When it comes to male health and wellbeing, the importance of healthy testosterone levels cannot be overstated. Not only do healthy test levels contribute to libido and sex drive, but this crucial hormone also determines fat distribution, strength, muscle mass and the production of red blood cells.
There are many things you can do to optimise your testosterone levels, from regular weight training to supplementation, but as emerging research has shown, reducing inflammation in the gut –specifically by improving the health of the microbiome – is one of the most important steps you can take.
Inflammation and testosterone deficiency are linked
In a recent study by the University of South Australia and the University of Duisburg-Essen Germany, researchers found that acute inflammation could reduce testosterone production by as much as 30% in 6 hours. Their research also showed strong, positive correlations between chronic low-level exposure to inflammation and a reduction in testosterone levels.
But what has this got to do with gut health?
As gut expert Dr Vincent M. Pedre explains, diet-induced inflammation can dramatically affect the health of the microbiome and vice-versa:
“Inflammation sets off a chain reaction. The standard American diet (SAD) leads to obesity through inflammation by affecting your gut flora, reducing the presence of friendly bacteria, resulting in increased intestinal wall permeability (leaky gut syndrome), and allowing bacterial endotoxin (a bacterial cell wall component and potent activator of the immune system) to leak into your body. The trans-mucosal migration of endotoxin directly leads to lower testosterone levels by affecting its production in the testes.”Vincent M. Pedre
In other words, a poor diet can reduce friendly bacteria in the gut, leading to increased inflammation and ultimately, reduced testosterone.
Low testosterone levels can actively damage gut health – leading to a vicious cycle of disease
To compound the problem, healthy testosterone levels directly contribute to the proper functioning of the digestive system, performing a number of important functions including:
- Maintaining motility in the colon
- Reducing pain in the digestive tract
- Decreasing inflammation in the gut
Consequently, low testosterone levels can actively damage the gut, leading to higher levels of inflammation and even lower levels of testosterone – a vicious cycle that can slowly erode health and promote disease. The key message here is that gut health and testosterone production go hand in hand, and that by working to improve one you can help to optimise the other.
A nutrient-rich diet combined with Probiotics can reduce inflammation and boost testosterone
So what’s the answer?
As with so many aspects of healthy living it all boils down to diet and when you’re looking to improve gut health and boost testosterone, a nutrient-rich wholefood diet is king. As Dr Pedre explains:
“A nutrient-dense diet rich in healthy fats (like a ketogenic diet) coupled with intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, improve gut health, and optimize testosterone levels. I also recommend drinking filtered water, avoiding hormone disrupters such as bisphenol-A (or BPA), and taking a high-quality probiotic as research shows probiotic supplementation can even help prevent low testosterone in men.”Vincent M. Pedre
Some of this may sound obvious. We all know we should be avoiding processed foods and maximising our intake of fruit and vegetables, but when it comes to putting it into practice, busy lifestyles can get in the way. If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your fruit & veg intake, whilst simultaneously incorporating a quality probiotic, our daily wellness shake Probiotic Superfoods can help you reach your goal. With 7 organic fruits & vegetables plus 10 billion gut-friendly bacteria per serving, it also contains Aloe Vera and L-glutamine – two powerful anti-inflammatory agents that have been proven to reduce gastro-intestinal inflammation, and in the case of L-Glutamine, actively protect the mucous membrane of the intestines.
Simply add one scoop (10g) to 250ml of water and mix well for a great-tasting gut-friendly drink.
Maintaining healthy testosterone levels is a challenging but crucial aspect of male health and wellbeing. Poor diets, with an over reliance on highly processed foods can negatively impact the health of the microbiome and lead to increased inflammation in the gut; something that has been linked with a significant reduction in testosterone.
Working to improve gut health, by focusing on nutrient-rich wholefoods, eating plenty of fruits & vegetables and introducing a quality probiotic supplement, can actively reduce inflammation in the body and help prevent low testosterone in men.