Men: Lower SHBG Equals Higher Free Testosterone- Here’s How To Lower SHBG Naturally
If you’re a guy, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a little something about testosterone. Testosterone is required for that deep manly voice you’ve always wanted (think Barry White), muscle gain, and passion in the bedroom – and starts to decline in the male body around age 30. Testosterone likes to bind itself to one of two proteins (either albumin or SHBG) in order to store the hormone in a way that isn’t readily available to you.
What you can use is called “free testosterone” – that is, testosterone that hasn’t tethered itself to a protein, and is floating around ready to be used. It only makes sense, then, that the less SHBG you have in your body, the more free testosterone you have access to. So, how can you naturally lower SHBG?
Eat Healthy Carbs
There are many who tote the idea that low-carb dieting is the way to go when trying to increase testosterone – but the opposite may actually be true. A medical review written by Dr. Vlad Belghiru reported that high-carb diets actually increase testosterone while decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and SHBG.
It’s advisable to avoid simple pasta and white bread, but to consume plenty of complex carbohydrates (like brown rice and quinoa) if you’re looking to get rid of those pesky glycoproteins and free up testosterone for better biodiversity.
Make Sure You’re Getting Plenty Of Magnesium, Zinc And Boron
Magnesium is an extremely important mineral, and you should be getting enough of it. It regulates muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and helps repair bones and DNA. A study done by Selcuk University in Turkey found that 1g of magnesium a day, along with exercise, can actually raise the amount of free testosterone by 24%.
Zinc is great for all hormone production and regulation. Multiple studies show those who supplement with zinc have higher testosterone, lower estrogen, more DHT, and even improved sperm parameters. The body can tolerate a maximum of 40mg of zinc daily, but the recommended amount is around eight to 14mg.
Boron is a trace mineral present in soil. Because our food today is not grown in the most nutritious ground, it’s pretty common to be deficient in boron.
A study done by the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran found that just 10mg of boron taken daily by test subjects increased their free testosterone by 28%. This was caused by a decrease in SHBG count. There’s no recommended dietary amount for boron because researchers still don’t understand all of its roles in our biology, but 10mg is a good start for boosting free testosterone.
Check Your Prescription Drugs
There are a few drugs doctors prescribe today that can lower testosterone – and many are commonly taken by men. Some of these include:
- Beta blockers
- Hair loss drugs
All of these can increase SHBG levels and therefore lower your free-T.
Limit Your Drinking
If you’re the guy pounding beer six nights a week, chances are your testosterone is suffering. One rodent study even showed that a diet of only 5% alcohol reduced testicle size by 50%.
But humans aren’t rats, of course, so a few drinks here and there could fly under the radar. Keep in mind that alcohol does stimulate the production of estrogen and cortisol (the stress hormone), as well as affect the liver – which in turn increases SHBG. Your testosterone sticks to the SHBG, and that means less for you to use.
Don’t Worry So Much About Fiber
Despite claims from cereal companies and dissolvable fiber producers, we probably don’t need all that much fiber to be healthy. And when it comes to testosterone, fiber might be a problem. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that men who were on a high-fat low-fiber diet had 13% higher free testosterone and 15% higher total testosterone than their high-fiber eating peers. Consume about 30g a day to keep SHBG from binding to your free-T.
Get Plenty Of Vitamin D
This is just a great health tip overall – vitamin D is good for all kinds of bodily functions. It helps keep your heart healthy while also aiding in bone creation and boosting the immune system. It also happens to lower SHBG.
The Medical University of Graz in Austria found that men who were sufficient in vitamin D had lower amounts of sex hormone-binding globulin and therefore more readily available testosterone. So, supplement with vitamin D3 specifically, and make sure you’re eating plenty of fish and getting regular sun exposure.
By understanding the mechanism in which testosterone becomes bio-available, it’s easy to see how important SHBG is for maintaining healthy levels. If you’re looking to increase muscle, have more energy and more access to free testosterone, you have to get your globulins in check.
So get plenty of vitamins and minerals, watch your alcohol intake, eat complex carbs, and get that hormone boost naturally.