One significant area of common concern among men is the importance of hormonal health, particularly in relation to testosterone. Hormones are substances produced by specific cells and glands in one area of the body, transported through the blood, which then stimulate, regulate, or control other areas of the body. Testosterone is known as the ‘male hormone’ and it is important for many roles (see below). One particular challenge for men is that testosterone starts to decline in the body by 1-2% each year, starting in your thirties. This decline can lead to lower energy, mood changes, erectile dysfunction and even infertility. These impacts can be devastating and I will make suggestions of what to do about it.

Roles for Testosterone

• Sexual function
• Sperm production
• Mood balance
• Glucose metabolism, lean muscles

Dysfunctions with Low Testosterone

• Erectile dysfunction
• Infertility
• Fatigue
• Irritability, low motivation, depression
• Poor glucose control, obesity

Natural Ways to Support Testosterone

From the perspective of a naturopathic doctor, supporting testosterone balance means supporting the parts of the body that produce testosterone (the testicles), the parts of the body that process hormones (the liver), adjusting lifestyle factors that affect hormonal health and reducing toxic elements that affect testosterone balance.

Zinc is a fundamental nutrient that helps promote healthy testosterone levels. Good dietary sources of zinc include meats, seafood, seeds, spinach and mushrooms. Good digestive function is necessary to just absorb zinc, so make sure you address any bloating, constipation, acid reflux and other digestive symptoms. Studies have also shown that regular intake of extra virgin olive oil or argan oil can support testosterone levels.

The Liver is where hormones are metabolized and also where toxins are inactivated. It is important to ensure your liver is not ‘congested’ – to accomplish this, eat foods that help promote better liver health, such as artichokes, beets, broccoli family foods, etc. Herbs can also be helpful at supporting liver functions in general, for example: dandelion, milk thistle, schisandra, etc.

Moderate Exercise can help increase testosterone levels. High intensity and long duration exercise may have the opposite effects. Elevated stress and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to lowered testosterone levels.

Pthalates are chemicals that are used in plastics and cosmetics production. Studies have found that they can inhibit testosterone levels and normal testicular functions. The mineral selenium may have a role in protecting the testicles from potential damage from such toxins. Pesticides and PCBs have also been associated with low testosterone levels. The herb puncture vine has been shown to protect the testicles from the toxic effects of the chemical cadmium.

By optimizing your level of testosterone, you may be able to reduce the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses such as type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or