SHBG – Sex Hormone Binging Globulin – is a protein bound to testosterone. However, think of it as an extra stock of testosterone – a reserve that isn’t that available. On the other hand, the free testosterone that hangs out around your bloodstream is readily available for your body to use. So, if you lower SHBG levels, you will be able to boost your levels of free testosterone and thus, reap the benefits of this extra T!
Okay, but how does one lower SHBG levels for more testosterone?
How to Lower SHBG Levels for More Testosterone
Why would you want to lower SHBG levels? Studies have shown that as much as 60 to 70% of your total testosterone is bound to the SHBG protein. Consequently, that’s testosterone that your body can’t use right now.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Reduce your Oestrogen to Lower SHBG Levels
Oestrogen is primarily known as a female sex hormone. Nevertheless, oestradiol – a form of oestrogen – also plays a critical role in male sexual function. Indeed, you will need oestrogen to regulate libido, erectile function and boost spermatogenesis. However, a man shouldn’t have too much of it. High oestrogen levels are an absolute disaster for testosterone levels and health in general.
But there’s good news, by reducing oestrogen levels, total and free testosterone levels increase!
This advice especially applies if you are overweight or obese. In your case, the best course of action will be weight loss. Because oestrogen is basically stored in your fat cells.
Use Boron to Increase Free Testosterone
Boron is a trace mineral – meaning we need infinitely small quantities of it for our bodies to function. In the past, this mineral was usually found in a balanced and green heavy diet. However, due to soils becoming poorer by the day, supplementation can be required.
So, what can boron do for you?
Studies have found that a small daily quantity of boron could increase free testosterone levels by a whooping 28%.
In addition, it was observed that SHBG levels decrease significantly by supplementing with boron, which is why this association was theorised. (1)
Boost Your Carb Intake (not all carbs are created equal)
Low “carbing” has many health benefits – however, when it comes to boosting free testosterone levels, upping your carb intake may be the way to go.
Apparently, a high carb diet could consistently increase testosterone, while simultaneously decreasing oestrogen, SHBG and cortisol levels (a hormone that occurs during stress episodes and can also heavily impact T levels).
Therefore, by eating enough carbohydrates (especially when exercisinh regularly), you would be doing your T levels a favour. However, not all carbs are equal. For instance, prefer wholesome grains and legumes (like brown rice, beans, lentils and quinoa) and lay low when it comes to pasta and bread. Those will increase your blood sugar levels and your type 2 diabetes risk. Also, don’t forget this: sugar isn’t your friend.
Moreover, be mindful to eat enough protein, various seasonal vegetables and a decent amount of healthy fats (organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed coconut oil, lard, avocado, nuts etc…).
Increase your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is essential to health. Period. It’s essential for cardiovascular health, bone health and immune function.
However, there’s one funny thing, vitamin D isn’t quite…a vitamin!
Actually, the so called vitamin D is a steroid hormone that regulates more than a 1000 functions! Also, the vast majority of the Occidental population is vitamin D deficient. Especially, during cold and… colder months. So, for most of us supplementation is necessary.
By taking a daily supplement of vitamin D3 (best bio-availability), you will see a mighty increase of testosterone levels and a reduction of the SHBG count. Bingo!
Also, make sure to get plenty of sun when you do get some!
Be Wary of Prescription Drugs
Some prescription drugs can significantly increase your SHBG levels and thus, dramatically decrease your testosterone levels.
For example, a medication prescribed for weight loss has devastating effects on testosterone levels (Finasteride).
In addition, some very common drugs wreak hormonal havoc, the main culprits are: statins, beta blockers, antidepressants, antifungals and hair loss drugs.
So, if you take any of those, make sure to read the drug leaflet and consult your GP, if necessary. An alternative could be available.
Increase Your Magnesium & Zinc Consumption
Magnesium is CRUCIAL for our bodies. Indeed, magnesium is essential for survival, since this mineral is needed to regulate hundreds of enzymes. If your diet isn’t exactly on point or severely lacking, you probably are deficient.
Also, enough magnesium can make testosterone more bio-available by decreasing SHBG levels. (2)
For instance, an increase of both magnesium and exercise can raise testosterone levels by 24%. It’s time to get moving!
Moreover, zinc an other key mineral can also increase T and reduce oestrogen levels. And just as an extra bonus, zinc can also reduce SHBG levels!
Lay Off the Booze
We all know that binge drinking sucks big time when it comes to our health.
And when it comes to sexual function, indulging in the drink can effectively reduce testosterone levels, testicular weight and sperm quality (fertility).
In addition, excessive alcohol consumption raises significantly oestrogen and cortisol levels.
And that’s not the end of it…too much booze impairs an important enzyme that significantly increases SHBG levels.
So, yeah, a very occasional indulgence is fine but don’t overdo it, if you want to see an increase of T.
How to Lower SHBG Levels for More Testosterone – Conclusion
By following our advice and improving your lifestyle in general, you are bound to see an improvement.
Therefore, be proactive and take your own health into your hands. You can do it!
This article was written by Michael King.
(1) Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011.
(2) Magnesium effect on testosterone–SHBG association studied by a novel molecular chromatography approach. Excoffon, Y.C.Guillaume, M.C.Woronoff-Lemsi, C.André. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2009.