Boosting Testosterone with a Crucial Vitamin
Boosting Testosterone levels has become a popular marketing trend, where supplement industry sells hundreds to products on the market promising to increase testosterone levels naturally. The appeal of increasing testosterone levels is attractive: preventing the decline of testosterone has been suggested to reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, support a healthy libido, support cognitive function, and support healthy lean muscle mass while reducing the risk of obesity.
But how many supplements on the market have actual clinical research behind their ingredients? How many of these supplements actually utilize ingredients that have been verified by an independent 3rd party lab to test for purity and quality of the supplement? A lot less than we may hope. A recent study had found that the majority supplements sold online in a specific region to promote sperm-factor fertility had no scientific evidence behind their ingredients.
That being said, there is limited research on specific products, and even then, the research is mostly small trials, however, they seem to be showing a similar trend when it comes to levels of Vitamin D and its effects on testosterone levels in the blood.
There appears to be a U-shaped effect of Vitamin D on testosterone levels. When Vitamin D levels are very low, testosterone goes down, and if Vitamin D levels go too high, the testosterone levels, again, go down. So the best numbers for testosterone levels are seen in the middle-range of normal Vitamin D status. This is why it is so important to do a blood test to see where your Vitamin D levels are before supplementing with high doses.
While the new study published that observed these effects did not notice any impact on sperm parameters from Vitamin D supplementation, there are other studies which have observed an impact on sperm parameters.
It is also important to mention that Men with higher levels of Vitamin D were more likely to have a successful pregnancy compared to patients with low Vitamin D status, who were more likely to have a miscarriage. The role of Vitamin D goes beyond sperm motility and morphology. There is research showing a protective effect of Vitamin D on the nucleus and the chromosomes of sperm cells. As a result, it has been suggested that Vitamin D levels may actually impact the DNA and chromosomal integrity of the sperm cells (a factors strongly affects fertility success rates).
How Does Vitamin D support Fertility?
It has been suggested that Vitamin D impacts the levels of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG - it decreases the levels of this protein). SHBG strongly binds to testosterone in the blood making it unavailable to use in target tissues. Therefore by decreasing levels of SHBG, more testosterone becomes available to bind to target receptors in the brain, testes, muscle, etc. This is known as an increase in free testosterone, and appears to occur when Vitamin D levels are in an optimal level. Additionally, Vitamin D impacts the transport of calcium to the epididymis, and the impact of calcium on sperm maturation is already well established.
1. Amini, L., Mohammadbeigi, R., Vafa, M., Haghani, H., Vahedian-Azimi, A., Karimi, L., Sahebkar, A. (2020). Evaluation of the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on quantitative and qualitative parameters of spermograms and hormones in infertile men: A Randomized controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 53, 102529.
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor. Please discuss with your healtcare provider and only make changes to your medications regimen if recommended by your doctor and under their guidance.