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April 30, 2010

Study Finds Magnesium Increases Testosterone Levels

Boxer In recent editions of the Integrated Supplements Newsletter we’ve examined the role magnesium plays in reducing the stress response. Because of its actions as an “anti–stress” nutrient, magnesium is intimately involved in mood regulation and magnesium deficiency has repeatedly been implicated in mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

Emotional and physical stress can take a toll on the endocrine system of the body, and can exert various negative effects on mood– and performance–related hormones as well.

Endurance athletes, for example have often been found to exhibit low testosterone levels as a result of the elevated level of stress hormones induced by training:

Study Link – Relationship between stress hormones and testosterone with prolonged endurance exercise.

Quote from the above study:

…the present findings give credence to the hypothesis suggesting a linkage between the low resting testosterone found in endurance–trained runners and stress hormones, with respect to cortisol.

As an integral component of energy production, magnesium is one of the most important minerals for athletes. But almost 70% of people in the U.S. don’t even consume the bare minimum amount of magnesium needed each day to prevent deficiency. For this reason alone, magnesium supplementation can be expected to have widespread benefits for both athletes and non–athletes alike.

And as a substance needed to reduce the stress response, it’s logical to wonder whether magnesium could help to normalize hormones like testosterone, which are reduced by chronic stress.

In a recent study, Turkish researchers found that magnesium supplementation did, indeed, lead to an increase in free and total testosterone levels in both athletes and sedentary males:

Study Link – Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Testosterone Levels of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects at Rest and after Exhaustion.

Quote from the above study:

Our results show that supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values in sedentary and in athletes. The increases are higher in those who exercise than in sedentary individuals.

Magnesium Magnesium, of course, isn’t some fancy “pro–hormone” – it’s just a simple nutrient – but the fact that this simple nutrient is able to improve testosterone levels in athletes and non–athletes alike underscores just how widely deficient this nutrient is in the diet of most people in the industrialized world.

Yet another example of how accepting the nutritional status quo dooms us to function far below our full potential.

Stay Tuned…

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