There is strong correlation between low testosterone and more feminine men in the 21st century. Simply put, men are becoming more and more feminine in today’s technocrat culture. What does this look like? It means less muscle, higher fat levels, smaller male parts and other more emotionally driven characteristics.
Over the past 12 years of coaching I have noticed that as young men are entering high school, they are trending on the smaller less muscular side. I wondered, what about adults? Kids below high school age? Well, my intuition guided me to a theory that this is a direct result of our environment and it may in fact have been done on purpose. Can evidence support this theory?
I sourced the New York Times article, Sperm Count in Western Men Has Dropped Over 50 Percent Since 1973, written by Maya Salam. The article published the results of studies that tracked men’s testosterone levels between 1973 and 2011. According to the research, there is direct evidence of a decreasing rate of quality semen over that 50-year period. Between the period of 1973 to 2011 testosterone has dropped 1% each year, totaling 50%. This is as a result of endocrine* disrupting chemicals. Erectile dysfunction and miscarriages have even gone up at the same rate as the testosterone has declined.
This evidence supports the theory that this is a direct result of our environment and, in fact, may even support the theory that it has been done on purpose. However, to provide a fair shakedown we need to understand some of the major things that cause disruption to the Endocrine System. Here are a few causes that have been linked:
Endocrine disrupting chemicals found in food packages (BPA, Phthalates)
Plastic Water bottles
Food processing tubes
The list could go on and on…
The ways of the West shows that as we move further away from our primitive lifestyle there are repercussions. Some of these repercussions are showing their ugly faces through disease and reproductive issues. Whether it be the male parts or female parts these FDA approved products seem to be reducing reproduction.
Phthalates** are one of the most harmful Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. These lead to destruction of the male reproductive system; a smaller Anogenital distance; and smaller genitals. Phthalates can be found in nearly all synthetic plastic and rubber materials. For example, when milk is pumped from cows, or even a mother’s breast, the plastic tubing that the milk flows through passes phthalates in to the milk, particularly when combining the process with heat. Another example that is far more common is leaving a plastic water bottle in the car. As that water bottle gets hot phthalates will be transferred in to the water and as you drink the water these harmful chemicals will then be ingested and transported in to your body. The majority of the reproduction system damage has to do with phthalates being exposed to the mother while she is carrying her baby, particularly in the first trimester. When a baby boy is exposed to phthalates the baby’s testosterone levels drop significantly and thus alters his testosterone levels.
Other chemicals that are extremely harmful, but yet approved by the FDA, are BPA’s****. Common places where you will find BPA’s are in plastic water bottles, plastic containers, pizza boxes, and many more items that we come in to contact in our daily lives. These chemicals are non-persistent and do leave the body quickly. When babies are exposed to these chemicals it causes severe damage.
With now having an understanding about the dangers of these chemicals, What solutions do we have? Or maybe even more importantly, when the damage is done can it be reversed?
The first solution is to purposefully avoid these harmful chemicals with a few simple tips:
Change plastic containers to glass
Do not use plastic water bottles and if you do… avoid letting them get hot
Find an alternative to pizza boxes or simply do not eat out
Stick to local dairy products if possible, small batch farming is better; glass milk bottles
When selecting food choose local organic farms, as these choices will always provide you with more nutritious vegetables that have been exposed to less. Select high quality grass-fed meat; grass-fed meat generally comes from a healthier and happier animal, which means a higher-quality fat source. In our current society we tend to only eat the “normal” meat but skip out on the bone marrow, liver, heart, and other organ meat. The organ and liver meat*** of the animal contains some of the most valuable nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, K, magnesium and phosphorus, which the Liver and other organ meat contains. The liver, which is said to contain high amounts of toxins, actually pushes toxins to the kidneys by way of urine. Vitamin A is a catalyst for biological processes, which include healthy reproduction & offspring.
Is it possible to reverse this lower testosterone trend in men? A few studies have shown that rats and/or mice have been able to reverse low Testosterone in 3 generations. To get more information on these studies I urge you to read studies that have been published by Dr. Shanna Swan on this topic. The majority of this article is based on research and findings analyzed by Dr. Shanna Swan, along with various other publications of her discussions.
Supplementation can help but can it be trusted? First, full disclaimer, I do not trust many supplements on the marketplace because too many of them have been proven to be nothing more than sugar pills. However, extracts and other food-based pills have seemed to become more pronounced in the marketplace showing greater levels of efficacy. With that said, a lot of talk has been placed on the product Turkesterone, which is a derivative of the plant Ajuga, also known as Aluga Turkestancia. The extract from the plant shows strong promise in increasing testosterone levels, muscle mass and boosting the immune system. Proponents of the product claim it has steroid type effects but without the harmful side effects of the synthetic product. Turkesterone works by:
Regulating stress through adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamic balance
Limited to no side effects (this is the claim) because it doesn’t bind to androgen receptors
There is increased nitrogen retention, which prevents muscle breakdown, while increasing ATP production
Drastic increases in muscle mass because if enhances leucine intake and mRNA translation
The reality of our world, the environment and the shift away from “the way nature intended” has led to this global epidemic. Yes, this is a global epidemic, since it directly involves male and female reproduction. We need to begin making lifestyle choices that reduces our exposure to the harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals; choosing high quality local veggies; selecting grass-fed small batch meat and dairy products; and engaging in activities like lifting weights. Through our choices we can begin working on turning back the tables on testosterone production in men.
*The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs. It uses hormones to control and coordinate your body's metabolism, energy level, reproduction, growth and development, and response to injury, stress, and mood.
**Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products, such as toys, vinyl flooring and wall covering, detergents, lubricating oils, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, blood bags and tubing, and personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and other fragrance preparations.
***When thinking about organ meat we should look at nature, particularly wolves, as the alpha male will always harvest the organ meat and leave the remaining “normal” meat for the pack.
****BPA’s… Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics have many applications including use in some food and drink packaging, e.g., water and infant bottles, compact discs, impact-resistant safety equipment, and medical devices. Epoxy resins are used as lacquers to coat metal products such as food cans, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. Some dental sealants and composites may also contribute to BPA exposure