As the CEO of your company, are you tired of being tired? In the last few years, have you felt an increase in fatigue and a decrease in energy? If you have, you’re not alone… so have thousands of other executives, and it’s likely due to your testosterone levels. In the last 20 years, men’s testosterone levels have dropped at least 20% with more and more younger men suffering the effects of low T. In 1987, the average 70-year-old man’s testosterone level was almost 100 points higher than 55-year-old men in the early 2000’s. Today, the average 22 year old man’s testosterone level is roughly equal to that of a 67 year old man in 2000.
Most men (and women) have a general understanding of the purpose of testosterone: it makes men manly, muscular, and motivated. But testosterone is far more nuanced. Testosterone plays a critical role in heart health, brain function, red blood cell production, bone mass density maintenance, sperm production, prostate health, among many other functions. With that being said, this trend of low T is a cause for concern.
Research from the last few decades remains consistent: there is a natural reduction in testosterone post 30. But what is the cause of these strikingly low testosterone levels in otherwise healthy men? The obvious unhealthy lifestyle habits definitely play a role: the standard American diet, lack of sleep, too much booze, and being out of shape. But what if you live a healthy lifestyle? You workout every morning, meditate, drink in moderation, and eat well… and your testosterone levels are still low?
Breakthrough research in the last few years has revealed that the products we use on a daily basis – anywhere from plastic water bottles to the detergent we use to wash our clothes – contains highly toxic chemicals which we are absorbing directly into our bodies. Studies show that these toxic chemicals have a direct causation to disrupting our hormonal balance, thus lowering testosterone levels. What are these toxic chemicals you might ask? Essentially everything that we eat or drink is packaged in some type of plastic. The plastic packaging contains BPA. BPA is short for Bisphenol A, a chemical that’s been used to make polycarbonate plastics and resins since the 1950s. Even the NIH has classified BPA as an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC) that “interferes with and prevents the binding of natural hormones to their receptors.” Phthalates are another common type of environmental toxin that disrupts our natural balance of hormones – this chemical is found in perfumes, detergents, household cleaning products, paper towers, etc. Phthalates have been linked directly to lower sperm counts, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption. As mentioned in our blog post “Do You Know What You’re Drinking?“, the glyphosate used as a pesticide to spray crops also makes its way into our coffee, fruit, and vegetables which leads to hormone disruption and low T.
So how do you fix the low T problem? The first place to start is to evaluate your current lifestyle. Are you eating healthy? Do you get enough sleep? Are you sedentary in the office all day, or do you make time for daily exercise? If you live a healthy lifestyle already, and you’re still feeling lethargic, then it’s time to get your hormone levels tested. Stay tuned next week as we discuss the next steps.