In the sports and fitness world, testosterone should not be ignored. When testosterone levels are in healthy, youthful ranges it contributes to muscle mass and strength gains by increasing the synthesis of muscle protein.
Testosterone plays a key role in its its effect on male sexual health; it’s essential in producing erections. Testosterone also stimulates metabolism, promotes fat burning, builds muscle, enhances mood, and increases energy in both men and women.
For the increasing number of middle-aged men, a majority of whom produces less of this hormone, the idea of adding a natural testosterone-production ingredient into fitness formulas may be a very attractive concept.
Interestingly, according to Todd Schroeder, Ph.D., a researcher who focuses on exercise and hormones in older men at the University of Southern California, research does show that both endurance and weight-training exercise will temporarily increase testosterone production--anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour after cessation of the fitness routine.
Testosterone production for men begins to slowly decline around age 30. Over time, as this decrease continues, symptoms emerge, including weight gain, decreased muscle mass, mood disorder, and decreased sex drive. As men age the Leydig cells that secrete testosterone begin to wear away. Because of this, between 40 and 70, the average man loses nearly 60 percent of his tesosterone! Other lifestyle factors, such as overtraining, stress and alcohol, can also hasten the deterioration of Leydig cells and cause testosterone levels to drastically decline.
By the time a man turns 60, only about 2 percent of testosterone is free. The rest is bound by the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which renders testosterone inactive by binding it to fat cells. When testosterone is bound, it can’t be used in the body. Free testosterone is responsible for providing the body with energy and enhancing sex drive.
When testosterone production is restored to a more vigorous rate, men will be able to more efficiently lose body fat. Testosterone is key in the regulation of insulin, fat metabolism, and glucose; so it stands to reason that middle-aged men with lower testosterone production begin to accumulate fat. On top of that, adipose tissue converts testosterone into estrogen, which contributes to further decreases in testosterone production.
Currently, several pharmaceuticals directly add testosterone to the body. I believe it is much safer and healthier to provide ingredients such as Eurycoma longifolia—which has been shown to actively encourage the body to produce more of its own—rather than via an exogenous manner.
My company, HP Ingredients, has a new powerful androgen called LJ100 that is becoming well-known among athletes. LJ100 is a standardized Eurycoma longifolia extract containing 28 percent eurypeptides, an active 28 amino acid chain that is clinically proven at MIT for its androgenic properties; 40 percent glyco saponins and 30 percent polysaccharides. Created by researchers at MIT and Universiti Malaya, human clinical trials have shown LJ100 to exert an ability to increase energy, enhance sports performance, promote anabolic state, and increase fat free mass and body fat. It also aids sport performance by maintaining normal high IGF-1 level, increasing DHEA, increasing free testosterone, and decreasing SHGB.
These are exciting attributes for the millions of men 35 and older engaged in an active lifestyle. Here are two studies to consider.
In an eight-week placebo-controlled study—the results of which were published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2003—adult men given E. longifolia were instructed to perform an intensive strength-training program. The researchers found that the supplement group experienced significant increase in fat-free mass, reduced body fat percentages, increased gross muscle power, and significantly increased arm circumference. In a group of men who performed a 24-hour mountain bike event, the LJ100 E. longifolia group showed cortisol levels were 32.3 percent lower than placebo group. Testosterone levels were 16.4 percent higher compared to placebo group. LJ100 promoted an anabolic state while reducing the catabolic state (high cortisol and depleted free testosterone). Results were published in 2006 in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine.
I believe that Eurycoma longifolia such as LJ100 is an effective, safe, and valuable ingredient for fitness formulas, specifically for men over the age of 30. I hope manufacturers feel the same way.