9 Ways on How To Lower SHBG Count Naturally to Raise Free-Testosterone

We have testosterone which is bound to two different proteins, albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This bound up testosterone is unavailable to be used by our androgen receptors and it’s basically like a “reserve” of our male hormones.

Then we have “free testosterone”, which isn’t bound to glycoproteins. It floats around the bloodstream and is constantly ready to bind into the androgen receptors, creating masculinizing effects

Free testosterone only accounts 1-2% of our total testosterone but experts agree that it’s the most important kind as it’s the one that is actually bio-available.

Now if you’re smart, you’re probably thinking…

“How could I get more of this free testosterone then?”

That’s what this article is about. You see, science has shown that we can naturally reduce these binding proteins from our bloodstream, resulting in more free testosterone.

That’s why this article is about how to lower SHBG, which is the protein that binds most of your total testosterone making it unavailable for the receptors. By simply learning how to lower SHBG count in your body, you will free up testosterone and make it more powerful.

NOTE: Albumin, which is the other binding protein, is much weaker and less abundant than SHBG, thus I don’t feel the need to focus on it as much as we should on sex hormone binding globulin.

1. Boron for Free Testosterone

boron testosteroneBoron is a trace mineral that most people have never even heard of

It’s present in our natural soil due to the fact that it comes to earth from cosmic ray spallation. Given that we don’t eat foods grown in nutrient rich soils anymore (because of the processed revolution), we’re depleted in multiple important minerals.

And one of them is boron, which has a valuable role in our endocrine system:

a) This human study found out that 10 mg’s of boron taken daily for a week was enough to increase free testosterone levels by 28%. SHBG count in serum also decreased significantly which probably explains the increase in free T.

b) In this human study the researchers gave their subjects 6 mg’s of boron daily for 60 days. The results showed a similar 29,5% increase in free testosterone, which was again caused by a significant drop in SHBG count.

I’m personally supplementing with this boron everyday (affiliate link).

2. How to Lower SHBG: Eat Plenty of Carbs

carbs lower shbgMany guys like to think that low-carb dieting would be the best way to go when boosting testosterone.

It makes some sense as insulin (a hormone that increases when we eat carbs) and sugar (which is a carb) are both claimed to lower testosterone (neither of them actually does).

And actually there was a point in my life when I also believed that a low-carb diet would be the way to go.

However that’s not true, studies constantly show that low-carb diets decrease testosterone levels, whereas high-carb diets significantly increase the big T while they simultaneously decrease estrogen, cortisol, and SHBG.

Therefore eating a diet moderately high in carbohydrates would be a good way to lower SHBG count (and increase testosterone).

3. Take Vitamin D to Lower SHBG Count

D3 TestosteroneVitamin D is one hell of an awesome vitamin.

Most commonly it’s associated with cardiovascular health, bone health, and immune function.

And while vitamin D is called a “vitamin”, it’s not. It’s really a steroid hormone that regulates more than 1,000 bodily functions, mistakenly named a vitamin.

Best part about the bone vitamin however is the fact that it increases testosterone levels (study, study, study)…

…And this study found out that 3332 IU’s of vitamin D3 was enough to significantly reduce sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) count.

Therefore if you want to increase testosterone (both total and free), and reduce SHBG count, start supplementing with high quality vitamin D3 supplement (affiliate link), be out in the sun, and eat plenty of fish.

4. Fiber is Not Really that Important

fiber lowers testosteroneIt’s a common mantra from the governmental health panel that we need to eat huge amounts of dietary fiber in order to be “healthy”.

However there’s no reason for that. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence that we would need so much fiber daily.

Kellogg’s and other cereal giants are just paying millions of dollars to various influential organizations (such as the AND) in order to get their message of “healthy breakfast with plenty of fiber” out there, which will then only increase their revenue, not our health.

I’m personally sticking to 30g or less fiber because:

High fiber diets are known for their testosterone lowering effects. They also increase SHBG which binds up testosterone making it unable to bind to the receptors, and they increase endotoxin release from the gut lining, which raises serotonin, suppresses dopamine, and also slightly reduces testosterone production.

5. Certain Prescription Drugs can Skyrocket SHBG

prescription medication and shbgFew months ago I wrote a big list of prescription drugs that were scientifically proven to decrease testosterone levels.

…Then I followed up with a post about Finasteride and other hair loss drugs which were shown to be even more harmful for your testosterone levels.

Quite many of those meds in the list also increased SHBG levels, resulting in lowered free T.

These drugs for example: statins, beta blockers, antifungals, antidepressants, and hair loss drugs.

6. Natural Hormone Optimization in General

how to increase free testosteroneTestosterone in itself will reduce SHBG count. It’s not exactly clear why, but men with higher testosterone levels usually have lower SHBG levels.

Estrogen also impacts SHBG, as lower levels of the female hormone will lower SHBG, which is an awesome thing.

This means that simply following the teachings of this blog (which in all of its simplicity is to boost testosterone and reduce estrogen), could significantly lower your SHBG levels as your hormonal health improves.

So just boost that T and get rid of that overblown E 😉

7. Magnesium Increases Free Testosterone

magnesium lowers shbg levels naturallyMagnesium is one of the most important elements for the human body.

It’s essential for our survival and regulates hundreds of enzymes in the body. We’re also somewhat deficient in the mineral due to the fact that most of us eat shitty diets. However we shouldn’t be as magnesium has shown to be pretty awesome in regards of free testosterone and SHBG:

a) This study found out that magnesium makes testosterone more bio-available via decreasing SHBG.

b) This study found out that a gram of magnesium a day in combination with exercise is enough to raise free testosterone levels by 24%.

c) This study examined several health parameters of 400 men. The researchers found out that the men who had highest serum magnesium levels, also had lowest SHBG and highest testosterone and IGF-1 (growth hormone) levels.

I highly recommend this pure magnesium oil (affiliate link) which is applied transmedally to the skin. It has much higher bio-availibility than oral supplements.

8. Zinc for Everything

zinc testosteroneZinc is literally the master mineral of the endocrine system…

Several studies show that it increases testosterone, reduces estrogen, increases dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and improves sperm parameters (source).

But these studies made zinc even better of a mineral, now it’s also seen to reduce SHBG count (study, study).

My recommendation for zinc is Thorne Research’s Double Strength Zinc (affiliate link).

9. Don’t Go Overboard With Alcohol

alcohol lowers testosteroneBinge drinking has its downsides…

Such as the fact that it significantly reduces testosterone levels, testicular weight, and sperm parameters (source).

It also skyrockets the female hormone estrogen and the stress hormone cortisol.

And that’s not even all, as binge drinking impairs the P45 enzyme system of the liver which skyrockets SHBG.

In other words, binge drinking is pretty damaging for your endocrine system.

Conclusion on How to Lower SHBG Count

There you go, 9 scientifically proven ways on how to lower SHBG levels and increase your free testosterone levels.

However do remember that when decreasing SHBG, you’re not only freeing bound up testosterone, but also bound up estrogen.

For most men this isn’t a big problem, especially if you know something about hormone optimization and are already lowering your estrogen levels…

…But the guys who have overblown estrogen levels, it might be wise not to go too low with SHBG, at least first get the estrogen in check.


If you are looking for a natural supplement to boost your testosterone, I would recommend TESTRO-X. 

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Ingredients:

Ashwagandha Root Extract (Organic KSM - 66), Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, Forskolin Extract, Inositol, Glycine, L-Theanine, Black Pepper Extract


9 Ways on How To Lower SHBG Count Naturally to Raise Free-Testosterone was last modified: July 13th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.

25 Comments

  1. jarrod on 17/03/2014 at 08:08

    Actually, many studies have shown that sugar, especially fructose DIRECTLY INHIBITS the production of SHBG… and is said to be the STRONGEST of all dietary determinants of this…

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109171610.htm

  2. Ali Kuoppala on 02/08/2014 at 10:48

    Fuck, I rewrote the article before checking these comments, now I don’t know what was I talking about earlier..

    Try searching Google scholar with the words green tea SHBG.

  3. Ali Kuoppala on 02/08/2014 at 10:50

    I’d go with six and then maybe gradually lower it to 3.

    Depends on how much you want to spend on the mineral. I’m personally taking 20-30 mg’s a day, but I’ll gradually lower it to somewhere between 7-12 mg’s for long term.

  4. Living in France on 18/09/2014 at 16:04

    I submitted a question but it has not appeared – let’s start again.
    Have high shbg and high total testosterone, but low dhea and low free T.

    1) Have read recent studies on eating 10 dried prunes a day (not at the same time) that provides almost 3 mg of natural boron and the results show new bone is created in osteoporosis patients.
    Comments?

    2) with my situation above, and comments on lowering the SHBG in addition to the boron?

    • Larry on 31/08/2015 at 23:43

      I had success with standardized Stinging Nettles Root extract in lowering high normal SHBG. And, in my case, Free T was increased by about 8-10%.

      I don’t believe that this extract will have any benefit on increasing Free T if SHBG levels are on low side already.

      To increase DHEA you need to supplement with DHEA.

      SHBG has no direct relationship on DHEA.

  5. Tim on 15/03/2015 at 13:45

    This is complete horseshit and bordering on dangerous.

    High total testosterone is PREFERABLE. SHBG-bound testosterone is GOOD.

    Low SHBG is associated with a myriad of diseases. 5ar-deficient males have amazing physiques in adulthood, and are immune to hormone-related diseases. 5AR-deficient pseudohermaphrodites have elevated TT and SHBG, and non-existant DHT.

    This is a 42-year old male with 5ar-deficiency:

    http://i.imgur.com/yxEanr2.jpg

    Testosterone in its pure form is healthy. Free testosterone is what brings all the bad sides of androgens.

    Men’s goal should be to INCREASE shbg, not lower it. Unless you’re in it for the balding, diabetes, hypertension…

    Increasing SHBG:

    Lose visceral fat

    Exercise

    High fiber (can’t believe you stated you’re “avoiding fiber”).

    The best diet to mimic the adult hormonal profile of 5ar-deficient males is high fiber, moderate/high carb, moderate protein and low fat.

    You don’t have to completely kill fat intake, but it’s inversely correlated with SHBG.

    Yes, I know Ali. You’re going to assault me with phrases like “b..but!! 5ar deficient males have micropenises!!”. That is correct, but 0.0000000000000000001% of the population are 5ar-deficienct, and in no way comparable to not being exposed to ANY DHT in the womb.

    If you’re eating a high-fat diet, you better make sure you’re exercising vigorously and keeping body-fat LOW AS FUCK. Otherwise it can spell trouble and free testosterone wrecking havoc on your appearance.

    • Ali Kuoppala on 15/03/2015 at 15:01

      Nah, I won’t assault you with such nonsense. You’re entitled to your own opinion.

      SHBG is just one of the body’s many ways to regulate hormones. It serves a purpose for sure, but to seek high SHBG sound absurd.

      I’ve had low (not freakishky low) SHBG for few years now and I’m feeling better than ever.

      I might be wrong, but so could you.

    • Larry on 31/08/2015 at 23:39

      Total pseudoscience nonsense. Free testosterone is the active part of Total Testosterone (the part that actually works). As Free Testosterone is used, a small amount of Total Testosterone is converted to Free Testosterone. At any given time, only about 2-3% of Total Testosterone is the active form of Free Testosterone!

      As for the other nonsense, please post research corroborating those (invalid) claims.

    • Panagiotis Koustas on 18/04/2016 at 16:42

      Thats bs.5ar deficient males have no DHT and only free and shbg testosterone.Free testosterone is anabolic.DHtestosterone is androgenic.That meens it might get you bald if you have the disposition ,will increase your prostate size in a healthy way during puberty and will make you feel better by binding to testosterone receptors in the hippocampus.You forgot to mention that people (always males with yx chromosomes) born with 5ar deficiency are born with dismorphed genitalia and experience a very mild puberty.And when reffering to dismorphed genitalia they can even have pseudovaginas.Why do I have to do the googling for you?SHBG has nothing to do with DHT.

  6. no name on 17/03/2015 at 12:30

    My goal is to be a handsome man with plenty of hair and strong, healthy body. The hormonal profile of handsome men is high serum* T, high SHBG, low free* androgens. SHBG actually prevents balding and keeps your subcutaneous fat in place so you don’t age poorly. High free T converts to DHT which makes you go bald, have acne, get fat… Skinny ectomorphic vegans always have higher T than meat eaters but It’s bound up by their much higher SHBG. I was against vegan but It’s the way to go, add a piece of lean meat like tuna and a little bit of fat (like 10-15%) and you’ve got the healthiest diet in the world. A fiber-rich diet of mostly veggies, beans and grains is great for youth and virility.

    • Ali Kuoppala on 17/03/2015 at 12:52

      Do what works for you. Though I don’t agree with the claims you made above, it doesn’t mean it would be forbidden to believe in them anyway…

    • Larry on 31/08/2015 at 23:34

      I see why listing as No Name. These recommendations are idiotic and based on pseudoscience!

  7. José Manuel Peña on 22/04/2015 at 23:29

    At what time should i take the Boron and the vitamin D ?

  8. steve on 29/05/2015 at 21:38

    Thanks for pulling these studies together. However, you are mistaken regarding Fish oil. You have it backwards. This is a quote from the Japanese article:

    “These findings suggest that the association between fat intake and testosterone concentration may be dependent on the type of fat and that the higher intake of n–3 fatty acids from fish may be associated with lower total testosterone concentrations. High intake of n–3 fatty acids has been reported to reduce testosterone synthesis by altering the lipid composition of rat testicular plasma membranes (21).”

  9. steve on 29/05/2015 at 23:01

    The second study supporting magnesium supplementation showed that the group not being supplemented also show improvement, though slightly less.

  10. Larry on 31/08/2015 at 23:33

    This post is crazy.

    • bahadur on 04/05/2016 at 16:20

      i am not lying lol it was maybe because i had lots of potential for testoerone and had low amount of t due to high stress.. i was 16 year old that time and my stress level was super high, i was anxious all the time…. when i took tongkat ali, my testosterone went to were it should be for a 16 year old guy and i am not kidding, i saw increases in muscle mass defination within hours. i swear to god

      • Leroy on 04/05/2016 at 17:23

        I still think that the Post is crazy.

        Because nothing you mention significantly reducers Testosterone. And not even physiological levels of REAL testosterone (like you would get prescribed if your were hypogonadal – it is a disease, a disorder, not a “temporary condition”) would produce results like that in just two months.

        You would have to be taking way above prescribed levels of testosterone (or some other anabolic steroid) to achieve those type of results in two months. Like levels that bodybuilders use.

        Even if you had strongly elevated SHBG and took supplements to bring it under control (Nettle ROOT – not leaf – extract is the only one proven to do that in REAL actual peer-reviewed research and Tongkat Ali is NOT), it has a mildly increasing effect on your FREE testosterone and none at all on your Total testosterone.

        But the fact is that the more that I look at this situation (swear to God or not), it is BS. No reference to physician testing. No mention of Lab results (the only way that you know what your TT or FT or SHBG or Prolactin or Estrogen levels are… which a physician would insist on knowing all of those). No mention of a physician doing initial testing to see what your LH and FSH levels were to see if you were primary hypogonadal or secondary hypogonadal (one of the causes for a young man past puberty start to be hypogonadal is a tumor on your pituitary gland… it is THAT serious – and isn’t caused by generic stress; long-term stress in the range of PTSD type stress could cause it in some cases).

        This post is, IMO, simply BS.

        I swear to God!

  11. Larry on 31/08/2015 at 23:47

    I have conflicting reports (both supposedly backed by research) as to Stinging Nettles Root extract and DHT.

    One aside claims the extract reduces conversion of T to DHT.

    The other side claims that the extract increases conversion of T to DHT.

    Any specifics?

  12. […] saw improvements in free-testosterone levels, it’s also plausible that zinc can inhibit serum SHBG levels and leave more testosterone bio-available for the androgen […]

    • anon on 30/06/2016 at 03:30

      That’s due to Zinc’s aromatase inhibitor properties (which help to block testosterone to estrogen conversion) – Estrogen and SHBG are linked by the way and also due to DHT being increased from less estrogen competition, you are therefore reducing SHBG as the more your androgens increase the less SHBG is available (this stuff gets complex, but take my word, you do NOT want very low SHBG levels).

  13. […] studies have shown that boron increases free testosterone and serum DHT levels in your body. Not only that, but boron even acts as an anti-estrogen, and also […]

  14. Nela on 20/05/2017 at 07:08

    This is great info if you want to end up with man pattern baldness!
    (low sbgh -> hight DHT). You can google androgenic alopecia SBGH and DHT.

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