One reason men suffer from low testosterone is that they do not have the ingredients to create the wonderful "man" hormone. If we can identify the upstream ingredients to testosterone production, we may be able to eliminate the need for testosterone replacement (TRT), and at the very least create a more true hormonal symphony comparative to what exists in a 20 year old man.
One such alternative to straight TRT is to boost the levels of the hormones that stimulate testosterone production instead. DHEA, for example, is one of the “parent hormones” made in the adrenal gland and testes, which changes into testosterone in men, and into estrogen when overly prescribed. When we supplement with DHEA, we naturally raise the body’s own testosterone levels. We avoid the eventual dependence on TRT because the body never slows its own efforts to make testosterone as it does with TRT, and it is a simple delivery system (oral intake versus injection with TRT). Scott Berliner, integrative pharmacist, states that the possibility of abnormally low levels of DHEA is worth investigating when discovering low T, something traditional physicians may overlook. “If a 45-year-old man comes in with a level of 200, they give you testosterone. End of story. In the integrative model, we’re always looking for the cause of things.” And when it is not magnesium or zinc, the cause is often a deficiency in DHEA. Research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that raising the body’s DHEA levels lead to increased sexual function and may assist in building muscle mass. No wonder it is banned by the NCAA. Taking the supplemental hormone in high doses and for long periods of time is not recommended, as that can exacerbate side effects such as gynecomastia.