by Nils Osmar. September 10, 2022. Medical Disclaimer
Testosterone is an essential hormone. It’s present in both men and women. Males with high testosterone tend to have lower body fat, stronger muscles, stronger bones, better verbal memories, better spatial abilities, better mathematical reasoning, better moods, and stronger libidos, than men with low testosterone. Low testosterone is associated with depression and with mood and memory problems in males.
Men’s testosterone levels decline about 1 percent per year after age 30. And today’s young men have T levels that are a fraction of those of their fathers and grandfathers, resulting in numerous health problems. We can raise testosterone by doing strength training, taking testosterone boosting supplements, or using hormone replacement therapy. I’ve gone with the exercise and supplement route so far. If it ever stops working, I’ll then start in on HRT.
I take these every day (except for Sunday) (my all-day fasting day)
I take many different supplements, including ones that raise NAD levels, ones that increase glutathione, and ones that boost hGH levels. I’ve found the ones below helpful in raising testosterone.
The first five are plant-based; the last two are derived from animals. I usually take my NAD boosters in the morning, then work out fasted, then eat some protein and take these seven:
- Male Libido from Gaia Herbs (2 or 3 capsules) (a mix of horny goat weed, tribulus, tongkat ali and some other herbs)
- DHEA from Life Extension (25 mg) (2 capsules)
- Ashwagandha from Gaia Herbs (1 capsule)
- L. Reuteri 6475 from BioGaia (1 capsule) (I actually make a yogurt from it and eat the yogurt) (In animal studies, this particular strain raises T levels and increases testicle size in males, It has other benefits in females.)
- Jacked Factors D. Aspartic Acid (four capsules)
- Wild Warrior Grass-fed Beef Testicle (Orchic) (2 caps/day) (a recent addition). There’s not a lot of science between taking organ extracts, but for whatever reason, taking this one improves my libido. This could of course be a placebo effect, but it works for me, so I plan to keep taking it.
- Fish oil (I take two capsules of fish oil in the morning, and also eat lots of fatty fish) (fish oil raises T levels and has been found to increases the size of the testicles in human studies, in young men)
I also take these T-boosters once or twice a week:
- Boron from Jarrow (5 mg) (increases free testosterone) (Don’t overdose on boron; it’s essential but can be deadly in large doses)
- 7-Keto DHEA from Jarrow (100 mg)
- Horny Goat Weed (Nutricost) (2 capsules)
- Astragalus Supreme from Gaia Herbs (1 capsule)
- Niacin from NOW. 500 mg.
- Note: I also take astaxanthin, which has been found to raise T levels, but I take it earlier with my NAD+ boosting supplements.
My test results
For my lab test results after starting this protocol, see this page. For visual results (before and after images) scroll down.
Why Those Supplements?
- DHEA fromLife EXtension: 50 mg. DHEA was an ingredient in the TRIIM trial which reversed epigenetic aging 2.5 years over a one year trial period. It’s a pro-hormone, a precursor to testosterone (though it can also turn into estrogen) People who take DHEA should do so with an abundance of caution, and be aware of the possible side effects, which can include greater likelihood of cancer. However, some studies suggest it actually lowers the rate of cancer.)
I take it three days a week (on my workout days) and take week-long breaks from it once a month. (I take 50 mg of DHEA/day, but take the weekends off.)
- 7-Keto DHEA from Jarrow – 100 mg. 7-Keto is a metabolite of DHEA which doesn’t affect testosterone, but I like taking them together.
- Tongkat Ali Complex from Double Wood. (One of the best supplements)
- Horny goat weed (good also for longevity – see this article)
- Male Libido from Gaia Herbs. Contains numerous herbs found to boost testosterone in lab animals.
- Ashwagandha from Gaia.
- Astragalus Supreme from Gaia. 1 capsule.. Both astragalus and ashwagandha are powerful anti-aging adaptogens good for anti-aging and testosterone and raising T cells. (Don’t take them during a prolonged (3-5 day) fast because they can prevent the body from finding and killing off senescent cells.)
- L. Reuteri 6475 from BioGaia. Many men who are trying to raise their T levels take it because it increases size of testicles in lab animals, significantly increasing the production of testosterone. Women may want to take L. Reuteri 6475 too, as it improves bone strength and density, particularly in elderly women. Other strains of L. Reuteri have not been shown to have these benefits.
- Boron: 2 mg. Boron is essential but do not overdose – can be deadly. Company: Jarrow Dose: 1 capsule
- Fish oil (Note: high quality fish oils increase testosterone in obese men. It’s not clear whether it also does so in leaner men. I get Omega 3s by eating fatty/oily fish daily)
- Niacin from NOW. 500 mg. immediate release. Niacin has many uses, including increasing testosterone levels and regulating cholesterol levels and raising NAD. Caution: can cause flushing (temporary red/prickly/itchy skin) and can raise blood glucose. The sustained release kind can cause liver damage if taken in large amounts. I do take niacin but not with my other T boosters because it makes me sleepy. So I take it around dinner time
Do I really need all of them?
Probably not. But I like the “supplement cocktail” approach. People with a more systematic approach might opt to try adding them one at a time, testing their T levels after each addition to their regimen.
What about diet?
Without trying to re-ignite the food wars — I’ve tried lots of diets over the years. When I was vegan (back in my 50s) my testosterone levels dropped. The longer I ate 100% plant-based, the more they plummeted. My sex drive also went away.
I talked to my doctor, who said, “Oh, it’s just age related… that happens to all men.” He was wrong. I added meat, eggs, fish, and some dairy back into my diet, and my interest in sex came back within a few days (after three years of declining interest). The problem that time was my diet.
My sex drive also tanked years later when I was on Dr. Valter Longo’s longevity diet, which is very low in animal-based foods. And again, when I resumed eating more meat, my sex drive came back.
I’m not saying everyone needs animal-based foods to have a good sex drive, but for me, I’ve found it to be foundational. (My diet these days has lots of foods from plant, animal and fungal (mushroom) sources. I eat lots of beef, lamb fish, shrimp, and poultry, salads, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, apples, avocados, and berries, I don’t eat plants or animals from industrial (CAFO) farms. The animals I eat are all from family farms where I can verify that they had good lives, had access to pasture, were protected from predators, and were ethically slaughtered when the time came.
Before and after:
By taking supplements, eating a balanced (all-organic) diet, and working out very hard six days a week in my home gym (three days on my upper body; three days on my legs, glutes and core), I’ve been able to reverse age-related muscle wasting. The photos above show what I looked like two years ago (at the age of 67) and today at the age of 69. See the posts below for more details.
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