Take vitamin D to raise testosterone, achieve a better body composition, and have better overall health. A new study in the European Journal of Endocrinology provides more support for ensuring your vitamin D levels are above par. This study is especially timely as we enter the darkest times in the Northern hemisphere when blood vitamin D levels continue to decline due to a lack of sun exposure.
Two new studies further highlight the importance of D when it comes to muscles. German scientists found that men with higher blood levels of vitamin D had significantly higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of sex-hormone binding globulin than those with low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Having lower SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), means that more test is free to get into the muscles and increase muscle growth.
This new studies tested vitamin D and hormone levels in a large European population of 3051 men aged 40 to 79. Researchers found that men with vitamin D deficiency (below 50 nmol/l or 20 ng/ml) had significantly lower free testosterone and higher levels of oestradiol and leutenizing hormone, which all together indicate hypogonadism and poor reproductive health. It’s necessary to achieve adequate vitamin D levels to support optimal hormone production because there are vitamin D receptors in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands—both produce hormones and involved in metabolic and sexual health—and men have D receptors in the testis.
In addition to lower testosterone, the men with deficient and sub-optimal vitamin D (classified as 50 to 75 nmol/l or 10 to 29.9 ng/ml) had a higher body mass index, were less physically active, had poorer physical function, and greater incidence of depression. They also had higher rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes—a disease that previous research has linked directly to low testosterone in men. On the flip side, men with the highest vitamin D levels had the highest testosterone levels, better body composition, and better overall health.
To make sure your vitamin D levels are up to par, as well as your testosterone levels and muscle strength, take 2,000-5,000 international units of vitamin D3 per day with meals.