Men’s health: Employers must tackle low testosterone levels

by Helen Lake

Low testosterone is sapping the energy levels of two million men in the UK. Helen Lake discusses some of the issues and misconceptions surrounding low testosterone, as well as outlining the actions that employers can take to support their staff who are suffering with this hard-to-spot condition.

27th Jul 2022

This article is a repost which originally appeared on HRZone.

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Our Takeaways:

· A large percentage of men suffer from emotional concerns in silence.

· 40% of men aged 45 or older have clinically low levels of testosterone.

· Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) should be considered a tactic of last resort for men with hormonal issues.

It’s estimated that around two million men in Britain suffer from low testosterone levels, making it a very real issue for a large proportion of the UK workforce.

For those working men suffering with it, symptoms can include low energy levels, poor concentration, memory loss and side effects that are often misdiagnosed as depression. Longer term, men living with a testosterone deficiency are more susceptible to serious health issues including cardiac arrest, infertility and osteoporosis.

Recent research by Peppy found that 39% of employees experience disruption due to men waiting until a health problem becomes severe before talking to their HR team.

With low testosterone impacting a man’s general wellbeing, as well as his performance at work – increasingly, there are calls for greater workplace support and awareness around male testosterone deficiency.

Men’s Health Awareness Week recently took place, but we shouldn’t only focus on men’s health during this time. At any point in the year, organisations should examine what can be done to raise the bar for men’s health, including their ‘t-levels’.

Who is impacted by low testosterone?

The research also revealed that an estimated 40% of men aged 45 and older have low testosterone. But, since this is an issue unique to men, it’s likely that the true figures are much higher than are reported.

Testosterone is the male hormone produced that boosts bone strength, powers sex drive, and helps to maintain muscle mass.

An estimated 40% of men aged 45 and older have low testosterone, with the true figure thought to be much higher.

It is mostly produced in the testicles, with production rising rapidly during puberty, triggering a whole host of teenage side-effects in young males and peaking around the 20s.

Levels begin to decline naturally in men by around 2% a year from their mid-30s. By their 40s, the more common symptoms – such as mood swings, low energy, loss of muscle mass, and poor concentration – are more likely to occur.

The imbalance of such a crucial part of a man’s hormonal make-up can have wide-ranging implications, both for him and his workplace.

A wide range of symptoms

While concerns around the impact menopause can have upon women in the workforce have taken deserved precedence in recent years, the issue of low testosterone in men of a working age is a cause for increasing concern among medical professionals.

And it should be for employers, too.

The ‘andropause’, as it’s been dubbed, may not present with as severe a set of symptoms as those experienced by some women during menopause, but the gradual decline in testosterone levels can have a devastating impact on the long-term health of men.

At the heart of the problem, is the fact that low testosterone isn’t always correctly diagnosed. Symptoms are commonly attributed to ‘working too hard’ or just getting older, and are often mistaken for depression – or else not identified at all.

The gradual decline in testosterone levels can have a devastating impact on the long-term health of men.

The symptoms of low testosterone vary between individuals. In some cases, low levels of testosterone do not appear to cause many symptoms for reasons that are not clear.

Impacts on men’s mental health and emotional wellbeing include poor sleep quality, mood swings and irritability – making it an issue employees and employers need to be aware of. Erectile dysfunction is another common sign, but is often viewed as an embarrassing issue that contributes to men suffering in silence.

In more severe cases, a decline in testosterone can affect sperm count and cause men to grow ‘moobs’ or man boobs, due to changes in the body’s fat distribution. The knock-on effect of low testosterone can therefore impact body image, self-confidence, and even family plans.

Most cases are caused by ageing, or through being overweight or type 2 diabetes – both of which are prevalent in the male population of the UK. In addition, low levels of testosterone can affect younger men as a result of stress, lack of sleep, poor diet and lack of exercise.

The impact on male mental health

For many men, low testosterone levels are the real culprit for that general feeling of low mood and exhaustion that so many experience.

But, when men are half as likely as women to visit their GP, many go years if not decades experiencing high levels of fatigue and decreased energy levels without finding out that it is hormone related and treatable.

In the UK today, one in eight men struggle with a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression, and this is likely to be higher than is officially recorded. One in three men also attribute poor mental health to their job, making this a serious issue for workplaces.

In the UK today, one in eight men struggle with a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression.

Directly or indirectly, the impact low testosterone levels can have on a man’s health and lifestyle – from loss of libido, to weight gain, to lack of quality sleep, to low mood – is very likely to trickle through to their mental and emotional wellbeing.

For organisations committed to improving their male workforce’s mental health, tackling testosterone must become part of the conversation.

How workplaces can tackle the problem

At present, accessing specific support is difficult for men suffering with low testosterone. Tests are only available on the NHS to those with severe symptoms, and these people must firstly have made an appointment with the GP and made it through the system, just in order to be diagnosed with low testosterone.

Workplaces are uniquely placed to give employees the practical and emotional support they need – and this starts with raising awareness.

Employees of all genders, ages and life stages should be made aware of the signs, symptoms and risks of low testosterone, so they know what to look out for in themselves, their colleagues and even their partners. Providing resources in the workplace for improved physical and mental health for employees should also be a priority.

Organisations should make the pathway to support as easy to access as possible by giving employees access to specialist men’s health support, including highly-trained urology specialist nurses, as well as nutritionists and fitness experts. Crucially for men, support should be available remotely and entirely confidentially to maximise uptake.

The help provided should include access to at-home hormone tests and personalised, expert advice on how to treat the side-effects of low testosterone.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should always be the last resort.

There is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to low testosterone levels. Simple lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, sleep and work-life-balance can have a miraculous impact on an individual’s testosterone levels and should be explored first.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should always be the last resort, with any potential underlying medical cause excluded.

Leading employers are transforming men’s health

Forward-thinking employers and their employees are already reaping the rewards of connecting their people to a team of real, human experts.

With the right tools at their fingertips, individuals from leading consultancy firms, high street retailers and law firms are able to work alongside nutritionists, personal trainers, urology specialists and mental health experts – building the habits that can help to restore healthy testosterone levels.

Because eliminating the unwanted effects of low testosterone won’t just benefit the individual, but their workplace as well.

With the right holistic support and wellbeing initiatives, employees can spot the signs, identify the causes and take immediate, practical steps towards rebalancing their hormone levels, enabling them to bring their best selves to work each day.

Beard Growth: Tips to Speed Up the Process

Can a person speed up beard growth?

Medically reviewed by Amanda Caldwell, MSN, APRN-C — Written by Margaret Etudo on July 11, 2022

This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Our Takeaways:

· There are ways to maximize beard growth through nutrition and other means.

· Low testosterone can adversely affect beard growth.

· Beard growth is dependent mostly on genetics.

Although exercising and eating a nutritious diet may speed up beard growth, the main factors that determine how fully a person’s beard will grow are hormones and genetics.

Males start to grow facial hair during puberty. Many of them will notice that their facial hair first begins to grow on the upper lip.

Other areas people may notice early facial hair growth include the chin or the sides of the face near the ears, which people refer to as “sideburns.”

Facial hair grows differently for everyone. Some individuals may be able to grow a full beard during late stage or even middle stage adolescence. Others may continue to have sparse areas of growth until their late 20s, while some may never experience significant facial hair growth.

This article will explore what factors influence a person’s beard growth and whether it is possible for someone to make their beard grow faster.

What factors affect beard growth?

Genetics and hormones are the main factors that determine how quickly and fully a person’s beard will grow. Their lifestyle and habits may also affect how their beard grows.

Testosterone is a hormone that affects the growth of facial hair, and its levels can vary. Males between 19 and 38 typically have a range of 264 to 916 nanograms per deciliter. This represents the 2.5th to 97.5th percentile for testosterone.

Low testosterone can adversely affect beard growth. For males with low testosterone, taking supplements under a doctor’s supervision may help increase beard growth.

If a person’s testosterone levels fall within typical ranges, taking supplements will most likely not affect their beard growth.

Genetics also affect the way a person’s beard grows. Some genes make them more prone to growing a fuller beard, while others may only ever be able to grow a sparse or patchy beard or other facial hair.

Beard growth tips

The health and well-being of a person affect how their whole body functions, including how their beard grows. Even though it is not possible to alter someone’s genes, lifestyle habits they can adopt may help them achieve a fuller beard.

Exercise

Exercise improves blood flow, which helps stimulate hair follicle growth. Exercises, such as weightlifting and strength training, may also help boost a person’s testosterone levels.

During the day, testosterone levels naturally fluctuate in young males, with a higher level in the morning and a lower level in the afternoon.

Diet

Good nutrition from eating a balanced diet may help in growing a beard and staying healthy.

According to a 2015 study, obesity and low testosterone have a bidirectional relationship, meaning that low testosterone can lead to obesity and obesity can lead to low testosterone.

Nutrients, such as zinc, may also be beneficial for testosterone levels. A nutritious diet will not override genetics, but it may help the existing hair grow healthier and fuller. Some foods that can help include:

· lean protein, such as chicken and salmon
· iron-rich foods, such as liver
· whole grains and other complex carbohydrates
· foods high in zinc, such as nuts and chickpeas
· healthy fats, such as those in avocados, fruits and vegetables, such as those high in B vitamins and vitamins A, C, D, and E

Supplements

Some supplements can contribute toward maintaining a person’s health in a way that is conducive to growing their beard as fully as their genetic makeup will allow.

A person may wish to take a multivitamin containing iron and zinc if their diet does not provide them with sufficient amounts of these nutrients.

However, there are no supplements that will enable a person to grow a beard if they do not have the genes to do so.

Skin care regime

Maintaining a healthy skin care routine, including keeping the beard clean, can positively affect how a person’s beard will grow and look.

Exfoliating the face can help remove dead skin cells and debris from around each hair follicle, allowing the hair to grow through the skin unimpeded. Exfoliating can also reduce ingrown hairs under the beard.

Leave-in conditioners for beards can nourish the hair and keep it moisturized. This helps reduce and prevent beard dandruff and makes the beard look fuller. It is best to perform a patch test to find out which products work best for the beard.

Sleep

As well as being necessary for overall health, sleep can also aid beard growth.

The testosterone levels in males generally increase when they are asleep. A 2015 study found that reducing the amount of daily sleep lowered testosterone levels in healthy young males.

Can you make your beard grow thicker?

Keeping a beard clean and moisturized can help it appear thicker. However, there is no certain routine with scientific backing that can thicken a growing beard.

However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that olive oil and avocado oil could thicken beards.

It is possible that these may work the way leave-in conditioners do by keeping the beard nourished and moisturized.

Summary

Growing a beard depends mostly on a person’s genetics.

However, testosterone plays some role in determining how fast and well someone’s beard will grow.

Making sure to keep testosterone levels within a stable, healthy range by regularly exercising, eating well, getting sufficient, restful sleep, and exfoliating can help a person’s beard grow as thick and full as it is naturally able.

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Harmonized reference ranges for circulating testosterone levels in men of four cohort studies in the United States and Europe. (2017).
    https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/articles/2017/march/harmonized-normal-reference-range-for-testosterone-in-men-established
  • Kar S. K., et al. (2015). Understanding normal development of adolescent sexuality: A bumpy ride.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477452/
  • Kelly, D. M., et al. (2015). Testosterone and obesity [Abstract].
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25982085/
  • Leproult R., et al. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
  • Riachy R., et al. (2020). Various factors may modulate the effect of exercise on testosterone levels in men.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739287/

A Renowned Doc Reveals The Simple Secrets To Being A Healthy Man

Dr. Frank Lipman talks about “the male way of seeing” health and how it got us to this men’s health crisis point.

by Fatherly

6.23.2022

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Fatherly

Edited for content. The opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the opinions of this site’s editors, staff or members.

Our Takeaways:

· It’s thought men’s health is threatened by their not being preventative enough.

· Technology and a more holistic approach to this challenge appears to be helpful.

· Mental and physical wellness should be seen as a singular thing.

One of the biggest threats to men’s health has always been the challenge of getting them to care about it. “It’s hard to say the exact reason, but men don’t really do anything preventatively,” explains physician Frank Lipman, M.D. Through nearly 40 years of experience practicing functional medicine, he has found that men generally “are not interested in subtle changes in their body, and they traditionally wait until they have a heart attack or something serious,” Lipman says. And although he can’t point to a single catchall reason for why this is, it’s always been the case. “That’s the male way of seeing things: It’s not a problem until it’s a big problem.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been attempts to engage men to take a more proactive approach to their health and wellness. But much of this has been geared toward optimizing their performance. That’s why erectile dysfunction and low testosterone have been a major part of these efforts, because they affect men’s ability to perform in bed, at work, and on the field. As a result, these are the concerns that might get men in to see their doctors and screened for more serious risks such as heart disease and diabetes.

But now, thanks to a combination of telemedicine, wearable tech, and the mainstreaming of biohacking, doctors like Lipman have been able to spin this competitive edge into a more holistic approach to healthcare. “A lot of guys are learning that they can do a lot of health testing at home, use wearables, and do things in order to perform better,” Lipman says. Being able to track things like their sleep, exercise, and how much alcohol they’ve cut back on, and bond with other guys while competing over these progress, might be what gets them paying more attention to their minds and bodies.

“Men generally are more competitive, so if that can be spun in a positive way, then they will take more notice,” Lipman says. “Being able to measure these things at home and compare it to their friends is a positive.”

Although the overall outcome remains to be seen, Lipman sat down with Fatherly to discuss his optimism about the future of men’s health, and how we can gamify it for the better.

Over the course of your career, how have you seen men’s interest in their health change? What’s different now, and what is still the same?

Traditionally it’s been the spouse or significant other bringing men into the doctor. But there’s been a shift, and now men seem to be paying more attention to athletes and other role models for men, on Twitter and social media, talking about how when they started doing ice plunges, they started performing better. A lot of them are athletes because there’s a lot more awareness about health for them. All of that has made men more aware. Instead of their spouses getting them to care about their health, there are successful role models.

With so many men getting this information from social media, are there concerns about misinformation?

There’s always going to be some misinformation, but overall I think it’s much more positive. There’s much more good coming from it. And if it brings them into the doctor, they can do more testing, and their health can be a little bit more controlled.

What conditions are guys coming into your office worried about?

They’ve become more aware of heart disease, which usually is a disease that’s easily picked up from biomarkers. I think men are usually more concerned about performance and issues related to that, like Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues. They’re worried about not having the energy to play basketball with their friends. They’re worried about not being able to perform as well as the younger people at work.

It seems like men aren’t that interested in worrying about diseases like cancer that could develop. Is it fair to say, when you try to get men to worry about preventative healthcare so far in the future, it may not work?

Yes, you’ve got to present it in a way that’s going to make them make changes. You can’t say, “If you don’t do this, you’re going to get heart disease.” Or, “If you don’t do this, you’re going to put on weight.” It’s more about, “If you don’t do this, you’re not going to have the energy to do the thing you want to do.

