A lot of men share some of the same age old fears. Topping the list are:
- being perceived as weak
- becoming impotent
- losing hair
When all else fails, y’know, let’s do the old “cover up”, OK you guys?
All signify loss of power. These are deep seated fears, and men will do anything to keep them at bay.
These fears drive both young and middle-aged men and, yes, even seniors to:
- work out at the gym
- take testosterone supplements
- take muscle milk or other creatine based body-bulkers
- take a range of other nutritional supplements of questionable quality and uncertain long-term side-effects
The Testosterone Dilemma
Men identify with testosterone, and for good reason. After all, it is adequate levels of testosterone that sustain their masculinity. As men age, their free testosterone levels tend to drop. This will cause them to eventually lose muscle mass and muscle tone, not to speak of bone strength.
FACT: between the ages of 38 and 88, both men and women will lose on average 45% of their bone and muscle.
Declining levels of testosterone will decrease both mental sharpness and instinctual drive, including of course, sexual drive.
So men, and most male doctors, will see testosterone as the essential fuel for remaining a high functioning male. Some men choose to take either synthetic or natural testosterone in the form of supplements; and some physicians will automatically prescribe testosterone supplementation therapy for men whose free testosterone levels have declined below accepted reference ranges.
Testosterone is an androgen and therefore a hormone. The problem is that in the body, nothing is static, and every component, including testosterone, is being constantly built up and broken down. It is like when you walk into a forest and see young trees growing and old broken stumps decaying. It is the same inside the human body: this is what is known as metabolism. Metabolism includes anabolism (building up) and catabolism (breaking down).
5-alpha reductase and DHT
Testosterone is broken down and converted into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. As men age, more of their free testosterone tends to be converted into DHT. High levels of DHT have been associated with BPH and prostate cancer. So many men have been taking finasteride which blocks conversion of free testosterone into DHT.
Why DHT is Important
Nature is not stupid, and nature decided to make DHT a part of male physiology. If men take finasteride to block DHT by inhibiting 5-alpha reductase, they may fancy they are protecting themselves from prostate issues and retaining their testosterone for muscle building and sexual prowess. Guess again. Stopping testosterone from naturally metabolizing into DHT will potentially lead to the following:
- hair loss (alopecia)
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- aggressive forms of prostate cancer
Why? Because DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen that plays an important role in sexual performance, secondary sexual characteristics, and protection from cancer. Yes, I know that in conventional thinking DHT is seen as pro-carcinogenic. But in fact this is at best a half truth. (Please read allied posting on Prostate Cancer Drugs for more details). Cutting out DHT is similar to amputation: not amputation of a body part, but amputation of a key metabolite.
DHT and Protection From Prostate Cancer
While DHT initially can start a cascade towards cancer, if left alone, a major part of DHT will metabolize into 3-b Adiol, which is a man’s internal protection against prostate cancer. The key here is the ratio: ensuring that your 3-b Adiol levels are greater than your DHT + 3-a Adiol total levels.
DHT and Aromatase
The terminator: oops, look what has happened to the abdomen.
Another mistake men make is separating out DHT and aromatase. DHT and aromatase must be understood in combination. Aromatase is an enzyme present in abdominal fat, and aromatase levels will often be elevated as a consequence of excess cortisol production. Cortisol is the major stress hormone, so stressed out men who try to work it off by pumping iron or extreme aerobic exercise are not necessarily getting to the core of the matter. They may burn off some calories, but they are not shifting their pre-set stress levels. If these men are unable to shed excess poundage at the waistline, the likelihood is that their aromatase levels will be heightened.
Aromatase decreases male libido and enhances feminizing characteristics. Elevated aromatase together with elevated DHT can potentially lead to prostate inflammation and tumor growth. A man might easily have artificially big muscles and a weakened sexual energy, plus a dangerous predisposition to aggressive prostate cancers if he is on finasteride.
Some men are worried about the bad press surrounding testosterone supplementation. A number of reports have been published recently claiming that testosterone supplementation can induce cardiovascular problems. Whilst the evidence for this is highly debatable, the debate itself raises the question. Is there not a safer, more natural way of restoring male testosterone levels?
As always, the answer is a resounding yes. Nature has answers that are systematically ignored or suppressed. Why? Simply because no major profits can made from whole plant extracts which cannot be patented. Do they work? Yes.
A second major reason is the false belief that something natural is inferior to something developed in a lab.
Many of us have been brainwashed into thinking like this, and when the brain has been weakened, what do you think happens to the body?
Nature has a long and outstanding track record of curing and supporting all manner of human illnesses and conditions. A number of plants can effectively restore testosterone levels and enhance male sexual performance without inducing the types of dangerous inflammation that come with anti Erectile Dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis.
The tradition of enhancing male sexuality and sustaining male potency has existed for many centuries in China, India and in South America.
Today, we have access to clean, safe, organically grown supplements from nature which will restore male potency and protect from BPH and other prostate problems.
Testosterone levels can be indirectly improved by taking botanical supplements as opposed to drugs.
Unless, of course, you want to look like the guy below:
I never take anything from nature!
Hmmm. I wonder who would prevail in a contest between the gentleman above and the gentleman below:
I only take natural supplements.
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