Keywords: Vitamin D, Natural Testosterone Production, Androgen Synthesis, Vitamins, Sunlight and Testosterone
There have been several clinical reports that an increase in Vitamin D consumption can increase production of testosterone in men. In fact, some men include Vitamin D supplementation while on testosterone replacement therapy to enhance natural testosterone production.
Vitamin D is necessary for proper sperm and gonadal (testicular) health. Given vitamin D receptors are expressed throughout the male reproductive tract, it is theorized that vitamin D receptor are important for steroid and more specially androgen synthesis. Vitamin D receptors are present in the Leydig cells of the testicles. Leydig cells are responsible for testosterone production in men. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with lower levels of testosterone and elevated levels of Estradiol (E2) in men. Given the association of hypogonadism with low levels of Vitamin D, it can be beneficial for men on testosterone replacement therapy to supplement Vitamin D with therapy.
In a study by Pilz et al. published in 2011, Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Testosterone Levels in Men, 54 healthy men who were deficient in vitamin D were given 84 micrograms of Vitamin D daily for 1 year or a placebo. Men in the treatment group, compared to baseline values, had an increase in serum total testosterone, free testosterone and bioavailable testosterone levels. Studies such as Wehr et. al. Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men and Lee et. al. Association of hypogonadism with vitamin D status: the European Male Aging Study confirm such findings.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that the body obtains from two sources, food and sunlight. If you are planning to use a vitamin D supplement , it is best to take it with a meal to enhance absorption and increase levels more efficiently. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include salmon, mushrooms, tuna, herring, sardines, egg yolks, oatmeal and cod oil to name a few.