Testosterone, not just a man’s hormone….

How’s does testosterone affect a person’s overall health?  For men and women testosterone contributes to libido, immunity, mood, bodily hair, collagen growth, and the integrity of the bones and muscles.  Obviously, the presentation of hair is more pronounced in men.  Although, if a woman has higher levels of testosterone she may present with more hair on her face and body.

If a man’s testosterone levels are low, he may not be able to build muscle tone and mass, and he may feel weak and have less endurance.  In addition, a man can develop more fat around the arms, nipples and low levels can continue to more weight gain.  Furthermore, decreased levels can contribute to anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Adequate testosterone levels in men contributes to sperm production, erectile function, and prostate growth.  Testosterone also contributes to increased sex drive, confidence, memory function, and red blood cell production. 

Testosterone is also important for women because it also maintains muscle tone, and hair growth.  Testosterone helps with fertility because it helps with egg development.  If women’s testosterone levels are low there can be decreased sex drive, low energy levels, and they may notice that their muscles are not as firm.

Some ways to increase your testosterone from a dietary prospective are making sure you are not zinc or Vitamin D deficient, and if so, you can take supplements.  Nuts have a lot of zinc, esp. pine nuts, peanuts, cashews, and almonds.  In general, most nuts contain zinc and seeds such as hemp, chia, and flax seeds also contain zinc.  These nuts and seeds can be added to a morning smoothie, breakfast cereals, oatmeal, or salads at lunch or dinner.  Seafood such as oysters, crab, and lobster can increase your zinc.  According to the National Institutes of Health, a 3-ounce serving of Alaskan king crab has forty-three percent of your daily zinc intake. (1)  Zinc is beneficial for the immune system as well.  I have a quick and easy test at my office to determine if you have a zinc deficiency. 

A great way to increase your Vitamin D is thirty minutes of sunshine which can give you a week’s worth of Vitamin D, unless you are very deficient.  Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have a high Vitamin D content.  In addition, egg yolks, whole milk, plant milks, and fortified cereals have significant levels of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D can help in prevention of colon, prostrate, and breast cancers.

This is a great month to connect with your significant other by doing something fun and special to spark up those testosterone and estrogen levels.  Although, it’s great to consistently connect with your loved one, make it a priority.  This is good for your health in so many ways and it benefits your emotional and psychological well-being. 

So, don’t forget your trail mix of various nuts on a sunny day.  Perhaps a surprise brunch on patio as the weather warms up with some oysters on a half shell, or some salmon and crab legs on the grill.

To your health and happiness,

Dr. Yvette Arellano DOM, LMT

References: (1) National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, ods.od.nih.gov, Updated July 10, 2019