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  Good Morning,  Nutrition and Hormonal Balance As an acupuncturist in the area of fertility, I realize tha...

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

[AlternativeAnswers] Men's Health Week: Testosterone Boosters


Good Morning!

Men's Health Week: Testosterone Boosters

In men, symptoms of low testosterone may show as signs of hormonal issues such
as changes in hair growth or sexual function. The quality, quantity, morphology
and motility of a man's sperm is also looked at.

Physical examination and routine laboratory tests for men include:

1. Hormone testing: a blood test is done to determine the level of testosterone
and other male hormones.

2. Physical examination: includes the genitals and questions about medical
history, illnesses and disabilities, medications and sexual habits.

3. Semen analysis: is the most important test for men. Your doctor will ask for
one or more semen samples. The laboratory determines the number of sperm present
and any abnormalities in the morphology and motility of the sperm. Sperm counts
can fluctuate from one sample to the next.

4. Ultrasound: a transrectal and scrotal ultrasound can help the doctor look for
evidence of conditions such as retrograde ejaculation and ejaculatory duct

Factors that may decrease sperm:
Excessive Caffeine
Excessive alcohol consumption
Street and certain Prescription Drugs
Some over the counter medications
Injury to the testicles
Blockage in the Vas Deferens
Excessive Heat to the testicles
Vitamin Deficiencies
Varicocele:a varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord that may
cause infertility through a significant decrease in the quality and quantity of
the sperm.

Normal Semen Values
Volume (mL) 2.0
Sperm Concentration (million/mL) 20
Motility (%) 50
Forward Progression (0-4) 3
Normal Morphology (%) (WHO) 30
Normal Morphology (%) (Strict) 14
Total Sperm Count (million) 40
Total Motile Sperm (million) 20
Total Functional Sperm (million) 6

This is a glossary of terms your doctor may talk about or will show you on lab
test results:
Aspermia: No semen ejaculated
Hematospermia: Blood present in semen
Leucocytospermia: White blood cells present in semen
Azoospermia: No spermatozoa found in semen
Normozoospermia: Normal semen parameters
Oligozoospermia: Low sperm concentration
Asthenozoospermia: Poor motility and/or forward progression
Teratozoospermia: Reduced percentage of morphologicall normal sperm
Necrozoospermia: No live sperm in semen
Globozoospermia: Round headed acrosome-less sperm

A variety of factors can result in low testosterone, including infertility in
men. Approximately 25% of infertility is directly due to the male partner. Low
sperm count or anatomical abnormalities are often the two main reasons for male

Several other factors can contribute to this including exposure to excessive
heat or fever, radiation, toxins, alcohol consumption or acute injury or
testicular injury. Anatomical abnormalities such as an endocrine disorders or
varicocele, a diluted vein of the spermatic cord can also cause a problem.
Varicocele can be treated successfully with surgery. Environmental exposures,
smoking, and use of recreational drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, hashish) may
reduce sperm count or cause abnormal sperm morphology. If there are no
anatomical abnormalities then here are ways to improve sperm:

1. Reduce Your Heat: Men with low sperm counts are often advised to optimize the
temperature of the testes as sperm production is slightly lower than body
temperature. This is the reason why the testes hang away from the body in the
scrotum. Remedy this by wearing looser fitting shorts instead of bikini-style
underwear. Other ways to reduce heat include keeping your laptop on a table top
or cushion. Do not use your lap top directly in your lap and avoid over use of
hot tubs and steam .

2. Drink Less Alcohol : Excess alcohol consumption is associated with a decrease
in the percentage of normal sperm.

3. Eat More Organic: A study done with members of the Organic Farmers's
Association suggesting that organically grown foods may enhance sperm count.
Sperm count was more than twice as high in these men as in a control group of

4. Get Acupuncture: Acupuncture was used on 28 men twice a week for 5 weeks and
compared to men who received no treatment. Following acupuncture, a
statistically significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm in the
total ejaculate was observed (in comparison with controls), with improvements in
the shape. Also progressive motility in ejaculate increased from 44.5% to 55%
following acupuncture treatment.

5. Take Your Supplements:

This is one of my favorite perscriptions I give my male patients. These three
supplements are only natural. One is plant based, the other is a natural steroid
hormone produced by the adrenal glands and the third is an omega fatty acid.
They must be taken together, twice a day for 30 days. The results will be so
great that you will want to continue this protocol, but I would only recommend
doing this only 6 months apart (twice a year).

1. DIM (diindolylmethane) is a plant compound called an indole and has been
shown to help regulate and promote a more efficient metabolism of estrogen, and
an optimal ratio of estrogen metabolites. DIM balances estrogen levels,
promoting health and well-being. This powerful phytonutrient is found in
broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, unlike other phytonutrients
like soy isoflavones, has no hormonal properties in itself.

2. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural steroid hormone, one of the
hormones produced by the adrenal glands. After being secreted by the adrenal
glands, it circulates in the bloodstream as DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) and is
converted as needed into other hormones. DHEA is chemically similar to
testosterone and estrogen and is easily converted into those hormones. DHEA
production peaks in early adulthood and declines in production with age in both
men and women. Therefore, many diseases which correlate with age also correlate
with low levels of DHEA production. Standard dosage is 100 mg twice a day.

