Testosterone Optimization On RP-inspired Nutrition

GreekDemiGod

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Last year, I discovered my Testosterone levels were low for my age & physical shape (hovering between 300 and 420 ng/dL total T and chronically low free T).
At age 27, having a lean physique (12%- 14% bodyfat with some muscle), lifting weights for 2 years, I almost got to the poing of having very rare morning boners.
Past year, I've tried a lot of things to improve it naturally.

This year, I did the Carnivore Diet for 4 months (March - July 2019). Measured my T levels at the end of the diet.
  • Total T: 440 ng/dL
  • Free T: highest I've ever measured (since tracking it)
My morning erections came back on the diet, I went from 1-2 weak erections /s week to 4-5 / week, which was great .It was definitely the improved free working its magic.
Around the 3rd month on the diet, libido started to took a hit, other symptoms worsened and I eventually quit the diet.
I'm now in my first week of 'Peating'. Testosterone is still of utmost important to my health, along with improving my energy levels and escape anxiety and depression
Let me tell you, the morning erections are coming back and they're stronger than they've been on Carnivore.


I'm optimistic in seeing what effects will RP-inspired nutrition will have on my T levels.
  • The saturated fat will surely benefit my free T. I'm guessing this is what happened on Carnivore, too
  • The sugar will better support my thyroid function than the prolonged ketogenic state.
 

Cirion

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I'm in on this thread with similar goals.

I remain convinced that almost every man can get to 4 digits naturally, or at least close, but I myself have not achieved it yet. There's a poster here that is 60 y/o with like 900 ng/dL.

How often do you plan to test T levels? What other things will you be trying besides diet?
 

nbznj

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Don’t train too much, make sure you’ve got a nice pre bed ritual (meaning stay away from white and blue lights), focus on happiness and social bonds, eat some sat fats, low pufa, high carbs, moderate protein, don’t overthink, supplement only if your bloodwork shows a deficiency, use cronometer.com to track your diet. You’ll be good!

To the poster above: anyone could get high T, but it’s free T we need to look at. Total T can get pretty high alongside SHBG. I had it over 800 when I was 28 eating a diet high in saturated fat, rather low in carbs; free T was clinically low and thyroid hormones were in the lower half of the range, and LDL was atrociously high. Total T shouldn’t be the way to track progress.
 

Cirion

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Don’t train too much, make sure you’ve got a nice pre bed ritual (meaning stay away from white and blue lights), focus on happiness and social bonds, eat some sat fats, low pufa, high carbs, moderate protein, don’t overthink, supplement only if your bloodwork shows a deficiency, use cronometer.com to track your diet. You’ll be good!

To the poster above: anyone could get high T, but it’s free T we need to look at. Total T can get pretty high alongside SHBG. I had it over 800 when I was 28 eating a diet high in saturated fat, rather low in carbs; free T was clinically low and thyroid hormones were in the lower half of the range, and LDL was atrociously high. Total T shouldn’t be the way to track progress.

I agree total T shouldn't be the ONLY way to track progress, but I think not trying to get high T on top of other good metrics is shooting yourself in the foot. Virtually every man that exudes masculinity--effortlessly picking up chicks, crushing the corporate life, making monstrous gains in the gym, always having perfect sleep, insane libido, etc is virtually guaranteed to have very high T. That said yeah free testosterone is more useful in the immediate term. Even better still the Free testosterone:cortisol ratio.

But even at that, yeah, Pulses/Temps/CO2 levels are also important metrics to track, and of course body weight/body fat changes. The more things you can track, the better, for sure.
 
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Following...

I have been eating Peaty at a maintenance or surplus for nearly a year and libido has gotten worse and worse. It’s gotten even worse lately where the last 2 months I can’t recall one instance where I felt sexual attraction.

I’m 34 and hypothyroid but all blood work is in range. SHBG is highish and free T is lowish but not terrible either.
 

redsun

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Dec 17, 2018
Messages
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Last year, I discovered my Testosterone levels were low for my age & physical shape (hovering between 300 and 420 ng/dL total T and chronically low free T).
At age 27, having a lean physique (12%- 14% bodyfat with some muscle), lifting weights for 2 years, I almost got to the poing of having very rare morning boners.
Past year, I've tried a lot of things to improve it naturally.

