There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when keeping your heart healthy – diet, exercise, family history. New research suggests you might also want to keep an eye on your testosterone levels.
Over the last decade, a large body of literature has emerged suggesting that a link exists between androgen deficiency and cardiovascular disease. It has been concluded that testosterone levels are consistently lower in men with cardiovascular disease.
A number of other studies have suggested that reduced testosterone levels are also associated with increased total cholesterol and increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Testosterone replacement therapy for androgen deficiency reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Lower testosterone levels in aging are also associated with elevated triglycerides and increased risk for insulin resistance and diabetes.
So what are some ways you can elevate your testosterone levels?
- Lose the belly fat. Excess weight around the midsection leads to more estrogen, less testosterone.
- Lift weights. Training your muscles by lifting weights has shown to increase testosterone and your natural production of growth hormone.
- Make nuts your snack of choice. Monounsaturated fats help raise testosterone. Good sources are nuts, organic peanut butter, canola oil and olive oil.
- Don’t overtrain. Yes, lifting weights is good for raising testosterone, but you also must give your body adequate time to recuperate. Get eight hours of sleep and never train the same muscles two days in a row.
- Don’t binge drink. Alcohol can cause a reduction in your testosterone production and the higher levels that occur with binge drinking make it worse.
Also, keep a good eye on your testosterone levels by having your physician test them periodically. If your levels are too low and you have symptoms of low testosterone, you may want to speak with your physician about prescribing bioidentical testosterone to fit your needs.