Having heart disease or a problem with your health is going to affect your penis as well, because ED is not isolated to that particular organ. Usually when someone has ED, it’s a systemic thing — it’s vascular disease all over the body. That’s a generalization, but you’ve got to scare men in a way that’s going to change the way they’re going to see things.

You mentioned biomarkers. For someone who’s new to telemedicine, wearable tech, and biohacking, what are some biomarkers they should pay attention to? Or what sort of things should they have tested?

A lot of the blood work done by doctors is not particularly helpful. Guys should be asking for an advanced lipid panel that looks at the particle size of the cholesterol molecules — that measures inflammatory markers. It’s a much more extensive test that gives us much more information about heart disease and inflammation than regular tests.

They should have their uric acid checked. They should have nutrient levels checked, which are not usually checked. For instance, they should have their Omega-3 levels checked. They should have their red blood cell magnesium checked. They should have their B-12 checked.

And then hormones; men should not only have their testosterone and free testosterone checked, they should check for estrogens as well. Too much estrogen can be a problem for men as well as women.

What are the limits to biohacking?

The biggest things that get ignored are moving your body, how you sleep, meditation or stress reduction, spending time in nature, having some purpose in life, having some connection, or being connected to family or a community. Those to me are the primary biohacks of the body.

The secondary hacks are when you want to take it to the next level. So guys who are biohacking by measuring their blood glucose and their sleep and taking all these crazy supplements, it’s all fine, and I don’t think they’re dangerous. But to me, those are secondary hacks. If you’re thinking of biohacking, you can’t ignore the primary biohacks.

Sleeping seems to be a big thing that men can track for the sake of their mental and physical health.

Poor sleep puts you at risk for almost every chronic disease from Alzheimer’s to heart disease to diabetes to obesity. So poor sleep is the first place you need to do some work, because men don’t take sleep seriously enough. Sleep is when your body is recovering and repairing. It’s when your brain cleans all the toxins out. Sleep is crucial to one’s health.

Alcohol seems similar, in that it puts men at risk for a lot of problems, but it also can be managed and tracked easily with apps. Does it work the same way?

Yes, too many people drink too much alcohol, which not only affects sleep, but it can affect so many other parts of the body and predispose you to so many problems. Three to four drinks a week isn’t a problem, but most men are drinking three to four drinks a night for three or four nights a week, and that becomes a problem. It puts a load on most organ systems, and is probably one of the primary risk factors for many of the diseases men are presenting with.

Sleep and alcohol also seem to have a large effect on men’s mental health, which has been said to be in a state of crisis. Do you believe men are facing a mental health crisis, and has it always been this way?

I’m not sure the problems with men’s mental health are a new thing. I think it’s probably more of an issue now because there’s more stress in people’s lives, whether it’s financial or otherwise. And men are starting to deal with it instead of suppressing it. Younger men are much more aware of their mental health and are in therapy, again because there have been more role models. People like Michael Phelps make a difference and help things.

I think younger men are more aware of their mental and emotional health, and it’s great that that’s shifted. But also, there is more pressure on everyone, including men, than there was 20 years ago.

And how can paying attention to physical health in the ways we’ve discussed help with mental health?

To me, mental and physical health are all one thing. Men paying more attention to their physical health will absolutely help with their mental health. I think teletherapy has made men more comfortable going to therapy from their home and that’s also helped a lot with that.

If you were to take into account all the avoidance and mental and physical health risks we’ve discussed, do you think that being a man should be considered a pre-existing condition, or a medical diagnosis in itself?

I don’t see it that way. We all have different pre-dispositions. Especially with genetic testing now, we can tell who’s more genetically predisposed to heart disease or diabetes or whatever. Certain diseases might happen more for men, but I don’t see being a man as a health risk, to be quite honest. I think it comes down to how health information is presented, and I think now it is being presented to men in a more accessible way.

Understanding Blood Flow Restriction

U.S. News & World Report

February 22, 2022, 7:00 PM

This article is a repost which originally appeared on wtopnews

Edited for content

Our Takeaways:

· BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) is commonly referred to as the new “cupping”

· BFR signals to the brain the muscle is working harder than it is- creating a compensation mechanism

· BFR can induce the secretion of HGH, IGF1, Nitric Oxide, and other beneficent compounds.

Blood flow restriction tourniquets — those arm and leg bands that look a little like narrow blood pressure cuffs — made a splash at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Some top performing track athletes and swimmers such as Michael Andrews and Galen Rupp used them while warming up or cooling down.

BFR was hailed as “the new cupping” by some, referring to previous Olympic Games when many swimmers showed up with large circular marks on their skin from the ancient Chinese practice of cupping. Like cupping, BRF is the latest trend in professional sports and fitness that might also have applications for the less-athletic set.

What is BFR?

Caroline Brunst, a physical therapist and athletic trainer with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, describes blood flow restriction training as “a novel technique that has gained popularity in recent years.” It’s also known as tourniquet training, because it involves the use of a cuff or tourniquet system on “the proximal end of an extremity,” meaning the upper arm or upper leg.

Most systems use a pneumatic tourniquet, in which the band is inflated with air “to a pressure high enough to maintain arterial flow while restricting venous return,” Brunst explains. This means that the cuff inflates enough to slow the return of blood from the muscle to the heart, but isn’t so tight that it cuts off all circulation, or even restricts blood flow to the working muscle.

This blockage of blood flow from the muscle back to the heart is the key component of BFR. The presence of the extra blood signals to the brain that this muscle is working harder than it really is. This type of physical stimulation can help build muscles, “similarly to what is noted at higher-intensity training with more resistance,” Brunst says. In other words, it boosts the effects of strength training.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology that examined a group of men aged 55 and older during a 14-week period, found that BFR paired with low-intensity resistance exercise offered muscle building gains similar to those achieved through high-intensity resistance exercise.

Origins of BFR

BFR has older origins, says Steven Munatones, CEO and co-founder of KAATSU Global, Inc., the company that makes the original blood flow modification device called KAATSU.

“KAATSU is a Japanese word that means ‘additional pressure’” Munatones says. The idea was first developed by Japanese physiologist and powerlifter Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in 1966.

Sato developed the KAATSU system, which is hailed as the first of the blood flow restriction or blood flow modification systems. There are a variety of other brands and types of blood flow restriction devices on the market today, and they can range from about $25 for the most basic model, to several thousand dollars for the high end options.

How it Works

Blood flow modification or restriction devices like KAATSU are designed to add pressure to the limbs. Munatones says that KAATSU equipment “gently applies pressure to slow down the venous flow — or the return of blood from the limbs to the torso.”

The equipment does not block the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart to the muscle, however, “which is extremely important. While tourniquet and blood pressure cuffs are specifically designed to cut off arterial flow from the torso to the limbs, KAATSU equipment is designed specifically to allow arterial flow to continue unimpeded and only to slightly modify the venous flow.”

Users can set the pressure at variable or constant levels, and you may want to start with very low pressure and build up over time to more intense restriction. Depending on the program, that pressure will stay elevated for usually about 30 to 45 seconds before releasing, and may also cycle through on a set series or repetitions.

A small computer powers these pressure changes in the KAATSU device, and users can set it to a wide variety of programs to help reach their goals, whether that be building speed, stamina, strength, flexibility or recovery and rehabilitation.

Munatones says that when your limbs are engorged with blood and you move, “then a number of biochemical reactions occur naturally in the vascular system and brain as a result.” He says this includes increased secretion of several hormones and other compounds including:

Human growth hormone. HGH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that helps muscles grow and cells regenerate. It’s useful for building and repairing tissues in the body and is especially important after intense physical exercise to repair and build stronger muscles.

