Vitamin D has long been heralded as a potent supplement that could impart numerous health benefits. One of those benefits is to assist the body with the production of testosterone.
While there have been many testosterone boosting products that have professed to the benefits of Vitamin D, there have also been numerous questions regarding this vital nutrient and its ability to benefit men who have noticed a decrease in energy levels, focus, strength, stamina, and even sexual drive – all side effects of low testosterone.
In today’s review article, join me as I try to shed light on this sunshine vitamin. Here, you’ll find research on the benefits of Vitamin D on male health as well my own personal insight. Before all that though, take a look at some of the best testosterone supplements in the market that use Vitamin D.
WHY DO TEST BOOSTER SUPPLEMENTS USE VITAMIN D?
Vitamin D isn’t naturally found in many foods. Fortunately though, our bodies can produce our own supply of this vitamin when ultraviolet rays from sunlight comes in contact with our skin. Also, Vitamin D supplementation is often a great alternative.
But, what is Vitamin D? How essential is it to the human body?
When it comes to nutrition, Vitamin D is mostly known for its importance on maintaining and promoting bone health. It helps our digestive tract absorb calcium and phosphate and it also has an impact on bone growth and remodelling. In Vitamin D deficiency, bone can become brittle, thin, and/or misshapen (e.g., Rickets, Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis).
Moreover, Vitamin D also plays a role in ensuring that our muscles, heart, and brain work the way they are supposed to. It is also important in helping the body fight infection.
Unfortunately though, a lot of us aren’t getting enough vitamin D. In fact, a 2011 study states that “the overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%”. That’s a lot! Furthermore, a more recent study (2013) says that “Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide in all age groups”.
Thankfully though, the world has slowly opened its eyes on this matter and Vitamin D supplements, including testosterone boosters, are on the rise. From what I gathered, scientists don’t exactly know (yet) how Vitamin D is linked to testosterone but if one thing’s for certain, it’s that there is a relationship between the two. Let’s check out what the studies have to say.
STUDIES ON VITAMIN D SUGGEST:
Interact with testes, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone
First on our list of studies is a research that aimed to examine “the potential effects of 1α,25-(OH)2VD3 (biologically active form of Vitamin D) on basal and LH-induced testosterone production and mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity in Leydig cells from immature and mature rams cultured in vitro.”
That sounds a bit complicated, I know, but basically, it’s a study investigating the interactions between Vitamin D3, luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone in our Leydig Cells (aka our testicles’ “T-Factory”). The study isolated Leydig Cells from Rams and treated them with either of the following:
- Control group – no treatment
- Experimental groups
- Increasing concentrations of LH at 1, 10, 100 ng/ml, and/or
- Increasing concentrations of Vitamin D3 at 1, 10, 100 nM
After 24 hours, testosterone was measured and after 96 hours, activity in the Leydig Cells was also measured. Here are the results:
- Vitamin D3 (no LH)
- No increase in testosterone
- Vitamin D3 (10 and 100 nM) + LH
- Increased LH-induced testosterone production
As you can see from these results, Vitamin D3 might not necessarily raise testosterone but when combined with LH, it upscales the production of T.
What makes this research so important?
It all boils down to your testicles. You see, your gonads hold Vitamin D receptors which, obviously, interact with Vitamin D. Moreover, LH is THE hormone that tells your testicles to create more T.
This study, albeit animal research, helps us understand the link between your testicles (1), LH (2), and testosterone (3). From here, we could probably say that Vitamin D helps regulate the function of your testicles and, when paired with LH, upscales the production of testosterone.
Increase total and bioavailable testosterone
Now that we’ve understood the theoretical relationship between Vitamin D and testosterone via animal research, let’s move on to actual human studies that support this nutrient’s use as a natural T booster.
One such study used overweight but otherwise healthy men in their experiment. However, these men were also low on both testosterone and Vitamin D with respect to their age bracket (20-49 years old). These men received either of the following for a duration of 1 year:
- 3,332 IU of Vitamin D
According to the study, there were significant increases in total, bioavailable, and “free” testosterone in the Vitamin D treated group compared to placebo.
So, Vitamin D increases testosterone but how does it boost bioavailable or “free” testosterone in particular?
Luckily, one research studied just that. This one had a HUGE number of participants; 2299 men to be exact. According to the study, men with sufficient levels of Vitamin D had significantly higher levels of testosterone and significantly lower levels of SHBG compared to men with insufficient Vitamin D.
Although not explained in further detail, Vitamin D’s association to lower levels of SHBG is how it also promotes higher levels of “free” or bioavailable testosterone.
Why is low SHBG and higher “free” testosterone important to male health?
You see, SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) is a protein with a strong affinity to testosterone. Unfortunately, when SHBG binds to testosterone, your T essentially becomes useless until it is released. This, then, diminishes the effects of testosterone.
With Vitamin D and other SHBG-inhibitting ingredients, however, testosterone is unleashed in all its masculine glory.
According to a research that evaluated the influence of calcitriol (bioactive Vitamin D) on aromatase expression, Vitamin D significantly decreases aromatase activity. In another similar study, the researchers also state that “calcitriol down-regulates aromatase expression”.
Aromatase, by the way, is the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to estrogen. Therefore, by inhibiting the activity and/or expression of aromatase, Vitamin D could theoretically also reduce estrogen. Consequently, this also promotes higher levels of testosterone. For fitness enthusiasts, this is also great for gaining lean muscle.
How Do I Take Vitamin D?
As per the National Institutes of Health, men and women between the ages of 1-70 years of age are recommended to take 600 IU (15 mcg) of Vitamin D daily. For dudes and dudettes beyond 70, they recommend taking 800 IU (20 mcg) of Vitamin D per day.
However, testosterone benefits have been logged at dosages greater than 3000 IU. As such, specifically for boosting testosterone, I suggest taking dosages between 3000-5000 IU.
Moreover, I also suggest you take Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) instead of Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
- Vitamin D2 is typically what you get from fortified food and although it does increase concentrations of Vitamin D, it also declines relatively quick. On the other hand, Vitamin D3 is what your body naturally produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight which essentially makes it more bioavailable. In fact, one study states that Vitamin D3 is 87% more potent than D2 at maintaining levels of Vitamin D.
Recap: Best Testosterone Supplements with Vitamin D
|T-Booster Supplement||My Review||Website|
|#1 – Prime Male||My Review||www.primemale.com|
|#2 – TestoFuel||My Review||www.testofuel.com|
|#3 – Quantum T||My Review||www.mtheorysupplements.com|
|#4 – Prime-T||My Review||www.rspnutrition.com|
|#5 – Test1fy||My Review||www.olympus-labs.com|
I think Vitamin D is one of the premier testosterone boosting ingredients you can find in natural T boosters. Although the mechanism isn’t completely understood yet, it’s hard to deny the strong connection between healthy concentrations of Vitamin D to significantly higher levels of testosterone.
Moreover, it also boosts bioavailable and “free” testosterone – the kinds of T your body can actually use – as well as potentially decreasing estrogen.
You know what else makes Vitamin D so good though? It’s safe and typically doesn’t cause any scary side effects. Plus, it’s free; you only need to step outside and enjoy the sun.