Sunlight can boost testosterone in a variety of ways.
- Enhancing vitamin D synthesis
- Positively modulating the microbiome
- Stimulating steroidogenesis directly
Vitamin D and testosterone
People have long thought that the main benefit of sunlight was via the increase in vitamin D. However, studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation doesn’t increase testosterone even though it was positively associated with testosterone.
This is because sunlight increases testosterone and vitamin D, but vitamin D isn’t necessarily responsible for testosterone synthesis.
Vitamin D is not completely useless as it can optimize cellular function (ATP production), lower inflammation, reduce excess aromatase and enhance the binding of testosterone and DHT to the androgen receptor.
Using sunscreen, especially with an SPF over 50, can dramatically reduce the amount of vitamin D synthesized.
Gut health, the microbiome and testosterone
Many things, including androgens, are detoxed from the liver and excreted via the bile into the intestines. Bacteria in the intestines express the enzyme beta-glucuronidase, which reactivates detoxed compounds, such as testosterone and DHT, allowing it to be reabsorbed.
A massive amount of androgens, specifically DHT, are found in the gut of a healthy and young individual (R).
“These findings demonstrate that the GM (gut microbiota) is involved in intestinal metabolism and deglucuronidation of DHT and T, resulting in extremely high free levels of the most potent androgen, DHT, in the colonic content of young and healthy mice and men.” (R)
Too high or too little is bad. For example, lower beta-glucuronidase activity is found Crohn’s disease whereas high beta-glucuronidase activity is found in colon cancer (R).
Low beta-glucuronidase can lead to reduced testosterone absorption, whereas excess beta-glucuronidase can lead to excess estrogen (and other toxins) absorption.
Microbial beta-glucuronidase also enhances the recycling and absorption of thyroid hormone and vitamin D, both of which are beneficial for the gut.
Gut problems can excessively increase or decrease beta-glucuronidase, therefor we have to focus on improving gut health, reducing gut inflammation and enhancing microbial diversity.
Be sure to get lots of full upperbody sunlight (UV light) to enhance gut health for optimal testosterone.Tweet
UV light stimulates testosterone production directly
Multiple studies have found that there is a seasonal change in testosterone. During summer months, testosterone and sexual function tend to be at its highest (R).
The peak of testosterone levels in summer correlates with longer daylight duration, more direct UV exposure and higher temperature.
In humans, solar exposure enhances romantic passion in both genders and correlates positively with testosterone (R).
Sunlight has many other benefits, such as:
- Increasing dopamine release and striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor availability (R, R).
- Reducing neuroinflammation (R).
- Helping against pain and increases mood by increasing endorphins.
- Stimulating the skin-brain-gonad axis which is mediated by skin p53 protein.
- Altering hypothalamus activity or directly affecting axillary secretion to enhance pheromone secretion (R).
- Increasing CRH from the hypothalamus, which increases POMC, endorphins, dopamine and glutamate, all of which can enhance libido.
- Enhancing the sexual responsiveness and attractiveness of females and male-female interactions (R).
Is sunlight going to turn you into a hypersexual horny beast? Very unlikely, but it can give you a very noticeable boost, especially if your libido has been suppressed for a long time.
UV light has a lot of benefits, more than just vitamin D synthesis.
Sunscreen, especially with an SPF over 50, has been shown to dramatically inhibit the synthesis of vitamin D. This shows that it’s very effective at reducing the amount of UV that reaches the skin and this can dramatically reduce the benefits of UV light on testosterone.
My natural sunscreen recipe
I mix 500mg taurine and 500mg niacinamide in 100ml of water. Mix well and spray as needed.
Niacinamide helps to enhance lipid and cholesterol (vit D is created from cholesterol) synthesis in the skin as well as protect and repair damage induced by excess UV light.
Taurine is an osmolyte that ensures optimal cellular hydration. Studies have found that taurine content in the skin of older animals and humans is lower than in young individuals. Taurine is also a powerful antioxidant and protects against the damage of excess UV light.
Other good ingredients include not-nano zinc oxide, aspirin, and caffeine (which also works via the p53 pathway). Various oils like coconut, avocado, olive, etc., are also effective however I don’t want to be oily, so I don’t use them myself.
If you need help getting your hormones back on track, reach out below or book a free call with me.
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