Insulin-like growth factor 1. IGF-1 is a growth hormone that’s similar in structure to insulin, but works like HGH in building and repairing muscles in adults.

Vascular endothelial growth factor. VEGF is a protein that stimulates the formation of new blood vessels. When blood vessels are obstructed and less oxygen is reaching the tissue, VEGF is released to help new blood vessels develop to get around the blockage.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF is a protein that stimulates cellular growth and repair in the brain and nervous system. Exercise promotes the release of BDNF in the brain.

Nitric oxide. NO is a compound that stimulates growth hormone secretion. It’s also involved in vasodilation, and when blood vessels are compressed, that can increase the release of NO.

Plasmalogens. These lipids, or fats, can help protect other lipids and lipoprotein particles from oxidative stress – that’s the daily wear and tear cells undergo from the stress of daily living, exposure to toxins, and other similar factors. This makes their function similar to that of antioxidants, which are found in many plant-based foods.

Ceramides. These fats found in skin cells can also help build more resilient blood vessel walls.

Testosterone. The male sex hormone testosterone is well known for helping increase strength and muscle size.

“It’s this hormonal and metabolic response that leads to athletic gains and enhanced rehabilitation and recovery,” Munatones explains.

“It’s kind of a biohack,” says Chris Morgan, a Massachusetts-based swimming coach and chief aquatic officer at KAATSU Global. He adds that the device can provide a more efficient way to get the intensity you need from a workout.

For example, with his swimmers, instead of having them swim 8 times 200 meters, (1600 meters total) Morgan will have them do 16 times 25 meters (400 meters total) to get the same end result in a quarter of the time. “And you’re also not going to tear your shoulders apart. You’ll have less connective tissue tearing and less bone grinding, especially if you’re a land athlete” because of that reduced training volume.

Who Can Use BFR Training and Devices?

Strength and power athletes, such as those doing explosive sprinting or those who want big, weightlifting muscles are obvious candidates for adding BFR to their training regimens to reap its benefits of less wear-and-tear on the body.

But other individuals may also find a benefit. Thomas Roe, an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer, endurance athlete, founder of TRoe Fitness and owner of Local Moves Studio in San Antonio, Texas, says “an ideal candidate is anyone who has trouble lifting heavy loads, which includes your own body weight. Think elderly or those who aren’t physically active prior to going into the surgery or therapy session.”

Munatones agrees that older adults, sedentary people, folks who lack mobility and balance, as well as those with musculoskeletal injuries who are recovering can also be considered ideal candidates.

If you’ve had surgery or are undergoing rehab for an injury “the traditional strengthening model may not be feasible due to pain, instability, swelling or other factors,” Brunst says. If that’s the case, a sports medicine practitioner may use BFR “to facilitate improvements in strength and function.”

The protocol can also help busy individuals get more out of each workout in less time, and even use the devices while doing house work or walking the dog to get a workout in without heading to the gym.

Is BFR Safe?

Brunst notes that people with certain conditions should steer clear of BFR training. These conditions include:

— Vascular disease.

— Diabetes.

— Sickle cell trait or disease.

— Severe hypertension.

— Cancer.

— Pregnancy.

— A history of deep vein thrombosis.

If you have any of these conditions, Brunst recommends talking with your physician and rehabilitation team to determine if BFR is appropriate, or whether an alternative treatment option might be a better choice.

Still, Brunst concludes that “when performed with appropriate athlete selection and with a provider that has undergone sufficient training on BFR application, it has been shown to be safe with very few reported complications.”

Munatones agrees that over their 50-plus years of research and development, KAATSU devices have been found to be safe and “most, but not all, BFR equipment is safe.” However, with some of the less-expensive versions, particularly those that more closely mimic a blood pressure cuff “users can apply too much pressure or apply too much pressure for too long.”

It’s also possible to put the bands in the wrong places or complete exercises that aren’t compatible with consistent pressure. This is why KAATSU recommends working with one of their certified practitioners when starting this therapy. As with any exercise regimen, it’s best to clear use of BFR with your doctor before you start, particularly if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Munatones, who suffered a massive heart attack in 2016, says “I’m convinced that the primary reason why I’m alive is because I had been using KAATSU for over 15 years before I had my heart attack.” He also recovered quickly following KAASTU protocols for cardiac rehabilitation and is now back to competing in marathon swimming events.

That said, not everyone likes or wants these pressure devices as part of their training or rehab efforts. Roe, for example, doesn’t subscribe to this approach. “BFR really is a personal choice,” he says. “If it works for you or you achieve repair and recovery results, then stick with it. Personally, I think most injuries or post-surgery recovery can be accomplished with deep tissue massage, yoga or Pilates, stretching and strengthening or swimming.”

The Opposite of Premature Ejaculation: Delayed Ejaculation (from The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement)

The following is a chapter taken from the book: The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement.

Our Takeaways:

· Delayed Ejaculation (DE) can be caused by a number of factors

· Poor masturbation habits in conjunction with pornography use appears to be a chief contributing factor to DE

· There are methods for mitigating and even reversing DE- to include exercises

Another less common, less understood but still notable issue is delayed (or impaired) ejaculation. This is a problem on the opposite end of the sexual spectrum from premature ejaculation. Delayed ejaculation is when an inordinate amount of intense stimulation and/or time is required to ejaculate. An extreme version of this problem can manifest itself in a condition known as anorgasmia- or the inability to orgasm. The clinical definition of delayed ejaculation is when you suffer from this condition for six months or greater.

Causes of Delayed Ejaculation

The most common cause of delayed ejaculation among younger men is due to poor masturbation habits. As men age, delayed ejaculation becomes more common. For men over the age of 50, the chance of experiencing delayed
ejaculation increases significantly, even without negative masturbatory conditioning.

A high frequency of ejaculations can also lead to temporary delayed ejaculations, as well as exhaustion and lowered libido. This becomes more notable as men age, as it’s common for the refractory period to lengthen. The remedy for delayed ejaculation caused by ejaculating too frequently is simply to avoid ejaculating for a few days to ensure full recovery.

The causes of age-related delayed ejaculation may be related to lowered androgen levels, though some men with
normal levels of androgens still appear to suffer these effects. If this is the case, specific treatments, as prescribed by a medical professional, or supplementation may be of assistance with this.

Certain medications can induce delayed ejaculation. Most notable among these are anti-anxiety medications, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), painkillers, and blood pressure medications. If your delayed ejaculation is caused by medication, please consult with your doctor to see if a change in dosage or medication is possible.

Lifestyle choices can also result in delayed ejaculation. Alcohol can cause a dulling of sensation, which can lead to temporary delayed ejaculation. Drinking daily can result in a chronic case of delayed ejaculation as well as lower your libido. The easiest way to correct this problem is to stop drinking completely. Even one beer can negatively affect your ability to orgasm. Getting daily exercise and eating a healthy diet can also help improve your orgasm responsiveness, as your body will feel better and your cardiac health will improve.

Low testosterone levels and libido may also case delayed ejaculation. This is often accompanied by erectile
dysfunction. To determine if your testosterone levels are abnormally low, your doctor can perform a simple blood test.

How to Combat Delayed Ejaculation

Viagra has been prescribed with good success for the treatment of delayed ejaculation. Some prescription medications may also improve the effect as well, notably those for Parkinson’s and certain anti-allergy drugs. Speak with your doctor about these options, to see if any of them are right for you.

The herb piper auritum kunth (hoja santa) has been promoted as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine, but it has also been shown to be an effective agent at improving sensory thresholds. It’s also shown to be effective in improving electromyographic activity of pelvic floor. Ensuring you are getting necessary levels of zinc in your diet can go a long way toward minimizing sexual dysfunctions and ensuring optimal genitourinary health and function.

If your delayed ejaculation is due to poor masturbation habits and the desensitization of your penis, a great exercise to alleviate delayed ejaculation and to reset your sensory threshold is the “Reverse” Stop and Starts movement. The Reverse Stop and Starts is very simple to perform.

How to Perform the Reverse Stop and Start

Using an extremely light grip, attempt to ejaculate as quickly as possible.

Time yourself on this, and attempt to bring yourself to the 10-minute mark. From here, you should have reset your sensory threshold and can revert to the standard Stop and Starts for training. It won’t take many of these sessions to reset your sensory threshold!

The Emotional Component of Delayed Ejaculation

As with all stamina and other male enhancement exercises, it’s important to cultivate an emotional backdrop of confidence and a feeling of being unencumbered. Some cases of delayed ejaculation may have an emotional
component to it. In cases like these, repeated use of emotional visualizations during training can be effective at improving the timing of your ejaculations.

Stress and anxiety are huge factors in emotional delayed ejaculation. Worrying about other aspects of your life can result in a difficulty in orgasming. This then increases stress and anxiety while having sex, which exponentially can compound the problem and even lead to other sexual dysfunctions, like erectile dysfunction.
Speaking to a mental health professional can help if there’s an emotional component to your delayed ejaculation. They can help you address the underlying issues affecting you. They can also give you cognitive behavior exercises.

Communication is the Key When Dealing with Delayed Ejaculation

It’s important to note open communication with your partner when contending with any type of sexual dysfunction or less than satisfactory performance is vital. Communication and understanding can go a very long way in helping to resolve many of these issues, as emotional stress can often make them worse.

Delayed ejaculation can be just as devastating to a relationship as any other sexual dysfunction. For the man, it can be an ego crusher, when he can’t orgasm. It can also be physically frustrating and tiring. This often results in a reduced libido.

For their partner, it can also be equally ego-crushing. Your partner may worry they are doing something wrong. They may worry you’re no longer physically attracted to them. Perhaps the most destructive worry is the concern you’re being unfaithful. Be 100% up front with your partner about what’s going on, no matter how embarrassing and uncomfortable it may be. Reassure your partner the problem isn’t with them, and continue this reassurance, while you work on your delayed ejaculation.

Vaginal Laxity as a Contributor to Delayed Ejaculation

Communication becomes really important in cases where you may not have negative conditioning or even any
functional problems with ejaculation but are still experiencing delayed orgasm due to vaginal looseness in their sexual partner. The Kegel exercise is recommended for toning the vaginal walls and can also improve the intensity of orgasms for women. In extreme cases, surgery may be required or preferred to Kegels as a solution for vaginal laxity.

Broaching this sensitive subject can be difficult and requires great tact. One effective way of introducing the Kegel to women in cases of vaginal looseness is for the man to suggest vaginal contractions to his partner during penis-in- vagina (PIV) sexual contact. Repeated sessions of this type of activity should lead to increased tone and vaginal response in just a few weeks.

Another version of conditional delayed ejaculation is when your sexual partner can’t withstand long bouts of sexual activity due to health-related issues. As with the above, communication and alternate arrangements during sexual activity can go a long way toward creating better sexual harmony.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Male Enhancement

8 Ways to Boost Your Natural Testosterone

By David Thompson Jan 06, 2022 12:20 PM EST

This article is a repost which originally appeared on NATURE WORLD NEWS

Edited for content

A normal testosterone level for a man ranges from 264 and 964 nanograms per deciliter. Low testosterone can have a number of adverse health effects, including low libido, fatigue, hair loss and weight gain. There are medications that can increase your testosterone. However, many of these medications come with risks.

That is why it is best for you to try to boost your testosterone naturally. You can implement the following lifestyle changes to boost your testosterone.

Get Plenty of Sleep

A lack of sleep can cause a hormone imbalance. Testosterone is one of the hormones that can get out of whack if you do not get enough sleep. There have been studies done to confirm that your testosterone levels drop when you do not get enough sleep.

One study was done by the University of Chicago. It involved 10 men who were 24-years-old. They slept for eight hours for one week while at home. They then slept in the lab for the next 11 days. After that, they only slept for five hours for eight days.

The researchers found that the men’s testosterone levels dropped by 15 percent when they only got five hours of sleep. Keep in mind that a man’s testosterone only drops by one or two percent per year due to the natural aging process.

That is why it is important for you to prioritize getting the right amount of sleep. You need seven to eight hours per day. If you do not get enough sleep, then you should talk to your doctor.

Follow a Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet is important for maintaining a healthy testosterone level. You should avoid dieting because this can cause an imbalance in your hormone levels. You should eat plenty of whole foods so that you can get the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

In reproduction and bodily functions, free testosterone is just as effective as bound testosterone. To determine if they are within the recommended quota, it is important to test their levels. They are essential for the body to connect with its testosterone receptors. A fractional reduction in this hormone could cause reproductive problems and impairment of primary bodily functions, such as muscle development.

Lose Weight

Studies have shown that obese men are more likely to suffer from low T. In fact, a study published in “Clinical Endocrinology” that showed that obese males who are between the ages of 14 and 20 have 50 percent less testosterone.

Stay Active

Being active can naturally boost your testosterone levels. You should try to exercise every day. However, it is important for you to avoid overdoing a good thing. If you are too active, then it can actually decrease your testosterone levels. That is why it is common for athletes to suffer from low testosterone.

Stress

Stress is something that we all have. It is impossible to completely avoid stress because it comes with living. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels are higher. This can impair your metabolism and immune system response. If you have too much cortisol, then your testosterone levels will be lower.

Vitamins And Supplements

Vitamin D is one of the supplements that can help you increase your testosterone levels. There have been studies that have linked low testosterone levels to vitamin D deficiency. In addition to taking a supplement, you can increase your vitamin D levels by spending at least 15 minutes in the sun. You can also eat fortified cereal, milk and salmon.

DHEA is a hormone that your body needs in order to produce testosterone. Your DHEA levels tend to decrease as you get older. DHEA supplements may help your body produce more testosterone.

If you are deficient in magnesium, then taking a supplement can help your levels return to normal. A zinc deficiency can also cause your testosterone levels to drop. Additionally, there has been evidence to suggest that creatine can increase testosterone. It is also found in tuna, beef and salmon.

Review the Medications That You Take

It is important for you to look at the side effects of the medication. Low testosterone may be a side effect of the medication that you are taking. If you think that your medication is causing you to experience low testosterone, then it is a good idea for you to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can either adjust your medication or switch you to one that does not affect your testosterone levels. Do not stop taking your medication or adjust your dosage without talking to your doctor’s first.

Do Not Abuse Alcohol or Drugs

If you abuse drugs and alcohol, then your testosterone levels can drop. They can also cause serious damage to the cells in your body. That is why you should avoid drugs completely. If you drink alcohol, then you should avoid overdoing it. Do not have more than two alcoholic beverages per day.

I Put a Giant Red Light on My Balls to Triple My Testosterone Levels

I Put a Giant Red Light on My Balls to Triple My Testosterone Levels

I tried red light therapy, a radical (and expensive) alternative treatment, on my testicles— and honestly, I’ve never felt better

By Ben Greenfield
Oct 26, 2017

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Men’s Health

Edited for content.