3. Fish Oil: Take 2,000 mg of rich, omega 3 fish oil, in doses of 1,000 mg,
twice a day.

To increase testosterone levels, consider taking DHEA 100 mg in divided dosage
(50 mg, twice a day) with DIM-plus 60 capsule size (one capsule, twice a day for
a total of 100 mg) for a total of two capsules per day along with a "good fat"
such as flaxseed or fish oil 1,000 mg, twice a day (2,000 mg total per day).

Another favorite combination of supplements I recommend for long term use are my
Male Performance formula. Take this all natural herbal combination, two pills,
twice a day. Along with this, take 2,000 mg of L-Arginine (one of the best male
amino acids) in divided doses (1,000 mg), twice a day. (Take up to 3 months at a
time. Take a break for a month and then go back on the 3 month regime.)

Vitamin C research suggests it may prevent sperm from "clumping" together and
that it increases sperm count. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione - research
shows that these and other antioxidants may improve sperm quality. Dose: 1,000
mg twice a day.

Vitamin E supplementation with this antioxidant has been shown to increase sperm
motility and to enhance the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg in
test-tube studies. Dose: 400 IU daily. Talk to your doctor prior to starting
Vitamin E, particularly if you are currently taking aspirin or other blood

Selenium: Dose: 200 mcg daily. Improves sperm motility.

Coenzyme Q10: Take 10 mg daily. Increases sperm count and motility.

Zinc is an essential nutrient for proper sperm production. A deficiency may
result in lowered testosterone levels.. The usual recommended dosage of zinc is
about 15 to 30 mg daily, coupled with 1 mg of copper for balance. Too much zinc
can be toxic. Do not exceed a dose of 15 to 30 mg daily This mineral is found in
great amounts in the outer layer of sperm and plays an important role in the
production of the hormone testosterone.

Vitamin B12: Take 1000 mcg daily. A B-12 deficiency reduces sperm motility and
sperm count. Even if no deficiency exists, B-12 supplementation may help men
with a sperm count of less than 20 million per milliliter or a motility rate of
less than 50% Zinc and B Vitamins (B6, B12, and folic acid) are critical
nutrients in the male reproductive system for proper hormone metabolism, sperm
formation and motility.

L-Arginine (Kidney Yang tonic) especially enhance sperm count. Studies indicate
that this amino acid may improve sperm motility. Take 4 gr daily. Needed to
produce sperm. If the sperm count is below 10 million per ml, arginine probably
will not provide any benefit.

L-Carnitine (Yin and Blood tonic) especially enhance sperm count. Researchers
have found that L-carnitine is found in much greater amounts in sperm tissues
than other cells. Preliminary studies suggest that L-carnitine and
acetyl-L-carnitine may be able to stimulate sperm motility in certain
situations. The role of L-carnitine on sperm maturation and sperm quality
however, is still unclear. Several clinical studies have evaluated the effect of
L-carnitine on men with a low sperm count, a reduction/loss in sperm movement,
or men with both conditions. These studies have evaluated only small numbers of
men who took oral carnitine supplements for varying lengths of time. Some
patients enrolled in these studies experienced increased sperm counts and/or
increased sperm motility. Take 3-4 grams daily. Required for normal sperm

Flaxseed oil: Take 1 tbsp daily. Is a source of essential fatty acids.

Fish Oil: Take 2,000 mg of rich, omega 3 fish oil, in doses of 1,000 mg, twice a

Ginseng: increases production of testosterone and helps with sperm production.
Avoid if you have high blood pressure or Yin deficiency (with heat signs).

The Problem with Low Motility and Morphology

Guaifenesin (natural source is Beechwood) can improve motility by thinning out
the semen allowing for sperm to swim up stream easier. Vitamin C and Zinc can
also help.

If your morphology is less than 30%, consider Pycnogenol is the patented trade
name for a water extract of the bark of the French maritime pine ( Pinus
pinaster ssp. atlantica ), which is grown in coastal south-west France.
Pycnogenol contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as several other
bioflavonoids. Preliminary human data suggests that supplementation of
Pycnogenol may lower glucose levels and improve endothelial function.


The importance of a healthy diet cannot be overstated. Our amazing machine, the
reproductive system requires the proper vitamins and minerals. Nutritional
deficiencies can impair hormone function, inhibit sperm production, and
contribute to the production of abnormal sperm. If you can not muster up the
ability to get on a routine and eat a diet rich in green vegetables and colorful
fruits, then at the very least, take a good multi-vitamin daily!

Include consumption of legumes and soy (which are a high in phytoestrogens and

Eat a natural foods diet that focuses on fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains,
fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, and seeds. No celery or cucumbers.

Drink 1/2 of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb man would
drink 75 oz of water).

Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids, as well as
olive oil, which are vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive

Eat 1/4 to 1/2 cup a day of pumpkin seeds to help maintain a healthy
reproductive system.

Avoid excessive environmental estrogen and dietary sources of free radicals
including saturated fats, hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids.

Anti-hypertensives, anti-neoplastics and anti-inflammatory drugs, can impair
sperm production.

Eliminate processed and refined foods (e.g., white flour), junk food, sugars,
alcohol, and caffeine.

Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

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