Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins, we as humans, need to survive. Vitamin D helps the bones stay healthy, it boosts your immune system, improves fertility, helps the development of the brain…. and it raises testosterone levels.
Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all. It belongs to a group of secosteroids (ster0ids with a cut ring – see the picture below) responsible for absorption of zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron in the intestines. It can be found in few foods such as fatty fish (salmon, sardines etc…), eggs, mushrooms etc.
Our body is able to produce Vitamin D by itself, when our skin is directly exposed to the sun.
But besides being a “healthy bone” vitamin, as people most commonly refer to it, Vitamin D has so many positive functions in a human’s body, and one of those is to keep our endocrine system and testosterone levels in balance – both in men and women.
A healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet can definitely boost testosterone levels. But if you do everything right and still suffer from low testosterone, you might want to check 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, which should be around 55 ng/mL.
Does vitamin D increase testosterone levels ?
Studies say that by taking vitamin D3 at a dose of 4,000 to 5,000 IU a day, you can naturally increase your testosterone levels because D3 plays a part in its production. Let’s check some of the recent studies:
1. A study done at the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine at the Medical University of Graz, Austria found out that men with normal Vitamin D levels, had significantly higher testosterone and lower Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
2. A study at the same university in Austria, found out that when healthy men consumed 3332 IU of vitamin D daily for a year, their testosterone levels increased by 25%. By contrast, there was no significant change in any testosterone measure in the placebo group.
3. This study examined the already proven positive association between vitamin D and testosterone levels. They had 1362 male subjects, and the results show that vitamin D has a linear positive association with serum total and free testosterone levels. However when the amount of vitamin D in serum goes above ~80 nmol/L (pretty much optimal), the increase in testosterone plateaus.
Meaning that vitamin D more than likely does increase testosterone levels, but it won’t help if you are already in the optimal range of vitamin D (which is definitely not where most men are)
4. It has been shown that testosterone levels change drastically with the change of seasons. The male hormone is was at its peak during summer and at its lowest during winter, which is related to sunlight exposure and creation of vitamin D.
– Men that are deficient in vitamin D are likely to have imbalanced (low) testosterone levels compared to those that consume sufficient doses of vitamin D.
– Consuming vitamin D in doses of 3000-5000 IU per day for a year, will likely increase the testosterone by about 25 percent.
– Consuming more Vitamin D that the sufficient dose will NOT lead to better results regarding testosterone levels. Rather the levels of this hormone will hit a plateau.
– Even though very often direct exposure to sunlight and UV rays is harmful for the skin, occasional exposure to sunlight might be a good idea, because it contributes to the creation of vitamin D in the body.
Supplementing with vitamin D is also a good idea if the supplement you are going to use is a quality supplement containing vitamin D3 instead of the D2 form which is cheaply made and the chemical process of manufacturing it is questionable.
So, in conclusion, consuming vitamin D will increase your testosterone levels ( or rather – it will bring up your testosterone ) if they are already low. It cannot increase your testosterone beyond your natural, genetic limit. However, given the conditions in which we live, the unnatural foods we eat and a number of other factors like stress etc. it is likely that our normal T-levels are already lower than what they should really be.