I’m not really a nudist kind of guy. The last nudist beach I visited primarily featured lots of curly hair, very unattractive gonads, and a disturbing volleyball game spectacle, so ever since, I’ve tended to stay away from nudist beaches and bars. But three months ago, while on a camping trip, I decided to sunbathe nude in the forest. I lay out in my hammock with my drawers tossed to the forest floor, my crotch proudly displayed to the bright, blue sky, basking in the glorious feeling of warmth on my balls. I pondered whether this was some kind of little-known biohack I was tapping into. After all, enough people expose their crotch to the warm rays of the sun that there must be some benefit to it, right? I had to find out.

As a man on a constant quest to optimize my brain and body (including my own balls), I decided to actually look into the health effects of UV light on the genitals. To my surprise, some studies have actually demonstrated that exposing the torso or the testes to light can potentially increase testosterone. In fact, studies on the effects of light on the testes go way back to 1939, when researchers exposed various parts of men’s bodies to UV light. They found that men’s testosterone levels went up by 120% when the participants’ chests were exposed to UV light, and they went up by 200% with UV exposure to the genital area. (This was the same study former professional baseball player Gabe Kapler cited back in 2015, when he advocated for tanning your testicles in a blog post that later went viral.)

To be fair, the results of the 1939 study are nearly 80 years old, so it’s possible that the effects of sunlight on your nuts have been overstated. But assuming it is good for you, there’s one major problem with it: most dudes don’t have the time, desire, or year-round exposure to sunlight to step out into the backyard buck-naked. (Not to mention that most guys have something called “neighbors,” many of whom have access to phones and can call the police.) Ultimately, moseying through the neighborhood on a sunny day with your pants jacked down isn’t a practical way of getting your daily dose of testosterone.

So I delved back into the research, and messaged the one guy I consider to be an expert in all things testosterone and sperm-count related: my Finnish friend and physician Dr. Olli Sovijarvi, who studied at the University of Helsinki. I originally met Dr. Sovijarvi when speaking at a biohacking conference he hosts in Finland. Turns out that since those initial sunshine studies, many more studies have investigated the effects of direct sunlight exposure to the torso, which increases a human male’s testosterone levels by anywhere from 25% to 160%, depending on the individual.

Sunlight exposure directly to the testes reportedly has an even more profound effect, boosting production in Leydig cells (the cells that produce testosterone) by an average of 200%. Olli went on to inform me that some animal studies have linked light, particularly a special form of light called “red light”, to increased testicular function. (It’s important to note, however, that this is not exactly proven science: one red light study conducted on rams, for instance, was inconclusive.)

If you haven’t heard of red light, or if your only experience with red light is a streetlight or strip bar, you’re not alone. But basically the theory is this: while sunlight has many beneficial effects, such as vitamin D production and improved mood, it is not without its downsides. Too much exposure to sunlight, particularly to sensitive areas like the skin around your precious ball sac, can create sunburn, excess radiation, inflammation and damage. And let’s face it: you don’t want a shrunken, shriveled, dehydrated dick, no matter how impressive the tan.

Red light, however, is different than sunlight. Red light is comprised of light wavelengths in the range of 600-950 nanometers (nm). According to red light therapy proponents, red light works to stimulate ATP production, increase energy available to the cell and in particular, increase the activity of the Leydig cells in your testes, which are the cells responsible for testosterone production.

It’s important to note that there are currently no light therapy devices on the market cleared by FDA for the enhanced production of testosterone LED-based therapy. That said, the treatment is generally considered low-risk, so the products like the one I tried do not require FDA clearance. (A few treatments like LED red-light beds, however, have been approved by the FDA for very narrow indications, like wrinkle reduction, etc.) It also should be noted that most (but not all) of the existing clinical research related to testosterone production and sperm mobility stems from animal studies, not studies involving humans.

There is also another caveat to this — and this is the part where Olli just about scared my pants off (or more appropriately, back on). Many types of lamps and bulbs sold for red light therapy (such as incandescents, heat lamps, infrared lamps that generate red light at greater than 1000nm) give off a significant amount of heat and can actually fry your testicles. So apparently, you have to be careful when you use red light therapy, unless self-castration with a red heating lamp from Home Depot is on your wishlist.

The good Dr. Olli then went on to inform me that each night he lays down on his couch, pulls down his pants, and hugs a big long panel of red infrared light from an LED source at 600-950nm. It sounded just like hugging a giant, warm teddy bear (a very hard and uncomfortable teddy bear, plugged into a wall outlet and generating enough red light to turn the entire room into a video arcade).

I was convinced. The morning after my conversation with Olli, I ordered something called a “JOOVV” (pronounced “Joove”) light. This was the red light he personally recommended and used himself, and I didn’t want to play around with frying my balls to a crisp with a cheapo knockoff, so I spent the big bucks (a grand total of $995) for what the website described as a “full body LED red light therapy device”.

When my JOOVV arrived the next week, I hoisted it downstairs to my office, leaned it against my stand-up desk, pulled down my pants and flipped it on.

I jumped back as best I could with my underwear wrapped around my ankles. Holy hell. Not only was the red light panel itself as wide as my torso and nearly five feet high, but the light coming out of this thing was freaking blinding. I fumbled for the little sunglasses that were included with the light panel and slapped them on. There, much better.

No longer feeling like I was staring into the depths of a semi-truck’s red brake lights, I simply stood there, naked. I replied to a few emails, then checked my watch. Five minutes. That should be good. After all, according to good ol’ Dr. Olli, five to 20 minutes is the sweet spot for red light exposure to your gonads, and I didn’t want to overtrain or excessively fry my little fellas on their first foray into the wonderful world of red light.

The rest of the morning, my crotch felt warm. Alive. So I did it again. Glancing out my office window to make sure the lawnmower guy wasn’t tooling around in the grass, I pulled down my drawers and bathed myself in the heavenly, warm, tingly glow, this time for eight minutes.

That night, my wife and I made love. Admittedly, I felt – well – a unique heavenly, warm, tingly glow in my crotch. Nice.

Two days later, I waited until the evening, then wandered downstairs. I rubbed my hands together, took a deep breath, and flipped my JOOVV on. I called my mom to see how her day was going mom (she had no clue what was going on below the phone). Ten minutes. I read a blog post. Fifteen minutes. My crotch grew more and more warm, but in a pleasant, day-at-the-beach sort of way. I finished an email. Twenty minutes. Mission complete.

That night was date night, and I was a rock star.

I sat at dinner, horny, my penis pulsing, staring across the table at my wife and feeling as though I’d popped a couple Viagra. Later, I blew the biggest load I could recall in recent memory.

And from that point on, for nearly the past seven months, I’ve stuck with twenty minutes of red light exposure on my crotch each day. Actually, I’m afraid to do more. I suspect there must be a law of diminishing returns, and I don’t desire to wind up with my dick looking like a leather handbag. But in the meantime, it is now a daily habit to pull down my pants at my desk, flip on my JOOVV and get my red light on.

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

What you eat or drink may affect levels of the male sex hormone, but whether a diet can increase libido or energy depends on many things.

By Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D.

Published Nov. 2, 2021Updated Nov. 3, 2021

This article is a repost which originally appeared on The New York Times

Edited for content.

Can I increase my testosterone levels through the foods I eat? And if so, which foods or diets work best?

Many men, particularly as they age, are concerned about their levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone touted to build muscle, sex drive and vigor. But individual foods are unlikely to have an impact on testosterone levels — though drinking excessive amounts of alcohol might. If you are overweight, altering your diet to lose weight may help, since carrying excess pounds is a common cause of low testosterone. But in terms of specific foods or diets, any uptick you achieve may not have a noticeable impact on libido, energy or muscle mass.

