As people look for more inventive and natural ways of boosting testosterone, some have started to turn to more unconventional places – like your spice cabinet. Turmeric has long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian cultures as a natural medicine, and is often associated with various health benefits, including as a natural testosterone booster.
In order to understand how you might be able to use turmeric to boost your testosterone, we need to take a closer look at what it is and what it does.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a flowering plant of the ginger family, whose roots are used in cooking and various other applications. In its natural form, turmeric root looks like a smaller version of ginger root, a hard brown shell protecting a bright, orange root. Turmeric also comes in powder form, which often has an aromatic, spicy aroma that lends unique flavors to a dish.
Quick Overview of the Health Benefits of Turmeric
In addition to its culinary applications, however, turmeric has long been used for its medicinal properties. This relates mostly to one of turmeric’s active ingredients, curcumin, which lends the distinctive pepper-like flavor associated with turmeric and relays many of its health benefits.
Among turmeric’s purported health benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-cancer effects
- Natural painkilling properties
- Lowering cholesterol
- Lowering rates of heart disease and risk of heart attack
- Immune boosters
Can Turmeric Boost Testosterone?
Tumeric has a wide assortment of health benefits, but what can it do for testosterone? Fortunately, it can also play a role in optimizing the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone. It does so in several ways:
Improved Processing of Cholesterol
Cholesterol levels can severely affect your ability to produce testosterone; testosterone, after all, is a 19-carbon steroid hormone that is made from cholesterol. To that end, you want to make sure that your body has more HDL (good cholesterol) and less LDL (bad cholesterol).
Turmeric can help with that. Turmeric supplements have been shown to lower total serum cholesterol and LDL levels, bolstering HDL in the process. Studies have borne this out: one case study showed that curcumin supplements have a tremendous impact on one’s cholesterol profile, improving triglyceride levels as well.
Activating Vitamin D Receptors
Healthy testosterone levels require high levels of Vitamin D, and several studies directly correlate the two: the more vitamin D you have, the higher amounts of testosterone you tend to produce.
However, more important than the amount of Vitamin D you take is the rate at which you can absorb it. This is where turmeric comes in – the spice has been shown to activate Vitamin D receptors (VDR), as well as positively impacting other genes that affect testosterone levels, like CYP3A4.
Burning Fat Faster
Turmeric’s antioxidant properties also have a fringe benefit: they help you burn fat at a marginally faster rate. Since testosterone heavily depends on your existing body composition and fat mass levels, turmeric’s properties come in handy for increasing your testosterone.
Studies on mice have shown that curcumin turmeric stops adipogenesis from taking place – the process of fat cell differentiation that allows fat cells to be stored. Turmeric was even shown to kill fat cells, a process known as apoptosis.
Studies on humans also showed turmeric supplements to lead to higher fat loss and a commensurate lowering of their body mass index (BMI).
Better Testicular Leydig Cell Function
Testosterone is heavily affected by inflammation of the Leydig cells in your testicles; if those cells are inflamed, their ability to produce testosterone is severely impaired.
However, research indicates that turmeric has similar anti-inflammatory capabilities as ibuprofen. This means that turmeric supplements can also help you prevent your Leydig cells from performing inadequately.
Greater Insulin Sensitivity
Another factor in Leydig cell function is insulin resistance, which makes T levels particularly bad for people suffering from hypoglycemia and diabetes.
However, curcumin has been shown to lower blood glucose levels, as it reduces hepatic glucose production, thus improving your insulin sensitivity. This can then lead to higher testosterone rates, as turmeric allows your Leydig cells to absorb more insulin.
Should you take turmeric to boost your testosterone?
The short answer: sure, but you may also need a more robust hormone therapy program.
While many people simply use turmeric in the food they eat to receive its commensurate health benefits, many also take turmeric or curcumin supplements to get a stronger dose of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research has suggested that these supplements are associated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even some cancers. By itself, curcumin can be rather difficult to absorb; however, some supplements use a variant form of curcumin known as meriva curcumin phytosome, which has greater bioavailability.
Of course, as simple as it is to start consuming turmeric as a means to naturally boost testosterone, it’s generally not going to solve testosterone issues on its own.
If you suspect you have low T or would like a testosterone boost to lose fat or prevent symptoms of aging, it always helps to consult with a wellness professional before embarking on a more serious or controlled testosterone therapy regimen.
We at Renew Vitality can help you with a consultation to determine your testosterone levels and help you come up with a wellness plan that’s right for you. If you’d like more information, you can contact us here.
This content was reviewed by Dr. Gary Kawesch. Dr. Kawesch graduated from Yale University, getting his degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. He then got his medical degree at the UCLA School of Medicine. He completed his internship in internal medicine at USC’s Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, and his ophthalmology residency at the UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute. For over 18 years, Dr. Kawesch was one of the foremost ophthalmic surgeons in the US and has consulted with and was a team doctor for seven professional sports teams in California. He continues to work with the Oakland Raiders. He trained with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and helps men increase their vitality, lifespan and overall healthspan.