It is the ultimate male hormone, responsible for a man’s sex drive, sperm production and body composition.
But testosterone is under attack: Stress, pollutants and other factors, as well as the aging process itself, can all lower testosterone levels.Studies show that men’s testosterone levels have been declining for decades, with average levels declining by about 1% a year. Click To Tweet
Fortunately, there are nutrients and herbs that can encourage the body’s own natural production of testosterone and other crucial hormones, such as human growth hormone (HGH). Many of these nutritional factors also address such concerns as proper cardiovascular function; others support prostate health, another key men’s health issue.
A visit to one’s healthcare practitioner for a thorough exam is always the first step in dealing with a suspected drop in testosterone. Assuming everything checks out okay, lifestyle changes—including a smart, supervised supplementation plan—may help get things back on track.
What It Is: One of the most common minerals in the body
What It Does: In addition to playing a key role in building strong bones, it now appears that calcium plays a role in testosterone production as well
What It Is: Trigonella foenum-graecum, used in traditional healing systems and cooking for centuries
What It Does: Believed by ancient healers to encourage fertility; has been found to support healthy production of testosterone and sperm; also fights inflammation and promotes proper digestion
What It Is: Panax ginseng, an herb with a long history of usage in Traditional Chinese Medicine
What It Does: Long thought of in TCM as an overall vitality tonic; has shown the ability to promote healthy sperm production; has demonstrated antioxidant properties
What It Is: A carotenoid found in vegetables and fruits such as carrots, papayas, tomatoes and watermelons
What It Does: Higher lycopene levels have been associated with reduced risk of prostate and other cancers; has been linked to reductions in oxidant-based sperm damage; may also protect the liver
What It Is: A popular snack item, available either raw or toasted
What It Does: A good zinc source long used to help ease prostate problems
What It Is: A phytonutrient found in grapes and peanuts as well as Polygonum cuspidatum, native to east Asia
What It Does: Has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as biological activities related to cardiovascular and neurological protection; may support healthy testosterone production
What It Is: Rhodiola rosea, an herb native to the arctic areas of Europe and Asia
What It Does: Traditionally viewed as an adaptogen, a plant that helps the body handle stress; has shown the ability to help counteract fatigue, depression and burnout in studies
What It Is: Serenoa repens and Pygeum africanum, often used together in herbal medicine
What It Does: Used to help ease symptoms of prostate enlargement such as excessive nighttime urination and difficulty urinating (should only be used after cancer is ruled out); may support healthy hair growth
What It Is: A vital trace mineral; highest concentrations found in Brazil nuts, other sources include brown rice, meat and seafood
What It Does: Has been found in studies to help protect developing sperm cells from oxidative stress; plays a vital role in thyroid and brain function
What It Is: Tribulus terrestris, native to dry areas of Africa, Australia and southern Asia and Europe
What It Does: Long used in both Chinese and Indian medicine to promote fertility and healthy sexual functioning; has been found in modern studies to support testosterone and sperm production
What It Is: Curcuma longa, native to India, where it has a history of culinary and medicinal use
What It Does: A potent oxidation and inflammation fighter that has shown anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects; may support prostate health; has also been found to help control blood sugar levels
What It Is: Velvet BeanMucuna pruriens, a legume found in tropical areas around the world
What It Does: Used by Ayurvedic practitioners to support sexual well-being; has been found to help increase semen quality and reduce stress in infertile men; also appears to promote healthy neural activity within the brain
What It Is: A patented formulation of antioxidant compounds found in the skins of apples and grapes
What It Does: Helps counteract the effects of peroxynitrite, a toxic byproduct of normal bodily processes that can reduce testosterone levels
What It Is: A trace mineral found in seafood, especially oysters, as well as meat and some types of nuts
What It Does: Plays a key role in male reproductive health by supporting testosterone and sperm production, especially in the zinc aspartate form, which is highly bioavailable
NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for help in designing a supplementation program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.