How does vitamin D affect testosterone levels?

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How does vitamin D affect testosterone levels?
How does vitamin D affect testosterone levels?

Find out why many bodybuilders regularly use vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D, or calciferol, is a fat-soluble substance. Scientists have found that the micronutrient is able to regulate calcium-phosphorus metabolism. Many people know that the substance improves the absorption of calcium by the body. Today we are going to talk about the use of vitamin D in bodybuilding and its effect on testosterone levels.

The effect of vitamin D on testosterone concentration

Screaming bodybuilder
Screaming bodybuilder

Many vitamins have a positive effect on the functioning of the immune system, for example, ascorbic acid. This substance is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants and can correct or at least mitigate the negative effects of free radicals on the body. In this regard, vitamin D is somewhat out of the general range of micronutrients. It has a positive effect on human health, but the ability of calciferol to stimulate the processes of hypertrophy and increase in strength parameters is more important for athletes.

Scientists often refer to it as a prohormone. The results of many studies have shown that a lack of a substance can cause the development of various ailments. It is well known that calciferol is able to regulate the expression of genes responsible for the growth of muscle fibers. Let's take a look at the bodybuilding uses of vitamin D and its effect on testosterone levels.

Increase in the number of adrenergic receptors and the concentration of the male hormone

Among the genes whose expression is accelerated by calciferol, there are several that are responsible for the production of testosterone. That is why scientists have suggested that the micronutrient can be very beneficial in bodybuilding. A large-scale study was carried out in which more than two thousand men took part. As a result, a significant correlation was found between the levels of dough and vitamin D. In the group of subjects with a low concentration of calciferol, the level of the male hormone also did not reach normal values.

In addition, a group of researchers was able to establish that with an increase in the concentration of calciferol, the activity of globulin decreases. Recall that this transport protein binds sex hormones and thereby makes testosterone inactive. This allows us to speak, at least, about the ability of the vitamin to increase the concentration of testosterone in free form. Surely you know that the substance can be synthesized by the body under the influence of solar ultraviolet radiation.

It is logical to assume that the concentration of calciferol can differ markedly depending on the season. In the course of research, irrefutable evidence of this fact was obtained. In the summer, the concentration of the male hormone increased simultaneously with the increase in the level of calciferol. This suggests that athletes in the cold season need to pay more attention to the presence of this micronutrient in the diet. This was not the only study on the use of vitamin D in bodybuilding and its effect on testosterone levels.

Employees of the company Organext (Netherlands) conducted an experiment, the purpose of which was to determine the degree of effect of a substance on the number of adrenergic receptors located in muscle tissues. As a result, it can be stated that calciferol stimulates not the process of expression of androgen-type receptors, but also the proliferation of satellite cells into new muscle fibers. In parallel, a group of researchers found that nandrolone decanoate in combination with vitamin D allows a synergistic effect and accelerates the process of converting satellite cells into full-fledged muscle fibers.

Based on the results of these experiments, it can be argued that vitamin D has the ability to positively affect the growth of muscle mass. Bearing in mind that AAS has side effects, the scientists decided to test the ability of calciferol to suppress their development. The results were encouraging. Although it is too early to say that a micronutrient is able to mitigate the side effects of anabolic steroids. At the same time, there is practically no doubt about its positive effect on the processes of gaining muscle mass.

Effects on the aromatase enzyme

Every athlete who has used aromatizable steroids has likely experienced estrogenic side effects. This is quite logical, because testosterone esters are very popular among security officials and at the same time have a strong tendency to aromatize. This process must be kept under control, otherwise the concentration of the male hormone will decrease.

Scientists have been able to prove that calciferol has antiestrogenic properties. Of course, the vitamin is not as effective as the corresponding medications, but this fact also speaks of its ability to increase testosterone levels. For the sake of fairness, we note that so far the experiment was carried out on rodents. The experimental animals were injected with large doses of androstenedione (testosterone prohormone). This substance is also able to interact with the aromatase enzyme and be converted into female sex hormones.

Some of the mice received calciferol, and the animals showed a significant slowdown in the expression of aromatase. It is quite obvious that the concentration of estrogen in this group of rodents was lower. The researchers decided to go further and studied the effect of vitamin D on human breast cancer cells. In most cases, they contain a high concentration of estradiol. As a result, scientists noted a decrease in aromatase levels.

We have already said that calciferol in this regard is significantly inferior to drugs such as exemestane or letrozole. However, the micronutrient has been proven to increase their potency. Thus, with a high level of vitamin in the body, the aromatization process will be less active. If aromatase inhibitors are used, their effectiveness will increase.

The main benefits of vitamin D

Tablet with the inscription vitamin D in English
Tablet with the inscription vitamin D in English

We've just looked at the potential uses of vitamin D in bodybuilding and its effect on testosterone levels. However, the substance has a much larger list of positive properties. It so happened that ascorbic acid, vitamins A and E are known to almost every person. The situation with calciferol is different, because they talk about this substance much less often. As we already understood. This is completely in vain. Let's try to at least partially correct this state of affairs and talk about the most famous properties of calciferol.

Bone tissue is strengthened

Strong bones are important for any person, regardless of the field of activity or age. Almost everyone knows that calcium is needed to strengthen bone tissue. But this micronutrient is relatively poorly absorbed by our digestive system. To improve this process, calciferol is needed. At a low concentration of this substance, the body may even stop storing calcium altogether. The results of this phenomenon are probably clear to everyone.

Improves muscle function

Another micronutrient property that is important for athletes. If the concentration of vitamin D in your body is low, then the strength indicators will begin to decline. A study on this topic was carried out in 2010 by a group of scientists from Iran. According to official statistics, at least 70 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 29 have problems with calciferol levels. Micronutrient deficiencies are also common among athletes.

Positive effects on the cardiovascular system

We have already talked about the most famous positive property of vitamin D - an improvement in the absorption of calcium and an increase in the rate of bone mineralization. Relatively recently, one experiment was carried out that proved the importance of the vitamin for the work of the heart muscle. With a micronutrient deficiency, the risks of developing ailments of the heart muscle increase, and an increase in blood pressure is also possible. So far, scientists are not able to explain the mechanisms of this phenomenon. At the same time, we can safely say that calciferol normalizes blood pressure, increases vascular elasticity and improves glycemic control.

Type 2 diabetes

Over the past decade, the number of people suffering from this disease has increased markedly. Many people underestimate diabetes and it is in vain. The disease can destroy the nervous system, damage the organs of vision and kidneys. Scientists have conducted a number of studies that have proven the value of vitamin D in this situation. Maintaining a normal level of a substance by people at risk helps to slow the development of the disease.

This is due to an improvement in the functioning of cellular structures, an increase in tissue sensitivity to insulin, and suppression of inflammatory processes. Maintaining normal calciferol levels lowers the risk of diabetes by an average of 35 percent, according to the scientists.

Prevention of oncological ailments

We touched on this in part when we talked about the use of vitamin D in bodybuilding and its effect on testosterone levels. Scientists are confident that calciferol is able to slow down the development of many cancer diseases.

How to avoid vitamin D deficiency?

Latin letter D is drawn in the sun
Latin letter D is drawn in the sun

Today, there are clear instructions for the use of vitamin D for prophylactic purposes. The daily dosage of calciferol is 15 milligrams for people aged 9 to 70 years, regardless of their gender. Since vitamin D can be synthesized by the body, in the summer this makes it easy to avoid a deficiency of the substance. All you need to do is spend more time in the sun.

Depending on the pigmentation of your skin, the body will need from 10 minutes to a quarter of an hour to replenish the daily need for vitamin D. In the cold season, it is more difficult to maintain the required concentration of the trace element, because there are few sunny days. In addition, the list of products-sources of the substance is small. First of all, these are eggs, fatty species of sea fish (for example, trout, salmon), some types of greens, mushrooms. As you can see, there is not much choice. However, in the pharmacy you can buy special dietary supplements that will provide your body with all the necessary trace elements. We recommend using complexes of vitamins and minerals created for various categories of people.

For more information on whether vitamin D in bodybuilding affects testosterone, see the video below: