Testosterone is an extremely important male hormone, produced mainly in the testicles with a small amount coming from the adrenal glands. Levels rise during puberty, peak during the late teenage years and then level off. After the age of 30 it is normal for a man’s testosterone levels to decrease by about 1% each year.
Benefits of well-maintained testosterone levels
Testosterone levels affect everything in men from reproduction and sexual function to muscle mass, bone density and fat metabolism. It also plays a role in certain behaviours, such as verbal memory, spatial abilities and mathematical reasoning. Some research suggests testosterone also has a positive effect on the heart as it helps red blood cell production within the bone marrow.
Causes of low testosterone
There are a variety of reasons why testosterone levels can drop, the most common one being the normal ageing process. Other contributing factors include injury to the testicles, chemotherapy or radiation from treating cancer in the genital area, diseases of the pituitary gland and certain medications such as steroids.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, roughly 20% of men in their 60’s have low testosterone levels, with that number rising to 30% for men in their 70’s. And by the time men have reached their 80’s, about half of them will have experienced a drop in testosterone levels.
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone
Low testosterone is generally associated with poorer quality of life and can have real and important health effects, especially on a man’s sex life. These effects may result in a loss of libido, or desire for sex, erectile dysfunction (trouble getting and keeping an erection), depression, weight gain, lack of energy, loss of confidence and motivation, a lower ability to concentrate and disturbed sleep.
How to increase testosterone levels naturally
Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to naturally increase testosterone levels if you’re concerned about low testosterone. It’s important to speak with your doctor and in the meantime make some easy lifestyle changes.
Plenty of restful, quality sleep
Whole food diet with a balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats