Minerals that increase androgens

 

Minerals are micro-nutrients which are very important for tons of different functions in the body. A deficiency in almost any micro nutrient will result in a drop in testosterone as well as influence your health negatively.

 

Calcium

Calcium is important for improving bone mineral density, involved in neurotransmitters and muscle contraction.

It’s also been found that individuals who consume more calcium had more testosterone, DHT and free testosterone than those who consumed less plus had greater fat loss.

Vitamin D is very needed for the absorption of calcium in the body. Fiber can also increase the amount of calcium absorption by 20%.

An overlooked great calcium source is eggshells.

I guess Bruce Lee was onto something when he ate his eggs whole, including the shell.

 

Copper

Copper is involved in the metabolism of catecholamines. Some catecholamines are adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and dopamine, which help the body to burn fat, gives energy, improves well-being, happiness, mental focus, etc…

Copper is also responsible for the conversion of dopamine (the reward hormone) to noradrenaline (which increases alertness, blood flow to muscle and heart rate).

It is also used in connective tissue formation, which makes the skin, tendons and ligaments stronger.

An interesting but also unknown fact is that copper actually increases the release of growth hormone. (1)

This study shows that individuals ingested 5mg of copper and showed an increase in growth hormone. Reaching that amount of copper is pretty easy by eating beef or lamb liver.

Copper also shows to be an aromatase inhibitor… Meaning it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. (2)

 

Iodine

Iodine is very beneficial for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Iodine is found in abundance in seaweed… One of the reasons why sushi is one of my favorite foods.

Thyroid hormones: 

  • increase basal metabolic rate (help burn fat)
  • increase protein synthesis (help build muscle faster)
  • work in synergy with growth hormone
  • increase the body’s sensitivity to catecholamines, such as adrenaline (assists intermittent fasting with weight loss)

But, that’s not all, T3 (a thyroid hormone) boosts testosterone in three unique ways.

Firstly

T3 synthesizes testosterone in the Leydig cells of the testes, which increase testosterone production. (3)

Secondly

T3 inhibits the aromatase effect. (4) Meaning less testosterone gets irreversibly converted to estrogen. Resulting in more free T.

Thirdly

T3 up regulates androgen receptors… more receptors for testosterone to bind to. (5)

Iodine deficiency leads to hypothyroid which leads to significant increase in estrogen formation and low testosterone, as well as DHT. (6)

 

Iron

Iron is commonly known to be essential for the reproduction of red blood cells.

It has been shown that men with low testosterone are associated with low iron and magnesium levels. (7)

Thus, iron has a positive relationship with testosterone. (8) Adequate amounts of iron help keep testosterone levels high. However, excess iron has shown to decrease testosterone. (9)

Iron is also one of the minerals that is essential for normal thyroid metabolism. (10)

Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is also a co-factor in over 300 enzymatic reactions, as well as ATP (energy) production and protein synthesis. (11)

A deficiency in magnesium increases the need for oxygen during training and reduces performance. (12)

Magnesium:

  • has a positive relationship with testosterone (13)
  • increases testosterone in sedentary individuals, but a higher increase in testosterone is observed in people who are more active (14)
  • shows to have a significant influence on testosterone levels (15)
  • increases IFG-1 levels (IFG-1 is a growth factor which causes hypertrophy in the muscles) (16)
  • reduces inflammation, which then in turn increases LH (hormone released by pituitary gland to increase testosterone production) secretion. (17) Inflammatory cytokines act as inhibitory factors in the pituitary gland (on the secretion of LH), which reduces the secretion of LH and leads to lower testosterone production and sensitivity to LH in the gonads.
  • also lowers SHBG (18)

 

Manganese

Manganese helps the body to form connective tissue, bones, and sex hormones (testosterone and DHT). (19)

A manganese deficiency can lead to infertility. As the gonads are not able to produce enough sex hormones. However, too high amounts of manganese is estrogenic. I wouldn’t advise to supplement with manganese unless you have a deficiency or your are trying to fix joint inflammation. More on manganese here

Phosphorus

A deficiency in phosphorus leads to low levels of growth hormone. As far as my research goes, does phosphorus not affect testosterone leaves directly, however there are always nutrients interactions and phosphorus is antagonistic or synergistic to testosterone friendly nutrients.

Potassium

Potassium affects the pulsating release of GnRH (20) (the hormone released by hypothalamus to stimulate testosterone production). Adequate potassium –> normal GnRH release –> more testosterone synthesis.

Potassium increases vasodilation and blood flow, giving a more vascular look. (21) That’s one of the reasons why some bodybuilders carb deplete and then carb load before a show, because it increases their vascularity. Potassium is also a powerful diuretic, to help get rid of water retention.

A deficiency in potassium leads to low testosterone. (21)

 

Selenium

Is essential for normal thyroid metabolism as it aids in the conversion of the thyroid hormones, T4 to T3 (the active thyroid hormone). (22)

And a deficiency results in low levels of GnRH and LH release, which then lowers testosterone production. (23)

However a diet very high in selenium will hammer testosterone and will have a negative effect on androgen receptors. (24, 25)

It’s actually very easy to get enough selenium in your diet everyday… so if by any chance you enjoy eating Brazil nuts, then it might be a bad idea to eat too much, as 100g of Brazil nuts contain 2739% of DV of selenium. Just stick to 3-6 Brazil nuts a day.

 

Sodium

The good kind of salt, like original sea salt (50+ minerals) or Himalayan salt (80+ minerals) contains tons of essential minerals. Whereas the usual table salt contains only 2 minerals and anti-caking agents which cause inflammation and lowers testosterone.

So the best choice is pretty easy.

 

Zinc

A zinc deficiency is very common, but actually quite easy to fix. Oysters contain the highest amount of zinc. 524% of DV of zinc in 100g of oysters, followed by meat sources.

Zinc:

  • has a positive relationship with testosterone (26)
  • helps to synthesize testosterone and boosts LH secretion (27)
  • is essential for normal thyroid metabolism (28)
  • is a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and accelerates hair follicle recovery (29)
  • lowers the affinity of SHBG (a protein that makes testosterone inactive) to testosterone (30)
  • inhibits the aromatase activity (31)
  • deficiency reduces DHT production (32)

 

Conclusion

All these essential micro-nutrients are very important for the optimal function and health of our bodies. It’s very important to get 100% of your DV of each of these minerals. But always keep in mind that mega-dosing on any mineral won’t increase your testosterone any further, and can even cause toxicity. Balance is key.

 

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