As more researchers look at the impact gut health has on our bodies, we’re all learning about new ways it interacts with vital bodily functions. Although we’ve covered how gut health is connected to your hormones, this time, we’re including men in the conversation and exploring how gut health is related to your testosterone levels.
Understanding Healthy Testosterone Levels
More than any other aspect of men’s health, testosterone is all about balance. Naturally, testosterone levels drop 1 to 2 percent as men age. That decline leaves about 30% of men struggling with testosterone deficiency in their 40s to their 80s.
As with other hormones, when testosterone levels decline, researchers have found that estrogen levels also drop. This leads to a hormonal imbalance that can increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and gut microbiota imbalances that throw the whole system out of whack.
The Connection between Poor Gut Health and Low T
Eventually, it all comes down to inflammation, which has been linked with testosterone deficiency. The connection also includes obesity, as it might be triggered by inflammation itself, which, as a result, breaks down healthy gut microbiota.
What Science Found So Far
In the study, researchers found that inflammation could reduce testosterone production by 30% within 6 hours, resulting in negative symptoms.
Researchers found an interesting cycle that could be directly linked to low testosterone levels, particularly in obese men. The inflammation affects their gut flora, which results in a reduction of friendly bacteria, which then increases intestinal wall permeability (aka leaky gut syndrome), which as a result, allows bacterial endotoxin to leak into your body.
In the end, it all comes back to diet. What we eat has a direct impact on our gut health, which then triggers a chain of reactions that can lead to severe issues such as low testosterone.
What Can You Do?
For starters, watch your diet. Since the vicious cycle that leads to low testosterone starts with your diet, watch out for an inflammatory diet. Steer clear from processed foods, avoid trendy diets that can hurt your gut health, and aim to incorporate gut-friendly foods instead.
Also, keep in touch with your doctor about your gut health. Discuss your habits, both healthy and not-so-healthy ones. Take the time to think if you’ve been listening to your gut. It might be sending you signals that something isn’t right. Finally, make a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle habits by exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep, incorporating probiotics, and staying hydrated.