This year, I did the Carnivore Diet for 4 months (March - July 2019). Measured my T levels at the end of the diet.
  • Total T: 440 ng/dL
  • Free T: highest I've ever measured (since tracking it)
My morning erections came back on the diet, I went from 1-2 weak erections /s week to 4-5 / week, which was great .It was definitely the improved free working its magic.
Around the 3rd month on the diet, libido started to took a hit, other symptoms worsened and I eventually quit the diet.
I'm now in my first week of 'Peating'. Testosterone is still of utmost important to my health, along with improving my energy levels and escape anxiety and depression
Let me tell you, the morning erections are coming back and they're stronger than they've been on Carnivore.


I'm optimistic in seeing what effects will RP-inspired nutrition will have on my T levels.
  • The saturated fat will surely benefit my free T. I'm guessing this is what happened on Carnivore, too
  • The sugar will better support my thyroid function than the prolonged ketogenic state.

Yes carbs are basically necessary for higher testosterone/DHT. You didnt mention what your new peat diet is like, but I would be wary about making a 180 degree turn from carnivore to peat. Specifically going from meat heavy to dropping nearly all meat for milk and eggs instead. A lot of carnivores/ketoers coming to Peat(I am one of them) drop meat intake a lot initially in an effort to go all in. It screws a lot of us up and we end up putting on too much weight and health tends to suffer. Most carnivore foods are very good and nutrient dense, just limiting the higher fat foods and replacing fat with carbs which includes sugar from fruits and starch if you tolerate it well do wonders for testosterone seeing as carbs are the main limiting factor for carnivore dieters.

I suspect a lot of the problems that show up with reducing meat intake is lower zinc and way too low B3 intake(dairy and eggs have basically none), among other things. Dairy and eggs can be allergenic and problematic to some especially gut wise. Disruption of the gut is one of the easiest way to get yourself fat. If gut doesn't agree with milk, it can make you fat. If your gut doesn't agree with starches, it can make you fat.

Takeaway is to avoid gut disruption by hard to tolerate foods. Don't try to power through because a certain peaty food is supposed to be good, that makes you worse in the long run, I know from experience.
 

baccheion

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What were your other levels? Thyroid? Cortisol? Nutrients? Hormones (DHT, estradiol, etc)? Etc.

Yes, total testosterone with the assumed 2-3% as free T, 5-7% as DHT, and 40-60:1 TT:estradiol (ng/dL:pg/mL; though some say as low as 20:1 is fine/ideal) to maintain perspective.

Normalizing cortisol, insulin, nutrient levels, body fat (8-14%), and thyroid/HPTA/metabolism usually fixes testosterone. Slight caloric surplus.

The anterior pituitary is inhibited by primarily by 3 things: estrogen, parathyroid (low vitamin D or calcium; or high phosphorus), and pancreas (digestion, high insulin, etc). B vitamins improve estrogen clearance and fat-solubles oppose estrogen. There's also zinc, magnesium, and iodine. And pregnenolone + DHEA.

Even when following a ketogenic diet, 50 grams from carbs is supposedly enough to normalize thyroid/hormone output. Vitamin A and T3 are the main cofactors in the conversion of (LDL) cholesterol to pregnenolone (-> progesterone -> DHEA -> testosterone).
 
Last edited:

GreekDemiGod

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@baccheion I recently did extensive blood tests ordered by an endo.
I have a small thyroid nodule detected last year, that needs monitoring. It has remained the same in size.

Almost every thyroid marker came in optimal range:
  • TSH 3.32 uUI/mL high-ish, but still in range
  • FT4, PTH normal range
  • Prolactin 192 uUI/mL normal
  • Thyroglobulin 47.97 ng/mL normal
  • anti-Thyroglobulin < 10 UI/mL normal
  • Serum Phosphorus 3.85 mg/dL normal
  • Serum Calcium 9.9 mg/dL normal
  • PTH 39.97 PG/mL nomal
  • Vitamin D: high-normal
My endo has said my thyroid is functioning normally. But I think my TSH is still non-optimal, and I experience some hypo symptoms: low heart rate, general fatigue. She prescribed low-dose T4 (Levothyroxine), she said it's for the nodule. I started taking it, it might help.
She also said my sexual function is fine. I did testicular ultrasound too. She said my issue is psychological, that I need to socialize more, and actively pursue meeting women.

I did not measure cortisol. But I suspect it did damage to me. I'm an anxious guy, find it very hard to relax, stuck in my head, ruminating thoughts. Been dealing with low-level depression for years.
I was on ZeroCarb, though

Other tests
  • LDL Cholesterol: 207.5 mg/dL very high due to the Carnivore diet. This will go down again, as I'm off the diet
  • Triglycerides 83 mg/dL
  • Total Testosterone 440 ng/dL. Low-normal range.
  • Free Testosterone: 11.91 pg/mL (range 1:28) low, but not acutely low
  • SHBG 40 nmol/L normal
  • hCG < 0.1 mUI/mL
Also the pituitary hormones FSH and LH came out on the low-end of normal. I suspected that this might indicate a problem with my pituitary / HPA axis, FSH and LH should not be low when free T is also low, shouldn't it? (secondary hyopgonadism?)
But the endo assurred my my pituitary is also fine.

It's too early to tell, but ever since adopting RP-ideas, I feel better in my body, more relaxed, more zen. If I fix my anxiety, this could have massive positive effects on my Testosterone
 
Last edited:

GreekDemiGod

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@redsun Weight gain is not something I have to worry. I'm very insulin sensitive, so it's very hard for me to put on weight if I don't consistently stay in a big caloric surplus (3500+ calories)
 

GreekDemiGod

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Most carnivore foods are very good and nutrient dense, just limiting the higher fat foods and replacing fat with carbs which includes sugar from fruits and starch if you tolerate it well do wonders for testosterone seeing as carbs are the main limiting factor for carnivore dieters.
I tolerate sugar from fruits extremely well.
White rice and potatoes, I tolerate them well.
I dropped the oats completely.

I did not jump straight from Carnivore to RP, I did 3 weeks of bodybuilding diet in-between (high carb, moderate protein & fat).
 

redsun

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@redsun Weight gain is not something I have to worry. I'm very insulin sensitive, so it's very hard for me to put on weight if I don't consistently stay in a big caloric surplus (3500+ calories)

That's good, but that was exactly the case with me which completely changed when I added more milk and dairy to my diet. Insulin sensitivity can change easily if you get the wrong food in you. Doesn't mean it will be the case for you, if you have no trouble with dairy and starches that is great because they are good foods. Gut inflammation(caused by food intolerance) can make you fat, that is the main gist of what I was trying to say. Some people get worse Peating because of that alone.
 

Cirion

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She said my issue is psychological, that I need to socialize more, and actively pursue meeting women.

Argh, I hate when people tell me "it's psychological" or "it's in your head" hint: no its not.

In my opinion AND in my experience, EVERYTHING is tied to your physical health. If you have bad physical health, mental health, libido all of that will suffer and it absolutely is NOT psychological or "in your head".

(This is why I hate doctors). They only know how to look at certain range of numbers and will absolutely ignore any symptoms you have despite being "in range" of parameters. IMO, indicators of well being are actually far more powerful than thyroid metrics. Who cares if your TSH and T3 looks good and you feel like trash? I sure don't. This is why I (personally) prefer end-state metrics like body temp, pulse, and relative feeling of well-being, good libido ETC.

I think also a lot of doctors don't realize/know that poor mental health is a symptom of poor physical health, not the other way around. You can't "think" your way to better physical health but you absolutely can de-stress/eat your way to better mental health.
 
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GreekDemiGod

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@Cirion I also believe physical health is the foundation that you should build upon.
But I will not under-estimate the psychological factor, and will follow her advice.

My 2 main ares where I seek improvement is my T levels and my mental health (anxiety and depression). That's why I tried the Carnivore Diet in the first place.
My sister always tells me everything would change if I would just try to be more happy and more pro-active in life. She doesn't understand that when your hormones are wacked, all that is surface-level work, it's an uphill battle.
When my body feels good, my negative thoughts shut down
 

rawmeat

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having regular sex greatly increases my T levels -- verified by blood tests.
 

Cirion

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having regular sex greatly increases my T levels -- verified by blood tests.

With the same person or a variety of people? Personally I started to experience the all too well known "Coolidge Effect" when in my last relationship. I think this eventually negates the benefits seen in a LTR. At first in a new and exciting relationship the T gains are probably higher. I don't have blood tests to prove it, just guessing from how I felt. But anecdotally I heard of one guy who went to Thailand and, well, to not get TMI, had a lot of fun with lots of different people and essentially doubled his T from 500 to 1000 ng/dL in a span of just a few weeks.
 

lampofred

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I think having high testosterone is extremely simple. Maintain low oxygen/high CO2 without inducing hypoxia (which is equivalent to maintaining low serotonin).

