We know that suffering from low testosterone not only causes emotional and physical distress, but also causes stress on your bones. Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, effects the hormones that provide you with your sex drive. Some bone loss in know to occur with age, due to changes in our hormone levels. It is not normal, if these levels drop drastically which can result in bone loss.
Testosterone is responsible for your muscle growth, sperm production, increasing your sex drive and maintaining bone mass, density and overall bone health. Men who develop low levels of testosterone over a longer period of time are more likely to develop Osteopenia (bone loss) which can lead to Osteoporosis (weakened and brittle bones).
What Encompasses Bone Health?
As we get older, our skeleton starts to lose vital minerals and eventually gets naturally weaker. Someone who loses bone strength and/or bone density can feel a sense of a loss of independence. They can lose some physical ability, their quality of life decreases and even shorten their life span.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which there is a discrepancy between the rate at which old bone deteriorates and new bone cells are formed. As such, your bones lose their strength, become brittle and the chances of fractures increase – particularly in the hips, hands and spine. There are many cases where an elderly person has a fall and breaks a hip. This is due to bones becoming more brittle and likely to break.
Although it is not as prevalent in men as it is in women, there are still over a million hip fractures reported in men worldwide each year. Several studies show that as many as 25 million men in the United States alone, may have osteoporosis.
Since bone is really metabolic tissue, any disruption of your hormones can have an affect on it. There is a clear link between hypogonadism – or low T, and increased risk of osteoporosis. This is just another reason, it is important to optimize your T levels in order to reduce the risk factors associated with brittle bones.
Men with Bone Density Issues Usually Have Low Testosterone
There are many factors that can increase the risk of poor bone health. Ask with lots of other health issues, these include lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and diet. Of course, genetic aspects such as race, ethnicity and family history also increase risk.
When your testosterone levels drop, your bone health suffers. The two are so tightly linked, especially in men, that your doctor may even order a bone scan to see if you have low T, or a test for low T if you have evidence of Osteoporosis. Because these two are so closely linked, men diagnosed with low testosterone will have accelerated bone loss, which obviously increases the risk of fractures, as the bones become brittle.
Bone health is maintained by the fact that testosterone converts to estrogen in the male body via a process called aromatization. The estrogen is then used to maintain bone density and strength . So, if there is not enough testosterone, there can’t be enough estrogen. It is kind of a catch-22, because we know too much estrogen in men cause low T. This is why total hormone optimization is critical to maintain bone health.
What Can We do to Protect our Bones to Keep Them Healthy?
There are several things we can do to keep our bones healthy. Obviously, anything we can do to keep our testosterone levels up is critical. The following is a list of things we can do that help our bones and help to maintain or increase our testosterone levels:
- Make sure you Magnesium level is kept up – Magnesium is important in preserving bone health as deficiencies in this mineral can slow down the growth of new bone cells. It also plays an important role in calcium metabolism. Around 60% of the total magnesium in the body is stored in bone tissue. Like vitamin D, magnesium boosts bone health, and is very closely linked to testosterone production. The current recommended daily allowance for Magnesium is 400mg.
There are studies that suggest that supplementing your Magnesium for a 4-week period, significantly increase both total and free testosterone levels.
- Do Some Heavy Weight Training – Because bones are actually metabolic tissue, it is possible increase their strength with the right training. Lifting weights in your exercise routine, places just enough stress on the bones to force them to adapt and become stronger. At the very minimum, it can slow down bone loss, which is also beneficial. One study found that the enzymes responsible for bone structure, rose by 26% after a 16-week strength training program in older men, who previously did not weight train. It increased bone strength by 45% which is critical to reduce fractures in the future.
Not only does weight training help to boost bone health, it can also increase testosterone levels. A study in 2007 found that a 4-week strength training program completed 3-days per week, increased T levels by 40%.
- Get the correct amount of Vitamin D3 daily -Vitamin D3 has been shown to improve testosterone, boost energy levels and strengthen the immune system. Sadly, approximately 1 billion people worldwide are estimated to be deficient in this important nutrient. This vitamin is very important in maintaining bone health. Mainly, it maintains calcium and phosphorous levels in bone tissue and deficiencies of D3 can lead to reduced calcium absorption. It is recommenced that you take 600 IU per day of this vitamin.
- Make sure you are getting enough Calcium – Calcium is an essential mineral that supports your skeleton by keeping your bones strong. Even though Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, pretty much every cell uses it.
If you aren’t getting enough in your diet, you’ll have to ‘steal’ some from your bones to feed other important areas in your body, like your muscles.
It is always best to get your calcium from a variety of foods, if you can. You need at least 1200mg of Calcium per day for your bone health. You can find it primarily in dairy foods such as milk and cheese which are also easily digestible. You’ll also find it in dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli and beans. Salmon is not only a great source of Omega-3, but is also a good source of calcium. As a last resort, you can always take a supplement that contains the amount of bioavailable Calcium you need each day.
Maintaining Your Bone Health and Your Testosterone Go Hand in Hand.
As I described earlier, our bones naturally get weaker as a normal part of the ageing process. As a result, our bone health starts to go down hill. When this happens, Osteoporosis can set in, which will lead to brittle bone tissue that can easily fracture. We don’t want this to happen because it can drastically have an affect on our quality of life.
Since testosterone levels are very closely related to bone health, if you have low T, there’s a good chance your bones will become weaker and less dense and as a result, much less healthy.
There are a some lifestyle suggestions you can take to help slow this process down, an maybe even reverse it. Eating a healthy, vitamin and mineral enhanced diet along with regular weight lifting exercise routine, will make a huge difference in your bone health and as a bonus, it will also increase low testosterone.
There are some natural testosterone supplement available that will provide you with most or all of the suggested vitamins and minerals I discussed in this article. Here are the T-Boosters I recommend based on a male’s age level: