure all of its benefits without having to eat excess calories.


K2 is one of the most important vitamins for erectile strength. It improves blood flow to the penis, synergizes with vitamin D, and boosts T production.


Ashwagandha

Now, Ashwagandha isn’t a vitamin, but it’s a herb that’s been used to improve libido & erections for thousands of years. And that’s why it’s on the list.

Ashwagandha’s active components are called Withanolides. They are responsible for many of ashwagandha’s benefits. Including [24, 25, 26, 27];

  • Improves erections
  • Calms the mind (reducing stress & anxiety)
  • Enhances libido
  • Reduces cortisol (a muscle-wasting stress hormone)
  • Increases lifespan
  • Improves testosterone production

Ashwagandha’s potency in boosting erections makes it even stronger than some of the vitamins for erectile strength on this list.


Ashwagandha promotes healthy erections by reducing stress hormones, boosting libido, and increasing testosterone levels. It’s also a potent anti-anxiety agent.


Fenugreek

Just like ashwagandha, Fenugreek is an ancient herb used for ramping up libido and sex drive. [30]

According to studies, Fenugreek even increases the amount of free testosterone in your body. [29]

How does it do it?

Well, Fenugreek acts as an aromatase inhibitor. This means it negates the effects of aromatase, a hormone that converts testosterone to estrogen.

So by inhibiting aromatase activity, Fenugreek effectively improves the level of free T in your blood.

This ancient herb also reduces inflammation, supports the immune system, and helps reduce blood sugar. These benefits then lead to improved blood flow, and ultimately – stronger erections. [28]


Fenugreek improves testosterone, blood flow, and reduces inflammation – all of which are key to erectile health.


Conclusion

When choosing vitamins for erectile strength, you should ask yourself two important questions:

“Do these vitamins boost testosterone” and “Will they increase my libido?”

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then these vitamins are qualified to be called erectile boosters. This is one of the easiest methods to tell if a supplement will give you the results you’re after.

This is because testosterone and libido are key factors in making your erections strong. It’s been proven that low T leads to low libido, which then leads to weak erections, loss of sex drive, and loss of interest in women.

Just to quickly recap, the best nutrients & vitamins for erectile strength are;

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Vitamin B6
  3. Zinc
  4. Vitamin K2
  5. Ashwagandha
  6. Fenugreek

In case you want a supplement formula that uses all of these ingredients, then be sure to check my Testosterone Enhancers Guide.

You might also want to check the links down below, featuring the supplements I personally use, along with the best male enhancement formulas.

Until then, comment below and let me know if you have any questions!

References for the article: Vitamins for Erectile Strength: Top 6 Erection Enhancers
[1] What can cause erectile dysfunction? - WebMD article (source)

[2] Testosterone and Erectile Function: From Basic Research to a New Clinical Paradigm for Managing Men with Androgen Insufficiency and Erectile Dysfunction. (source)

[3] Relationship Between Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction. (source)

[4] Erectile Dysfunction; Milton Lakin, MD, Hadley Wood, MD - Cleveland Clinic Research. (source)

[5] Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone. (source)

[6] Variations in urine excretion of steroid hormones after an acute session and after a 4-week programme of strength training. (source)

[7] The effects of short-term resistance training on endocrine function in men and women. (source)

[8] Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. (source)

[9] Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. (source)

[10] Hormonal changes in normal men under marginally negative energy balance. (source)

[11] Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. (source)

[12] Differences between men and women as regards the effects of protein-energy malnutrition on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. (source)

[13] Stress, adaptation, and disease. Allostasis and allostatic load. (source)

[14] Stress-induced cortisol, mood, and fat distribution in men. (source)

[15] Acute suppression of circulating testosterone levels by cortisol in men. (source)

[16] A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. (source)

[17] Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. (source)

[18] Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. (source)

[19] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. (source)

[20] Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. (source)

[21] The health benefits of vitamin K. (source)

[22] Menaquinone-4 enhances testosterone production in rats and testis-derived tumor cells. (source)

[23] Dietary vitamin K alleviates the reduction in testosterone production induced by lipopolysaccharide administration in rat testis. (source)

[24] A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. (source)

[25] Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. (source)

[26] Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. (source)

[27] Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. (source)

[28] Therapeutic applications of fenugreek. (source)

[29] Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men. (source)

[30] Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation. (source)

Testosterone Guides and Articles

At MaleTestosteroneBooster, it’s our aim to help you get the most out of your life by helping you boost your testosterone levels. We all know what it’s like to feel suboptimal in the bedroom, the gym, and in everyday life when your confidence is lacking. This is why I’ve put together the below guides to help you reach your goals! Why not check them out, you may find just what you’re looking for.

16 Best Testosterone Boosting Ingredients

After years of science-backed research, only a handful of ingredients have been shown to improve testosterone levels.

It’s these ingredients that are wildly used throughout the supplement world when improving testosterone levels are concerned.

However, one thing that we need to pay attention to is the correct dosage.

Without knowing (or taking) the right sized dose of the following ingredients, then you’ll only be wasting your time. But fear not, we’ll run through everything you need to know.

Vitamin D

If you want to naturally boost your testosterone, vitamin D is the way to go. It’s called a hormone for a reason – it impacts testosterone production more than any other vitamin.

Our skin synthesizes vitamin D when under direct sunlight. However, most people don’t spend enough time in the sun. This causes them to become vitamin D deficient – not a good thing for your testosterone.

Research suggests that vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating testosterone. In fact, one study found that people who took 3,332 IU of vitamin D daily experienced significantly raised testosterone levels. What’s more, their immune system improved, and so did their mood and cognitive health.

It’s clear that vitamin D3 is extremely important for our health. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend all day in the sun to reap these benefits. As we’ve discussed, supplementation can provide you with the same benefits.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport published an interesting study about vitamin D3. It found that doses of over 4,000IU helped athletes to increase their muscle mass and strength. And doses as high as 5,000IU saw them additionally improve muscle-fiber density, bone health, and overall athletic performance – all without any side effects.

The science proves it. Vitamin D really is one of the best testosterone boosting ingredients out there.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral, and one of the best testosterone boosting ingredients.

It’s known for regulating a plenty of functions in our body. But perhaps most interesting of all, is that zinc boosts luteinizing hormone production.

And what does luteinizing hormone do, you ask?

To put it simply, it signals your testes to produce more testosterone.

Modern research suggests that diets low in zinc are a recipe for disaster when it comes to testosterone. Zinc deficiency is shown to cause androgen receptors to become ‘numb,’ basically. As a result, testosterone levels plummet.

So it’s no surprise to hear that supplementing zinc to your diet is shown to directly increase testosterone levels. It also helps inhibit aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen (the female hormone).

The optimal dose for zinc? Between 10-20 milligrams per day.

D-Aspartic Acid

D-Aspartic Acid is an extremely important amino acid in your body. It doesn’t only affect testosterone synthesis, but also muscle mass, strength, and growth hormone production.

Similarly to zinc, D-Aspartic Acid helps to stimulate the parts of our brain which control hormone release. This especially applies to luteinizing hormone, which is a precursor to testosterone.

In one modern study, a group of men supplemented D-AA daily for three months. By the end of the study, their T-levels increased by 30-60% on average. On top of that, their sperm count skyrocketed by up to 100% too.

As for the dosage, experts suggest that 2,000-3,000mg of D-AA daily is ideal for increasing testosterone.

Oyster Extract

Oysters are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, including zinc and B6. In fact, oysters have as much as 10-times the amount of zinc beef has.

Studies show a strong link between oysters and their ability to improve testosterone in men. However, as food, oysters tend to be pricey and hard to come by.

As a result, supplementing oyster extract is the ideal way to reap all of its benefits – cheaply and effectively. Benefits of oyster extract supplementation include:

  • A boost in testosterone levels
  • Enhanced libido
  • Better reproductive function
  • Immune system support

The ideal dosage of oyster extract? It’s 100mg per day.

Asian Panax Ginseng

Asian Panax Ginseng is well known for its benefits on mood and cognitive functions. It also supports a healthy and strong immune system.

In the ancient times, Ginseng was revered as a potent aphrodisiac. Its ability to enhance libido is well known still to this day. However, there’s a lot more that Asian Panax Ginseng can offer.

Modern studies show us that ginseng directly influences testosterone levels in men. Long-term usage of this herb is shown to increase DHT production, which is an androgen steroid hormone. Ginseng also helps to increase luteinizing hormone production, which in turn stimulates testes to spurt out extra testosterone in your blood.

Needless to say, Ginseng is one of the best testosterone boosting ingredients. However, the list of benefits doesn’t end here.

According to numerous studies, Asian Red Panax Ginseng also improves nitric oxide levels in the blood. If you’re someone who works out, this is also important. The higher the nitric oxide levels in your blood, the better muscle pumps you’ll have.

Furthermore, Ginseng also helps to improve insulin sensitivity. As a result, this helps you maintain a lean and healthy body.

The ideal dosage for Ginseng is between 80-120mg a day.

Looking for recommended testosterone supplements?

READ: My Highest Rated Testosterone Supplements

Magnesium

Much like with zinc, magnesium regulates countless enzymatic functions in the body. This includes the nervous system, cardiovascular health, as well as hormone production.

Magnesium helps support physical endurance in athletes, and it also works to enhance muscle functioning. It helps your body relax and de-stress, allowing you to have a deeper sleep.

All of these benefits are indirectly linked to your testosterone levels.

How?

Here’s the answer: if you have a better-quality sleep, your body will naturally be able to produce more testosterone. You’ll also produce much less cortisol, which is a stress hormone known for its negative effects on testosterone.

But magnesium impacts testosterone directly, too. Short-term human studies have revealed that men who regularly supplemented magnesium ended up with higher baseline T-levels.

If you’re someone who works out regularly, chances are you could be deficient in magnesium. In fact, many people are – according to studies. This makes it extremely important to get magnesium through supplements.

The ideal dosage of magnesium as a testosterone booster is 200mg.

Fenugreek

A herb found across the Mediterranean coasts, Fenugreek is a traditional addition to Asian cuisine known for its unique and sweet aroma.

And it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular plant. Fenugreek is packed full of selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Its rich nutrient profile includes compounds which help improve libido and free testosterone levels.

Fenugreek also helps to reduce SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin), which is responsible for inhibiting your free testosterone. Thanks to this amazing herb, you’ll have a lot more free testosterone flowing through your veins.

Fenugreek’s main benefits come from its seeds. The optimal dosage of the seeds extract is 100mg per day.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 belongs to a group of essential B vitamins. It’s crucial for your overall health and well-being. In regards to testosterone, studies show that people who are deficient in B6 have low T-levels.

Other studies have discovered that men who have high levels of testosterone have their estrogen reduced by as much as 30%. This, in turn, allows for more testosterone to flow through your body.

There’s not much to say about this vitamin. Except that it’s incredibly important for our health and hormones. So if you want to keep your T-levels high, don’t miss out on that B6!

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 works synergistically with vitamin D3 to help you produce more testosterone. It also helps to navigate calcium into the right places in your body – mainly your bones.

One study has found that supplementing vitamin K2 for 4-5 weeks led to a 70% increase in testosterone levels in the blood.

Dark green vegetables are one of the richest sources of vitamin K. Fish, beef liver, and eggs also contain this vitamin.

You can also take vitamin K2 as a supplement; the optimal dosage is 18 micrograms.

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna Pruriens is an ancient legume that is also referred to as a herb. It provides the feeling of well-being as it contains levodopa (L-DOPA). This is directly responsible for increasing dopamine – the feel-good hormone.

It can aid in improving levels of deeper sleep, balanced growth hormone levels and aiding in testosterone production indirectly thanks to its healing benefits.

A key benefit of Mucuna Pruriens: it has the ability to reduce prolactin levels which prevents a drop in free testosterone levels.

Luteolin

Luteolin is a flavonoid found in many types of plants including fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. It is widely known for its detoxifying effects and health benefits such as reduced inflammation.

Its also been said to inhibit cancer cell growth, prevents cardiovascular diseases, and enhances brain activity and memory – making it a powerful ingredient.

It has also been seen to contain some androgen-stimulating qualities which help with the producing more T. It’s found primarily in foods like lemons, sage, and peppermint.

Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle is a surprisingly good source of zinc, magnesium, b vitamins, iron. The stinging nettle also holds a whole host of other important nutrients and vitamins that we need to function efficiently – including testosterone production.

Stinging nettle also works closely on the sex hormone binding globulin to release more testosterone throughout the rest of the body.

This powerful plant also has aromatase inhibitor qualities, which means it prevents the build-up of estrogen.

Boron

Boron is a trace mineral that shows signs of importance for testosterone production. It has the ability to raise free testosterone levels by lowering the sex binding globulin.

Boron can also help the body to produce more testosterone by decreasing estrogen levels. In the study linked below, it shows how it raised testosterone in men by 29% whilst decreasing estrogen by 39%

BioPerine

Also known as black pepper extract, this common cooking ingredient helps the bioavailability of other ingredients to be shuttled throughout the body, making this an excellent transporter for other key t-boosting ingredients.

Ashwagandha

This testosterone boosting ingredient is an herb which is also known as an adaptogen. This means that it adapts to the body helping to balance out your energy levels without causing highs or crashes like the ones you might get with caffeine

It’s widely known to reduce stress, improve a sense of well-being and calmness. By reducing cortisol levels with ashwagandha, you’ll allow your body to create more free-flowing testosterone – cortisol is directly responsible for damaging the hormone testosterone.

READ NEXT >> Supplements That Contain These Ingredients

Effects of Vitamin B6 on Testosterone: Can it Increase Your T Levels?

Vitamin B6 has been around for a while. It was first discovered in 1932.

However, experts and scientists are still making new discoveries about this nutrient.

Vitamin B6 is typically found in your diet. However, many people don’t get optimal dosages. This results in poor liver health, cognitive function, and low testosterone, among many other issues. [1, 2]

When you consider that vitamin B6 plays a critical role in over 150 enzymatic functions in the body, it makes sense that you’d want to consume optimal levels of this vitamin every day. [3, 4, 5]

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about vitamin B6. This includes its benefits on health and testosterone, effects of low vitamin B6, dosage guide, and much more.

See the “table of contents” below to easily navigate through the article.

What is Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is one of eight vitamins that belong to the B complex group.

All B complex vitamins play an important role in metabolism, cognitive, liver, hormonal, and many other functions. [6]

Types of Vitamin B6

There are actually a number of derivatives of the B6 vitamin. These include pyridoxal 5-phosphate, also called p5p. Along with pyridoxamine and pyridoxal.

All these types of B6 are used by the body every day for countless processes from moving your legs to memorizing the information you learn.

As a supplement, pyridoxal 5-phosphate (p5p) is more expensive than other forms of B6. But it’s also more effective.

Other Key Effects of B6

Vitamin B6 also affects hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin carries red blood cells everywhere in the body.

On top of this, B6 also [7, 8, 9]:

  • Naturally alleviates pain – a natural painkiller
  • Improves energy usage – get the most out of the nutrients in your food
  • Balances hormones – reduces estrogen, increases testosterone (more on that soon)
  • Boosts your well-being – helps reduce mood swings, anxiety, and depression

And the list of benefits doesn’t end here.

Studies show that vitamin B6 also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood vessels, along with reducing arthritis and other types of inflammation. [10, 11, 12]

To sum it up:

Vitamin B6, aka pyridoxine, is one of eight B vitamins. It plays a crucial role in over 150 processes in the body, including cardiovascular health, cognitive function, mood, energy metabolism, and testosterone health.

Effects of Low Vitamin B6

Most people get just enough vitamin B6 through their diet, so deficiency is not that common.

But whether people achieve optimal doses of this vitamin, is another question. If you lack optimal levels of B6, you could suffer from low testosterone, mood swings, skin rashes, and many other health malfunctions which I’ll explain below.

If you’re deficient in, let’s say, vitamin B12 or folate, there’s an increased chance that you’ll also be deficient in B6. [13]

If you suffer from any digestive, kidney, or liver issues, there’s an increased risk of deficiency for you as well. Other people who are at risk of B6 deficiency include elderly, obese individuals, pregnant women, and regular smokers. [2, 14]

Here are the 6 common signs that you might be vitamin B6 deficient:

Weak Immune System

A strong immune system is imperative to fighting inflammation, infections, and illnesses such as cancer. If you’re deficient in B6, your immune system might get disrupted.