Zero PUFA, high carb intake, a calm/thoughtless mind (probably the most important, along with eliminating PUFA and getting sunlight), adequate protein, sunlight, gelatin (but this is probably only necessary if your mind isn't calm), aspirin, niacinamide, thyroid, Vitamin E
 

baccheion

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@baccheion I recently did extensive blood tests ordered by an endo.
I have a small thyroid nodule detected last year, that needs monitoring. It has remained the same in size.

Almost every thyroid marker came in optimal range:
  • TSH 3.32 uUI/mL high-ish, but still in range
  • FT4, PTH normal range
  • Prolactin 192 uUI/mL normal
  • Thyroglobulin 47.97 ng/mL normal
  • anti-Thyroglobulin < 10 UI/mL normal
  • Serum Phosphorus 3.85 mg/dL normal
  • Serum Calcium 9.9 mg/dL normal
  • PTH 39.97 PG/mL nomal
  • Vitamin D: high-normal
My endo has said my thyroid is functioning normally. But I think my TSH is still non-optimal, and I experience some hypo symptoms: low heart rate, general fatigue. She prescribed low-dose T4 (Levothyroxine), she said it's for the nodule. I started taking it, it might help.
She also said my sexual function is fine. I did testicular ultrasound too. She said my issue is psychological, that I need to socialize more, and actively pursue meeting women.

I did not measure cortisol. But I suspect it did damage to me. I'm an anxious guy, find it very hard to relax, stuck in my head, ruminating thoughts. Been dealing with low-level depression for years.
I was on ZeroCarb, though

Other tests
  • LDL Cholesterol: 207.5 mg/dL very high due to the Carnivore diet. This will go down again, as I'm off the diet
  • Triglycerides 83 mg/dL
  • Total Testosterone 440 ng/dL. Low-normal range.
  • Free Testosterone: 11.91 pg/mL (range 1:28) low, but not acutely low
  • SHBG 40 nmol/L normal
  • hCG < 0.1 mUI/mL
Also the pituitary hormones FSH and LH came out on the low-end of normal. I suspected that this might indicate a problem with my pituitary / HPA axis, FSH and LH should not be low when free T is also low, shouldn't it? (secondary hyopgonadism?)
But the endo assurred my my pituitary is also fine.

It's too early to tell, but ever since adopting RP-ideas, I feel better in my body, more relaxed, more zen. If I fix my anxiety, this could have massive positive effects on my Testosterone
TSH should be less than 2. What does "normal" fT4 and fT3 mean? fT4 is ideally near the top of the range. fT3 is near/above the middle.

I'll mention iodoral/iodine-protocol for the nodule. On the other hand, that's a bit edgy for some.
 

lampofred

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having regular sex greatly increases my T levels -- verified by blood tests.

Did you by any chance measure progesterone? Not to sound monk-like and ascetic, but I think orgasm raises testosterone but reduces progesterone.
 

gaze

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Biggest thing for testosterone is micronutrient deficiencies and glucose metabolism. the most common deficiencies that are linked to low T is vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, boron, choline. B1 for glucose metabolism. Avoiding endocrine disrupters so all shampoos soaps receipts bad food etc. , sleep, including red meat but not making it the prime energy source (carbs must be high), are all mandatory to get to 4 digit levels.
 

rawmeat

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Messages
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With the same person or a variety of people? Personally I started to experience the all too well known "Coolidge Effect" when in my last relationship. I think this eventually negates the benefits seen in a LTR. At first in a new and exciting relationship the T gains are probably higher. I don't have blood tests to prove it, just guessing from how I felt. But anecdotally I heard of one guy who went to Thailand and, well, to not get TMI, had a lot of fun with lots of different people and essentially doubled his T from 500 to 1000 ng/dL in a span of just a few weeks.

consisting of different people every few weeks. sex usually 2-3x/week. I'm in college so it's quite easy to swoop up a new female every night I go out to the bar. Aggressive sex (obvi consensual) is important to put you in a high-T mindset also imo.

Did you by any chance measure progesterone? Not to sound monk-like and ascetic, but I think orgasm raises testosterone but reduces progesterone.

Didn't measure prog sry mate.
 
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