Two Unusual Ways to Raise Testosterone

Keeping testosterone at a decent level as men age can be a challenge. To do this, for starters, one must ensure adequate nutrition; for example, zinc levels are important. Zinc deficiency, which is surprisingly common, kills T levels; elderly men who received zinc supplements had their T levels double, as did hemodialysis patients. Another nutritional example: there’s a strong correlation of T with the amount of fat in the diet, and interestingly, a negative correlation with the amount of protein.

Beyond ensuring adequate nutrition, here are a couple of things to consider. Note, these were all done in animals, but there appears to be no reason why they wouldn’t work in humans.

Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice. This study found that giving purified Lactobacillus reuteri, a bacteria commonly found in yogurt, resulted in much higher levels of T than in controls. How much higher? From four to eight times higher.

T

The researchers also found that this effect was due to a decrease in a specific inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-17a. This is important, because it shows that inflammation, which increases with age, has a large effect on T levels. This is probably what accounts for low T in obesity.

Also of interest, the same researchers found that Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health’. It’s great for the ladies too.

We found that feeding of probiotic bacteria to aged mice induced integumentary changes mimicking peak health and reproductive fitness characteristic of much younger animals… Aged male animals eating probiotics exhibited increased subcuticular folliculogenesis, when compared with matched controls, yielding luxuriant fur only in probiotic-fed subjects. Female animals displayed probiotic-induced hyperacidity coinciding with shinier hair, a feature that also aligns with fertility in human females.

A different study found that resveratrol doubles T levels and sperm counts in rats. The dose was high at 20 mg/kg body weight, but the human equivalent can be found by dividing the rat dose by 8, which brings it down to a more reasonable ~200 mg for a 75 kg man.

There you have it. Probiotics are found in yogurt – be sure to eat the kind that has no sugar – as well as in supplements; resveratrol is found in wine, but one would need a supplement to get the dosage needed.

PPS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.

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41 comments
Bryan says December 9, 2014

I found this study some time back… and it really does sound amazing. The problem is that it not just any L. reuteri is involved. The specific strain of L. reuteri is the anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475. The Swedish company BioGaia is the only company I know who manufactures it – as BioGaia Gastrus http://www.biogaia.com/product/biogaia-gastrus …. and I simply cannot find a way to purchase it anywhere. (Wrote to the company and they responded: “At the moment the BioGaia Gastrus tablets have just been launched in China, South Korea and Italy (Noós), and I do not believe any of these companies have online stores.”)

So – yes – fully agree that the study looks promising – but cannot find a way to test it out (let us know if you find a source for it!!)

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    Andrew Curl says January 20, 2016

    It will be available in the UK by the endof January 2016
    http://www.biogaia.co.uk

    Reply
      Chris Nahr says January 21, 2016

      How do you figure? That’s not evident from the BioGaia website, it still just shows ProTectis and ProDentis.

      Reply
    Jonathan says February 29, 2016

    L reuteri ATCC 6475, the strain used in the referenced studies (which, incidentally, were carried out by scientists at MIT and the Broad Institute, run jointly with Harvard) is currently available from Amazon as Biogaia Gastrus. Unfortunately this product is a 1:1 mixture of this strain and another L reuteri, DSM 17938, but the presence of the second strain shouldn’t hurt anything (other than by taking up space from the 6475 strain, the one tested in the testosterone and “Glow of Health” studies).

    Reply
    Bryan says December 9, 2014

    Those are the Protectis variant – I can get that locally – the Gastrus is the hard one to find 🙂

    Reply
      DdR says December 23, 2014

      Hey Bryan,

      I went to Noos website. They don’t currently use the BioGaia Gastrus in any of their products. Which is a bummer because I’m going to Italy in a few months and would’ve bought the product in a heartbeat. Did you see the control and administered mice? Holy crap the control mouse was twice the size of the L. reuteri mouse.

      I’m going to write to BioGaia again and find out why Noos isn’t using the strain in any of their products. Then I’m going to write to Noos. But, if I know Italians, I won’t get a response.

      Reply
        Bryan says December 23, 2014

        Hey DdR,
        Hopefully you have better luck than I have had trying to source Gastrus… if you (or anyone) manages to find a source, let us know – would love to be able to purchase it somehow!

