Latest Review: 03/21/18

Testosterone Decline: How to Address This Challenge to 'Manhood'

6 weeks ago

Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in women’s ovaries), and is often associated with “manhood.” Primarily, this hormone plays a great role in men’s sexual and reproductive function. It also contributes to their muscle mass, hair growth, maintaining bone density, red blood cell production, and emotional health.

Although testosterone is considered a male sex hormone, women, while having it at relatively low levels, are more sensitive to its effects.

While conventional medical thought stresses that testosterone is a catalyst for prostate cancer,1 even employing castration (orchiectomy) as a form of treatment, recent findings have shown otherwise.

Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years.

Aging-induced testosterone decline is associated with the overactivity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This process simultaneously decreases the amount of testosterone in men, putting them at risk for prostate enlargement, androgenic alopecia (hair loss) and cancer.

Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is also causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood, and is completely impacting their biology. Recently, for instance, both statin drugs and the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide were found to interfere with the testicle’s ability to produce testosterone.

How Do Environmental Toxins Affect Your Testosterone Production?

The escalating amount of chemicals being released into the environment can no longer be ignored, as these toxins are disrupting animal and human endocrine systems.

What’s even more alarming is that many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have “gender-bending” qualities.

EDCs are everywhere. They lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They also end up in your food and drinking water, causing you to unknowingly ingest them.

EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production, causing men to take on more feminine characteristics.

Here’s one proof: in a number of British rivers, 50 percent of male fish were found to produce eggs in their testes. According to EurekAlert,3 EDCs have been entering rivers and other waterways through sewage systems for years, altering the biology of male fish. It was also found that fish species affected by EDCs had 76 percent reduction in their reproductive function.

EDCs Can Affect Men's Health as Early as Infancy

Sexual development in both girls and boys are occurring earlier than expected. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics,4 boys are experiencing sexual development six months to two years earlier than the medically-accepted norm, due to exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Some boys even develop enlarged testicles and penis, armpit or pubic hair, as well as facial hair as early as age nine! Early puberty is not something to be taken lightly because it can significantly influence physical and psychological health, including an increased risk of hormone-related cancers. Precocious sexual development may also lead to emotional and behavioral issues, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Earlier loss of virginity and multiple sexual partners
  • Increased risk of sexually-transmitted diseases

Pregnant or nursing women who are exposed to EDCs can transfer these chemicals to their child. Exposure to EDCs during pregnancy affects the development of male fetuses. Fewer boys have been born in the United States and Japan in the last three decades. The more women are exposed to these hormone-disrupting substances, the greater the chance that their sons will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent, leading to poor reproductive health in the long term. EDCs are also a threat to male fertility, as they contribute to testicular cancer and lower sperm count. All of these birth defects and abnormalities, collectively referred to as Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), are linked to the impaired production of testosterone.

How to Limit Your Exposure to Gender-Bending Chemicals

It may be unlikely to completely eliminate products with EDCs, but there are a number of practical strategies that you can try to limit your exposure to these gender-bending substances. The first step would be to stop using Teflon cookware, as EDCs can leach out from contaminated cookware. Replace them with ceramic ones. Stop eating out of cans, as the sealant used for the can liner is almost always made from powerful endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals known as bisphenols, e.g. Bisphenol A, Bisphenol S.

You should also get rid of cleaning products loaded with chemicals, artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, vinyl shower curtains, chemical-laden shampoos, and personal hygiene products. Replace them all with natural, toxin-free alternatives. Adjusting your diet can also help, since many processed foods contain gender-bending toxins. Switch to organic foods, which are cultivated without chemical interventions.