To be more precise, B6 deficiency leads to a reduced production of white blood cells and antibodies which are key to fighting pathogens. [15]

Think this is bad?

It gets even worse…

See, not only does low vitamin B6 leads to low white blood cell count, but it also reduces your body’s ability to produce interleukin-2. A protein that directs the actions of your white blood cells. [16]

B6 is of even greater importance to people who suffer from autoimmune disease. This is a condition where the immune system attacks itself – unable to differentiate healthy cells from pathogens. [2]

To sum it up:

Without optimal levels of B6, your immune system can’t produce enough white blood cells, antibodies, and other defense factors that fight pathogens and infections.

Mood Swings

A lack of B6 can cause mood swings. In more extreme cases of deficiency, it can even cause anxiety, depression, and panic attack episodes. [17]

There’s a good reason why this happens.

You see, vitamin B6 plays a key role in producing a number of neurotransmitters. Such as GABA and serotonin. Both of these brain chemicals are imperative for reducing depression, anxiety, and pain (both physical and emotional).

When given to people with autism, B6 supplementation effectively decreases social and behavioral issues – as shown in this study. [18]

Experts suggest this is because B6 helps boost neurotransmitter production, resulting in alleviated symptoms of autism and other mental disorders.

Modern studies also suggest that daily supplementation of B6, in the range of 50-80mg, helps reduce irritability, PMS, depression, and anxiety symptoms. [19, 20]

One reason why B6 is so beneficial for these problems is that it helps boost serotonin, which regulates mood. That’s why scientists are now doing more research to determine if these mood disorders are actually related to nutritional deficiencies – so far, it looks like they definitely are. [21, 22]

To sum it up:

Low vitamin B6 levels lead to mood issues – including depression, anxiety, and irritability. This is because B6 plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin, which affect how you feel.

Low Testosterone

Studies show that deficiency in B6 leads to hormonal inbalance.

Specifically, it leads to higher estrogen levels (female hormone), and reduced testosterone.

Since estrogen negatively affects testosterone, elevated levels of the female hormone further reduce testosterone production. Which is a recipe for catastrophe in men.

Consistent supplementation of B6 is shown to bring back optimal levels of hormones within the body – reducing estrogen, while boosting testosterone in men. [7]

To sum it up:

A deficiency in the B6 vitamin is linked to low testosterone, and high estrogen levels.

Skin Redness and Rashes

If you often experience red and itchy skin rashes, it could be due to B6 deficiency.

These skin rashes, also called seborrheic dermatitis, can appear on the back of your neck, forehead, cheeks, and upper chest. It’s easily recognizable – causing swelling, redness, and flaky and itchy skin. [23]

So what does B6 have anything to do with this?

Well, the vitamin plays a role in collagen production. As you might know, collagen is a protein essential for having healthy and youthful skin.

So if your rashes and low collagen are caused by low vitamin B6, consuming enough this vitamin could quickly solve the problem. [24, 25]

To sum it up:

Skin redness and rashes around the neck, face, scalp and upper chest are a common sign of low B6. If that’s the case, consuming enough B6 either through diet or supplementation helps resolve the issue.

Swollen and Sore Tounge

B6 deficiency can cause tongue redness, soreness, and inflammation.

As a result of this condition, papillae (little bumps on the tongue) usually disappear and this results in a glossy-looking tongue. Hence the name of this condition – glossitis.

Glossitis leads to a number of other problems. Such as difficulty swallowing, chewing, and even talking. If a deficiency in B6 is the cause of glossitis, then consuming enough of this vitamin will solve the issue.

However, there are also other nutrients that, when deficient in, can result in glossitis. These nutrients include vitamin B12, folate, and certain trace minerals. [26]

To sum it up:

Vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to a swollen, red, smooth (without any bumps), and inflamed tongue – a condition called glossitis. A deficiency in other nutrients, particularly vitamin B12, can also cause this condition.

Constant Fatigue and Low Energy

If you feel tired more often than you’d like to admit, it could be because your B6 vitamin stores are depleted.

One reason why this happens is because B6 plays a key role in hemoglobin production. As I already mentioned, hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout tissues in the body.

Without enough hemoglobin, your cells will have reduced oxygen levels, leading to less energy and feelings of exhaustion. This could even lead to more serious issues, such as anemia – low red blood cell count.

Studies that looked into B6’s effects on treating anemia showed that the p5p (pyridoxal 5′-phosphate) form of vitamin B6 is the most effective form for treating the issue. [17]

In other cases, treating anemia with the cheaper form of B6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, didn’t result in any improvements.

To sum it up:

A deficiency in B6 leads to a reduced number of red blood cells, which leads to chronic fatigue, and sometimes, anemia. Supplementing with p5p form of vitamin B6 has shown to be more effective at treating anemia than with pyridoxine HCL, which is the cheaper form of the B6 vitamin.

How Vitamin B6 Improves Your Testosterone

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about packing on muscle and boosting testosterone?

You might have answered heavy weightlifting and protein shakes. And this is true.

However, while these are obviously great, there are other factors that are crucial for maintaining strong testosterone. One of these factors is supporting your body with beneficial nutrients such as vitamin B6.

Pyridoxine, aka B6, doesn’t only help testosterone production, it’s also shown to lower the production of estrogen (female sex hormone) in men. It’s a win-win combo.

Here are the main benefits of B6 on hormones:

  • Higher testosterone levels – more energy, increased confidence, and better muscle gains
  • Reduced estrogen – estrogen and testosterone are closely related; when one goes up, the other one goes down. By reducing estrogen, B6 helps indirectly boost testosterone too.

Studies show us that regular supplementation of B6 leads to elevated testosterone levels. It also leads to improved testosterone synthesis in the testes. [7]

By getting enough B6 daily, you ensure that your male hormone stays strong and increase your muscle growth factors.

In other studies, we can see how B6 supplementation leads to suppressed gene expression induced by excess estrogen – up to 30%.

Basically, this means that B6 can help you reduce estrogen by 30% in your body. And in turn, increase testosterone even further. [8]

To sum it up:

Studies show that vitamin B6 supplementation affects testosterone both indirectly, and directly. For starters, it improves testosterone synthesis in the testes, allowing for increased production of the male hormone. B6 supplementation also suppresses estrogen production by up to 30%, increasing testosterone even further.

Best Food Sources of Vitamin B6

The typical American diet often lacks optimal doses of vitamin B6. For this reason, many people choose to supplement with additional B6.

However, others choose not to get their daily nutrients from supplements, but instead they add more of B6 rich foods in their diet.

With that in mind, here the top 10 B6 food sources:

  1. Turkey Breast — 3 oz: 0,7mg (53% daily value)
  2. Grass-Fed Beef (tenderloin) — 3 oz: 0,5 mg (38% daily value)
  3. Pistachios — One-quarter of a cup (1/4): 0,5 mg (38% daily value)
  4. Tuna — 3-oz can: 0,4 mg (30% daily value)
  5. Pinto Beans — 1 cup cooked: 0,4 mg (30% daily value)
  6. Avocado — 1 raw: 0,4 milligram (30% daily value)
  7. Chicken Breast —  200g: 0,3 milligram (23% daily value)
  8. Blackstrap Molasses — 2 tbsp: 0,26 milligram (20% daily value)
  9. Sunflower Seeds — One-quarter of a cup (1/4): 0,25 milligram (19% daily value)
  10. Sesame Seeds — One-quarter of a cup (1/4): 0,25 milligram (19% daily value)

Other B6-rich foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Chicken Liver
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Milk
  • Ricotta Cheese

B6 Dosage Guide (How to Supplement)

As a water-soluble nutrient, vitamin B6 dissolves in water and passes through the urine instead of being stored in the body.

In other words, you need to consume enough B6 daily because your body can’t store it for further use.

This makes it crucial to take either a B6 supplement or eat a diet rich in this vitamin. I always recommend getting your nutrients from whole food. It’s always the best option.

Not only do foods contain other essential nutrients, but they are also better utilized by your body since your system naturally knows how to process them.

However, if you’re going to take a supplement with vitamin B6, then make sure it’s of high-quality and comes from a reliable vendor. Also, ensure there are no extra fillers or artificial additives. Try to get a supplement that’s as close to natural as possible.

Daily Dose

If you’re 19 or older, then 1.3mg of B6 is the minimum dosage you need to ingest. However, since supplements are typically less absorbable than whole foods, you need higher dosages than that.

The optimal dosage of B6 in supplements is between 5-20mg daily. The lower dosage range is better for most individuals. However, if you’re seriously deficient, then you might consider upping your dose.

This is nothing to worry, as any excess B6 will get metabolized by your kidneys and excreted through urine.

Is There an Upper Limit?

The safe upper limit for vitamin B6 is 100-1,000mg, depending on the individual.

Make sure to stick to the recommended dosage that’s written on the label to ensure safety and efficacy.

Summary

Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, is a water-soluble nutrient and one of eight B vitamins. It’s essential for numerous bodily processes, from cognitive health to blood flow to testosterone production.

There are different forms of B6, including pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxal 5-phosphate. Both of these turn to the active form of B6 in the body, called pyridoxal phosphate.

While B6 deficiency is not very common, many people don’t have optimal levels either.

Low vitamin B6 levels can cause numerous health problems. Such as skin rashes and redness, glossy and smooth tongue, serious mood swings (anxiety, insomnia, and depression), feelings of pain in the body, and weak testosterone.

Luckily, a deficiency in the B6 vitamin is easy to prevent or treat. The best thing you can do is to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and organic animal products.

For additional benefits, you can also take supplements which contain B6. This is another great way of reaping the beneficial effects of this essential, water-soluble nutrient.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Vitamin B6 status, deficiency and its consequences--an overview. Spinneker A1, Sola R, Lemmen V, Castillo MJ, Pietrzik K, González-Gross M.

[2] Vitamin B6 Deficiency (Pyridoxine) Mary J. Brown; Kevin Beier.
 
[3] Seizures Related to Vitamin B6 Deficiency in Adults. Lee DG1, Lee Y1, Shin H1, Kang K1, Park JM1, Kim BK1, Kwon O1, Lee JJ1.

[4] The Emerging Role of Vitamin B6 in Inflammation and Carcinogenesis. Bird RP1.

[5] Vitamin B6 - Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet - National Institutes of Health.

[6] Vitamin B-6; Patrick J Stover and Martha S Field - NCBI article.

[7] Increased target tissue uptake of, and sensitivity to, testosterone in the vitamin B6 deficient rat. Symes EK, Bender DA, Bowden JF, Coulson WF.

[8] Vitamin B6 modulates transcriptional activation by multiple members of the steroid hormone receptor superfamily. Allgood VE1, Cidlowski JA.

[9] B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review; David O. Kennedy

[10] Vitamin B-6 Intake Is Inversely Related to, and the Requirement Is Affected by, Inflammation Status; Martha Savaria Morris, Lydia Sakakeeny, Paul F. Jacques, Mary Frances Picciano, and Jacob Selhub

[11] Vitamin B6 and cardiovascular disease. Friso S1, Lotto V, Corrocher R, Choi SW.

[12] Inflammation, vitamin B6 and related pathways. Ueland PM1, McCann A2, Midttun Ø2, Ulvik A2.

[13] Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee; Advisory Report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture

[14] Vitamin B6 deficiency and anemia in pregnancy. Hisano M1, Suzuki R, Sago H, Murashima A, Yamaguchi K.

[15] Effects of Vitamin B6 Deficiency on the Composition and Functional Potential of T Cell Populations.
Qian B1, Shen S2, Zhang J2, Jing P2.

[16] Vitamin B-6 deficiency impairs interleukin 2 production and lymphocyte proliferation in elderly adults. Meydani SN1, Ribaya-Mercado JD, Russell RM, Sahyoun N, Morrow FD, Gershoff SN.

[17] Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate) - monograph.

[18] Why is vitamin B6 effective in alleviating the symptoms of autism? Sato K1.

[19] Study Protocol for a Randomized Double Blind, Treatment Control Trial Comparing the Efficacy of a Micronutrient Formula to a Single Vitamin Supplement in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome. Retallick-Brown H1, Rucklidge J2, Blampied N3.

[20] Comparing the Effect of Auriculotherapy and Vitamin B6 on the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome among the Students who Lived in the Dorm of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Koleini S1, Valiani M2.

[21] The expanded biology of serotonin. Berger M1, Gray JA, Roth BL.
 
[22] The potential for dietary supplements to reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.

[23] Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review. Borda LJ1, Wikramanayake TC1.

[24] Impaired collagen maturity in vitamins B2 and B6 deficiency--probable molecular basis of skin lesions. Prasad R, Lakshmi AV, Bamji MS.

[25] Changes of glucose metabolism and skin-collagen neogenesis in vitamin B6 deficiency. Inubushi T1, Takasawa T, Tuboi Y, Watanabe N, Aki K, Katunuma N.

[26] Common Tongue Conditions in Primary Care.

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Everything You Need to Know About Zinc and Testosterone

Afraid of plummeting testosterone levels, becoming weak and infertile, along with catching the common cold?

Don’t worry, zinc is there to help you out – in this article, we’ll tell you the correct zinc dosages for testosterone, plus much much more.

Zinc is an essential mineral which is known for boosting testosterone levels and the immune system – enabling it to fight colds and viruses. However, this is not its only benefit.

You see, zinc is actually involved in many bodily processes. It helps [6] :

  • Improves testosterone levels
  • Create DNA
  • Fight off inflammation and illnesses such as cancer and heart disease
  • Heal injuries
  • Kills free radicals and oxidative stress
  • Improve your cognition and thinking

Not only that, but zinc is crucial for the production of testosterone and growth hormone. It also helps grow and repair your muscles – keeping them strong and healthy. [1, 4]

In fact, zinc deficiency is linked to low testosterone, infertility, weak immune system, small and deflated muscles, and other dysfunctions. [2, 35]

That’s precisely what we’re going to look into in this article.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential mineral. This means your body can’t produce it on its own and you need to get it from the diet.

When you think of zinc, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is a natural cold remedy. So in other words, you only need it when you get sick.

But that’s far from reality.

In actuality, you need small amounts of zinc every single day. It’s absolutely essential to maintain your health and perform various tasks throughout the day. [7, 8]

A Look at Zinc’s Benefits

Zinc is beneficial in many ways. For starters, it helps regulate hormone production. This includes testosterone and growth hormone.

It also improves digestion, helps your body kill off pathogens, acts as a powerful antioxidant (killing free radicals), and fights inflammation and disease. [9, 10, 11, 12]

These are just a few of zinc’s benefits, and there are more.

That’s right, zinc is present in all tissues in your body and is absolutely crucial for a healthy cell production and division processes.

As an anti-oxidant, zinc helps fight free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for the aging of your body, and Zn helps slow this process down. [18, 19]

Zinc’s importance on hormones is so big that even a small deficiency can lead to infertility and low testosterone. In more severe cases, a deficiency in this mineral causes diabetes. [1, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]

If you’re getting sick often, or if you feel tired all the time, it could be due to low zinc levels. Without enough of this mineral in your diet, you’ll constantly feel exhausted, have poor concentration and focus, and your wounds won’t heal as fast. [20]

To sum it up:

Zinc is mineral that’s essential for our health. A deficiency in this nutrient leads to various ailments, from poor testosterone and deflated muscles to weak immune system to chronic fatigue. In some cases, it can even lead to diabetes and infertility.

Zinc Deficiency – Overview and Symptoms

A deficiency in zinc is not uncommon. According to studies, a deficiency in this mineral in prevalent in many countries around the world, including the USA. [1]

Low zinc levels often mean that a person doesn’t eat enough nutrient-dense foods. It can also mean that a person has trouble absorbing the minerals due to digestive issues such as the leaky gut.

Foods which have the most zinc are those that are also high in protein. These include animal products (especially meat), and seafood.

You’ll also find a good amount of zinc in legumes and grains, and cereals which are artificially fortified with the mineral. However, these foods are one of the worst ways of getting zinc in your diet. Let me explain why…

The type of zinc that’s found in grains and cereals is bound to phytates. Phytates are anti-nutrients which prevent absorption of the mineral.

So even if you’re eating plenty of grains, chances are you won’t get nearly as enough minerals as you’d get from meat – due to anti-nutrients in the food.

In fact, research suggests that a high intake of carbs, especially those that are processed, is the main reason for the rise of zinc deficiency amongst people. With processed carbs replacing high-quality animal meat, it’s no wonder that nutrient deficiencies are becoming more and more common. [21]

Who’s Most at Risk?

Anyone who follows a vegan or plant-based diet is at the highest risk of deficiency in zinc. But there are other groups of people who might be deficient too.

They include those who suffer from digestive issues, have poor diets, and take many medications. If you drink alcohol regularly (2 times per week or more), you can also become deficient in this mineral very quickly. [22]

Lastly, anyone who takes drugs, both legal and illicit, is at a higher risk of mineral deficiencies. [23]

Common Signs Of Deficiency

Here are the biggest signs to look out for if you suspect a zinc deficiency [24];

  • Getting sick often
  • Hair loss
  • Unexplained weight fluctuations
  • Weak and deflated muscles (sign of low testosterone)
  • Low libido and sex drive (also a symptom of low testosterone)
  • Low energy and motivation
  • Digestive issues, such as stomach cramps and diarrhea
  • Poor memory and focus
  • Wounds that won’t heal or heal slow

To sum it up:

Zinc deficiency is a common sight in the U.S. and the rest of the world. People who are at biggest risk are plant-based eaters, carb lovers (carbs contain anti-nutrients which block zinc absorption), and anyone with digestive issues. Zn deficiency leads to weak muscles, low testosterone, getting sick often, and feeling tired all the time – among other issues.

Zinc and Testosterone

Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone for men. It doesn’t only make you appear confident and strong, it also plays a key role in your overall health. [25, 26, 27]

Testosterone peaks at the age of 19 on average, and stays high until your early 30s. After which it slowly starts to decline as you age. Not to worry though, this is a normal part of the aging process and it’s how our bodies work.

However, when your testosterone drops too much and too early, is when things go south. Many things can cause low testosterone; from stress to sedentary lifestyle to deficiencies in nutrients such as zinc.

That’s correct – low Zn levels lead to weak testosterone, as we’ve already established. Furthermore, it can also cause infertility, prostate issues, and low sex drive. All of which I’ll explain in a second.

By getting enough zinc either through the diet or supplementation, you ensure a healthy hormonal balance – including increased testosterone and low estrogen (female hormone).

Zinc Boosts Testosterone During Vigorous Exercise

An exercise that’s too intense can sometimes reduce T-levels in the short-term. However, studies show zinc supplementation negates this.

In one study, researchers gave 3mg/kg of the mineral to the group of men who underwent exhaustive bicycle exercises.

They found that these men had higher testosterone levels than those who didn’t take any supplement. Better yet, Zn prevented a drop in testosterone even during the most exhaustive exercises. [28]

In another study, researchers gave the mineral supplementation to a group of elite wrestlers. Before supplementation, these wrestlers experienced a temporary drop in testosterone levels during intense exercise.

But now, that they added zinc to the mix, the exact opposite happened – their total and free testosterone improved significantly, even after strenuous workouts. [29]

Zinc Helps Treat Infertility and Boost Androgen Hormones

In one study, Zinc supplementation increased anabolic hormones, including testosterone and DHT (dihydrotestosterone). It even increased androgen levels in infertile men.

In fact, Zn was so strong that it not only boosted their T-levels, it also enabled them to conceive a child during the study. They were in a hurry! [30]

Zinc Supplementation Fixes Low Testosterone

There aren’t many studies on zinc treatment for hypogonadism. But the ones that we have, look extremely promising.

One study, in particular, looked into the effects of zinc supplementation for men who suffered from low testosterone.

They found that 30mg of Zn daily led to greatly improved free testosterone levels in these men. [4]

Improves Prostate Health

Although all of your cells can absorb zinc, your prostate cells seem to love it the most. This is mainly because the prostate requires a lot of the mineral for proper functioning.

In one large study with over 35 thousand men, it was shown that 15mg of Zn supplementation daily reduced the prostate cancer risk by a huge 65 percent. [31]

Does it Boost Your Testosterone if You Already Have Optimal Zn Levels?

While Zn is certainly essential for boosting testosterone in those who suffer from deficiencies, it doesn’t appear to be so effective in men who already have optimal levels of the mineral.

Such was the case with this study, where they gave Zn supplementation to a group of men who ate a diet rich in this mineral. The results showed that additional zinc didn’t help them increase testosterone any further. [32]

However, bear in mind that these men already ate a varied and nutrient-dense diet. This was done in an ideal scenario – which is far from the reality that most men experience nowadays.

Getting optimal levels of Zn through the diet is hard. But this study shows us that if you can have a perfect diet all the time, then you might not need any supplementation.

To sum it up:

Zinc is a key player in testosterone production. Sub-optimal levels of this mineral are shown to cause low testosterone. According to studies, Zn supplementation helps increase androgen hormones (including testosterone), boost libido, and treat infertility. However, other studies point out that Zn might not work for you if you already have optimal levels of this mineral.

Best Zinc Sources

Food

In an ideal scenario, optimal Zn levels can be obtained from food.

If you’re a man and over 19 years of age, you need at least 11mg of the mineral daily.

With that in mind, here are the best food sources of Zn[33]:

  • Oysters, 1 ounce (28 grams): 25.4mg (157% daily value)
  • Lamb, 3 ounces: 2.9mg (35% daily value)
  • Grass-fed Beef, 3 ounces: 2.6mg(32% daily value)
  • Chickpeas, 1 cup cooked: 2.5mg (31% daily value)
  • Cashews — ¼ cup: 1.9mg (23% daily value)
  • Pumpkin seeds (12) — ¼ cup: 1.6mg (20% daily value)
  • Yogurt (or Kefir) (13) — 1 container of plain yogurt/6 ounces: 1mg (12.5% daily value)
  • Chicken (14) — 3 ounces: 1mg (12.5% daily value)

As you can see, there are certain foods which, in generous amounts, can provide you with way more Zn than your really need. However, there are no reported side effects of too much Zn from food. So eat away. [34]

Supplements

Not everyone can eat a perfect diet every day.

In such cases, getting optimal levels of Zn is easily achieving through high-quality supplementation.

Below I’ll be covering the best types of Zn, how to supplement, and more.

Supplementing With Zinc

Zinc is found in many supplements, from multivitamins to testosterone boosters. However, it’s important that you differentiate types of Zn in these supplements, because that will tell you a lot about their quality.

High-quality supplements use some of these types of Zn:

  • Monomethionine
  • Aspartate
  • Gluconate
  • Picolinate
  • Chelated zinc

These forms of Zn have the highest bioavailability. Meaning they get absorbed efficiently by your body.

On the other hand, zinc oxide is the worst form of the mineral, so avoid that one. It can cause cramps and diarrhea.

The optimal dosage for Zn is, as I’ve said, 11mg daily for men. However, any dosage between 10-20mg daily will do just fine.

How much is too much?

While zinc is fairly safe in low dosages (around 10mg daily), it can cause side effects in doses higher than 40mg daily. Even less than that in sensitive people.

Taking such high dosages of Zn over a long period of time is no good. It suppresses body’s absorption of certain trace minerals, such as copper. This can interfere with your body’s functioning and cause health problems.

In fact, if you take too much zinc consistently, you’ll achieve exactly the opposite of what Zn is supposed to do. That is, you’ll severely disrupt your blood cell formation and weaken your immune system defenses.

If you take too high dosages (40mg+) in the short term, you might experience symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort

and so on…

Wrap-up

Zinc is an essential mineral found in foods, and also supplements.

It’s crucial for countless chemical processes in the body. From regulating your immune system, red blood cell production, to maintaining healthy testosterone levels.

Zinc also affects your nervous system. It plays a role in how your brain forms thoughts, memory, and emotions.

In men, this mineral enhances your overall wellness, improves both total and free testosterone levels, and even aids in fertility and prostate functioning.

Zn deficiency can cause low testosterone, poor health, and a weak immune system. Make sure to consume enough of this mineral either through foods or supplements. Foods rich in Zn are oysters, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, and yogurt.

Zn is a safe mineral to supplement, but only in normal dosages. The recommended daily dose for zinc supplementation for men is around 11mg. But 10-20mg is also a safe and effective range. Anything more than that, over a long period of time, can cause health side effects.

As long as you read the label and stick to what it says, you’ll safely and effectivelly provide yourself with one of the most important minerals for your body.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Prasad AS1, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ.

[2] Effects of oyster extract on the reproductive function of zinc-deficient mice: bioavailability of zinc contained in oyster extract. Matsuda Y1, Watanabe T.

[3] Discovery of human zinc deficiency: its impact on human health and disease. Prasad AS1.

[4]  Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. L.R. BRILLA AND VICTOR CONTE.

[5] Biological consequences of zinc deficiency in the pathomechanisms of selected diseases. Kamil Jurowski, Bernadeta Szewczyk, Gabriel Nowak, and Wojciech Piekoszewski

[6] Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. Nazanin Roohani, Richard Hurrell, Roya Kelishadi, and Rainer Schulin.

[7] Zinc Deficiency - Luke Maxfield; Jonathan S. Crane.

[8] Zinc: An Essential Micronutrient ROBERT B. SAPER, MD, MPH and REBECCA RASH, MA.

[9] Zinc and its role in immunity and inflammation. Bonaventura P1, Benedetti G1, Albarède F2, Miossec P3.

[10] Zinc and gastrointestinal disease. Sonja Skrovanek, Katherine DiGuilio, Robert Bailey, William Huntington, Ryan Urbas, Barani Mayilvaganan, Giancarlo Mercogliano, and James M Mullin.

[11] Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells Ananda S Prasad.

[12] Effect of zinc supplementation on serum testosterone level in adult male sickle cell anemia subjects. Prasad AS, Abbasi AA, Rabbani P, DuMouchelle E.

[13] Zinc and diabetes mellitus: understanding molecular mechanisms and clinical implications. Priyanga Ranasinghe,  Shehani Pigera, Priyadarshani Galappatthy, Prasad Katulanda, and Godwin R. Constantine

[14] Effects of zinc supplementation on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. R Jayawardena, P Ranasinghe, P Galappatthy, RLDK Malkanthi, GR Constantine, and P Katulanda

[15] Zinc and diabetes. Chabosseau P1, Rutter GA2.

[16] The effects of zinc deficiency and testosterone supplementation on leptin levels in castrated rats and their relation with LH, FSH, and testosterone. Ozturk A1, Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R, Oztekin E, Kul A.

[17] The effectiveness of zinc supplementation in men with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

[18] Zinc, aging, and immunosenescence: an overview. Ángel Julio Romero Cabrera.

[19] The immune system and the impact of zinc during aging. Hajo Haase1 and Lothar Rink

[20] Zinc deficiency. Tuerk MJ1, Fazel N.

[21] Impact of the discovery of human zinc deficiency on health. Prasad AS1.

[22] Zinc deficiency in the alcoholic: a review.

[23] Zinc deficiency: what are the most appropriate interventions? Roger Shrimpton, honorary senior research fellow, Rainer Gross, chief, Ian Darnton-Hill, senior adviser micronutrients, and Mark Young, senior adviser Roll Back Malaria.

[24] Clinical manifestations of zinc deficiency. Prasad AS.

[25] Testosterone and Health Outcomes - NCBI clinical research.

[26] The many faces of testosterone - Jerald Bain.

[27] Review of health risks of low testosterone and testosterone administration. Huanguang Jia, Charles T Sullivan, Sean C McCoy, Joshua F Yarrow, Matthew Morrow, and Stephen E Borst

[28] Effect of fatiguing bicycle exercise on thyroid hormone and testosterone levels in sedentary males supplemented with oral zinc. Kilic M1.

[29] The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc. Kilic M1, Baltaci AK, Gunay M, Gökbel H, Okudan N, Cicioglu I.

[30] Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count.
Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K.

[31] Zinc intake from supplements and diet and prostate cancer. Gonzalez A1, Peters U, Lampe JW, White E.

[32]  Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement.

[33] SELFNutritionData - Food Nutritional Information.

[34] DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES FOR Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc.

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Vitamin K2: How it Affects Your Health and Testosterone

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In this article, we’re taking a look at the science behind Vitamin K2. We’ll explain different types of vitamin K and how each benefits your health and testosterone.

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Have you ever heard of vitamin K2?

If the answer is no, you are not alone.

Most people don’t even know vitamin K2 exists. This vitamin is a rare sight in our diet, and because of it, mainstream media hasn’t given it a lot of attention.

However, this doesn’t mean this nutrient is useless. Quite the opposite, actually. Vitamin K2 plays a key role in numerous functions for your health.

It helps prevent blood clotting, improves the efficiency of vitamin D3, supports healthy bones, and helps keep your testosterone levels high. And there are more benefits. [16, 171819]

Vitamin K2 is one of the silent heroes in boosting your overall health and testosterone.

That’s why we’ve decided to shine some light on it – using scientific research to back up our findings.

What is Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It was first discovered back in 1929. It was quickly recognized as a nutrient important for blood coagulation, aka, clotting.

The symbol “K” actually comes from the word Koagulationsvitamin – this is how vitamin K was first called. [1]

Believe it or not, but vitamin K was also discovered by a dentist. His name was Weston Price.

Weston realized that there was some unknown nutrient in many non-industrial foods which protected against chronic diseases and tooth decay. He initially called this nutrient “activator X.” While in fact, it’s now known as vitamin K2. [1]

History aside, how many types of vitamin K are there?

There are actually two main forms of this vitamin, and they are vitamin K1 and K2.

However, vitamin K2 is further divided into different subtypes. The best-known forms of vitamin K2 are MK-4 and MK-7.

You’ll find vitamin K1 mostly in plant foods. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is found in fermented foods and animal products. [2]

To sum it up:

Vitamin K was first discovered in 1929 as an essential nutrient for blood coagulation. There are two types of vitamin K: K1 and K2. Vitamin K2 has two subtypes: MK-4 and MK-7. You’ll find vitamin K1 in plants. And vitamin K2 in fermented foods and animal products.

How Does Vitamin K Work?

Before going any further, let me make it clear that when I say vitamin K, I’m referring to both Vitamin K1 and K2. Although there is some evidence that K2 is more effective, both generally have the same effects.

Okay, so what does vitamin K do in your body?

For starters, it activates proteins that regulate cardiovascular health, calcium metabolism, and blood coagulation.

One of vitamin K’s most important functions is that it regulates where calcium is stored in your body.

This is important because calcium needs to go primarily to your bones. Without enough vitamin K, calcium gets stored in your arteries and kidneys. As you can imagine, this isn’t good news for your heart. [3, 4]

There is some emerging science showing that vitamin K1 and K2 have different effects when it comes to calcium metabolism. Some even argue that they should be classified as different nutrients.

Certain animal studies show that vitamin K2 (specifically MK-4 subtype) is far more effective at reducing artery calcification than vitamin K1. [5]

Studies in people also suggest that vitamin K2 supplementation yields better benefits on heart and bone health as opposed to vitamin K1. [6]

However, these are just two studies, so it’s smart to take them with a grain of salt.

Until more evidence comes out, it’s safe to say that both vitamin K1 and K2 play an important role in our health.

To sum it up:

Vitamin K activates a protein which plays a key role in heart health, bone health, and blood coagulation (clotting). Some evidence suggests that vitamin K2 might be more effective at this than K1, but we need more research to fully understand the differences between them.

Differences Between Vitamin K1 and K2

While both vitamin K1 and K2 are important for heart and bone health, they have some slight differences.

First and foremost, you’ll find vitamin K1 in plants, while vitamin K2 usually comes from animal products.

Generally, vitamin K1 has a poor absorption rate in the body. One study suggested that only 10% of K1 that you consume through plants actually gets utilized in the system. [7]

As for vitamin K2’s absorption, there’s not much research behind it. Some experts suggest that since vitamin K2 is a part of fatty foods, it could lead to better absorption than K1. [8]

That’s because vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient. Meaning it dissolves in fat.

On top of this, the long side chain of vitamin K2 enables it to stay in your blood longer than vitamin K1.

For example, K1 might stay in your body for only several hours, whereas K2 can keep circulating in your blood for days. [9]

Some experts suggest that vitamin K2’s ability to circulate longer than K1 enables it to be better utilized in various tissues in the body. [10]

To sum it up:

Only 10% of consumed vitamin K1 gets absorbed. Vitamin K2 absorbtion rate is still unknown. However, it’s thought that vitamin K2 is more efficient because it stays circulating in your blood for longer – allowing tissues in the body to use it more efficiently.

Foods Rich in K1

You’ll find vitamin K1 mostly in plants. It’s actually the dominant vitamin in our diet.

Here we have a list of foods rich in vitamin K1. Each value shows how much vitamin K1 you’ll find in one cup of cooked vegetables. [11]

  • Kale: 1,062 mcg
  • Collard greens: 1,059 mcg
  • Spinach: 889 mcg
  • Broccoli: 220 mcg
  • Brussels sprouts: 218 mcg

Foods Rich in K2

Different subtypes of vitamin K2 come from different foods.

For example, animal products are rich in the MK-4 subtype. These include egg yolks, butter, and chicken.

Vitamin K2, subtypes MK-5 through MK-15 are found in fermented foods. It is bacteria that produce them.

The best source of MK-7 is a Japanese delicacy called Natto. It’s a dish made from fermented soybeans.

Some pork products also contain hefty amounts of vitamin K2. [12]

Here are the richest vitamin K2 sources – in 100 grams of food [13, 14]:

  • Natto: 1,062 mcg
  • Pork sausage: 383 mcg
  • Hard and soft cheeses: 50-76 mcg
  • Chicken legs and thighs: 60 mcg
  • Egg yolk: 32 mcg

Effects of Vitamin K2 on Testosterone

It’s one thing to increase your testosterone levels, and other to keep them increased. Vitamin K2 is particularly good at the latter. [18]

It synergizes extremely well with vitamin D3, resulting in improved bone, cardiovascular, and testosterone health. [15, 16]

As I said, you’ll find vitamin K2 in fatty foods. Such as eggs, cheeses, chicken, pork, and butter.

However, the problem with these foods is that they contain a bunch of fats. And not all of them are healthy. This might not tie in with your diet if you’re looking to stay lean.

That’s where supplementation comes it. Recent research suggests that vitamin K2 supplementation helps maintain elevated testosterone production by stimulating your testes.

Furthermore, studies also show that vitamin K2 helps prevent testosterone reduction from different causes. [16, 18]

And again, when you combine it with vitamin D3, it further enhances the sunshine vitamin’s benefits on your male hormone. On top of that, it also supports healthy and strong bones. [17]

To sum it up:

Vitamin K2 is shown to prevent testsoterone loss by stimulating testes to spurt out testosterone when necessary. In addition, it also boosts the effects of vitamin D3 on the male hormone. It’s not exactly a testosterone booster, but a testosterone maintainer if you will.

Other Benefits of Vitamin K2

Maintains Healthy Teeth

Studies have shown that vitamin K2 appears to affect dental health.

One of the proteins which play a key role in maintaining healthy teeth is called osteocalcin. This is the same protein that is regulated by vitamin K2. [20]

Osteocalcin is responsible for stimulating the growth of new dentin – a dense body tissue that forms the bulk of the teeth underneath the enamel. [21, 22]

It’s worth mentioning that vitamins A and D also play an important role here. Because they work synergistically with vitamin K2.

Reduces Cancer Risk

Cancer is no joke. It’s one of the most common causes of death in Western civilization.

While modern research has found ways to mitigate and treat it, there’s still a lot unknown about this malign illness. So finding effective and natural remedies for it is extremely important.

One of those could be vitamin K2, which appears to suppress some types of cancers. Especially liver and prostate cancer. [23, 24, 25]

There are more studies needed to prove this, but so far vitamin K2 looks like a promising agent for fighting specific types of cancer.

Supplementing With Vitamin K2

As we’ve discussed, there are different forms of vitamin K. The main ones are vitamin K1 and K2.

The minimum dosage for vitamin K1 is 50 micrograms daily. The upper limit is 1,000 micrograms per day.

As for vitamin K2, the minimum dosage for the MK-4 subtype is 1,500 micrograms. However, this is only to satisfy the basic needs.

If you want to reap its full benefits for heart, testosterone, and bone health, then you want to take between 2,000-3,000mcg of K2.

However, doses up to 45,000 micrograms are safe to use as a part of a super loading regimen – according to the studies.

The minimum daily dosage for MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 forms of vitamin K2 is 90mcg. The optimal dosage is around 360mg.

The upper limit for the MK-7 subtype is still unknown. However, experts suggest there’s no reason to worry since it’s an extremely safe form of the vitamin – no side effects were reported from taking normal doses.

With or Without Food?

Whether you’re taking vitamin K1 or K2, remember to take it alongside food.

Even if you’re eating vitamin K from a plant source, make sure to accompany it with some fat. This will improve its absorption drastically, because it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.

Conclusion

Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble nutrient and is one of the K vitamins, the other one being K1.

While vitamin K1 benefits blood clotting, vitamin K2 promotes heart, bone, and testosterone health. Looking at the studies, it’s clear that we need both vitamin K1 and K2 to maintain optimal health.

Food sources of vitamin K1 include plants such as leafy greens. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is mostly found in fatty foods and fermented products.

Depending on your goals, you might want to supplement with vitamin K2 for additional benefits. Such as improved cardiovascular health, elevated testosterone levels, and such.

Vitamin K is fairly safe to supplement with, even at high doses. There are no reported negative side effects from optimal dosages of this vitamin.

However, it’s always smart to consult with your doctor if you’re on any kind of medication before taking vitamin K. This especially applies to those who are taking a blood clotting or heart drugs.

References

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[1] Vitamin K Metabolism - link.springer.com

[2] Vitamin K-containing dietary supplements: comparison of synthetic vitamin K1 and natto-derived menaquinone-7.

[3] Osteocalcin: the vitamin K-dependent Ca2+-binding protein of bone matrix; Hauschka PV.

[4] The role of vitamin K in soft-tissue calcification; Theuwissen, Smit E, Vermeer C. - NCBI.

[5] Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4 results in the prevention of arterial calcification in warfarin-treated rats; Spronk HM1, Soute BA, Schurgers LJ, Thijssen HH, De Mey JG, Vermeer C.

[6] Vitamins K1 and K2: The Emerging Group of Vitamins Required for Human Health
Gerry Kurt Schwalfenberg.

[7] Effect of food composition on vitamin K absorption in human volunteers. Gijsbers BL1, Jie KS, Vermeer C.

[8] The role of menaquinones (vitamin K₂) in human health. Beulens JW1, Booth SL, van den Heuvel EG, Stoecklin E, Baka A, Vermeer C.

[9] Vitamin K-containing dietary supplements: comparison of synthetic vitamin K1 and natto-derived menaquinone-7. Schurgers LJ1, Teunissen KJ, Hamulyák K, Knapen MH, Vik H, Vermeer C.

[10] Vitamin K: the effect on health beyond coagulation - an overview. Vermeer C1.

[11] United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA Food Composition Databases.

[12] Measurement of Multiple Vitamin K Forms in Processed and Fresh-Cut Pork Products in the U.S. Food Supply. Fu X1, Shen X1, Finnan EG1, Haytowitz DB2, Booth SL1.

[13] Determination of phylloquinone and menaquinones in animal products with fluorescence detection after postcolumn reduction with metallic zinc. Koivu-Tikkanen TJ1, Ollilainen V, Piironen VI.

[14] Determination of phylloquinone and menaquinones in food. Effect of food matrix on circulating vitamin K concentrations. Schurgers LJ1, Vermeer C.

[15] The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review. Adriana J. van Ballegooijen, Stefan Pilz, Andreas Tomaschitz, Martin R. Grübler, and Nicolas Verheyen.

[16] Menaquinone-4 enhances testosterone production in rats and testis-derived tumor cells.
Ito A1, Shirakawa H, Takumi N, Minegishi Y, Ohashi A, Howlader ZH, Ohsaki Y, Sato T, Goto T, Komai M.

[17] Effect of continuous combined therapy with vitamin K(2) and vitamin D(3) on bone mineral density and coagulofibrinolysis function in postmenopausal women.
Ushiroyama T1, Ikeda A, Ueki M.

[18] Dietary vitamin K alleviates the reduction in testosterone production induced by lipopolysaccharide administration in rat testis. Takumi N1, Shirakawa H, Ohsaki Y, Ito A, Watanabe T, Giriwono PE, Sato T, Komai M.

[19] The health benefits of vitamin K: Review. James J DiNicolantonio, Jaikrit Bhutani, and James H O'Keefe. NCBI article.

[20] Vitamin K2 enhances osteocalcin accumulation in the extracellular matrix of human osteoblasts in vitro. Koshihara Y1, Hoshi K. NCBI.

[21] Formation of odontoblast-like cells from cultured human dental pulp cells on dentin in vitro.
Huang GT1, Shagramanova K, Chan SW.

[22] Induction of type I collagen and osteocalcin in human dental pulp cells by retinoic acid. Thaweboon S1, Thaweboon B, Choonharuangdej S, Chunhabundit P, Suppakpatana P.

[23] Effect of menatetrenone, a vitamin k2 analog, on recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after surgical resection: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Ishizuka M1, Kubota K, Shimoda M, Kita J, Kato M, Park KH, Shiraki T.

[24] The effect of menatetrenone, a vitamin K2 analog, on disease recurrence and survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after curative treatment: a pilot study. Mizuta T1, Ozaki I, Eguchi Y, Yasutake T, Kawazoe S, Fujimoto K, Yamamoto K.

[25] Dietary intake of vitamin K and risk of prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Heidelberg). Nimptsch K1, Rohrmann S, Linseisen J.

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Will Oyster Extract Increase Your Testosterone Levels? Find Out!

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This is a detailed article on Oyster Extract. Using scientifically-backed research, we’ll cover its benefits for testosterone, libido, and general health. Sit tight.

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Oysters have been used for centuries as a potent aphrodisiac and libido booster.

More so, oysters are a delicacy and a goldmine of nutrients. Including zinc, a mineral responsible for regulating testosterone production.

This is why many pharmaceutical companies opt for oyster extract when choosing their top ingredients for boosting health, libido, and testosterone.

In this article, we’ll look at the science behind oyster extract.

We’ll break it down for you in a simple and comprehensive way – showing you all of its benefits, nutritional profile, and more.

Shall we have a look?

What’s the Fuss About Oysters?

Oysters are sea-living creatures.

They are salt-water mollusks that belong to the family of scallops and mussels.

While not all species of oysters are edible, the one from the taxonomic superfamily ‘Osteroidae’ are.

If you want to get geeky, oysters are also called bivalve marine mollusk.

They are packed full of nutrients, including zinc. Zinc particularly stands out here, because a deficiency in this mineral can cause low testosterone. [1]

Oysters are considered a delicacy in many cultures and parts of the world. There are many ways to eat them – cooked, raw, or as a part of other food recipes.

You’ll also often see people eating oysters with champagne and caviar – these go really well together.

Oysters have a jelly-like texture and give a smooth, salty, and exquisite taste. As you have probably figured out by now, they aren’t for everyone.

One of the reasons is that some people can’t stand the taste of oysters. Alongside that, oysters tend to be a bit pricey. They are definitely not a type of food that you’ll be gulping down every day.

That’s where oyster extract comes it – an affordable, tasteless, and effective way of reaping all of the oysters’ benefits without needing to eat them.

What is Oyster Extract?

If you’ve never heard of oyster extract before, it’s time to catch up with the news.

It’s a health supplement that’s extracted directly from oysters themselves. Basically, Oyster extract is dried oyster meat with all of its nutrients preserved.

Many athletes, bodybuilders, and health experts use it due to its countless benefits. Which include [4, 18, 19]:

  • A boost in libido
  • Increased testosterone
  • Improved immune system

An Insanely Rich Nutrient Profile

Oysters are a nutrient powerhouse.

In fact, they are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They are low in calories, but high in micronutrients, giving you the best of both worlds for staying lean, strong, and healthy. [2, 3]

Oysters will give you a full daily dose of vitamin B12, along with high levels of these nutrients[2, 3]:

  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium

However, the best nutrient that this seafood contains is zinc. Just one standard portion of oysters typically gives you more than 900% of your daily value of zinc. [1, 4]

And in case you didn’t know – zinc is incredibly important for countless processes in your body. Including the immune system and testosterone production. [5, 6, 7]

To sum it up:

Oysters are a seafood known for being rich in many nutrients. These include vitamin B12, vitamin C, and above all – zinc. Zinc is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and testostosterone production. Oyster extract is an effective way of receiving all of oyster’s benefits without needing to eat the seafood.

How Zinc in Oyster Extract Increases Your Testosterone

Zinc is absolutely essential for general health.

Your body doesn’t store it, meaning you need to get enough zinc every day to avoid deficiency. [8]

A deficiency in zinc leads to poor nutrient metabolism, weak immune system, depression, anxiety, and low testosterone. [9, 10, 11]

Studies on Zinc and Testosterone

There are numerous studies showing the impact of zinc on testosterone. Not just in animals, but also in humans.

In one recent study, researchers tested the effects of zinc on 32 road cyclists who were exercising very hard.

These athletes took 20mg of zinc daily for 30 days. They continued with their exhaustive training regimens as usual.

After 30 days, the cyclists experienced significantly improved free testosterone levels. [12]

Another study with 55 football athletes showed similar results. This time, researchers gave these athletes 30mg of zinc daily over 8 weeks.

By the end of the study, the athletes experienced not only a major boost in testosterone, but also a significant improvement in their muscle strength and power output. [7]

To sum it up:

Oyster extract is a rich source of zinc. Zinc is a mineral that plays a key role in mood, immune system, and testosterone production. A number of studies show that supplementing with zinc leads to significantly higher testosterone levels in men.

Testosterone – Why It’s So Important

Testosterone is the definition of manliness.

It’s a natural steroid hormone produced by your testes.

It’s what makes you a man – providing you with androgenic and anabolic properties. [13, 14, 15]

While anabolic properties of testosterone help you build muscle and strength, androgenic properties give you that manly look. Such as chiseled jawline, wide shoulders, and a strong sense of confidence.

During puberty, your testosterone levels are at their highest. They peak at around 18 years of age and stay high until your early 30s.

Once you reach your 30s, however, they start slowly declining. On average, 1% per year. [15]

If you don’t watch out, sub-optimal testosterone levels can lead to many problems. Including belly fat, weak and deflated muscles, poor libido, and no motivation or energy to pursue your goals. [16]

This is where oyster extract comes in – since it’s packed with nutrients that support healthy testosterone levels, it will help you look and feel strong no matter your age.

To sum it up:

Testosterone is the king of male hormones. It’s what makes you strong, muscular, and ripped. It’s what gives you that confident, manly look and ensures your sex drive stays high. However, as we age, testosterone drops down – roughly 1% per year after 30. Oyster extract helps slow this down since it contains zinc, a natural T-enhancer.

Other Key Benefits of Oyster Extract

The list of benefits of oyster extract doesn’t end here.

Recently, oysters have gone from a god-like food that was worshiped by ancient people to something that became an object of extensive scientific research.

In other words, we now know more than we ever did about this seafood and its effects on our health.

While it’s already amazing that it’s able to increase your testosterone, this isn’t the only benefit of oyster extract.

Below we have the rest of its key benefits.

Improves Mood

We have a study coming from Japan, showing how adding oyster extract to diet benefits your well-being.

In the study, they gave oyster extract to a group of depressed individuals.

In a matter of days, it improved their mood, energy, and overall outlook on life. What’s more, oyster extract also bolstered their immune systems. [17]

Increases Your Sex Drive

While oysters don’t directly affect libido, they do increase testosterone, as I’ve already explained.

And high testosterone levels don’t just increase your strength, muscle mass, and energy. They also ramp up your sex drive too.

This means that oyster extract is a great indirect way of boosting your libido.

Is Oyster Extract Safe?

