In a study published last year, 114 men between the ages of 18 and 44 consumed a meal consisting of mashed potatoes garnished with either hot pepper sauce or salt. The study found a correlation between a fondness for spicy potatoes and the men's testosterone levels. Specifically, the higher the testosterone level in the men, the greater the craving for spicy foods. But the study is somewhat complicated by previous animal studies that showed a relationship between consuming capsaicin, the stuff that makes chili peppers hot and testosterone levels in rodents. In rodents, feeding capsaicin boosts testosterone levels. So was it the pepper sauce itself that led to the higher testosterone levels in the men, or merely the red color of the sauce? The color red in some studies is also related to boosting testosterone levels. This may be the origin of bullfighters using red capes to enrage bulls in the ring. The only problem with that is that bulls are color blind and cannot perceive red from any other color.
This study raises the question of how foods and nutrients can affect testosterone levels. Such information is important to know for anyone, but particularly so for bodybuilders and athletes who prefer to avoid using any type of anabolic drug to stay "natural." Common sense dictates that if you lack certain essential nutrients, your testosterone levels will likely be adversely affected. Indeed, one of the current controversies related to testosterone replacement therapy for men is whether the lack of testosterone seen in many men over age 40 derives from a general state of poor health and nutrition, rather than any defect in the intrinsic production of testosterone in the men's body. This implies that if many men improve their health by adhering to good nutritional principles that features an adequate intake of all essential nutrients and coupled this with regular exercise, sufficient sleep (known to lower testosterone when not enough sleep occurs), and other positive behaviors, their apparent testosterone deficiency would be cured. Of course, in most cases, there is some defect related to age and other factors that do cause a lack of sufficient testosterone production, and this does mandate testosterone replacement therapy. Many doctors will disagree with that last statement since they believe that a gradual decline of testosterone in men and women is "nature's way," and shouldn't be meddled with by attempting to replace the deficient hormone. But when confronted with all the manifestations of a full-blown lack of testosterone, such as depression, loss of muscle mass, lack of energy, fuzzy thinking, blood glucose abnormalities, and other symptoms, these same doctors will compound the existing problem by treating these symptoms with drugs that produce a greater rate of side effects than does testosterone!
If you do a search for "testosterone and food" or "testosterone and nutrients" on the Internet, you will be confronted with a plethora . . .