Let’s Talk Testosterone

June 13th, 2017

Testosterone. That muscle-building hormone. Men – you need it! But I’m not going to recommend that you take any anabolic steroid hormones, or anything like that. What I am going to do is give you two solid tips on how you can boost your testosterone levels naturally with supplements.

#1 Get enough zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with a number of processes in your body.  It helps your immune system, helps to produce critical proteins and DNA, and also helps with wound healing.  Enough zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and even for optimal ability to taste and smell!  It’s an antioxidant and can be supplemented to support optimal levels of testosterone because it helps the enzymes that converts cholesterol into testosterone.

Zinc is found mostly in red meat, poultry, egg yolks, and shellfish.  Some plants can also provide zinc, such as beans and nuts.  The best dietary source, however, is actually oysters!

The daily recommended dose of zinc for men is 11 mg/day. Low zinc levels tend to occur in vegetarians/vegans, athletes, and people who sweat a lot, as zinc is lost in sweat.  And low zinc levels have been linked to low testosterone levels.

Of course if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet you can always supplement. It is possible to get too much zinc though, so unless your doctor tells you to, never take more than 40 mg/day. For many people just 5-10 mg/day is enough to prevent deficiency. Zinc supplements can also interact with certain medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if zinc supplements are safe for you.

#2 Get enough vitamin D

 Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”, is actually the most common nutrient that we in just simply don’t get enough of.  Not only is it not very abundant in foods, but most places far from the equator don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels year round.

Hello winter; goodbye sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is known to help us absorb calcium from our foods and is also necessary for our immune system, nervous system, and muscular system.  As with zinc, if you’re deficient in this nutrient you may experience increased testosterone levels after supplementing.

Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly associated with bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in fatty fish, organ meats, and egg yolks.  Unfortunately it isn’t abundant in most other un-fortified foods.

The bottom line with vitamin D is that you may need to supplement.  Of course if you’re always outside in the sun or eat fatty fish every day you may be the exception.  You can always ask your doctor to check your blood levels to be sure, because vitamin D is another one of those nutrients where more is not always better. Never supplement with more than 4,000IU/day unless supervised by your doctor. As with zinc (and most other supplements) you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medications.

Take your vitamin D with some fat to help your body absorb this vitamin.  It is often recommended that you take it with the largest meal of the day. Note that vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil, and multivitamins, so you may not need to take it separately (read your labels!).

Here’s a simple recipe containing vitamin D and zinc to get you started…


Honey Sesame Salmon

Serves 4

2-3 lbs salmon fillets (wild salmon can contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon)

¼ cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

¼ cup sesame oil

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons honey or coconut nectar

1” of ginger, shredded or 1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons diced green onions or chives

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Mix soy sauce/tamari/aminos, sesame oil, lemon juice, honey/coconut nectar and ginger together to make a marinade.

Place salmon in a glass dish and cover with marinade.  Let sit for a few hours or overnight.

Heat a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.

Place salmon in pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour marinade into the pan, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Sprinkle with diced green onions/chives and sesame seeds.

Serve and enjoy!


Dawn Swinley is a nutritional therapist, dedicated to helpimg her clients achieve their goals by making simple changes that get results. You can find more about Dawn at www.dawnswinley.com