I think most people who follow the supplement industry know that testosterone is a hot topic says Alex Gierbolini. It seems like every week there is some new story in the media about athletes abusing it or companies making outrageous claims about it. There are also the rumors (some probably true) of people using it with extraordinary results in terms of muscle and fitness gains. But regardless of the specific type of testosterone product you use, regardless of your age and sex, regardless if you take it by injection or orally, regardless if you use a cream or pellet – one thing we can all agree on: having normal levels of free circulating testosterone in your blood is generally good for your health and well-being.
We don’t yet fully understand all the effects of having normal levels of testosterone, but we do know that it’s important. We also don’t understand all the effects of having low levels of blood testosterone, but we do know those effects are negative as well. And therein lays the problem: almost half the men in the Western world have low testosterone – not just clinical hypogonadism – and an even larger segment is walking around with sub-normal serum total and free testosterone.
What Is Low T?
And yet I often hear people talk about “low T” or even take a blood test for “low T” as if this has something to do with true clinical hypogonadism (the medical condition associated with pathological hormone deficiency). But can you really be considered to have “low T” if your total and free testosterone levels are in the low end of the normal range, but not actually deficient? That’s like saying you’re sick because your body temperature is 98.6 F instead of 99.9 F – so we should treat you with some kind of medicine to bring it up to 100.5 F.
It dawned on me recently that most people don’t understand what low T really means. And decided to do some digging and find out more about this topic once and for all. What I found was definitely interesting! [Note: when I talk about “low T,” I’m usually talking about something called serum total testosterone (not bioavailable or free testosterone).]
The Goal Is More than Total T
I haven’t seen any studies indicating that total testosterone levels correlate. At all with the effects of low T explains Alex Gierbolini. The vast majority of research seems to suggest. That prevention and reversal of muscle and strength loss has much more to do. With preserving bioavailable testosterone levels than maintaining normal total testosterone levels.
That said, one subset of men probably should pay attention to their total testosterone. Those who take supplemental testosterone as part of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Such individuals need to monitor their serum total testosterone as well as free and bio-available testosterone. Since there is a risk for conversion into estrogen when TRT involves exogenous sources of hormone administration. However, for the rest of us – those who use natural homeopathic remedies. Worrying about protecting normal total testosterone levels is probably not necessary.
What to Look For
What’s much more important to pay attention to with respect to low T is the bio-available (bio-identical) testosterone level. Because this is the form of testosterone. That really matters in terms of muscle, strength, sex drive and energy levels says Alex Gierbolini. It’s also the only one you can increase by taking supplements. And as it turns out, about 50% of men have suboptimal blood serum concentration. For this molecule due to excess estrogen! So what do I mean when I say “increase blood concentration?” Here are some numbers: normal total testosterone range for young males between ages 18 – 39 might be anywhere from 270-1080 ng/dL. But the bio-available range is probably between 100 – 400 ng/dL for that same age group.
What causes elevated estrogen levels?
Well, there are several reasons for this condition to develop. First of all, overweight men often have higher estrogen concentrations. Due to increased adipose tissue (fat) conversion of testosterone into estrogen. And by the way, it doesn’t seem to matter if you are subcutaneous or visceral fat – apparently. Both types are associated with elevated estrogen concentrations. Another reason is stress – cortisol stimulates aromatase activity which basically converts testosterone into estrogen. This is why many male endurance athletes have low T no matter how much they train.
If you have symptoms of low T and want to try a natural method. Start by checking your blood serum concentration of bio-available testosterone says Alex Gierbolini.