Does Gluten Lead to Less Manly Men?
Gluten is known to effect the production of hormones in both men and women. Studies have shown that gluten can disrupt the endocrine system leading to reduced hormone production. Gluten and testosterone deficiency are linked. Another one of the detrimental mechanisms of gluten is nutritional loss via malabsorption of vitamins and minerals from food. These loses can also lead to hormone disruption as well. The following diagram illustrates some of the commonly known effects of nutritional deficiency on testosterone (test) levels. Many of the male patients that come to visit me are experiencing multiple symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
- Low libido
- Low energy
- inability to gain muscle even when working out
All these symptoms added up equates to a man without the ability to be Manly. If you have visited your doctor and been identified as having low levels of testosterone, you should insist that your doctor help you investigate the possibility of gluten sensitivity as well as nutritional deficiencies.
Why Is Testosterone Important?
This vital sex steroid is important for a number of functions:
- building and maintaining muscle mass
- maintenance and density of bone tissue
- regulation of the thyroid and adrenal glands
- sexual function
- improves cognitive function (reduction of Alzheimer’s)
- reduces inflammation
- reduces cardiovascular disease risk
Low test is becoming increasingly more and more prevalent among adult men. Partly because of widespread nutritional deficiencies (especially vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Magnesium), and partly because of environmental exposure to chemical toxins in pesticides and plastics. These chemicals are estrogen mimickers that have a suppressive effect on testosterone.
One of the other major factors impacting the bodies ability to produce testosterone is the use of cholesterol medications. Cholesterol is the ingredient necessary for the body to be able to synthesize testosterone. Therefore, blocking cholesterol can reduce the body’s ability to make this vital hormone and contribute to all of the problems associated with a deficiency. That is why so many men taking statin drugs end up with muscle loss, lack of libido, and reduced sexual performance.
Obesity also contributes to low testosterone levels. Excessive fat cells aid in the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Hence the more fat you have the more prone you are to converting test into estrogen.
How Do You Increase Testosterone Naturally?
- Weight bearing exercise. Regular performance will elevate levels and contribute to muscle growth, longevity, and improved sexual function. (This program is great for home based exercise)
- Maintain adequate protein levels. 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per Kg of body weight is a good place to start to ensure protein levels are high enough to support test synthesis by your body.
- Monitor for nutritional deficiencies (see diagram above) – especially zinc and vitamin D as both of these nutrients have been shown to boost testosterone levels in deficient men.
- AVOID GLUTEN.
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior