Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels

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 and Vitamin D

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[1], 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.

Testosterone Vitamin D

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.

Vitamin D and Low Testosterone

[1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04332.x/abstract

Vitamin D3: The Forgotten Hormone

Vitamin D3: The Forgotten Hormone

By: Pamela Egan

What is one of the cheapest and easiest interventions in medicine that would save the most lives and the most money? It reduces inflammation in your heart, brain & joints. It stops bone loss and protects you from osteoporosis, diabetes & obesity. It strengthens your immune system and helps retard bacterial and viral infections. It helps prevent several different cancers. It helps cure fibromyalgia, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. If you’ve read my past health columns, you know that I am referring to natural, active Vtamin D3, not synthetic D2.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is essential for life. You may ask why are Americans so deficient in Vitamin D3? Let’s take a look at evolutionary biology. Our ancestors lived naked in the sun for several million years. Through evolution, sunlight was needed to produce Vitamin D. Then 50,000 years ago, some of us migrated north to places with less sun. Then we put on clothes, started working inside and living in cities where buildings blocked the sun.

We started traveling in cars instead of walking or riding horses and glass blocked even more UVB in the sunlight. Only a few years ago, we started actively avoiding the sun and putting on sun block. All this time we humans have been steadily reducing the tissue levels of the most potent steroid hormone in our bodies, one with powerful anti-cancer properties.

The really significant reductions in sunlight exposure have occurred since the industrial revolution, just the time the “diseases of civilization,” like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer became prominent.

vitamin D hormone

So what can a Vitamin D3 deficiency lead to? At least 17 varieties of cancer including: Breast, Bladder, Colon, Lymphoma, Ovarian, Endometrial, and Prostate. Heart disease, High Blood pressure, Stroke, Autoimmune disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes Type 1 & 2, Depression, Chronic Pain, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Muscle Weakness, Obesity, Periodontal Disease, Infectious Disease, & more. Vitamin D3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory and those of us in the Anti-Aging industry that reducing inflammation is half the aging battle won!

The research is astonishing! So how much Vitamin D3 do we need per day?

Ask your primary care provider to check your serum vitamin D3/ 25(OH) level. The optimum range is 80 – 100 ng/ml. No toxicity was seen with D3 levels less than 150 ng/ml.

The optimum dose of Vitamin D3 is 5000 – 15,000IU per day. (I personally take 10,000IU D3 daily to maintain my 25(OH) level between 80 – 100. A weekly dose of 50,000 IU D3 is OK. Fewer supplements are needed if you receive more sun exposure. Maybe they knew something we didn’t know in those nudist colonies.

Pamela Egan, MN, NP, CDE, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Specialist in Gerontology/Mental Health, & Certified Diabetes Educator. She can be reached at 985-892-3031 or www.pamelaegan.com.