Testosterone boosting drugs have become very popular among men suffering from low energy and low sex drive. However, new research links these synthetic testosterone drugs to increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Restoring your energy and sex life does not have to cost you your heart health! There are much safer and more effective ways to boost testosterone without the deadly side effects of drugs.
Effects of Testosterone
Testosterone is generally known as the male sex hormone. It drives male sexual development, sex drive, and muscle development. However, testosterone has shared functions in both men and women as well. It helps you convert fat into muscle and aids energy production. It helps hair growth, bone density and helps keep other hormones in balance as well.
The lifestyle of the average American man causes testosterone to decline more rapidly than it should. This leads to many undesirable effects including muscle loss, belly fat, low sex drive, poor sexual function, hair loss, reduced bone density and other hormonal imbalances as well.
Seeking to avoid and reverse these symptoms, many men (and women) have turned to hormone replacement therapy and testosterone boosting drugs. In fact, from 2000 to 2011, testosterone prescription rates have tripled in the U.S. Sales reached $1.6 billion in 2011.
Testosterone Drugs Linked to Heart Problems and Death
Testosterone boosting drugs have been effective for many men – increasing testosterone, energy and sex drive. However, these drugs have also proven to be quite dangerous. A new study published November 5th in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke or dying, compared with men who didn’t use the drug to increase testosterone.
As with any drug, the potential benefits always come with dangerous risks. “There’s a lot of marketing out there of testosterone and low-T syndrome, and a lot of men who want to feel better,” said Dr. Anne Cappola, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who wasn’t involved in the study. “So that marketing appeals to them, but they are not hearing any of the risks side, which is often harder to quantify.“
The fact is, when the body’s natural order is interfered with through drugs, there will be detrimental effects. This has proven true for all drugs, from testosterone drugs to antidepressant drugs and especially cancer treatment drugs. However, most people resort to these drugs because they do not realize that safer and more effective options exist.
How to Boost Testosterone Naturally
These methods will help you boost testosterone levels naturally. There are no side effects and, in fact, there are many additional health promoting effects that may just save your life! Because these methods do not dump synthetic testosterone in your system, they can be safely used by both men and women. They help your body to produce the exact amount of testosterone that you need.
1. High Intensity Exercise
Metabolic conditioning exercise, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), is extremely effective for boosting testosterone naturally. It has also been shown to reverse diabetes and heart disease and prevent stroke. By adding this quick, 12-20 minute workout to your lifestyle, you can not only avoid taking testosterone drugs but prevent the heart damage and strokes that these drugs cause.
Read The Best Exercise to Reverse Diabetes for more about how to do this amazingly effective exercise. Research has also shown this type of exercise to be more effective than drugs for stroke recovery.
2. Lose Weight
Carrying extra weight will naturally decrease levels of testosterone. The more extra weight you have, the worse the effect. If you have just a few extra pounds, then high intensity exercise alone will likely take care of it. However, if you have a lot of weight to lose, then you will have to incorporate dietary changes as well.
The healthiest and quickest way to do this is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. This is a very healthy way to eat on a daily basis, however, it is restrictive. The anti-inflammatory diet can be used along with high intensity exercise until you reach your weight loss goal and then you can transition back to a healthy maintenance diet.
3. Effective Stress Management
When you body experiences stressful situations, your adrenal glands will reduce testosterone production and increase cortisol production. This is a normal, healthy response. However, when it is prolonged or when stress triggers this response too frequently, then it will cause long term, damaging effects.
Proper and effective stress management is essential to maintain and boost testosterone levels. Here are 5 amazingly effective stress management tips to help you conquer stress, balance these hormones and restore your health.
4. Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone. It is used for normal function in every system of your body, including testosterone production and healthy libido. One study measured the effects of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in overweight men. The researchers found a significant increase in testosterone after one year.
The best way to increase vitamin D levels is through adequate exposure to sunshine. This is how your body naturally makes vitamin D. However, most people do not get enough sun exposure to produce adequate amounts and require supplementation with vitamin D3. The average adult needs about 5,000 to 8,000 iUs of vitamin D daily to raise levels to the minimum for disease prevention.
5. Beware Statin Drugs
While statin drugs are among the most highly prescribed drugs, they are extremely dangerous! They are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels with the expectation of lowered risk of heart attacks, strokes and death. However, research has shown that statin drugs are not capable of reducing the risk of death.
Cholesterol is essential to many functions in your body, including the production of sex hormones like testosterone. When cholesterol is chemically lowered by drugs, every function that cholesterol is involved with is adversely affected as well. This causes many of the detrimental side effects of statin drugs including neuropathy, muscle wasting, low sex drive, depression, and memory loss.
I recently discussed the effects of statin drugs on brain health with Dean Alban of BeBrainFit.com. Click here to listen to the podcast. You can learn more about Heart Disease and the Cholesterol Myth here.
6. Healthy Fats Produce Healthy Hormones
The low fat diet craze produced many ill health effects. The fact is that every cell of your body is composed of an outer layer of fat. Further, 60% of your brain and nerve tissues are composed of fat. Your body requires fat in order to produce healthy cells. As mentioned above, the fat cholesterol is necessary to produce testosterone as well.
It is not about how much fat you eat. Fat does not make you fat! It is about the quality of the fat that you consume. Unhealthy fats will increase inflammation and cortisol levels. As a result, testosterone production will be inhibited. Consuming healthy fats – such as coconut oil, avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds – will balance inflammation, reduce cortisol, and naturally support healthy testosterone levels. Read 10 Reasons You Should be Using Coconut Oil Everyday to learn more about the amazing benefits of this healthy fat.
7. Proper Sleep
Getting the proper amount and quality of sleep affects many function of your body. When you sleep, your body goes into healing and repair mode. Part of this process is hormone production, including testosterone. Without sufficient and effective sleep, your body is unable to produce adequate amounts of testosterone.
Sleeping less than 6 hours per night is associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and low-T syndrome. Sufficient sleep of 7 to 9 hours per night allows your body the time it needs to enter deep, restorative sleep. This may require significant lifestyle modification, including schedule changes and reducing caffeine but it is essential to get the best results.