Elevate it and your drive may improve.
When your drive falls short on the last par 5 of the day, it’s a lot easier to blame your clubface than your balls, your testicles, your personal production centers of testosterone. But truth is, beginning in one’s late 30s or early 40s, secretion of the primary “male” hormone (although women produce it as well) into the bloodstream begins to dip a bit each year, resulting in less muscle strength, slightly weakened bones and less responsive sexual organs.
This physiological fact of life can also diminish the virile self-confidence men bring to the boardroom, the bedroom and, yes, the golf course.
All of which has led to a spate of “Low T” ads and marketing campaigns aimed at convincing mature men they can pump up the volume (more muscle, more energy, better sex) by taking FDA-approved testosterone supplements, applying gels or affixing Rx patches.
All well and good for those who truly need the anabolic steroid supplements. But at last count, in early 2014, when more than 5 million men in the U.S. were using testosterone supplements, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was “investigating the risk of stroke, heart attack, and death in men taking FDA-approved testosterone products….”
In addition to those serious possible side effects, testosterone supplements have been linked with: enlarged prostate glands, fluid retention and some breast development in men. Studies also suggest the drugs can encourage prostate cancer to grow.
The FDA went on to remind consumers that the drugs are approved “only for use in men who lack or have low testosterone levels in conjunction with an associated medical condition.”
As for what’s normal for men: The Endocrine Society has issued “normal” guidelines that span approximately 300-to-1,000 (ng./dl.). But again, these aren’t hard-and-fast numbers for prescribing steroid supplements. Your doctor, who also may measure the percent of “free” testosterone that is available to your target organs, should weigh in.
Thankfully, there are a number of natural alternatives to taking testosterone. Although none have been FDA-approved as a drug, these nutrient supplements or “precursor hormone” substances are often sold alone or combined into anti-aging, “muscle-boosting” formulas. They include:
• DHEA, a precursor hormone that helps spur your own body to produce more testosterone
• Tribulus Terrestris, a substance shown to boost muscle growth and energy, though mostly tested to date in animals
• Horny goat weed, a nutrient shown to increase nitrous oxide, exercise performance, and erectile function
• Fenugreek, a nutrient shown to help build muscle and increase testosterone.
• D-Aspartic Acid, an ingredient that has exhibited testosterone-boosting properties in studies of men.
An alternative to asking your M.D. about these naturally derived products, is to consult a registry or database of naturopathic doctors—licensed health care doctors who study medicine for four-plus years, en route to gaining an “N.D.” degree. naturopathic.org