DHEA has properties of its own that benefit both men and women. Men maintain their highest levels of this hormone in their early 20s. By age 50 there is a 50% drop in DHEA, and by age 60 a man possesses only one-third the level he had as a young man.
Aside from aiding in the production of testosterone and estrogen, DHEA acts as a
neurohormone in the brain, protecting it from the effects of excitotoxicity and improving mood. DHEA also improves immune function and reduces abdominal (belly) fat.
Remember that accumulation of belly fat is associated with hypertension, diabetes and
Because DHEA has so many beneficial effects of its own, everyone over age 50 should have a DHEA blood level exam done at some point. If the level is low, you should supplement with 10 mg. of DHEA and get tested again in about three weeks. If it is
still low, increase the dose by another 10 mg. and get tested again. Once it is back in the normal range, stop there since excessive use of higher doses can lead to problems.
It is also vital that you check your levels of testosterone, which is an important substance for a variety of reasons. Make sure you get tested for both free and bound testosterone.
Over 50% of testosterone is bound in the plasma (the fluid portion of blood, in which cells are suspended) by both sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin. In fact, only 2% exists as free testosterone. It is this free type that does all the work reducing obesity, preventing depression and slashing the risk of heart disease, among other
Research has shown that men with low testosterone levels double their risk of developing
the metabolic syndrome, since low testosterone levels increase belly fat — which is closely linked to this syndrome. Lack of testosterone can also decrease libido, cause erectile dysfunction, spur osteoporosis and lead to a loss of muscle tone and mass.
Recent studies show that men with low levels of free testosterone are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, since the important substance is not present to protect brain cells. One way it protects is by suppressing cytokines, which are immune chemicals that promote inflammation. An increase in inflammatory cytokines is seen with all Alzheimer’s cases. According to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, men with low testosterone levels were more likely to die following surgery than those with normal readings. And the hormone may improve multiple sclerosis symptoms by
suppressing the immune attack on nerve fibers. For most men, replacing testosterone improves sexual function both desire and erections but for others it often doesn’t help.
Some of those who don’t respond may be suffering from atherosclerosis of the blood
vessels that supply the penis and facilitate erection. Good, healthy nutritional practices and supplementation with aged garlic extract can reverse atherosclerosis. Incidentally, most men now know that riding a bicycle with a narrow seat can also lead to impotence as a result of pressure on the blood vessels mentioned above.
Meanwhile, there are also certain supplements that improve blood flow to the penis.
These include arginine, aged garlic extract, Ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine. Arginine works by dilating the arteries through which blood flows into the penis. But unfortunately it also feeds cancers. So if you have cancer or have suffered with it in the past, I would not take supplements with arginine.
Another useful remedy that has been around a while is vitamin E and it really does work in a lot of men. Pure vitamin E, such as the type found in Unique-E, is best because it contains no harmful omega-6 fats and has all the subtypes of vitamin E.
Usually 400 to 1,000 IU a day will enhance desire and improve erectile function and for some, the improvement can be quite dramatic.
While other testosterone-like compounds and precursors such as horny goat weed, wild yam and androstendione can work in some men, the side effects they produce can outweigh their usefulness.
Testosterone itself is best delivered via a skin patch. The patches come in doses of 4 and 6 mg., and they provide a balanced release of the hormone. Brands include Testoderm and
Androderm. there can be some significant side effects, so check with your doctor before you try them. A longer-lasting form of testosterone called Depo-Testosterone, can also be used. Baldness can be one of the most disturbing side effects of excess testosterone or its derivatives, as testosterone is converted by an enzyme (5-alpha-reductase) into
dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is much more powerful than testosterone and commonly
contributes to hair loss. Of course, there are other much simpler explanations and treatments for sexual dysfunction.
For instance, one important factor that is very often overlooked by experts is the loss of sensitivity in the skin of the penis. With aging, the organ’s skin can thicken, leading to a loss of some sensation in the region. Facial skin creams can be quite helpful in restoring softness and sensitivity, and they should be applied twice daily. Testosterone Alternatives
The biggest concern with replacing testosterone has been the potential risk of developing prostate cancer. But the fact is that replacement puts you at no more risk than if you had normal testosterone levels to begin with. But if you already have prostate cancer (or had it
in the past), there is a danger that the hormone could feed the cancer’s growth. That is why a thorough urological exam with sensitive PSA testing is essential before you consider replacement. Testosterone, when used in excess, can also cause liver damage, neurological problems and sexual problems as well. After replacement, you can often prevent these complications with testing to carefully monitor your testosterone levels. You should know that many doctors will not get post-replacement studies and therefore are
guessing at your proper dosage. One alternative to testosterone is the supplement
acetyl-L-carnitine or L-carnitine. A recent study found that elderly men who regularly used this natural substance saw their erectile dysfunction significantly improve without the complications common to testosterone use. taking 1,000 mg. of L-carnitine
plus 50 mg. of R-lipoic acid twice a day. Take the L-carnitine on an empty stomach 45 minutes before a meal, and ingest the R-lipoic acid with a meal. Beta-sitosterol has also been shown to stimulate desire in some men and improve erectile function. This compound is extracted from plants and has been extremely useful in cases of prostate
enlargement. Saw Palmetto and pygeum also improve urinary flow in cases of prostate enlargement and have been shown to improve sexual function in men.
Male Hormones to Test for: DHEA, Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, Sensitive PSA
(salivary test also available) Supplements to Boost Male Sexual Function:
Arginine, Aged garlic extract, Gingko biloba, Vinpocetine, Vitamin E, Horny goat weed, Wild yam, Androstendione, Beta-sitosterol, L-carnitine, R-lipoic acid, Saw Palmetto,
id also like to know
mt test levels are at 377 and im only 28
clue me in cause i've tested below 300.,..feel like crap,no energy.no drive.loosing interest in everything i used to do. it's like since i broke my collar bone 6 mo's ago i've pussed out.
i'm 48,almost 49, and goddammit i dont want to go quietly into seniorland...i cant seem to get this collar bone healed and thats really bumming me out...it's the first broken bone in my life...and really the first time i've been physically restricted on what i can do...i missed riding all winter and summer is almost here and i'm going to be stuck watching everybody else play on the lake.
my doc said the low t could be to blame for the slow or non healing collar bone,gave me a shot to raise the t....not a big fan of anything the dr gives me...dont like the pills or shots...much rather eat, or smoke, a plant...i know the natural answer is out there,i just gotta figure out what it is.
Yeah I'm still young and my testosterone was really low below 300 I think and it was impossible to get my endo to finally get me Testim. I still feel really tired. I read that pregnenelone can also help since it's the precursor hormone.
I too am interested in boosting my test levels naturally, without drugs. I have been taking supplements that boost testosterone levels, like Tribulus. What herbs are you using to boost your levels? How much and how often?