Testosterone is rightly known as the “masculinity hormone”.
It is the primary sex hormone in men, and it governs all of the characteristics that we typically think of as male – muscle density, upper body strength, voice depth, sexual appetite, facial hair growth, etc.
Unfortunately, men today may have significantly lower testosterone levels than men living 100-200 years ago. A combination of unhealthy diets, processed foods, and sedentary lifestyles are all contributing to a steady decline in testosterone levels in men today.
Men also experience a steady decline in testosterone levels as they age. We reach peak testosterone at around 20 years old. From there it declines steadily, reaching about 50% of its peak by age 40.
Luckily for us, there are plenty of ways that we can fight this natural (and unnatural) decline in testosterone.
One of the best ways you can naturally boost your testosterone levels is by getting more Vitamin D.
I actually can’t stress this enough; Vitamin D is one of the best natural testosterone boosters in existence.
I myself have seen serious improvements in recovery, strength gains, and overall vitality from supplementing with Vitamin D. More importantly, numerous clinical studies have shown that supplementing with Vitamin D increases testosterone.
How does Vitamin D increase testosterone levels?
How much of an effect does it have?
What are some good, natural ways to get more Vitamin D?
In the article below, I’ll explain why Vitamin D is one of the best natural substances for increasing testosterone availability.
I’ll take you through some of the main studies showing the link between Vitamin D and testosterone. In the end, I’ll tell you the best ways to get more Vitamin D.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section at the end and I’ll get right back to you.
Vitamin D & Testosterone – What’s The Link?
Researchers have found a clear link between serum Vitamin D levels and free testosterone levels.
In one study done on German men, researchers found that Vitamin D status correlated strongly with serum androgen levels (source).
The researchers noted that there was a concordant seasonal change in both Vitamin D and testosterone. As the main thing which changes across seasons is sunlight exposure, it is highly likely that Vitamin D was the causal factor here, not the testosterone.
Another study, carried out this time on Korean men of varying ages, found the same thing – low Vitamin D is associated with low testosterone, and low testosterone is associated with low Vitamin D (source).
So what’s going on here?
While some people have postulated reasons for this strong correlation, I have not been able to find solid evidence pointing to one single mechanism.
In other words, we have some ideas for why Vitamin D influences testosterone production, but we aren’t sure.
One suggestion is that there are receptors for Vitamin D in the testes, so having higher Vitamin D levels in the blood means generally more active testes.
Another theory is that Vitamin D down-regulates aromatase activity, and there is some evidence that it influences SHBG activity (source).
In my opinion, the correct answer is actually all of these things at once.
But you probably don’t care about why Vitamin D works.
You’re probably much more concerned with how well it works for you.
How Effective Is Vitamin D For Boosting Testosterone?
So just how much of an impact can Vitamin D have on your testosterone levels?
An extremely significant impact!
There have been dozens of studies done on this now, and all of them say the same thing; supplementing with Vitamin D leads to a significant increase in free serum testosterone levels.
One study, carried out on overweight but otherwise healthy men aged between 20 and 49 found that taking Vitamin D supplements led to a marked increase in free circulating testosterone levels (source).
At the outset of this study, the men were deficient in Vitamin D and their testosterone levels were at the lower end of the spectrum for their age. At the end of the study, the men receiving the Vitamin D each day saw their total testosterone increase from 10.7 ± 3.9 nmol/l to 13.4 ± 4.7 nmol/l. The men in the placebo group saw no change.
How To Get More Vitamin D
If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably convinced that you could use a little more Vitamin D in your life.
The vast majority of men in the West are deficient in Vitamin D – at least those living in northern Europe and the northern United States and Canada.
We know that Vitamin D deficiencies cause low testosterone. So if you want to go about increasing your free testosterone levels, a good place to start is sorting out your (likely) Vitamin D deficiency.
But where should you start?
How do you go about getting more Vitamin D?
There are lots of ways you can get more Vitamin D naturally, without having to resort to supplements.
First of all, there’s the sun.
Vitamin D is called the “sunshine Vitamin” for a reason (although it acts much more like a hormone than a vitamin). We make our own Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.
How much sun do you need?
I recommend getting at least 30 minutes of direct sun exposure per day – that’s an absolute minimum. This is enough for you to generate sufficient quantities of Vitamin D to stay fairly healthy and functional as a man.
But a lot of you wont be able to get that much sun every single day. You work long hours, and you live in dark, northern places. So what can you do?
Thankfully, there are plenty of foods which are rich in Vitamin D. These include:
- Egg yolk
Eating more of these foods in the winter months is a good way to preemptively prevent a Vitamin D deficiency from ever taking hold.
I recommend eating fatty fish at least three times per week throughout winter, and eating an egg or two on the days you don’t eat fish.
Vitamin D Supplements For Testosterone
If you’re really serious about maximizing your testosterone levels, then a few hours in the sun and a couple of portions of fish obviously isn’t going to cut it.
If you want exceptional results, you need to take exceptional measures.
If you want to see a significant rise in testosterone levels, then taking large doses of Vitamin D is an excellent way to go about it.
There are lots of Vitamin D supplements out there which provide many times your RDI per serving. Some provide as much as 5000IU, which is about 12 times your recommended daily intake.
Many testosterone boosters contain large doses of vitamin D for this very reason.
The best testosterone boosters will contain about 4000IU of Vitamin D3.
This is the exact safe upper tolerable limit for Vitamin D, and D3 is the most bioactive form of the vitamin.
Unless you’re a serious bodybuilder or an older guy looking to regain some lost vitality, you probably don’t need to take this much Vitamin D.
If you’re a young guy just looking for a quick testosterone boost, I recommend taking about 400IU per day and going up from there as needed.