At the time of writing this article, there are no studies showing any ill-effects from consuming oyster extract.

It’s definitely one of the safer supplements out there.

That said, there are a few groups of people who should avoid oysters and their supplements altogether.

If you suffer from seafood allergies, definitely stay away from anything oyster-related.

Also, if you have any serious health condition or take potent medications – consult with your doctor before taking oyster extract. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Conclusion

Oysters are one of the richest nutrient food sources on the planet. They are rich in iron, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc.

Zinc is known for regulating countless enyzmatic functions in the body, from the immune system to testosterone production. Low zinc equals low testosterone, according to science. So it’s easy to see how beneficial oysters can be.

However, not everyone likes their taste. Worse yet, they tend to be a bit pricey, so for most people, it’s not something they’ll be gulping down every day.

That’s where oyster extract comes it. It’s an effective and affordable way of supplementing with oysters without actually needing to eat them. You get all of the benefits, packed in a capsule.

Oyster extract has long been used as an aphrodisiac and libido booster. But new evidence suggests it can do much more than that.

Emerging research shows that oyster extract helps boost testosterone levels and overall health. Best of all, it’s perfectly safe – no side effects whatsoever.

If you’re looking to raise your testosterone naturally, and safely, you’ll definitely want to include oyster extract in your supplement stack.

References

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[1]  SelfNutritionData - Oysters.

[2] Why Oysters are Good For Me - WebMD.

[3] THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF OYSTERS AND OTHER SEA FOOD, D. Breese Jones, Ph.D. - NCBI.

[4] Effects of the oyster extract on the reproductive function of zinc-deficient mice: bioavailability of zinc contained in the oyster extract.

[5] Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.

[6] Discovery of human zinc deficiency: its impact on human health and disease.

[7] Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength - Journal of Exercise Physiology online, Official Journal of The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP).

[8] Zinc and the immune system - NCBI.

[9] Zinc Deficiency, Luke Maxfield; Jonathan S. Crane - NCBI.

[10] Biological consequences of zinc deficiency in the pathomechanisms of selected diseases; Kamil Jurowski, Bernadeta Szewczyk, Gabriel Nowak, and Wojciech Piekoszewski; Published online 2014 Apr 19.

[11] Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: Its Impact on Human Health and Disease; Ananda S. Prasad, Published online 2013 Mar 6.

[12] Effect of zinc and selenium supplementation on serum testosterone and plasma lactate in cyclist after an exhaustive exercise bout.

[13] The many faces of testosterone, Jerald Bain - NCBI.

[14] Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something? Vineet Tyagi, MD, Michael Scordo, MD, Richard S. Yoon, MD, Frank A. Liporace, MD, and Loren Wissner Greene, MD - NCBI.

[15] Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice Roger D Stanworth and T Hugh Jones - NCBI.

[16] Review of health risks of low testosterone and testosterone administration; Huanguang Jia, Charles T Sullivan, Sean C McCoy, Joshua F Yarrow, Matthew Morrow, and Stephen E Borst - NCBI.

[17] Supplementary Effect of Oyster Extract on Depressed Patients Under Treatment With Antidepressants, Nishigori, T, 2009.

[18] Variation in the Levels of Sodium and Other Minerals of Nutritional Importance in Louisiana Oysters (Crassostrea Virginica).

[19] Cloning and mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas in response to cadmium exposure.

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Stinging Nettle Root: How It Affects Your Testosterone

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Here we have an in-depth analysis of Stinging Nettle and its effects on testosterone, along with other health benefits.

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Perhaps you have seen Stinging Nettle in your backyard.

Perhaps you’ve felt it.

It causes a burning sensation when touched, due to its stingy leaves – hence the name.

Many people hate it because of this, but they’re unaware of the hidden benefits that this plant offers.

It’s a popular remedy for those suffering from allergies. It also improves bone, skin, and urinary health – in both men and women.

What’s more, emerging evidence shows that stinging nettle can even improve your testosterone levels.

While the research is still limited, this green prickly plant seems like a promising, natural male hormone booster.

What is Stinging Nettle?

Stinging nettle – it’s also called Urtica dioica, or common nettle. It’s a green flowering plant that grows in Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and even some other parts of the world.

While it’s become a popular addition to supplements nowadays, stinging nettle is nothing new. In fact, it’s been used for thousands of years. People from Ancient Greece first discovered it.

Stinging nettle usually grows throughout late spring and summer. It’s a really adaptive plant, meaning it can grow in conditions that are far from ideal. Still, it achieves optimal growth in fertile and nitrogen-rich soil.

Most people have heard of nettle before, due to the notorious skin irritation it causes when touched. However, what you perhaps didn’t know, is that stinging nettle has a number of benefits for your health. [1]

Research suggests it can help relieve inflammation in certain areas of your body, along with improving skin, bone, and joint health. It also appears to be able to indirectly improve testosterone (I’ll cover this in a minute). [23]

Many products contain stinging nettle. From supplements, teas, and even beers. When making products from stinging nettle, nothing goes to waste – stem, leaves and roots are all used for their benefits.

While the aboveground parts of the plant help against inflammation, the root is often used for urinary health, testosterone, and prostate issues. That’s why supplements such as testosterone boosters often use the nettle root extract as one of the ingredients. [2]

The Reason it Stings

Okay, we get it. Stinging nettle is all great and beneficial – but why the heck does it sting?

It stings because there are numerous chemicals on the plant’s leaves and stem. Including histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin. The latter one is especially irritating, as we’ve seen in my mucuna pruriens article.

These chemicals are found on countless tiny hairs on the nettle. The tip of these hairs is very fragile, so when touched, they actually break off and become sharp, like needles.

This way, they are able to puncture the skin and deliver the chemicals which ultimately cause the burning irritation of the skin.

While it doesn’t pose any health risk, the itching can be accompanied by swelling, redness, and other symptoms of irritation.

How Stinging Nettle Increases Your Free Testosterone

Okay, enough itching – it’s time to boost your testosterone.

The question is: can stinging nettle help you with that? According to animal and in-vitro research, it can.

It does it in two main ways.

First off, the plant inhibits aromatase. This is an enzyme which converts testosterone to estrogen. By combating aromatase, nettle helps your testosterone stay at its optimal levels.

Stinging nettle also suppresses Sex hormone-binding globulin, helping you free up more testosterone. SHBG actually binds to your free testosterone, rendering it useless.

In fact, only 2% of your total testosterone is free and active. SHBG is one of the main reasons why the remaining 98% stay inactive. So by inhibiting it, stinging nettle helps to increase your free T.

Now, let’s look at the studies which show these effects in action.

Study 1

In this study, researchers wanted to see the effects of stinging nettle administration on benign prostatic hyperplasia in rats.

They separated rats into three groups: one that received testosterone treatment, one that received both testosterone and nettle root extract, and one group which didn’t receive any treatment. The study lasted 28 days.

The result?

The group of rats receiving stinging nettle root had much higher testosterone levels than the other two groups.

The researchers concluded this was due to the suppressing effects of stinging nettle on the 5a-reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone to DHT. [3]

Study 2

The researchers of this study had a specific goal in mind: to test whether stinging nettle could suppress aromatase. Again, aromatase is an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen (female sex hormone).

They took isolation compounds from stinging nettle root and administered them to different biological materials which had aromatase.

The result:

Each of the biological materials had an 11-24% reduced aromatase content after the introduction of stinging nettle root.

The study concluded that nettle suppresses aromatase, and thus inhibits the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. [4]

Study 3

In this study, the goal was to test the effects of nettle root on sex hormone-binding globulin.

As I explained, SHBG is responsible for binding to testosterone. Once it binds to it, it makes it inactive and unusable by your body.

Researchers from this study wanted to test the effects of lignans within nettle root – these compounds are known for interacting with sex hormone-binding globulin.

After isolating lignans, they added them to a biological solution containing SHBG and DHT. SHBG was blocking the DHT and researchers wanted to see if lignans from nettle root could counteract this.

The result:

Almost every single lignan bound to SHBG, freeing up DHT from its ‘chains.’

The most potent lignan in nettle root was 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, which freed up 95% of DHT from binding to SHBG. [5]

Summary:

While the studies on humans are lacking, stinging nettle root is shown to boost testosterone in two main ways: Firstly, by blocking aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. And secondly, by suppressing SHBG(Sex hormone-binding globulin), which binds to free testosterone and makes it unusable by the body.

Other Key Benefits

Helps Treat Arthritis and Joint Pain

If you suffer from arthritis, then you know how troubling joint pain can be. Arthritis sufferers most often experience pain in hips, hands, knees, and sometimes in the spine.

To alleviate this, doctors often prescribe their patients with various anti-inflammatory drugs. However, long-term usage of these medications can lead to severe side effects.

For this reason, stinging nettle is often added alongside anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the patient’s use of their medication.

Nettle is very effective in decreasing and treating joint pain. Studies suggest that its anti-inflammatory properties help against rheumatoid arthritis.

Because of this, arthritis sufferers often take it either orally, or apply the nettle leaf topically to relieve pain at the specific area of the body. [6]

Reduces Bleeding

There are products with stinging nettle which, when applied topically, reduce bleeding. Whether that’s from an injury, surgery, or anything else.

Evidence suggests that stinging nettle has properties which can reduce bleeding. In one study, bleeding after a dental surgery was significantly reduced after treating it with nettle. [7]

Relieves Allergies, Nasal Congestion, and Hay Fever

When your body produces too much histame, it leads to negative reactions linked to allergies. Everyone who suffers from allergies knows very well how irritating they can be.

Sneezing, constant nasal congestion, and unbearable itching are only some of the symptoms linked to allergies.

It appears that stinging nettle can help with this too.

According to the studies, nettle’s anti-inflammatory properties suppress allergic reactions of hay fever and other allergies. [8]

In a 98-person, randomized and double-blind study, researchers used stinging nettle on two groups of people. Both groups suffered from allergies, but only one group took stinging nettle. The other group only took a placebo.

The results showed that the stinging nettle group reported much higher allergy relief that the placebo group. [9, 10]

Treats Prostate and Urinary Issues

One of the more common prostate conditions is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). The main cause of BPH is an enlarged prostate, which presses on the urethra.

Because of this, sufferers of this condition have to urinate very often, and aren’t able to fully empty their blatter. They also suffer from painful urination and, in more serious cases, blocked urinary tract.

A study done on rats showed that stinging nettle is as effective in treating BHP as some prescription medication. [3]

Doctors still aren’t sure why this is the case. According to some studies, it’s because of chemicals that are in the nettle. These chemicals directly affect the hormones which are responsible for BHP.

What’s more, nettle’s chemicals also directly affect prostate – reducing the inflammation and swelling. Although the studies are limited, it appears that stinging nettle also helps treat prostate cancer. [11]

Stinging nettle also helps with urine flow. That’s why it’s often a part of home remedies for treating any urinary blockages or infections. [11]

Types Of Stinging Nettle Available

There are several forms of stinging nettle available. Obviously, there’s the best and most natural one – one that’s grown and harvested straight from your backyard.

Then again, many people don’t have the time or luxury to do this. In such cases, supplementing with stinging nettle is your best option.

Products that use stinging nettle come in various forms. These include extracts, capsules, frozen leaves, tablets, and teas.

What product you’ll use depends on your goals.

Do you want to treat joint pain?

Do you want to relieve allergies?

Or perhaps you want to increase testosterone?

For these purposes, either supplementing or applying stinging nettle topically is the best option.

Now, let’s go more in-depth on how you should supplement with stinging nettle.

To sum it up:

There are many forms of stinging nettle available. Such as leaft extracts, root extracts, teas, dried-frozen leaves, and fresh stinging nettle harvested from the ground. If unable to grow your own stinging nettles, then supplementing is the best option.

Supplementing With Stinging Nettle Root

Dosage For Treating Allergies

The best type of stinging nettle for treating allergies is the leaf form.

Experts suggest the best dosage for this goal is 300mg of stinging nettle leaf extract, twice daily.

Dosage For Treating Prostate and Urinary Issues

If you suffer from prostate enlargement or have Bening Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Then supplements with stinging nettle root are your best option.

The optimal dosage: 120mg of the root extract, three times daily. That’s 360mg of extract in total. Just make sure not to take it all at once – this reduces its benefits and might cause side effects.

Dosage For Boosting Testosterone

Right now, as there’s still insufficient evidence on stinging nettle’s effects on testosterone in humans, the optimal dosage for this goal isn’t established.

However, we know that the compounds which they used in studies for testing aromatase and SHBG inhibition come from the nettle’s root.

For this reason, I suggest supplementing with the root extract. Use the same dosage as for the purpose of treating prostate enlargement – 120mg three times per day.

Gradually increase the dosage over the weeks until you find your sweet spot.

To sum it up:

If treating allergies or joint pain, take 300mg of nettle leaf extract, two times a day. If looking to treat prostate issues, take 120mg of the root extract, thrice daily. For boosting testosterone, take a total of 360mg of the root extract, separated throughout the day.

Is It Safe?

When used wisely, stinging nettle is a perfectly safe plant. However, there are a few precautions you should take before using it, here they are:

  • Don’t take while pregnant
  • If harvesting, make sure to use thick gloves to avoid stinging
  • Don’t take if you’re diabetic (certain evidence shows that stinging nettle can affect blood sugar levels)
  • If taking an oral supplement, start slow. Too much of stinging nettle extract can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Also, avoid taking stinging nettle if you’re using any of these medications: [12]

  • Blood thinners, including aspirin, warfarin, and clopidogrel – nettle contains high amounts of vitamin K, which helps your blood clot. This, in turn, can counteract the effects of the aforementioned drugs.
  • Diuretics – since stinging nettle is a natural diuretic, combining it with even more diuretics can lead to dehydration.
  • Blood pressure medication – if you suffer from elevated blood pressure and take drugs that lower it, then stinging nettle isn’t a supplement you want to take. It also reduces blood pressure, which can cause it to drop too low when combined with these drugs.

To sum it up:

If you aren’t taking any medication or suffering from a serious health complication, then yes – stinging nettle is perfectly safe for you to take. Just make sure to follow the dosage instructions.

Final Word

Stinging nettle is a well-known plant that grows around the globe. It’s known for its stingy hairs which cause itchiness, redness, and irritation when touched with bare skin.

But while this plant might appear unfriendly from the outside, it actually contains natural compounds that are beneficial for our health.

Using stinging nettle can help treat joint pain, arthritis, inflammation in the body, and enlarged prostate.

Although the evidence is still very limited, stinging nettle also appears to boost testosterone by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, and by binding to sex hormone-binding globulin. In theory, this should boost the levels of testosterone in men.

However, the only studies that we have in regards to stinging nettle and testosterone are animal and in vitro studies. We also have anecdotal evidence, where many men claim that stinging nettle has helped them improve their testosterone levels.

Since it’s a fairly safe herb, there’s not much to lose – you can try it for yourself and see if it brings any benefits to your manliness.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Stinging nettle dermatitis - NCBI.

[2] Lipophilic stinging nettle extracts possess potent anti-inflammatory activity, are not cytotoxic and may be superior to traditional tinctures for treating inflammatory disorders.

[3] Ameliorative effects of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats.

[4] Aromatase inhibitors from Urtica dioica roots.

[5] Lignans from the roots of Urtica dioica and their metabolites bind to human sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

[6] Antirheumatic effect of IDS 23, a stinging nettle leaf extract, on in vitro expression of T helper cytokines.

[7] Use of Ankaferd Blood Stopper as a hemostatic agent: a clinical experience.

[8] Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.

[9] Effect of Intravenous Histamine, Allergen (Ascaris suum Extract) and Compound 48/80 and Inhaled Allergen-Aerosol on Bronchoconstriction and Histamine Release

[10] Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

[11] Antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells by a stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) extract.

[12] WebMD - Stinging Nettle.

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Types of Vitamin D Explained – In Detail

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In this article, we’ll cover the topics surrounding vitamin D – and the types of vitamin D available for optimum health.

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This might surprise you, but Vitamin D is not really a vitamin.

It is, in fact, a hormone. A steroid hormone that your body produces when exposed to sunlight.

This is why you’ll often hear people calling vitamin D the sunshine vitamin.