“If someone was not overweight, I wouldn’t put them on a specific diet to raise testosterone based on the data we have now,” said Alexander Pastuszak, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who co-authored a review on alternatives to testosterone therapy.

In men, normal testosterone levels range from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Ups and downs within that normal range are unlikely to have any impact on sex drive or vitality. Only when levels consistently drop below 300 points — as confirmed in two blood tests by an accredited laboratory — are symptoms like low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, low mood or loss of muscle mass likely to appear, a medical condition known as hypogonadism.

Starting at around age 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by about 1 percent per year. But the drop can vary tremendously, with some older men maintaining levels similar to healthy young men. The trajectory of falling testosterone is steeper among men who gain a lot of weight, said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, professor of medicine at Harvard and the director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Studies on foods or diets and testosterone levels have generally been small and the findings far from conclusive. A recent British review that pooled data from 206 volunteers, for example, found that men on high-fat diets had testosterone levels that were about 60 points higher, on average, than men on low-fat diets. Men who followed a vegetarian diet tended to have the lowest levels of testosterone, about 150 points lower, on average, than those following a high-fat, meat-based diet. Still, Joseph Whittaker, the lead investigator and a nutritionist at the University of Worcester in Britain, said he would not recommend a man increase the fats in his diet unless he had low testosterone levels and symptoms of low T and was already restricting fats.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested two styles of diets in 25 fit men between the ages of 18 and 30. Calories consumed were the same, but one group ate a high-fat, very-low-carb, ketogenic-style diet, consisting of 75 percent of calories from fats, 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. Men in the other group ate a more traditional Western style, low-fat diet, containing 25 percent of calories from fats, 55 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. After 10 weeks of eating the high-fat diet, testosterone increased by 118 points, on average, while after the low-fat diet, levels declined by about 36 points.

Similarly, a study of 3,000 men found that those who reported eating a low-fat diet had slightly lower testosterone levels — about 30 points lower — than men who ate higher-fat diets. But none of the men had low testosterone.

“The moral is that healthy men who are of normal weight with no significant comorbidities are unlikely to benefit from restrictive diets,” said Dr. Richard J. Fantus, one of the study’s authors and a urologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.

Diet studies are complicated, because changing one component of the diet, such as fat intake, alters so many other things, such as the amount of carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients consumed. It’s unclear which component of the diet may have prompted the hormonal changes, Dr. Bhasin said. Furthermore, testosterone levels may also be shaped by how much a person sleeps, or whether they are jet-lagged, or if they are eating most of their calories at night or in small meals throughout the day.

Dr. Faysal Yafi, chief of the division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine, says his patients who opt to follow specific diets tend to start exercising more and drinking less alcohol, all of which can raise testosterone levels. He suspects any links between diet and testosterone may be the result of an overall healthier lifestyle.

Some men worry that eating lots of soy foods may cause their testosterone levels to fall, because soy is rich in isoflavones, which mimic the structure of estrogen. But the evidence doesn’t support their concerns, even if men eat foods like miso, tofu or soy milk at every meal. (Doctors did report one anecdotal case in which a 19-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes who followed a vegan diet containing 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily — nine times higher than a typical Japanese diet, and 100 times higher than the typical American diet — developed low testosterone levels along with low libido and fatigue. His symptoms improved when he stopped eating the soy-heavy, vegan diet.)

Long-term alcohol abuse lowers testosterone by damaging cells in both the testes, which make testosterone, and the liver, which alters testosterone metabolism. But binge drinking every now and then does not appear to have much of an impact — it lowers testosterone for only about 30 minutes, according to one study, after which levels bounce back to baseline.

Obese men who have low levels of testosterone can increase levels by cutting calories and losing weight — the type of diet does not matter, studies suggest. On the opposite extreme, Dr. Bhasin said he is seeing an increasing number of men at his clinic who have body dysmorphic issues and are suffering from low libido and fatigue. Strict calorie restriction, exercising intensely and being chronically stressed can all cause testosterone levels to plummet and are likely to blame, he said.

The bottom line is that for otherwise healthy men who are following a reasonably healthy lifestyle, fiddling with specific foods or the composition of the diet is not likely to make much of a difference on the testosterone score card. As Dr. Fantus of NorthShore University put it: “I don’t think there is a way to game the system to get really large increases by changing the diet.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that men who ate low-fat diets tended to have higher testosterone levels. Men who ate high-fat diets tended to have the higher T levels.

The article also referred to a 19-year-old man with low testosterone levels who was eating a diet containing 360 milligrams of soy daily; his diet actually contained 360 milligrams of soy isoflavones.

 

Testosterone Levels: Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Them?

Can Specific Foods or Diets Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

What you eat or drink may affect levels of the male sex hormone, but whether a diet can increase libido or energy depends on many things.

By Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D.

Nov. 2, 2021 Updated 12:15 p.m. ET

This article is a repost which originally appeared on The New York Times

Edited for content.

Can I increase my testosterone levels through the foods I eat? And if so, which foods or diets work best?

Many men, particularly as they age, are concerned about their levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone touted to build muscle, sex drive and vigor. But individual foods are unlikely to have an impact on testosterone levels — though drinking excessive amounts of alcohol might. If you are overweight, altering your diet to lose weight may help, since carrying excess pounds is a common cause of low testosterone. But in terms of specific foods or diets, any uptick you achieve may not have a noticeable impact on libido, energy or muscle mass.

“If someone was not overweight, I wouldn’t put them on a specific diet to raise testosterone based on the data we have now,” said Alexander Pastuszak, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who co-authored a review on alternatives to testosterone therapy.

In men, normal testosterone levels range from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Ups and downs within that normal range are unlikely to have any impact on sex drive or vitality. Only when levels consistently drop below 300 points — as confirmed in two blood tests by an accredited laboratory — are symptoms like low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, low mood or loss of muscle mass likely to appear, a medical condition known as hypogonadism.

Starting at around age 40, men’s testosterone levels start to decline by about 1 percent per year. But the drop can vary tremendously, with some older men maintaining levels similar to healthy young men. The trajectory of falling testosterone is steeper among men who gain a lot of weight, said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, professor of medicine at Harvard and the director of the Research Program in Men’s Health: Aging and Metabolism at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Studies on foods or diets and testosterone levels have generally been small and the findings far from conclusive. A recent British review that pooled data from 206 volunteers, for example, found that men on low-fat diets had testosterone levels that were about 60 points higher, on average, than men on high-fat diets. Men who followed a vegetarian diet tended to have the lowest levels of testosterone, about 150 points lower, on average, than those following a high-fat, meat-based diet. Still, Joseph Whittaker, the lead investigator and a nutritionist at the University of Worcester in Britain, said he would not recommend a man increase the fats in his diet unless he had low testosterone levels and symptoms of low T and was already restricting fats.

Another study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested two styles of diets in 25 fit men between the ages of 18 and 30. Calories consumed were the same, but one group ate a high-fat, very-low-carb, ketogenic-style diet, consisting of 75 percent of calories from fats, 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. Men in the other group ate a more traditional Western style, low-fat diet, containing 25 percent of calories from fats, 55 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. After 10 weeks of eating the high-fat diet, testosterone increased by 118 points, on average, while after the low-fat diet, levels declined by about 36 points

Similarly, a study of 3,000 men found that those who reported eating a low-fat diet had slightly lower testosterone levels — about 30 points lower — than men who ate higher-fat diets. But none of the men had low testosterone.

