Vitamin D and Testosterone: More Than Just a Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is one of the 24 essential vitamins needed for human survival. It regulates more than 1,000 bodily functions. Not to mention the vitamin D testosterone benefits are quite profound. It occurs naturally in fish and eggs, although the best way to get it is through regular sun exposure.
Update 21.2.2015: Added a few interesting studies where vitamin D and sunlight exposure were again able to increase testosterone levels.
Vitamin D is truly a “wonder vitamin”, and most people use it because it’s proven to be heart healthy and good for the bones.
But vitamin D is much much more than just a bone vitamin…
Vitamin D increases testosterone levels and maintains optimal endocrine system health in both, men and women:
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Vitamin D Testosterone Benefits
Vitamin D is actually not even a vitamin…
…It’s a steroid hormone, mistakenly named as a vitamin.
This hormone D like I said above, regulates more than 1,000 bodily functions, including fertility, growth, hormone secretion, and sexual function…
…Needless to say that if your serum vitamin D levels are too low, more than 1,000 bodily functions are also somewhat impaired.
Several of these functions that vitamin D regulates are linked to the endocrine system, thus not getting adequate amounts of “the bone vitamin”, should in theory reduce testosterone levels.
Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels: Recent Studies
a) This study found out that vitamin D and testosterone levels were correlated. Men with sufficient vitamin D levels had significantly higher testosterone levels and lower SHBG count, than men who had insufficient amounts of the vitamin (or hormone) in their blood serum.
b) This study found out that when healthy male participants take 3332 IU’s of vitamin D daily for a year, they end up having 25.2% more testosterone on average when compared to placebo.
c) This study found out that older men who supplement with vitamin D, are less likely to have low testosterone levels than men who are not supplementing with the “bone vitamin”.
d) In this Australian study, the researchers found out that in older men, low vitamin D status is associated with low free testosterone and increased fracture risk.
e) This study examined the already proven positive association between vitamin D and testosterone levels. They had 1362 male subjects, and the results show that vitamin D has a linear positive association with serum total and free testosterone levels. However when the amount of vitamin D in serum goes above ~80 nmol/L (pretty much optimal), the increase in testosterone plateaus. Meaning that vitamin D more than likely does increase testosterone levels, but it won’t help if you are already in the optimal range of vitamin D (which is definitely not where most men are).
f) It’s actually better to get your vitamin D from sunlight exposure, at least if you believe the results of this 1939 study from Dr. Abraham Myerson, which showed that five days of UV light exposure to men’s chest area, increased total testosterone levels by ~120%. When the genitals were exposed to UV radiation for the same amount of time, the increase in testosterone skyrocketed to ~200%.
g) There is also some evidence that bright light exposure signals the brain to release luteinzing hormone (LH), which triggers testicular leydig cells to produce testosterone. So being out in the sun for that vitamin D is definitely not a bad idea.
The results of vitamin D and testosterone studies tell us that:
1. Men with low vitamin D levels are much more likely to have low testosterone levels when compared to men with adequate amounts of the vitamin.
2. Healthy men who decide to supplement with low dose vitamin D, can expect to have around 25% more testosterone in their bloodstream after a year of supplementation.
3. If your serum vitamin D levels are already in the optimal range, you might not get a testosterone boosting benefit from extra supplementation.
4. UV light exposure seems to skyrocket testosterone production, especially if you expose your genitals to the sun rays.
So I guess we can conclude that vitamin D is really a testosterone booster, at least the science seems to support this idea from multiple view points.
What is the vitamin D testosterone dosage?
Answer: The optimal amount of vitamin D in the blood serum seems to be around 50-70 ng/dl. This can be quite easily achieved when supplementing daily with a low to normal dose of high quality vitamin D3 supplement (this is my recommendation), through a multivitamin, or by spending few hours in the sun each day. Best if you do both.
NOTE: You should avoid the D2 form of the vitamin, it’s cheaply made and the chemical process of manufacturing it is questionable. It’s also not nearly as good in terms of bio-availibity as the D3 form is.
Conclusion on Vitamin D Testosterone Benefits
Vitamin D is a testosterone booster, but if your vitamin D levels are already optimal (most men don’t fall into this category by the way), then extra supplementation won’t help.
It’s also known for its ability to increase lifespan, it improves cardiovascular health, and it even maintains bone health when taken along with calcium and vitamin K2.
So if you’re not already living in an overly sunny place, then supplementation with this high quality vitamin D3 supplement might just be a wise decision 😉 .
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