However, sun exposure amongst people today is much lower than it was, say, 100 or 200 years ago. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyles have led us to spend most of our time closed away from the sun – becoming vitamin D-deficient.

In fact, over 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and many more don’t have optimal levels. Today, this number could be even higher. [2]

Vitamin D is absolutely crucial for optimal health. Without enough of this vitamin, our bodies can’t function optimally.

In fact, vitamin D deficiency leads to a whole host of health problems, including a poor immune system, weak bones, cardiovascular diseases, and seriously low testosterone. [1]

In this article, I’ll cover the risks and dangers associated with low vitamin D levels. I’ll also go in-depth about its benefits, dosage, safety profile, and more – using science as my guide.

What is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient. This means that it dissolves in fat. This is why when you take a vitamin D supplement, you need to take it with a meal or a fat source – otherwise, it cannot be absorbed in your body.

D vitamin can also be accumulated and stored in your body fat tissue for long periods of time.

Other fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, E, and K.

You might have heard of vitamin D3 before, but there are actually 5 types of this nutrient. Including D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5.

The two most common ones are vitamin D2 and D3 – you’ll find these in your diet. Foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and certain types of mushrooms contain it. [5]

Of all these types, vitamin D3 is the one that’s the most effective and brings the biggest health benefits. That’s why when talking about the benefits and effects of D vitamin in general, I’m actually talking about vitamin D3. [6, 7]

To sum it up:

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning it gets dissolved in fat and can be stored in the body for long periods of time. There are 5 types of vitamin D, but we can only get D2 and D3 through our diet. D3 is the most potent form of vitamin D and offers biggest health benefits.

How Vitamin D Works

The Process of Conversion

In order to become “active”, Vitamin D has to go through a number of processes in the body. Specifically, it has to pass two conversion steps – after which it becomes active and usable by your system. [8, 9]

First off, it gets converted to 25(OH)D, AKA, calcidiol in your liver. This is the type of vitamin D which your liver stores for further use.

Then, if your body actually needs to utilize vitamin D, it converts it to calcitriol, or 1,25(OH)2D if you like fancy names. This second step of the process takes place in the kidneys.

After this two-step conversion, it becomes the active, steroid hormone vitamin D as we know it.

What it Does in Your Body

After the conversion, the active form of vitamin D travels throughout the body, binding to vitamin D receptors which are found in virtually every single cell. [10, 11]

When it binds to the receptors, it either turns certain genes on or off, depending on what your body requires at that particular moment. This ultimately leads to changes in your very cells. This is how most natural steroid hormones work. [12, 13]

Since it affects countless cells in the body, vitamin D plays a role in numerous bodily processes.

For example, it affects the bone health by signaling the cells in your gut to start absorbing phosphorus and calcium.

Vitamin D also affects the immune system, regulates your hormones such as testosterone, and plays a key role in protection against cancer. [14, 15]

If you’re deficient in vitamin D, it means you’re also deficient in calcitriol, which is the steroid hormone form of vitamin D.

The implications this has on one’s health can become serious over time. Keep reading to find out what they are.

To sum it up:

Vitamin D is first converted into calcidiol, which your body stores for further use. Then, it gets converted by your body into calcitridol – the active steroid hormone vitamin D. It then binds to receptors in your body, regulating countless processes – from the immune system, hormone production, to metabolism.

Types of Vitamin D

There are a total of 5 vitamin D forms that exist.

However, only 2 of these are used by our body and found in foods – they are vitamins D2 and D3. These two belong in the calciferol group.

Other types of D vitamin include D1, D4, and D5. All of which I’ll explain in further detail below:

Vitamin D1

Vitamin D1 is a mixture of ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and lumisterol, in the 1:1 ratio.

Lumisterol is a steroid compound which belongs in the vitamin D family. It’s produced as a photochemical by-product in the process of creation of vitamin D1. [17]

Vitamin D2

Also known as ergocalciferol, vitamin D2 is one of the major types of vitamin D, alongside D3.

It’s found in foods and sometimes used in dietary supplements. However, it’s far inferior to vitamin D3, which has better bioavailability and effectiveness in the body.

As a supplement, vitamin D2 helps treat and prevent deficiency in vitamin D. It also offers all of the other benefits that standard vitamin D supplementation offers, although to a much lesser degree than the D3 form of the vitamin. [16]

Vitamin D3

Also called cholecalciferol, this is the most bioactive form of vitamin D. Your skin creates it when under direct exposure to UVB sun rays.

Other vitamin D3 sources include supplements, as well as foods such as egg yolks, fatty fish, and liver.

Vitamin D3 is more effective than D2. That’s because it is able to raise your blood calcifediol (steroid hormone) levels more effectively than any other form of vitamin D. [18, 19]

For this reason, you’ll mostly find D3 in high-quality supplements. It’s far more effective in not just raising vitamin D blood levels, but also treating deficiency, improving the immune system, and boosting steroid hormones such as testosterone (I’ll cover this in more detail in second). [20]

Vitamin D4

The fancy name for this vitamin is 22-Dihydroergocalciferol.

While it isn’t used or produced by your body for anything really, it can be found in certain species of mushrooms.

Vitamin D5

Vitamin D5 is another form of D vitamin. It’s made from 7-Dehydrositosterol, which is a sterol and the direct precursor of vitamin D5.

There is some evidence showing it can be used as an anti-tumor agent. [21, 22, 23]

Effects of Low Vitamin D

Low vitamin D is a dangerous business.

Despite this, deficiency in this vitamin is one of the most common deficiencies out there.

Naturally, there are certain groups of people which have a greater risk of low vitamin D levels than others. The average deficiency in America is around 40%, but this percentage shoots way up in black people and Hispanics – between 69-82%! [2]

Elderly people, and those who suffer from certain types of illnesses are also likely sufferers of vitamin D deficiency. In fact, research has shown that 96% of heart attack victims had low vitamin D levels. [24, 25]

Some people aren’t deficient, but that doesn’t mean they have optimal levels of D3 either. Studies suggest that most people actually don’t have optimal levels of D3, which are around 30 ng/mL.

Vitamin D deficiency isn’t easy to detect. The symptoms usually creep up slowly, over the years and decades. That’s why vitamin D deficiency is called a silent epidemic among people worldwide.

Signs of Deficiency

Even though it’s often hard to detect, there are some common signs that are linked to low vitamin D levels. The most severe ones include rickets (a bone disease), osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular issues. [26]

Deficiency in D3 is also linked to low testosterone.

Research suggests that men who supplement with 3,332IU of vitamin D daily have much higher testosterone levels than those who don’t supplement with it. [31, 32]

Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include[27]:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Poor athletic performance
  • Feeling sleepy all the time
  • Insomnia (ironically)
  • Belly fat and “love handles”
  • Weakness
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Weak and Easily Broken Bones
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Getting sick constantly (weak immune system)

The deficiency in vitamin D has even been linked to a much greater risk of death – this includes all causes. [28, 29, 30]

That said, the science still isn’t clear on whether low vitamin D levels contribute to these health issues, or whether people with vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of getting them.

To sum it up:

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. On average, 41% Americans, 69% Hispanic people, and 82% black people suffer from it. Low levels of this vitamin lead to a number of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, low testosterone, weak immune system, and increased risk of death – just to name a few.

Best Sources of Vitamin D

Sunshine

The best source of vitamin D is the sun.

When your skin gets exposed to direct UVB sun rays, it uses cholesterol to start producing vitamin D. [33]

If you live in a sunny area, chances are you can get enough vitamin D by spending 20-30 minutes outside every day. If you live in a place where there’s not a lot of sun, however, then consider taking a D3 supplement.

When going under the sun, make sure to expose most of your body. If you only expose your hands and face, your body will naturally produce much less vitamin D3.

Glass and sunscreens also block vitamin D production. This is because UVB rays can’t penetrate through them.

For this reason, the advice to never go under the sun without a sunscreen is questionable. In fact, by putting the sunscreen on, you’ll be at a higher risk of vitamin D3 deficiency, leading to many other diseases – including cancer. [34]

However, this doesn’t mean you should jump outside and spend the next 6 hours under the sun. That will only make things worse. Whenever you spend time in the sun, make sure not to burn yourself. 

While sunshine is healthy, sunburns can cause your skin to age prematurely, along with increasing the risk of skin cancer. [35, 36]

So what should you do?

I suggest going under the sun without any sunscreen for about half an hour. After that, apply it to prevent sunburn.

Obviously, the amount of time you should spend under the sun without the sunscreen depends on your sensitivity.

If you rarely go under the sun, then even 20 minutes of direct exposure on a hot summer day can cause a sunburn. Be smart, and slowly adapt yourself to sun rays.

Foods

Foods are unfortunately one of the worse ways of getting vitamin D. This is because very few foods naturally contain it.

Here’s the table of foods that are naturally rich in this vitamin. As you’ll see, only a handful of them contain decent doses.

Type of Food Amount of Vit-D  % Daily Value
Cod liver oil (1 tablespoon) 1,360 IU / 34 mcg 227%
Cooked salmon, 3 oz (85 grams) 447 IU / 11 mcg 75%
Canned tuna, 3 oz (85 grams) 154 IU / 4 mcg 26%
Cooked beef liver, 3 oz (85 grams) 42 IU / 1 mcg 7%
1 large egg (yolk is where D is contained) 41 IU / 1 mcg 7%
Canned sardines, drained 23 IU / 0.6 mcg 4%

While fish like salmon and tuna do have a decent amount of D3, you’d need to eat them practically every day to get the long-term, optimal benefits.

The only good food source of the D vitamin is cod liver oil. A single tablespoon will give you enough of D3 for two days. However, there’s a risk of heavy metal poisoning with seafood. Such as mercury and lead.

Foods such as dairy and cereals are fortified with D3, but they contain fairly low doses of the vitamin. You’d have to eat plenty of dairy and cereal every day to obtain enough of this vitamin, but these foods aren’t healthy for you in high amounts – which is a topic for another article. [37]

Supplements

If you can’t spend at least 20 minutes under the direct sunlight every day, then supplementing with Vitamin D will be your best bet.

Studies suggest that vitamin D3 supplementation helps prevent and treat deficiency in this vitamin. Along with providing additional benefits, such as [3238]:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Enhanced cognition (better memory recall and other cognitive functions)
  • Better athletic performance (more strength, stamina)
  • Increased testosterone levels
  • Stronger immune system

Supplementing With Vitamin D

Currently, RDA for vitamin D is between 400-800 IU per day in most countries. However, studies are beginning to show that this is far too low for adults. [39]

In USA and Canada, the safe upper limit for D vitamin is 4,000IU daily.

However, modern research shows that the actual upper limit is 10,000IU daily. This is the dosage doctors often recommend to their patients in a case of severe deficiency, where their vitamin D blood levels fall below 12 ng/mL. [32]

So how much vitamin D should you take?

Well, that depends on what you’re shooting for.

For example, a dose for general health is not the same as dosage for boosting testosterone.

Here I’ll cover the best dosages for different goals, such as fat loss and athletic performance.

Take a look:

Dosage For Overall Health

For general health purposes, take between 1,000-2,000IU of D3 daily. This is the lowest effective dosage range and is enough to meet the needs of most people.

However, for specific purposes such as boosting energy and testosterone, you’ll need a higher dosage.

Dosage For Energy

For an increased energy, studies suggest that the optimal dosage for D3 is 5,000IU daily.

One study, in particular, caught my attention. Researchers tested two groups of people who were deficient in D vitamin. One group took 2,000 IU of D3 daily, while the other took 5,000 IU each day.

The results were clear: those who took 5,000IU reached optimal blood levels of D3 much quicker. Their raw strength output also increased higher than those who took 2,000 IU of vitamin D. [40, 41]

Dosage For Increased Testosterone

Studies that tested the effects of D3 on testosterone discovered that the optimal dosage is somewhere between 3,000-4,000IU daily.

This study, for example, gave 3,332IU of D3 daily to a group of men. Their testosterone increased significantly after a period of supplementation. [42]

Dosage For Metabolism

To improve fat loss, take between 1,000-2,000IU of vitamin D every day.

In one study, a group of overweight and obese volunteers took 1,000IU of D3 daily. After 12 weeks, their body fat percentage reduced significantly. [43]

Dosage For Athletic Performance

To improve your speed, strength, energy, and testosterone, a dosage between 3,000-5,000IU daily is ideal.

Obviously, if you don’t expose yourself to any sunlight at all, a higher dosage is better – such as 5,000IU. [44]

Can You Overdose on Vitamin D?

Although possible, it’s extremely rare for someone to overdose on vitamin D.

To reach toxic doses, you’d need to take over 50,000IU or 1,250 micrograms every single day for several months or longer. [45]

Can you overdose on vitamin D3 from the sun? No, you can’t. [46]

While 4,000IU is set as the tolerable upper limit, emerging research suggests that you can take up to 10,000IU of D3 daily without any side effects. [47, 48]

Still, dosages higher than 5,000IU don’t appear to offer any additional benefits. So unless your doctors tell you so, there’s no need to take more than 5,000IU of D3 daily.

A dosage of around 3,000IU will be enough for pretty much everyone. Both those who want general health benefits, and men who want to boost their testosterone.

Conclusion

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that your skin synthesizes when exposed to the direct sunlight.

There are 5 types of vitamin D: D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5. However, only two of those are actually utilized by your body – D2 and D3. D3 is the most potent form of D vitamin. It provides the strongest effects and biggest health benefits.

Getting enough vitamin D is essential for your health. It improves your bone density, metabolism, strength, testosterone, overall health, and reduces the risk of cancer and death.

Still, many people seem to disregard its importance. Over 40% Americans are deficient in D3. That number goes even higher in Hispanic and black people – up to 82%!

A deficiency in D vitamin leads to heart disease, rickets, osteoporosis, cognitive issues, low testosterone, and an increased risk of death from all causes.

The current recommended dosage for D3 is between 400-800IU daily. However, modern research suggests this is too low for adults.

For general health benefits, it’s safe to take between 1,000-2,000IU daily. If you’re looking to improve energy, testosterone, and athletic performance while burning fat, then higher dosages will be more effective. Such as 5,000IU of D3 daily.

The best source of vitamin D is the sun. However, if for whatever reason you can’t get at least 20-30 minutes of strong sunlight daily, then consider taking a D3 supplement. It’s a safe and effective way of reaping all of the benefits this vitamin has to offer.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review.

[2] Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults.

[3] Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline.

[4] High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health.

[5] Vitamin D3 Is More Potent Than Vitamin D2in Humans.

[6] Short and Long-Term Variations in Serum Calciotropic Hormones after a Single Very Large Dose of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) or Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) in the Elderly.

[7] Evidence that vitamin D3 increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D more efficiently than does vitamin D2.

[8] From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health.

[9] Vitamin D: metabolism - NCBI article.

[10] The effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle function and cellular signaling.

[11] Vitamin D: an ancient hormone - NCBI article.

[12] Influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D3 supplementation on the genome-wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial.

[13] Vitamin D-regulated gene expression.

[14] The control of calcium and phosphorus metabolism by the vitamin D endocrine system.

[15] The Role of Vitamin D in Human Health: A Paradigm Shift.

[16] Ergocalciferol - Wikipedia article.

[17] Lumisterol - Wikipedia article.

[18] Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

[19] Calculated free and bioavailable vitamin D metabolite concentrations in vitamin D-deficient hip fracture patients after supplementation with cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol.

[20] Cholecalciferol - Wikipedia Article.

[21] Chemoprevention of chemically-induced mammary and colon carcinogenesis by 1α-hydroxyvitamin D5.

[22] Stage-specific inhibition of mammary carcinogenesis by 1α-hydroxyvitamin D5.

[23] Prevention of Preneoplastic Mammary Lesion Development by a Novel Vitamin D Analogue, 1α-Hydroxyvitamin D 5.

[24] Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in elderly ambulatory outpatients in Denver, Colorado.

[25] Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

[26] A review of the health consequences of vitamin D deficiency pandemic.

[27] Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency.

[28] The role of vitamin D for cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.

[29] Association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and mortality in the critically ill.

[30] Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with increased mortality in female nursing home residents.

[31] Can vitamin D increase testosterone concentrations in men?