“The moral is that healthy men who are of normal weight with no significant comorbidities are unlikely to benefit from restrictive diets,” said Dr. Richard J. Fantus, one of the study’s authors and a urologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.

Diet studies are complicated, because changing one component of the diet, such as fat intake, alters so many other things, such as the amount of carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients consumed. It’s unclear which component of the diet may have prompted the hormonal changes, Dr. Bhasin said. Furthermore, testosterone levels may also be shaped by how much a person sleeps, or whether they are jet-lagged, or if they are eating most of their calories at night or in small meals throughout the day.

Dr. Faysal Yafi, chief of the division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine, says his patients who opt to follow specific diets tend to start exercising more and drinking less alcohol, all of which can raise testosterone levels. He suspects any links between diet and testosterone may be the result of an overall healthier lifestyle.

Some men worry that eating lots of soy foods may cause their testosterone levels to fall, because soy is rich in isoflavones, which mimic the structure of estrogen. But the evidence doesn’t support their concerns, even if men eat foods like miso, tofu or soy milk at every meal. (Doctors did report one anecdotal case in which a 19-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes who followed a vegan diet containing 360 milligrams of soy daily — nine times higher than a typical Japanese diet, and 100 times higher than the typical American diet — developed low testosterone levels along with low libido and fatigue. His symptoms improved when he stopped eating the soy-heavy, vegan diet.)

Long-term alcohol abuse lowers testosterone by damaging cells in both the testes, which make testosterone, and the liver, which alters testosterone metabolism. But binge drinking every now and then does not appear to have much of an impact — it lowers testosterone for only about 30 minutes, according to one study, after which levels bounce back to baseline.

Obese men who have low levels of testosterone can increase levels by cutting calories and losing weight — the type of diet does not matter, studies suggest. On the opposite extreme, Dr. Bhasin said he is seeing an increasing number of men at his clinic who have body dysmorphic issues and are suffering from low libido and fatigue. Strict calorie restriction, exercising intensely and being chronically stressed can all cause testosterone levels to plummet and are likely to blame, he said.

The bottom line is that for otherwise healthy men who are following a reasonably healthy lifestyle, fiddling with specific foods or the composition of the diet is not likely to make much of a difference on the testosterone score card. As Dr. Fantus of NorthShore University put it: “I don’t think there is a way to game the system to get really large increases by changing the diet.”

 

Dealing with Premature Ejaculation & Causes of Premature Ejaculation (from The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement)

Dealing with Premature Ejaculation & Causes of Premature Ejaculation

The following are two chapters taken from the book: The Ultimate Guide To Male Enhancement.

Edited for content

Chapter 12: Dealing with Premature Ejaculation

What is Premature Ejaculation?

The definition of what constitutes premature ejaculation may vary depending on the source, but it’s commonly accepted as a scenario where the length of time for sexual performance on the part of the male is unsatisfactory, by either the man or his partner. That being said, what constitutes premature ejaculation can be arbitrary. There is no set time that if you orgasm before it then you have premature ejaculation.

Consider this – the average time between arousal and ejaculation is typically three minutes for a man. Considering the
average time for a woman to orgasm is typically 13 minutes after arousal it can be seen how many men may think they have premature ejaculation, but really they are simply normal. With this in mind, you can see why foreplay is so important to satisfying a woman.


Phases of Ejaculation

There are two phases of ejaculation.

● The Emission Phase and

● The Ejaculatory Phase


Emission Phase:

Here are the physical processes which occur during the emission phase of ejaculation:

● The vas deferens begins to contract to move sperm from the testes toward the urethra and prostate gland.

● The seminal vesicles secrete fluids into the urethra

● Chemical messages activate the sympathetic nervous system and begin what’s known as the ‘point of no return’
(PONR). Ejaculation is inevitable at this point.


Ejaculatory Phase:


During the ejaculatory phase, the posterior portion of the urethra senses the sperm and secretions and sends a signal
to the spinal cord. This then sends messages to the muscles at the base of your penis. This causes said muscles to contract, which results in ejaculation.

Chapter 13: Causes of Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be caused by any number of factors. These can be separated into two categories:


● Physical (which can include chemical side effects) and

● Mental (or psychological) causes.


It’s not uncommon for both some mental component to be present in physical cases of premature ejaculation. Worry
about the experience of premature ejaculation often compounds any physical components.


Physical Premature Ejaculation

The most common form of premature ejaculation is due to physical causes. The most common among these is negative conditioning. This is usually because most men masturbate in a hurried and furtive manner. Doing this repeatedly trains the body into ejaculating quickly, so it shouldn’t be surprising to understand how this can lead to issues.

If added stimuli like porn is used, it can further skew what you can expect from real sexual encounters. This then adds to anxiety, which further increases the possibility of premature ejaculation. The easiest way to correct this is to train in a manner contrary to negative conditioning. This will be discussed in detail further in the section.


Hormonal Issues

If you have low testosterone or abnormal levels of catabolic hormones this can have a drastic effect on your ability to maintain an erection. This can turn into premature ejaculation if you have to strive to get erect. It can be further compounded if your hormone imbalances induce negative emotions like anxiety. Diet and exercise is often recommended as a treatment for issues related to hormone imbalances; however, if do-it-yourself treatments aren’t effective, then a full blood work up is necessary to determine the cause of these imbalances.

Chronic and/or acute stress can lower levels of dopamine in the system. This can create a scenario where you can find it difficult just to get aroused even in the absence of anxiety. Stress management is key to helping treat this issue. The amino acid L-Tyrosine has been shown to be effective at helping to restore natural dopamine levels.


Infections

It’s been shown infections of the prostate and urethra may contribute to premature ejaculation. Infections usually require medical attention and antibiotics for treatment.

Pelvic Floor Issues


Pelvic floor spasms may contribute to premature ejaculation. If these symptoms are minor, rest and targeted stretching of the area should help to alleviate the issue. If the problem is more severe, this might require the services of a physical therapist for relief.


A strain in the pelvic floor may cause pain upon Kegeling and symptoms such as “hard flaccid”. Certain muscles like the ischiocavernosus can become perpetually strained. This leads to a difficult to resolve issue, as these muscles are involved in many different bodily functions. Due to this, it’s not easy to allow them to recover as you would if you immobilized an arm or even a leg. A strain may require targeted massage and heat. Specific yoga poses which specifically target the pelvic floor may help to speed healing as well.


A common cause of pelvic floor issues is due to abusing the Kegel. This includes the Reverse Kegel (contractile) exercise. It’s vital you start Kegeling by using only as much contractile force as is needed during any of the Kegel type movements. A limited number of reps should be performed as well and then slowly increased each session.


Prescription Medications

Some prescription drugs may cause premature ejaculation as one of their side effects. If this is the case, contact your physician or pharmacist to see if there are alternative medications.

Mental Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation may be placed on the spectrum of erectile dysfunction, especially if the case is so severe that penetration becomes difficult or impossible. This is often the case if performance anxiety is involve. A common scenario will involve difficulty in obtaining an erection, with almost immediate ejaculation upon or even before penetration. This stage most commonly precedes impotence.

Anxiety, depression and stress are three of the leading mental causes of premature ejaculation. Sometimes, it’s a matter
of which came first though – the chicken or the egg – the premature ejaculation or the anxiety/depression/stress. It’s
not uncommon for men to suffer from these three common challenges without even realizing. It’s even more common for these challenges to surface, when there’s a concern about premature ejaculation.

The Ultimate Guide to Male Enhancement