The Fat Way to Testosterone

By George L. Redmon PhD ND – “Without enough fat and or cholesterol the body is severely hampered in its efforts to make steroid hormones, including testosterone.”  Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.

That feature is the balance and absolute level of anabolic versus catabolic hormones in your body. As you know catabolic hormones like glucocortcoids (up-regulates muscle wasting ), glucagon (accelerates metabolism of amino acids), and somatostatin (inhibits release of growth hormone) encourage the destruction of muscle tissue, while anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, insulin and IGF-1( insulin growth factor-1) and estrogen promote growth and muscle mass development. As a point of clarification here, while not considered anabolic in nature concerning growth, estrogen is considered a weak androgen and participates in growth hormone production and has a direct effect on bone health.

On average adult males have about 40 to 60 times more testosterone than females which is why physically they are (males) physically stronger than their female counterparts.Testosterone is primarily produced in the testes of males which fuels the powerful sex drive that males exhibit. While estrogen is the predominant hormone found in women, they (women) produce smaller amounts of testosterone in the ovaries. Smaller quantities of testosterone are also secreted by the adrenal glands in both men and women.  However due to its physiological effects, testosterone is classified as a virilizing (masculine) sex hormone and a anabolic hormone due to its ability to increase muscle strength, bone density, maturation and strength. Its role in the development of lean muscle tissue is well documented as well as its ability to increases metabolism and stimulate the release of fat from fat cells, referred to as lipolysis. It also stimulates protein synthesis and improves energy levels.  Simply put, this hormone helps you maintain what could be referred to as a state of anabolic equilibrium.  It is the stuff that will help you also maintain an internal state of youthful vim and vigor.healthy-fats

Healthy Testosterone Levels – Keeping your testosterone levels at their peak can have a profound affect on how fast you reach and maintain many of your bodybuilding goals.  The body maintains a delicate balance of testosterone via an inborn feedback communication system between the brain and the testes.  When levels of testosterone drop below normal, the brain signals the testes to make more.  When ranges reach normal, the brain sends a signal to the testes to reduce its production.

Making More Testosterone – Today, bodybuilders utilize a variety of supplements to increase testosterone production.  Resistance training that you are engaged in also boosts testosterone levels.  However, despite the fact that your protein intake plays a critical role in helping you to build muscle, the best way to boost your testosterone levels is not to cut the fat.  Current research has confirmed that to build muscle faster and more efficiently you need dietary fat as stated in the opening comments by one of the country’s most notable medical professions.  This fact has been confirmed by researchers at Penn State University who found a strong correlation between fat intake, testosterone production and subsequent growth. New research indicates that to build mass and keep those testosterone levels pumped up, 30% of your calories should be composed of good fats.

Special Note: While normal levels of testosterone may vary from one person to another, the general consensus is that a normal range of testosterone for males is from 300 to 1000 ng/dl.  Females are 70 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter of blood).  As a point of reference here, a nangoram is one billionth of a gram, a gram (gr) is equal to 1000 milligrams (mgs).

The Good Fat Brigade – While the current nutritional trend centers on cutting the fat, you should step up your intake of good fats.  The good fats (non-saturated fats) are classified as monounsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.  Monosaturated fats enter the bloodstream faster and are flushed out of the system quicker than other fats.  To boost circulating testosterone levels make sure you include healthy portions of the following good fats:

  • Ÿ Canola Oil                                    Ÿ  Avocadoes                                    Meats (naturals)
  • Ÿ Peanut Oil                                    Ÿ Whole grains                Ÿ                Fatty Fish
  • Ÿ Olive Oil                                       Ÿ   Liver                                              Ÿ Shellfish
  • Ÿ Nuts and Seeds                           Ÿ Whole Eggs                                  ŸSalmon
  • Ÿ Peanut Butter               Ÿ                Flaxseeds                                     Ÿ Oysters
  • Ÿ Shrimp                                          Ÿ  Cheese                                         Ÿ Chicken Breast

 

You may also want to make sure you are consuming some red meat, lean beef, pork and some dairy products that aren’t fat free.

A Little Help From Some Friends – Some good sources of fruit and vegetables known to increase testosterone levels are apples, cantaloupe, figs, bananas, pineapple, leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress and kale.  Many of these vegetables called cruciferous vegetables are rich in compounds known as indoles.  Indoles are touted for their ability to reduce or negate the effects of female hormone estrogen (water retention, bloating and fat storage). Also make sure you reduce your intake of simple sugars as they inhibit the production and release of protein.

Some Fat Thoughts – While protein, especially whey or egg hydrolysates (predigested protein rich in dipeptides [two linked amino acids] and tripeptides [three linked amino acids]) are very adept at increasing the production of anabolic hormones, don’t forget the good fats .Simply put, without them, the body is incapable of making testosterone , one of your most anabolic hormone.

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