[32] Vitamin D - Examine.com

[33] Vitamin D production depends on ultraviolet-B dose but not on dose rate: a randomized controlled trial.

[34] Cutaneous vitamin D synthesis versus skin cancer development.

[35]  Premature aging of the skin in a Queensland population.

[36] Sunburns and risk of cutaneous melanoma, does age matter: a comprehensive meta-analysis.
[37] Vitamin D fortification in the United States and Canada: current status and data needs.

[38] Vitamin D supplementation: what's known, what to do, and what's needed.

[39] Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences.

[40] Effect of oral cholecalciferol 2,000 versus 5,000 IU on serum vitamin D, PTH, bone and muscle strength in patients with vitamin D deficiency.

[41] Improving the Vitamin D Status of Vitamin D Deficient Adults Is Associated With Improved Mitochondrial Oxidative Function in Skeletal Muscle.

[42] Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.

[43] A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women.

[44] Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery.

[45] Vitamin D Is Not as Toxic as Was Once Thought: A Historical and an Up-to-Date Perspective.

[46] Sunlight regulates the cutaneous production of vitamin D3 by causing its photodegradation.

[47] A 21st-century evaluation of the safety of oral vitamin D.

[48] Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety.

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Will Mucuna Pruriens Raise Your Testosterone? Science-Based Review

Do you feel an itch?

It could be Mucuna Pruriens – a tropical bean with serotonin on its surface, which causes irritation when touched.

Mucuna is also called the dopa bean. That’s because it’s the best natural source of L-DOPA, the precursor to dopamine (the feel-good molecule).

It’s traditionally used in Ayurveda medicine as a natural herbal supplement to relieve stress, anxiety, insomnia while improving focus, libido, and memory.

What’s less known though, is Mucuna’s effect on androgen hormones such as testosterone.

According to various studies (which I’ll link and explain further below), it’s able to raise anabolic hormones along with promoting sperm quality.

Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

What Is Mucuna Pruriens?

Mucuna pruriens is a tropical vine from the legume family. It grows in certain parts of Africa and Asia.

Mucuna has a number of names. These include:

  • Velvet bean
  • Kapikachhu
  • Cowhage

It produces bean pods which are covered with serotonin and have prickly hair growing out. Inside these bean pods, you’ll find seeds. These are the golden part of Mucuna – they contain the active compound L-DOPA. Which is responsible for promoting the production of dopamine (more on that later).

Mucuna has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its gentle benefits on human health.

In Ayurveda, it is a famous adaptogen, helping the body deal with anxiety, insomnia, and stress. [1]

How Mucuna Boosts Dopamine

The key active compound in Mucuna pruriens is L-Dopa. It’s an amino acid which is used by your brain to create dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. [2]

You know that awesome feeling when you eat your favorite dessert? Or when you get a promotion at work?

That’s dopamine.

It makes us feel good and motivated to chase our goals. Every time you do something rewarding, dopamine is released in your brain and makes you feel good about the thing you did.

However, if you lack dopamine, you might feel unmotivated and sluggish. Your concentration and focus might also become week, which leads to all kinds of other problems.

Research suggests that Mucuna Pruriens can help you out with this.

Since it contains plenty of L-DOPA, it’s able to boost dopamine levels in your brain. Studies show it’s extremely helpful in cases with Parkinson’s disease, which is often the result of dopamine deficiency. [3]

In fact, Mucuna pruriens appears to be just as effective as certain medications for treating Parkinson’s disease symptoms and increasing dopamine levels in the brain. And it doesn’t cause any side effects. [4, 5]

Not only does Mucuna work in cases with Parkinson’s, it also boosts dopamine levels in people with no cognitive issues.

In one study, researchers gave 5 grams of Mucuna pruriens powder to a group of men for 90 days. The result? They all had increased dopamine levels by the end of the study. [6]

Another study in mice showed Mucuna has an antidepressant effect due to its ability to increase dopamine levels in the brain. [7]

To sum it up:

Mucuna Pruriens boosts dopamine production in both healthy individuals and those with Parkinson’s. This helps with motivation, focus, and well-being. Some studies also found that Mucuna has an anti-depressant effect.

How Mucuna Affects Your Testosterone

The dopamine boost that Mucuna provides leads to many health benefits.

Aside from the increase in motivation, focus, and energy, elevated dopamine also upregulates androgen receptors, improves testosterone synthesis, inhibits prolactin, and even boosts growth hormone production. [8, 9, 10, 11]

But there’s even more that Mucuna offers. As you’ll see in the studies below, it boosts testosterone both directly, and indirectly.

Animal Studies

When it comes to Mucuna’s benefits on T-levels, the first evidence comes from animal research. High doses of L-DOPA (1,000mg/kg) led to an activation of the pituitary gland in rats. This ultimately led to an increased luteinizing hormone and testosterone production. [12]

In another study, researches fed Japanese Quails birds with mucuna pruriens seed powder. The results were shocking. The birds’ luteinizing hormone levels surged, leading to a significant increase in testosterone levels. [13]

In a third animal study, scientist opted for a different approach. They injected a high dose of estrogen to male rodents, rendering them infertile and suppressing their testosterone. Then, they gave these rodents Mucuna Pruriens to see if it would negate the effects of estrogen – it did. [14]

Human Studies – Mucuna Pruriens and Testosterone

1st Study

In the first human study, researchers examined mucuna’s effects on male stress hormones and their reproductive system. They gave 5g of Mucuna pruriens seed powder every day to two groups of men. One group suffered from stress-related infertility, while the other group consisted of healthy, non-infertile men.

In less than 90 days, both groups experienced a boost in their sperm volume. While the healthy group of men experienced a 32% increase, the infertile group saw their sperm volume skyrocket by 688%.

It’s obvious that with the healthy group of men, there was less room for improvement, while the infertile group benefited massively from Mucuna supplementation.

Furthermore, both groups experienced a major reduction in cortisol levels. The infertile group saw a staggering 110% reduction in cortisol, while the healthy male group experienced a 38% reduction.

How does all of this relate to testosterone?

Well, cortisol is a stress hormone which damages testosterone production. These two hormones negatively affect each other – when one goes up, the other drops down. The study from above showed us that Mucuna supplementation leads to lower cortisol levels, and thus, stronger testosterone. [15]

2nd Study

This study also tested two groups of men, one was healthy and the other infertile. However, unlike with the previous study, the purpose was to determine how mucuna affected testosterone directly.

The result: both groups experienced a major testosterone boost after 90 days of supplementation with 5g of Mucuna powder. Testosterone levels increased by 38% in infertile men and 27% in the healthy group.

Furthermore, luteinizing hormone shoot up by 41% in guys who had low sperm count and by 23% in healthy individuals.

Unsurprisingly, both groups also experienced significantly improved sperm quality (more so infertile men).

They also had reduced prolactin levels (a female hormone that counteracts LH) – it was reduced by 32% in the infertile group and 19% in healthy guys. [6]

3rd Study

A third human study tested 180 guys (infertile men once again) by giving them daily mucuna powder supplementation.

On average, their testosterone levels increased by 38%. [16]

4th Study

This study tested L-DOPA’s effects on testosterone in men who suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

The study featured two groups. One group received 600mg of L-DOPA daily, while the other group took a sugar pill.

The results were impressive, to say at least.

Subjects who took L-DOPA maintained and increased their free-testosterone levels. While the other group who took a placebo didn’t experience any benefits. [17]

Other Studies

Some of the most interesting studies regarding Mucuna pruriens and testosterone were done in test-tubes using isolated cells.

These studies showed how L-DOPA (the active component of Mucuna) activates androgen receptors and improves the uptake of testosterone and DHT (another powerful anabolic hormone).

This means that Mucuna not only increases testosterone directly, but it also upregulates androgen receptors, leading to better utilization of anabolic hormones. [18, 19]

Looking at all of the evidence from above, it’s clear Mucuna pruriens offers many benefits for the male hormone.

To sum it up:

Mucuna pruriens boosts testosterone both directly and indirectly. It reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that suppresses testosterone. Secondly, it directly stimulates the production of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and other androgen hormones through different mechanisms. Last but not least, L-DOPA (the active component of Mucuna) upregulates androgen receptors leading to an improved utilization of anabolic hormones.

Other Key Benefits of Mucuna Pruriens

Helps Treat Depression, Anxiety, and Mood Swings

Since dopamine is essential for cognitive function and emotional well-being, it’s unsurprising that Mucuna Pruriens can boost your mood.

Dopamine is responsible for regulating various hormones along with calming the mind.

In a 2014, researchers looked at the benefits of Mucuna pruriens for anxiety in animals. The results showed significant reductions in anxiety and improvements in mood in subjects who were treated with Mucuna. [20]

But it isn’t just anxiety that Mucuna helps to get rid of.

It also helps to reduce stress and depressive symptoms in people where these issues are caused by low dopamine levels. By increasing the reward-molecule in your brain, it improves your mood and makes you feel calmer. [21]

However, not all people suffer from depression caused by low dopamine. In fact, in many cases, the culprit for depression is low serotonin. [24, 25]

If that’s the case, definitely avoid taking anything that boosts dopamine, including Mucuna. That’s because large doses of dopamine suppress serotonin production, which can be problematic if your serotonin levels are already low. [26, 27]

Enhances Sex Drive and Fertility

In a study with 120 males, researchers tested the effects of Mucuna on their libido and reproductive health. They divided these men into two groups.

The first group consisted of infertile men. On the other hand, the second group only consisted of healthy guys.

Both groups took 5 grams of Mucuna pruriens seed powder daily for 3 months.

At the end of the study, these men had significantly decreased cortisol levels, raised sperm count, and improved libido. [1]

Improves Focus, ADHD, And Memory

If you suffer from ADHD or lack of focus in general, mucuna might help you out.

These conditions are usually caused by a lack of dopamine. Prescription drugs like Ritalin and Adderall combat this by blocking the reuptake of dopamine.

This results in a higher concentration of dopamine levels in your nervous system – allowing you to stay focused and motivated.

Recent research shows that L-DOPA supplementation works similarly, but without side effects. Studies suggest that it helps boost memory and reaction time.

One study, in particular, showed the benefits of L-DOPA on cognitive function in adults. In the study, researchers gave 8 adults 200mg of synthetic L-DOPA before putting them on a visual test where they measured their reaction time.

The result?

Greatly improved reaction time in subjects who took 200mg of L-DOPA prior to the test. [22]

Furthermore, other research showed the benefits of L-DOPA on learning new words. One study divided participants into two grups, as usual.

One group took 100mg of L-DOPA before a study session, while the other group took a placebo. They repeated this for five study sessions in total.

Ultimately, the results showed that those who took L-DOPA, the active constituent of Mucuna pruriens, had a superior memory recall of new words.

The best of all, these positive effects lasted for a month before they started fading away. As stated by NCBI: “The levodopa group showed superior recall accuracy for new words over five learning sessions compared with the placebo group and better recognition accuracy at a 1-month follow-up for words learned with a semantic description.” [23]

Dosage Guide

When looking for any supplement, make sure to buy it from a trusted source. The same goes for Mucuna pruriens.

Ensure it comes in either high-quality powder (seeds), seed extract tablets, or capsules.

If buying an extract, look for the ones that contain at least 15% L-DOPA. This is an effective percentage.

How to dose?

Okay, you’re holding a Mucuna pruriens product in your hands, how much do you take?

If you’re taking it as a powder, take no more than 5g divided throughout the day. This is the dosage that’s been used for treating Parkinson’s, dopamine deficiency, and fertility. It’s also a perfect dosage for boosting testosterone.

If taking an extract, then 200-500mg per day will be more than enough. Don’t take more than 1,000mg if it’s an extract. Higher doses won’t provide you with any additional benefits and might cause unwanted side effects.

Should you cycle it?

Yes, it would be wise to cycle Mucuna pruriens on and off, in my opinion.

While the studies show it’s perfectly safe to use long-term, it’s still wise to take a break every few months to avoid developing a tolerance.

Stacking With Other Ingredients?

Mucuna pruriens can be stacked with other ingredients, depending on your goals.

If you’re looking to boost testosterone, here are some of the ingredients that will improve Mucuna’s impact on your T-levels:

  • Ashwagandha – Another herb from Ayurveda which is known for its adaptogenic properties. It helps calm the mind, reduce stress hormones such as cortisol, and improve overall health. On top of that, studies show that it also increases testosterone.
  • Vitamin D – A deficiency in this vitamin is linked to low testosterone, so better start supplementing with it if you aren’t getting enough sun.
  • Boron – A trace mineral that’s shown to improve testosterone at dosages higher than 10mg per day.
  • Fenugreek – Suppresses inflammation, controls blood sugar, and boosts testosterone. Take 500mg of the fenugreek extract per day to experience its benefits on the male hormone.
  • Zinc – A mineral that’s essential for testosterone production. If you already consume enough zinc, then it will not push your T-levels much further. However, if you’re deficient, then supplementing with zinc will greatly ramp up your anabolic hormone. How will you know that you’re deficient? Since we lose zinc through sweat, athletes and people who perspire a lot have the highest risk of zinc deficiency.
  • D-Aspartic Acid – It’s an amino acid that helps boost strength and anabolic activity in people with low testosterone. However, it doesn’t offer many benefits if your T-levels are already high.

Safety Profile

Generally speaking, Mucuna pruriens is a safe nutrient.

However, since it contains L-DOPA, there are certain groups of people who should avoid taking it.

They are:

  • Individuals with narrow eye glaucoma
  • History of melanoma or undiagnosed skin conditions
  • People who take MAO inhibitors

Conclusion

Mucuna pruriens is probably the best natural source of Levodopa (L-DOPA) on the planet.

That’s why many pharmaceutical companies use it to extract its valuable compounds and make prescription medicines.

There are a plenty of studies proving Mucuna’s positive benefits. It helps you to produce more dopamine, which in turn boosts your motivation, focus, and memory.

Mucuna pruriens also increases testosterone production and upregulates androgen receptors, allowing you to fully utilize anabolic hormones in your body.

With its relatively safe profile and amazing benefits, it’s certainly a nutrient worth looking out for.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men.

[2] Distribution of L-DOPA in the root of velvet bean plant (Mucuna pruriens L.) and gravity.

[3] Improvement of parkinsonian features correlates with high plasma levodopa values after broad bean (Vicia faba) consumption.

[4] A water extract of Mucuna pruriens provides long-term amelioration of parkinsonism with reduced risk for dyskinesias.

[5] Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study.

[6] Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.

[7] Dopamine mediated the antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression.

[8] Quantitative expression analysis and prognostic significance of L-DOPA decarboxylase in colorectal adenocarcinoma.

[9] Dopamine as a prolactin (PRL) inhibitor.

[10] Role of dopamine in the regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the male rat brain as studied by in situ hybridization.

[11] Effect of L-dihydroxyphenylalanine upon serum growth hormone concentrations in children and adolescents.

[12] Effect of chronic L-dopa administration on serum luteinizing hormone levels in male rats.

[13] Mucuna pruriens seed powder feeding influences reproductive conditions and development in Japanese quail Coturnix coturnix japonica.

[14] L-DOPA, the major constituent of Mucuna pruriens, Recovers Spermatogenic Loss by Combating ROS, Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Apoptosis.

[15] Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men.

[16] A proton NMR study of the effect of Mucuna pruriens on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males.

[17] Testosterone level and the effect of levodopa and agonists in early Parkinson disease: results from the INSPECT cohort.

[18] Comprehensive expression analysis of L-dopa decarboxylase and established neuroendocrine markers in neoadjuvant hormone-treated versus varying Gleason grade prostate tumors.

[19] Androgen-regulated genes differentially modulated by the androgen receptor coactivator L-dopa decarboxylase in human prostate cancer cells.

[20] Evaluation of Anxiolytic Effect of Chronic Administration of Mucuna Pruriens In Wistar Albino Rats.

[21] Dopamine mediated antidepressant effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds in various experimental models of depression.
[22] Dopamine and human information processing: a reaction-time analysis of the effect of levodopa in healthy subjects.

