Fish Oil Activates AMPK, Raises Testosterone in Males, and Increases the Size of Men’s Testicles


by Nils Osmar. Nov. 15, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

According to the studies which I’ll be citing in this article, taking fish oil activates AMPK, raises testosterone levels (in men) and increases the size of testicles – as verified in both human and animal studies.

Why AMPK matters

According to an article published by Harvard University, the AMPK metabolic pathway “is a central node for many critical nutrient responsive pathways that have been linked to longevity.” (Short version: “AMPK is the longevity pathway.”) When AMPK is activated, lab animals almost invariably live longer.

We can activate AMPK by:

  • Fasting
  • Exercising
  • Taking cold showers
  • Restricting calories (permanently or for a short time)
  • Restricting protein (permanently or for a short time)
  • Restricting leucine (permanently or for a short time) (i.e., eating more plant-based meals)
  • Several nutritional supplements have also been found to activate AMPK.

Meds and supplements

Compounds that are known to activate AMPK and are also associated with profound anti-aging effects include:

  • Rapamycin
  • Metformin
  • Berberine
  • Glucosamine
  • Fish Oil
  • … and several others

About fish oil

According to this study, fish oil which is high in fatty acids (EPA and DHA) is also a potent activator of AMPK – and can help prevent muscle wasting.

From the study:

The results of the current study suggest that dietary substitution of fish oil exerts a beneficial improvement in the muscle wasting in obesity in an animal model. We further demonstrate that AMPK/PGC-1α-suppressed FOXO3/atrophy-specific gene transcription signaling plays an important role in fish oil-prevented obesity-induced muscle wasting. Moreover, fish oil substitution-increased PPARγ expression in response to AMPK activation induces LPL gene expression, which is associated with metabolic regulation in skeletal muscle…

What about women?

Fish oil activates AMPK in both sexes. However, it appears to somewhat lower testosterone levels, rather than raising testosterone, in women. See study.

What I’m doing

As mentioned above, fasting activates AMPK. For this reason, most of us wake up with AMPK activated in the morning. If we eat a high protein breakfast or meal high in leucine, mTOR is turned on and AMPK switches off. If we skip breakfast or eating meal with almost zero carbs and protein, AMPK will stay on.

I like working out in a fasted state, keeping AMPK activated, then later (after working out) activating mTOR. So I’ll start the day with a cup of coffee, either black or with a little cream or MCT oil. (Fats and oils don’t raise blood sugar or move us out of an AMPK state.) I may also take some fish or krill oil capsules along with my coffee.

(Note: I may sometimes start the day with a fasting mimicking smoothie, which provides a few nutrients but does not interfere with AMPK.)

Two or three hours after my coffee, I’ll take some NAD boosters (NMN) and sirtuin activators (SIRT6 Activator and resveratrol) along with some glucosamine.

An hour later, I take some creatine, another AMPK activator, along with DHEA, Gaia Male Libido (a blend of Horny Goat Weed, Saw Palmetto, Maca, and Oats), astaxanthin, and tongkat ali (also found to raise testosterone)l take a contrast shower (ending on cold) to further activate AMPK; work out fasted; then an hour or two after my workout, eat a high protein meal.

Why this timing?

I take the fish oil and krill oil (both of which are high in EPA and DHA) in the morning before my workout because (1) doing so deepens the activation of AMPK, and (2) fish oil also raises testosterone. Testosterone levels are normally highest in the morning, so this is also when I want to raise my levels.

Want larger testicles?

As a bonus for males, fish oil also increases the size of mens’ testes and pushes back against the age-related shrinking of that part of our anatomy. See study. Speaking anecdotally, I’ve seen this effect in myself. My testes were shrinking; they’re now larger than they have been in decades. (You’ll have to trust me on this one; I won’t be posting photos to prove it.) (My testosterone levels have also gone up, and I do have proof of that. See my test results.)

Make sure fish oil is fresh

Rancid fish oil does more harm than good. I verify that my capsules are fresh (as well as I can) by biting into one when I buy a new bottle. I also eat a lot of sardines, mackerel, anchovies and salmon, natural sources of EPA and DHA. (You can tell if fish is spoiled by the smell. Having grown up working in canneries in Alaska, I can verify that the fish in cans is processed when it’s very fresh, to make way for new product in the canneries.)

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplements, just reporting on what I’m doing. All supplements can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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