Testosterone levels in men have been dropping steadily over the last two decades. In a 2007 study, testosterone decreased by about 22% when comparing 1985-1987 levels to those from 2002-2004. Also, in a 2021 study, researchers found a roughly 25% decrease between 1999 and 2016. As of this writing medical professionals have not identified a primary causative factor for this deficiency, however, there are several hypotheses that researchers are exploring. These include increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation and its effect on endocrine system function, increased exposure to environmental estrogens, which may act to block testosterone activity, a maladaptive stress response, a poor diet consisting of processed foods and sugar, and the use of certain medications that block cholesterol production.
If you are symptomatic of low testosterone, it’s extremely important to contact your doctor and get tested. If your levels are low (free and bound) have a conversation with your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy; there are many safe and effective options to explore. If your doctor doesn’t recommend prescription testosterone or you are not comfortable with using it, there are some nutritional therapy options for increasing testosterone using plant-based formulas.
Three published studies from 2021 have validated the effectiveness of a patented extract from Eurycoma longifolia (LJ100) in the treatment of low testosterone (hypogonadism).
A six-month RCT investigated the sexual performance effects of supplementation with LJ100 in middle-aged men with androgen deficiency of aging males. In this study, 45 men with androgen deficiency were randomized into four groups (G1: no training and placebo; G2: 200mg of LJ100; G3: training only; G4: training + 200mg LJ100). The researchers looked at International Index of Erectile Function, Aging Male Scale, and total testosterone. The most significant results were obtained by men allocated to concurrent training + 200mg of LJ100. Sexual satisfaction score significantly improved in supplement-only by 29 percent, and 35 percent in training and supplement group who also reported a significant increase in sexual desire. The researchers concluded that a 200 milligram LJ 100 supplementation with concurrent training for six months, significantly improved the erectile function of men. (Leitao, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice)
A second RCT gave 105 men aged 50 to 70 years either LJ 100 (100 milligrams), 200 milligrams or placebo daily for 12 weeks to investigate effects in men with low T. The researchers looked primarily at changes in serum total and free testosterone levels, followed by changes in the level of DHEA, glycated hemoglobin, sex hormone binding globulin, insulin-like growth factor, thyroid function tests, and cortisol all as secondary endpoints. There was a significant increase in the total testosterone levels at week 12 in the LJ 100 (100mg) group and at weeks 4, 8, and 12 in the LJ 100 (200mg). Supplementation of LJ100 at 200mg was able to increase the serum total testosterone, reduce fatigue and improve the quality of life in aging men within two weeks. (Chinnappan, Food & Nutrition Research).
In a placebo-controlled double-blind study, 32 healthy young men consumed either 600 milligrams of LJ 100 or placebo daily for two weeks. The main findings were that LJ 100 was able to increase testosterone even in healthy young men when consumed in high doses. Significant increases in testosterone (14%) and free testosterone (34%) were recorded after two weeks. The authors explained, “The supplementation of Eurycoma longifolia for two weeks demonstrates steroidogenic effects on young men were dose-related. Consequently, the raised testosterone following Eurycoma longifolia supplementations could benefit muscle and strength gains in young adults.” (Chan, Andrologia)