[23] Levodopa enhances explicit new-word learning in healthy adults: a preliminary study.
[24] What has serotonin to do with depression?
[25] The neurobiology of depression—revisiting the serotonin hypothesis. II. Genetic, epigenetic and clinical studies†
[26] Role of Serotonin and Dopamine System Interactions in the Neurobiology of Impulsive Aggression and its Comorbidity with other Clinical Disorders
[27] Serotonin-dopamine interaction: electrophysiological evidence.

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Magnesium and Testosterone: What You Need To Know

Magnesium is an essential dietary nutrient.

It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in our body and is very important for our overall health.

Countless cells in your body soak up magnesium like a sponge. They use it for numerous bodily processes. From helping the nervous system to work optimally, creating DNA, to balancing hormones such as testosterone. [1]

However, many people don’t get enough magnesium. In fact, 68% of Americans don’t reach the daily RDA for this essential mineral. And most of them don’t even know it. [2]

Magnesium deficiency leads to negative health effects. Including high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, mental disorders, and many more. It can even lead to low testosterone, as I’ll explain in a moment.

In this article, I’ll discuss how magnesium affects your testosterone levels, metabolism, and general health. I’ll also show you the optimal dosage of magnesium, its safety profile, and more.

We’ll even discuss they types of magnesium show to improve testosterone, such as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and gluconate to name a few.

All of my findings are backed up by science – which you can check at the bottom under ‘References.’

Types of Magnesium

There are many forms of magnesium available. There are even more supplements which use magnesium as their ingredient.

You might’ve gotten headaches if you’ve ever looked at countless magnesium options.

The good news is, you don’t need to worry anymore.

Here I’ll reveal the best types of magnesium so you know exactly what you should be looking for next time you’re buying a supplement.

The first thing you should consider is the absorption rate of the mineral. This will tell you how well is the compound absorbed in your system.

Different types of magnesium have different rates of absorption.

Here are the most popular ones:

Magnesium Oxide

I’ll start with the worst one.

This is a form of magnesium which has an extremely poor bioavailability. Oxide contains the highest amount of elemental magnesium for its weight.

But your body is unable to break it down properly. This results in poor absorption.

Studies suggest that magnesium oxide is water-insoluble, meaning your body won’t be able to utilize it no matter how much fluids you drink. [3, 4]

Gluconate

Contrary to oxide, gluconate is one of the most bioavailable forms available. It comes from the gluconic acid.

Rat studies showed that it has a very high absorption rate. One of the highest of all magnesium supplements. [5]

Magnesium Citrate Testosterone Production

This is essentially citric acid bound to magnesium in salt form.

It turns out, magnesium citrate is absorbed very well by the body.

It’s also water-soluble, meaning you won’t have problems mixing it with liquids. [6]

You’ll find magnesium citrate in various forms. Most commonly, it’s used as a supplement in pill or capsule form. However, it’s also used as a laxative before a surgical procedure.

Aspartate

Aspartate is another common form of magnesium that has high bioavailability.

In other words, your body will easily absorb and utilize it fully. [7, 8]

Chloride

Similarly to citrate and gluconate, magnesium chloride has a high absorption rate within the body. [9]

This one, however, doesn’t just come in a pill form. You can also take as an oil that you can apply to your skin.

However, studies on this are lacking and I can’t tell if it’s going to give you the full effects.

My suggestion is to always go with the capsules or pills as those usually have the highest bioavailability. [10]

Hydroxide

This is the one you might want to avoid. It’s probably even worse than oxide, and I’m saying that because it can cause diarrhea.

That’s right – hydroxide’s main purpose is to treat constipation, and it’s a powerful laxative.

Just make sure not to ingest it in a public place such as a bar. That could lead to things getting… a bit messy. [12]

Glycinate

You’ll be happy to hear that magnesium glycinate doesn’t have strong laxative effects, as some other forms do.

It’s also effectively absorbed by your body, having a high bioavailability. It gets absorbed in a different part of your intestines, where the absorption rate is extremely quick. [13]

How Does It Affect Your Testosterone?

The main question you’re probably asking yourself now is: “Can magnesium boost my testosterone?”

The answer is: yes, it can.

There are plenty of studies that prove magnesium’s effects on the male hormone. I will explain this in more detail below, along with providing you with some interesting research.

There have always been people who loved supplements, and those who have hated them.

However, it turns out magnesium doesn’t have many haters. I’m yet to find the evidence that disproves magnesium’s benefits for testosterone. In fact, most of the research shows it works, and it’s actually overwhelming.

On top of that, we also have countless professional athletes who supplement with magnesium. Most of them believe it’s crucial for maintaining healthy T-levels.

Now, I know that anecdotal evidence is sometimes far from the real truth, but in this case, it also has scientific studies to back it up.

Let’s continue, shall we?

Studies On Testosterone

There are many studies showing magnesium’s benefits on testosterone. Here are the three biggest, and most important ones:

1st Study:

In this 4-week study, researches looked at testosterone levels in 3 different groups of men. The first group consisted of inactive healthy males who supplemented with magnesium. They took 10 milligrams per kg of their body weight a day.

For instance, a 75kg man would take 750mg of the mineral for 4 weeks straight. He was inactive in the full sense of the word. Meaning during this test period, all he had to do was to sit on a couch and ensure to take a magnesium supplement every day.

Now, the second group had to get moving a bit. They consisted of athletes who trained tae kwon do. These men also took magnesium every day, and they followed the same dosage as the previous group.

However, the difference between them and the first group, was that they exercised between 1-2 hours daily.

Now, the third group also consisted of tae kwon do trainees. These men trained as much as the second group, except they didn’t take any magnesium supplements.

The result?

All three groups had experienced raised testosterone levels – both free and total T.

The interesting part is, that the taekwondo group who took magnesium had the highest boost in testosterone. Meaning, those who were active and supplemented with the mineral had the higher total and free levels of the male hormone.

The group of inactive men who just sat on a couch and took magnesium also saw major improvements in their testosterone. [14]

Conclusion: This study concluded that magnesium supplementation does indeed boost both free and total testosterone levels in males. Those who exercised and took the supplement have experienced the biggest benefits. But even those who just sat around and did nothing except taking magnesium also saw great improvements in their T-levels.

2nd Study:

This was a double-blind study which looked at the benefits of magnesium on male strength and muscle mass over the course of 7 weeks.

They directly measured their strength output through various tests. They didn’t measure testosterone per se, but measuring their raw strength was an important indirect indicator of a potential boost in testosterone.

This study featured 2 groups of men. There were 26 of them in total, with their age between 18-30 years old.

14 men (1st group) took a placebo in the form of a sugar pill. The remaining 12 men (2nd group) took a magnesium supplement.

Men who took magnesium dosed at 8mg per kg of body weight, daily. What’s interesting is, that the study also included any magnesium they ingested through food.

Both groups of men did resistance training 3x a week. They did the same workouts and same program – making sure everything was perfect.

The results were clear as day. While both groups of men increased strength over 7 weeks, the magnesium group (2nd group) saw the highest strength increase. [15]

Conclusion: Strength training increases raw power output (obviously), and when you add magnesium supplementation on top of that, it increases strength output even more. The researchers concluded that this mineral benefits protein synthesis and thus improves muscle strength at the cellular level.

3rd Study:

This was the biggest study out of the three.

It looked at a cross-section of 399 gentlemen who were over 65 years old.

The researchers looked at the correlation between magnesium, testosterone, and other anabolic hormone levels in the study group.

The study was fairly straightforward. The researches had tons of info and date about blood levels of all men in the study, so they could easily determine any correlations between anabolic hormones and magnesium.

Ultimately, the results clearly indicated that higher magnesium intake led to higher testosterone levels – both free and total.

What’s more, men who took more magnesium also had higher levels of insulin-like growth factors and other major anabolic hormones. [16]

With the other two studies taken into consideration, it’s safe to say that magnesium does indeed lead to higher testosterone levels. Even better than that, it also leads to improvement in anabolic hormones such as growth factors IGF-1.

Summary: Will It Boost Your T?

Okay, so to conclude:

Magnesium supplementation leads to higher testosterone levels in men. This includes both free and total T. This essential mineral also increases strength in males via testosterone boost and also via improved protein synthesis in muscle cells.

Whether you’re a sedentary individual or an athlete, magnesium supplementation will increase your testosterone levels.

Bear in mind though, if you train and take magnesium on top of that – you’ll experience the biggest benefits. The studies from above prove this.

Everyone from the age 18 plus can experience beneficial effects from taking this mineral. Men who are even younger than this should also reap the mineral’s benefits.

Ultimately, magnesium supplementation will help you boost strength, testosterone levels, and also other key androgen hormones.

Other Key Benefits

Plays a Role in Exercise Performance

Magnesium doesn’t just boost your strength and androgen hormones. It also appears to improve overall exercise performance, which includes stamina, agility, endurance, and so on.

When you’re working out, your body utilizes more magnesium than when you’re sitting on a sofa. Between 10-20% more, to be precise. [17]

Magnesium is crucial for removing lactic acid out of your muscles. Lactic acid builds up in larger amounts when you do an intense exercise, and it can sometimes be detrimental for muscle growth.

What’s more, magnesium also helps deliver blood sugar into your muscles. The benefits of this are obvious: more energy, endurance, and strength during your workouts. [18]

Research suggests that by supplementing it, you can boost your exercise performance regardless of your background, gender, age, or health. [19, 20, 21]

One study showed the benefits of magnesium on volleyball players. They supplemented with 250mg of the mineral daily and quickly saw improvements in their coordination, arm movements, and jumping. [22]

In another study, athletes who took this mineral experienced improved cycling, running, and swimming performances. Better yet, their insulin and stress hormone levels decreased, which further improved their exercise performance. This just goes to show the massive benefits of magnesium during exhaustive physical activities. [23]

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with magnesium.

While these studies show it has amazing benefits, other studies found no positive effects from supplementing magnesium. This includes both athletes who had low, and optimal levels of the mineral. [24, 25]

To sum it up:

The research on magnesium’s benefits on exercise performance is mixed. While the majority of the studies prove its benefits, other studies show it has no positive effects at all.

Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

A number of studies show that magnesium helps lower blood pressure. [26, 27, 28]

Out of all of them, however, one study really stood out for me. It featured people who took magnesium supplementation, and those who took a placebo.

People who took 450mg of the mineral daily saw a major decrease in their diastolic and systolic blood pressure parameters.

These are great news for everyone who might be struggling with high blood pressure.

However, other studies show that magnesium doesn’t offer the same benefits for people who don’t have blood pressure problems.

In one study, magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure in people with higher systolic and diastolic parameters. However, it didn’t have any effects on people with normal blood pressure. [29]

To sum it up:

Magnesium is effective at reducing high blood pressure levels. However, it doesn’t seem to work in people with normal levels.

Improves Your Mood

Looking at this article, you might get an idea that magnesium is just for those who want to improve their physical health.

But it benefits your mind just as much.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in mood regulation and cognitive function. Low levels of magnesium are shown to increase the risk of depression and other mental problems. [30, 31]

One huge scientific review analyzed over 8,800 people and found that those who had the lowest magnesium levels also had the highest risk of depression. [31]

In one randomized controlled study, depressed adults supplemented with 450mg of magnesium every day. After a short period of time, their mood improved significantly – magnesium was as effective as an antidepressant drug in their case. [33]

Many of commercially available foods lack this mineral. According to some experts, this could be one of the reasons for an increase in depression and other mental illnesses in recent years. [32]

However, other experts say that it’s still early to make such conclusions.

While it’s clear that magnesium supplementation benefits mood and brain function, it’s still questionable if it’s one of the main causes of depression and mood disorders in otherwise healthy people.

How You Can Get Enough Magnesium Every Day

Getting enough magnesium is important for your testo levels and overall health.

The RDI for magnesium is around 420mg daily for men, and 320mg daily for women.

You can meet these requirements either by consuming enough magnesium-rich foods, or by supplementation.

Here are the best magnesium food sources:

  • Pumpkin seeds: 16 grams (a quarter of a cup) – 46% RDI
  • Boiled spinach: 180 grams (one cup) – 39% RDI
  • Dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa content) : 100 grams – 33% RDI
  • Black beans: 172 grams – 30% RDI
  • Almonds: 24 grams – 25% RDI
  • Cashews: 30 grams – 25% RDI
  • Avocados: 200 grams (one medium avocado) – 15% RDI

As for supplements, they are safe and effective in most cases. However, make sure to consult with your doctor if you have a medical condition, or if you take diuretics and want to supplement with magnesium.

Best forms of magnesium supplements are citrate, orotate, bisglycinate, carbonate, and glycinate. If your goal is to boost testosterone, any of these forms will do just fine.

However, if you’re looking to improve your brain function, then magnesium threonate is the best form. It crosses the blood-brain barrier more easily and boosts cognition better than other types of magnesium.

Dosage For Boosting Testosterone

The studies that looked at magnesium’s effects on testosterone used between 8-10mg of magnesium per kg of body weight.

So if you, let’s say, weigh 80kg, then you should ingest between 640-800mg of magnesium daily. Whether that’s from food, or supplementation. Lower dosages will also be effective.

Again, citrate, glycinate, and carbonate are your best bet if you’re looking to supplement with magnesium.

As for foods, plenty of nuts, seeds, beans, and leafy vegetables are always the best option.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Magnesium is shown to be completely safe when supplemented.

However, you should still practice caution if you’re on medications – especially diuretics.

Always consult your doctor if you have any questions, that’s the best way to go about it.

Other than that, there’s no need to worry about taking a magnesium supplement. It’s been heavily studied and shown to be perfectly safe for long-term supplementation.

Conclusion

Magnesium is a dietary mineral which is absolutely essential for testosterone production and overall health.

It plays a role in countless biochemical processes in our body. Including anabolic hormone production.

If you’re looking to boost strength, and your male hormone, you should become best friends with magnesium.

You can get enough of it either through food or supplements. Best food sources include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate. Just don’t overdo it on the last one, too much of dark chocolate will do you more harm than good.

Daily recommended dosage for magnesium is between 300-450mg, depending on your gender, health, and age.

If you’re an athlete, or want to boost your T-levels, then dosages up to 1,000mg of magnesium daily might be required.

Best forms of magnesium for boosting your male hormone are glycinate, citrate, and carbonate.

If you suffer from any health conditions or take medications, talk with your healthcare professional before ingesting magnesium supplements.

References

[showhide type=”links” more_text=”Show References” less_text=”Hide References”]

[1] Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease.

[2] The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare.

[3] What is the correct magnesium supplement?

[4] Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide.

[5] Study of magnesium bioavailability from ten organic and inorganic Mg salts in Mg-depleted rats using a stable isotope approach.

[6] Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide.

[7] Magnesium-L-aspartate-HCl and magnesium-oxide: bioavailability in healthy volunteers.

[8] Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations.

[9] Magnesium-HealthProfessional.

[10] Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study.

[11] Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study.

[12] Magnesium Hydroxide (By mouth)

[13] Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate vs magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection.

[14] Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion.

[15] Effect of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans.

[16] Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men.

[17] Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise.

[18] Magnesium enhances exercise performance via increasing glucose availability in the blood, muscle, and brain during exercise.

[19] The effect of acute magnesium loading on the maximal exercise performance of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

[20] Oral magnesium therapy, exercise heart rate, exercise tolerance, and myocardial function in coronary artery disease patients.

[21] Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on physical performance in healthy elderly women involved in a weekly exercise program: a randomized controlled trial.

[22] Magnesium status and the physical performance of volleyball players: effects of magnesium supplementation.

[23] On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress.

[24] The effects of magnesium supplementation on exercise performance.

[25] Failure of magnesium supplementation to influence marathon running performance or recovery in magnesium-replete subjects.

[26] Oral magnesium supplementation reduces ambulatory blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension.

[27] Effects of magnesium supplementation in hypertensive patients: assessment by office, home, and ambulatory blood pressures.

[28] A pilot study on the effects of magnesium supplementation with high and low habitual dietary magnesium intake on resting and recovery from aerobic and resistance exercise and systolic blood pressure.

[29] Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and blood pressure in normo-magnesemic nondiabetic overweight Korean adults.

[30] Magnesium in depression.

[31] Magnesium intake and depression in adults.

[32] Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment.

[33] Efficacy and safety of oral magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression in the elderly with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, equivalent trial.

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