Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to multiple health problems. Low levels of testosterone is one of the unwanted consequences of insufficient vitamin D supply.
In this article, we will go over why Vitamin D is one of the best testosterone booster supplements available.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone precursor, which is synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A recent study showed that in northern Europe only 15% of the population had a vitamin D blood level over 75nmol/l which is nowadays considered as the healthy lower limit for vitamin D.
If you live near the equator or other warm parts of the globe, where your skin gets warm sunlight year-round, you probably don’t have a vitamin D deficiency. But if you live in a place where wooly hats and mittens are used for multiple months, you probably need to supplement with vitamin D (or do some nice sunny vacations) to avoid deficiency. Let’s see what the studies say about testosterone and vitamin D.
Vitamin D as a supplement increases testosterone
Total testosterone levels rose 20% in an Austrian study, in which both men and women took part. 165 volunteers were given either placebo or 83 mcg of vitamin D for a year. Following the study, vitamin D levels 25(OH)D rose 53,5 nmol/l for the group that got the supplementation. Besides that the vitamin D supplement was effective in increasing testosterone levels, this study also shows that 83 mcg (3320 IU) is a dose that will correct vitamin D deficiency for most people.
Vitamin D deficiency lowers testosterone levels
In another Austrian study, the scientists discovered that testosterone levels were lowest for people who had a vitamin D deficiency. They found out that the testosterone levels rose in proportion to the vitamin D levels. Also, it was shown that the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which lowers free testosterone by binding to testosterone, was inversely correlated with vitamin D levels. So that the more vitamin D one had, the lower was the SHBG level.
Blood level 80 nmol/l is the sweet spot
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology published an American testosterone study with 1362 male subjects. The results of the study showed that again testosterone levels rose in proportion to vitamin D levels. The rise of testosterone steadied and plateaued when the vitamin D levels were as high as 80 nmol/l (equals 32 ng/ml). Anything below 80 nmol/l seems to be deficiency when testosterone is considered.
How to get enough vitamin D?
So to get optimal testosterone status you need to get your vitamin D levels at least up to 80 nmol/l. North of the USA, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia are places where you just can’t get enough vitamin D from the sun. Not only is it too cold to be bare skinned, but the sun shines at an inefficient angle which won’t start the vitamin D synthesis in the skin.
Very few foods contain vitamin D, so supplementation is needed. There is no one clear answer for how much vitamin should be supplemented. It is best to get your blood 25(OH)D levels measured. The optimal level for testosterone production and health in general seems to be 80 – 120 nmol/l. How big vitamin D supplement dose is required to get the levels there is personal. For some people, 25 mcg daily is enough, but for some 100 mcg daily is needed. 50 mcg is a good average of a safe and effective dose for most people.
For most people, it is best to take vitamin D in the morning, as the body’s inner clocks may link rising vitamin D levels to morning sunshine. Taking vitamin D at night can harm sleep.
- In supplements, 1 IU (International Unit) is the equivalent of 0.025 mcg, so that 25 mcg is equal to 1000 IU
- In vitamin D blood levels, the optimal range of 80 – 120 nmol/l is equal to 32 – 48 ng/ml, which is the commonly used unit in the USA