Calcium and Testosterone: Not Only for the Bones & Teeth
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Vlad Belghiru, MD
Calcium is the fifth-most-abundant mineral in the crust of the planet Earth. In humans, 99% of the calcium in our bodies is located in bones and teeth.
The 1% that’s left has a role in various processes inside the human body, such as cellular functioning, neurotransmitter release (think dopamine), muscle contraction, conducting the heart, etc.
Which is why calcium is one of the 20 essential vitamins & minerals for human survival.
The governmental recommendation for calcium is roughly 1-gram a day for a normal sized adult male. In my opinion, you should aim a bit higher than that, while also adding in vitamin D, magnesium, boron, and vitamin K2, which all work in a synergy with calcium.
If you’re consuming plenty of products that already contain calcium (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc), extra supplementation might not be that useful. For example, here in Finland – and if I recall correctly, in the whole Scandinavia – milk consumption is so high that calcium supplementation would be somewhat just a waste of money.
The thing that got me interested in calcium, however, is the fact that it seems to have a role in testosterone production.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Calcium and Testosterone
Calcium is not that often linked to testosterone production, but still, there are few studies that show some promising results with the mineral.
The researchers aren’t even sure how calcium works to increase testosterone…
…Few logical explanations could be the fact that it controls neurotransmitter release (dopamine, for example, rises in correlation with T), and plays a role in cellular functioning (which in theory could improve the signaling between cells and hormones).
Whatever the reason, here’s what the studies say:
a) Back in 1976, a group of researchers studied the effects of calcium ions on isolated rat Leydig cells. They found out that in combination with luteinizing hormone (LH), calcium significantly increased testosterone synthesis. When the researchers tested LH’s effects on the cells without the calcium, the increase in testosterone was significantly smaller.
b) 33 Years later, this study gets published in the Journal of Biological Trace Element Research. The researchers found out that calcium supplementation (35 mg/kg) didn’t really alter testosterone levels on the subjects who remained sedentary when compared to placebo. However, there were also two groups on the study that did resistance training for 90 minutes, 5 days a week. The first group received 35 mg/kg of calcium, and the other group got a placebo pill.
Both of the training groups noted increases in their testosterone levels. However, the group that received the extra calcium had 18% higher free testosterone levels after the workout than the placebo group did.
The researchers weren’t sure why calcium was able to increase the amount of bio-available testosterone in resistance trained men, but they suspect that it increases the sensitivity of the messenger hormones LH and FSH.
Calcium seems to increase free testosterone in men who practice resistance training. The mechanism of action is somewhat unknown, and more studies are needed to validate the claims.
All-in-all, you should probably consider a calcium supplement if you’re not a big fan of dairy products, but still, love to workout.
For those guys, my recommendation would be this brand, 1-2 grams a day (affiliate link).