A new study appears to show a link between healthy vitamin D intake and healthy testosterone levels, and/or a link between low vitamin D levels and low testosterone. Which is it? More research is needed, say the scientists who conducted the study.
Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels
Vitamin D Deficiency has already been shown to lead to an increased propensity for developing dozens of different illnesses, diseases and other conditions. Conversely, healthy levels of vitamin D3 by way of sun exposure or supplementation have been shown to help strengthen the immune system and stave off numerous diseases. Well, theres more news on the vitamin D front, and this latest news involving the miracle sunshine vitamin appears to bode especially well for men particularly those whose age is at (or in excess of) the age at which testosterone levels typically begin to decline in males.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and low levels can result in a decreased sex drive, metabolic slowing and decreased muscle mass, among other things.
The most recent news is that high serum levels of Vitamin D have been clinically shown to boost testosterone levels in men. This according to a new study conducted by Katharina Nimptsch and associates at the Harvard School of Public Health, and which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology earlier this year.
In their report on the trial, Nimptsch and company suggested that vitamin D may increase the production of testosterone in men, and experimental animal studies and at least one cross-sectional study appear to show a positive link between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D and testosterone production in men. The scientists determined that once vitamin D levels reached the point of 75 to 85 nmol per liter, the relationship with increased testosterone production appeared to taper off.
A similar association was also observed between levels of serum vitamin D and free testosterone.
At lower levels, the amount of the increase in testosterone production was proportionate to the increase in vitamin D levels, which in the study were ingested in the form of vitamin D3 supplements.
Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D obtained through sun exposure and a process of internal synthesis involving the bodys vitamin D receptors. D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is the most readily absorbed form of vitamin D available as a supplement, and is far more effective than the synthetic vitamin D2, the use of which as a supplement in humans has become controversial in recent years.
The scientists who conducted the trial stopped short of asserting a definitive causality between increased vitamin D3 intake and increased testosterone levels. The report made it a point of clarifying that more research is needed to determine whether the relationship between increased vitamin D intake (or synthesis if obtained from sunlight) results in increased testosterone, or if low testosterone is merely a byproduct of low vitamin D to begin with. While this may appear to be a tomato-tomahto argument for some, the scientists were careful to assert that more research was needed before any sort of causality between vitamin D levels and testosterone levels could be established.
In the scientists own words:
This study supports previously reported positive associations between vitamin D and testosterone although we did not observe parallel seasonal variation patterns. Possible causality and direction of the vitamin D-testosterone association deserve further scientific investigation.
In any case, testosterone-boosting medications and supplements have become a booming industry over the past couple of years, and it is possible that men across the country and world may be unnecessarily paying excessive prices for doctors visits, testosterone-enhancing medicines and high-end supplements which may have adverse side-effects. If all that is needed to achieve healthy testosterone levels is increased sun exposure and/or a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement, then hundreds of thousands if not millions of men could be saving hundreds of dollars while safely and naturally achieving the same ends (increased levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone) without all the risks, negative side-effects and foreign chemicals found in some of these other testosterone boosting medicines and supplements.