Along with testing my cholesterol and HbA1c after 15 days of the Whole 30, I also checked my testosterone levels. It’s something I’ve checked in the past maybe once a year just to get a sense as to where I stood.
Here are my prior posts:
I’ve tried to search for other good resrouces on testosterone testing and results, but haven’t found anything better than the Art of Manliness series I referred to in my first post. In fact, I’ll just quote what I wrote previously:
The best resource I found actually came from a website called, “The Art of Manliness.” He had a whole series of posts dedicated to testosterone (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5). This was more insightful and entertaining than the journal articles and textbooks I referred to. If you’re interested in this at all, I definitely urge you to read the series.
Here is a brief synopsis:
- Due to our current way of life, men have lower testosterone now compared to someone of the same age two decades ago, and the exact causes aren’t clear yet (but may have to do with environmental toxins, lack of sleep, obesity, etc.)
- Some of the benefits of testosterone include: improved mood, decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, improved cardiovascular and bone health, improved libido and improved cognition.
- Testosterone is a hormone that is made from cholesterol and comes in 3 forms:
- Free testosterone – the active form
- Bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
- Bound to a protein called albumin
- When you get a blood test to check your testosterone, there are two tests you can get:
- Free Testosterone – This measures the amount of free testosterone in your blood
- Total Testosterone – This measures the sum of the free testosterone + testosterone bound to SHBG + testosterone bound to albumin.
- When interpreting the results of your testosterone exam, don’t rely so much on the reference ranges since they don’t account for variability in age. Testosterone naturally and normally goes down with age. If you are a healthy 25 year old (whose normal should be on the upper end of the spectrum), you don’t want to compare yourself with the values of a healthy 85 year old (whose normal should be on the lower end of the spectrum).
- Refer to Day 4 of the Art of Manliness series where he has table breaking down the normal testosterone for each age group (he references two studies for these)
- The most accurate way of measuring blood levels of Testosterone is the LC/MS method (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry).
… and of course in tabulated format:
How do I stack up?
Here are the age range tables referred to in the Art of Manliness posts, which were taken from here:
Since I’m 36 years old, my Total Testosterone of 820.9 ng/dl is in the upper end of 1 std dev of the mean in the first table and well within 2 std dev above the mean in the second table.
My Free Testosterone of 10.1 pg/mL is right at the mean in the first table.
Unfortunately I didn’t measure my SHBG… which is something I’ll do next time.
Not much more to add here. It looks like whatever I’m doing is having a good effect on my testosterone, so I’ll just keep on keeping on.
*Image found here