        Reply
          DdR says December 23, 2014

          Hey Bryan,

          Ok, I found the source for the South Korean company:

          http://www.dongsung-pharm.co.kr/eng/product01_detail.html?id=118&catecode=020000&p=1

          Their English website is surprisingly good, so I’m going to write to them and see if they’re willing to ship abroad. This is a non-script product, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

          I’ve also written to the Swedes at BioGaia and the Italians at Noos to figure out if there’s any distribution whatsoever in Europe.

          Reply
          DdR says January 8, 2015

          Hey guys,

          I’m not giving up on this stuff. If I can boost my test w/o having to resort to TRT, then sign me up.

          Biogaia responded back to me, but shed no further light on the dearth of Gastrus products on the market. How has an American firm not taken advantage of this study yet?

          The Italians have not responded back to my query. And I wrote it in Italian too. Go figure.

          I called the Koreans, but couldn’t understand anything to get to an operator.

          So, I emailed the MIT researchers behind the study. If you read the study, you see that the researchers achieved similar results when supplementing the subgroups with either a probiotic yogurt or the magical L. Reuteri strain.

          I asked in an email if they would disclose the yogurt brand that they used. And sure enough, I get an answer back from them today. They used Stonybrand vanilla yogurt. Unfortunately, Stonybrand has decided to stop putting in L. Reuteri in their yogurt batches. This was the last American brand offering L. Reuteri in their yogurt, so a big loss for American consumers out there.

          But, the researcher said to check out Lifeway Kefir. Lifeway has just decided to add L. Reuteri to its kefir:

          http://www.lifeway.net/LifewayWorld/KefirProbiotics/ProBoost.aspx

          So, I’m going to do a little experiment. I’m going to have a male-hormone panel performed; this is unfortunately no small feat as the great state of New York bans all self-testing (practically the only state in the Union that does this). Then I’m going to drink this kefir most mornings as well as supplement with resveratrol that I have lying around. Then I’ll test my hormones again in three months. I obviously won’t try to change anything else.

          I’ll report back with results. My main target is increased libido, but I’ll take the shiny fur too!

          Reply
          P. D. Mangan says January 8, 2015

          I look forward to hearing your results. However, this brings me to the fact that the researchers used a very specific strain of L. reuteri. However, there are already lots of probiotics with L. reuteri, for example: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=l+reuteri
          I thought the whole point was that you guys were looking for that specific strain. And if not, why call Italy and Korea when you can buy it on Amazon?

          Reply
          DdR says January 8, 2015

          I meant Stonyfield yogurt.

          Reply
      posthasty says January 13, 2016

      BioGaia Gastrus (L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 – 100 million CFU) is now available on Amazon.com.

      Reply
Pete says December 9, 2014

Do you recommend any specific brand’s zinc or resveratrol supplements? I noticed resveratrol was also recommended by Dr. Brett Osborn as well. It seems fairly prudent to take some, especially since I’m drinking very little to none these days.

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    P. D. Mangan says December 9, 2014

    No, no specific brand of either. In the case of both but especially resveratrol, a reputable supplier could be important.

    Reply
Allan Folz says December 10, 2014

Greetings Dennis,

Don’t know if you already knew this, but the gut microbiome happens to be one of my “things.”

You’ll have to ask me sometime what PS did for my testicles.

… or maybe not.

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    P. D. Mangan says December 11, 2014

    Allan, guess I’ll pass!

    Reply
    Rushton says November 25, 2015

    Hi Allan,

    What do you mean by “PS” and can you share what it did for you?

    Reply
P. D. Mangan says December 25, 2014

Guys, L. reuteri ATCC 6475 is available for $200 here: http://www.atcc.org/products/all/PTA-6475.aspx You could grow your own with this.

Also says on that page: “This material is cited in a U.S. and/or other Patent or Patent Application, and may not be used to infringe on the patent claims. ATCC is required to inform the Patent Depositor of the party to which the material was furnished.”

I looked around a bit and supposedly bacteria cannot be patented unless it has been genetically engineered, so at this point I don’t understand the significance of the patent. The patent citation (link at the one I cited) says: “Strains of lactic acid bacteria selected for their capability of reducing inflammation, such as intestinal bowel disease, a method of selecting such strains, and products containing such strains.”

It’s also not really clear to me whether this is the only strain that will raise testosterone, and a priori hard to see why, though this is the only one to my knowledge that research has been done on.

Edit: On reading the patent as well as some other sites, seems they really are claiming a patent on this strain and that they legally can do so.

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Lobo says January 6, 2015

eat sauerkraut

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Mike Harper says June 10, 2015

Well, if probiotics boost the immune system and provides holistic health to someone taking them regularly, I think it’s not really surprising that it also boosts our inner organs.

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Jesse says September 10, 2015

Anyone find any products with Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475 yet? I can’t find anything. thanks.

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    posthaste says September 10, 2015

    I’ve read through a lot of threads on Reddit and Longecity about Reuteri 6475 and the only practical way of getting it is through BioGaia’s Gastrus probiotic (note: I said *practical* as there are other ways to get it that are too expensive and would otherwise require certain expertise). Unfortunately, it’s only sold in China and South Korea at the moment.

    Amazon China was selling it for a while, but no overseas shipping option was available, and it’s now out of stock there.

    Reply
    DdR says September 11, 2015

    As posthaste said, nothing that I could find. And I actually went to Italy to find BioGaia, and it was not being sold in the pharmacies I went to.

    I’ve been drinking kefir with L.reuteri in it for the last six months and have noticed no change in libido or strength. My testosterone just got measured and no change there either. I have BioGaia on Google alerts and have not got one news article. It’s starting to look like I’ll be going on TRT.

    Reply
      Jesse says September 11, 2015

      Hi,
      Thanks postahste and Ddr for the quick replies. I wrote biogaia asking them if they will be selling it in the U.S. I’ll see if they reply.

      I am on TRT because I am clinically low. I like it and I think I started just under six months ago. I have more energy in the mornings and evenings. I am in a better mood and I’m more focused. I feel like I can even think a little bit better.

      I don’t know how much muscle mass I have gained but it is significant and I am not even eating very well. But I do lift weights regularly. I feel like I am rapidly gaining back my muscle mass from when I stopped working out 2.5 years ago from an injury, bad mood and being tired.

      My doctor has me on 2000mg of both dha and epa as well. That has something to with androgen receptors and free testosterone, I think.

      I think this doctor prefers to keep guys at 700 to 800 ng range but I never asked him just something I think I recall hearing him say. I am just looking for ways to even boost my testosterone or androgen receptors even further. Thats why he has me on the fish oil.

      I am just saying, it has worked well for me. Before, I was coming home from work and laying on the bed from being so tired and lethargic and now I am more focused on a business idea I have and work out regularly. My next step is to eat better, haha.

      Reply
        DdR says September 11, 2015

        Yeah, I’ve pretty much given up trying to raise my testosterone levels naturally.

        My testosterone result just came back in at 367 ng/dL. As I said, it’s hovered around 360 ng/dL the last two years.

        I also got my estradiol measured (ultra sensitive). It came in way low at 14 pg/mL (optimal range is 20-30). My hunch is that there’s not enough testosterone to aromatize into estrogen, that’s why estradiol is so low.

        My symptoms are lack of muscle gain even though I work out quite a bit, non-existent libido, dysthymia, and can’t concentrate at work. Libido is likely caused by low estrogen. It affects me the most as I’m about to get married and my fiancé feels somewhat neglected. I still try to have sex with her regularly so that she feels wanted, but am indifferent whether we do it or not.

        I saw a urologist last week, who basically laughed off my condition and told me to see a sex therapist. He said come back to him when my testosterone is below 200 ng/dL. I’ll probably be calling up a TRT clinic after I get married.

        Interesting info about DHA/EPA. Do you have a journal source backing this up? I’ve read in many spots that fish oil at high doses is anabolic, but I always chalked it up to broscience.

        Reply
          P. D. Mangan says September 11, 2015

          Your urologist is appalling.

          Also, I hope you know about these guys: http://andro-plus.co/ No prescription necessary.

          Reply
Chris Nahr says January 13, 2016

Update on BioGaia Gastrus availability!

Noós is a wholesale distributor that exclusively ships to Italian pharmacies, so consumers cannot buy there directly. However, since mid-2015 online pharmacies are legal in Italy… and I did indeed find one legitimate Italian online pharmacy that offers BioGaia Gastrus:

http://www.farmaciadifiducia.com/product/119762/BIOGAIA-GASTRUS-18-COMPRESSE-MASTICABILI.html

One package of 18 tablets is currently €14.89. Unless you’re in Italy you need to select Spedizioni Estero (shipment to foreign country) which is always €15. Not sure if they ship outside of Europe, though.

The website is only Italian and somewhat amateurish, but I managed to complete an order of six packages to Germany, paid by credit card. Note they always require a “codice fiscale” which is an Italian-specific ID, but I just entered a bunch of dashes for that and the website accepted it. I’ll post an update once I have actually received the order.

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    P. D. Mangan says January 14, 2016

    Thanks, Chris. Sounds a little byzantine.

    Reply
    Daniel says January 14, 2016

    So curious, did you get your order?

    Reply
      Chris Nahr says January 14, 2016

      I ordered just yesterday! Right now the website it’s “ready” but apparently not shipped yet. Please give it a week’s time or so…

      Reply
    Chris Nahr says January 19, 2016

    Shipment arrived today, taking five days since my order. Everything’s fine, though the cardboard packages of the tablets are rather crunched since the pharmacy used a soft plastic bag as the shipping container. Instructions are exclusively in Italian but not hard to figure out. Chew one tablet daily, full or empty stomach apparently doesn’t matter (“assumere indifferentemente dai pasti”).

    Aside from the advertised bacteria strains each tablet also contains 60 mg vitamin C for no obvious reasons (“strengthens the immune system” they say). The rest is calcium filler and mandarin flavor. Now let’s see if I start glowing with health and testosterone…

    Reply
      P. D. Mangan says January 19, 2016

      Way to go, Chris. We’ll expect a full report on your transformation.

      Reply
    Chris Nahr says May 16, 2016

    Finished all 108 tablets. I had a blood test done on 27 January, just after I started taking them, and again on 9 May when I was nearly done. Subjectively I didn’t notice any change. The blood test results are curious.

    Testosterone did rise from 4.15 to 4.65 ng/ml but so did SHBG, from 45.7 to 61.4 nmol/l. As a result bioactive and free T actually dropped, from 1620 to 1480 ng/l and from 69 to 63.2 ng/l respectively. I’m not smart enough to figure out if this is good, bad, neutral, or simply random.

    In other news, I also started taking a daily 500 mg of curcumin based on Mangan’s iron chelation recommendations. That seemed to work well: my ferritin level dropped from 122 to 109 ng/ml, even though I continued to eat red meat as usual and didn’t donate blood (except for the tests).

    Finally, extending intermittent fasting from 16 to 20 hours per day pushed fasting insulin (after ~12 hours overnight fast for the test) from 5.3 µU/ml to a value below the lab’s 2.0 measurement threshold! Hopefully I’m well on my way to reset my body’s insulin resistance and default fat level.

    Reply
      Chris Nahr says May 17, 2016

      Correction: the free testosterone I cited above was calculated free T (based on SHBG). The lab also seems to have measured that value directly, and that one rose from 9 to 12 pg/ml. So apparently the tablets did raise testosterone overall?

      Reply
      Chris Nahr says May 17, 2016

      PS: I actually already had 465 total T in October 2014, not very long before. Sadly free/bioavailable T wasn’t measured then. So to some degree these results likely just reflect temporary fluctuations, as I don’t think maximum or average T would have declined so much in 15 months.

      Reply
BP says February 9, 2016

Unfortunately the Amazon.com link does not work for Canada as I am interested in trying. If anyone is still self-experimenting I would love to hear of their results.

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Aaron says May 16, 2016

I was able to purchase the BioGaia L. Reuteri strain online through Amazon.com and am now culturing it in the raw milk I buy as a “T-boosting” drinkable yogurt of sorts. I wasn’t sure if it would culture because there are other ingredients, but I’m hoping as I multiply the culture into future batches from each successive batch it will continue to work. That will have to be seen.

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    P. D. Mangan says May 16, 2016

    Aaron, that sounds like a good way to do it. Cheap too.

    Reply
Andrew Curl says July 26, 2016

Gastrus available in UK from http://www.biogaia.co.uk

Reply
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