For LOW TESTOSTERONE, green tea extract can act as an adaptogen to preserve healthy testosterone levels, and its catechins inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, resulting in a rise in circulating testosterone. Green tea is also anti-inflammatory, protecting testicular cells from damage so that they secrete testosterone more efficiently. An adaptogen is a botanical that can encourage or slow the activity of an organ or gland as needed, to maintain optimal function. For testosterone, green tea can boost output if it has dropped, and will also curb excessive levels.
Green tea is produced from the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis and is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Green tea extracts are among the most extensively used ancient medicinal agents in traditional Chinese medicine. Green tea is extremely high in polyphenols which have impressive medicinal actions. Green tea contains polyphenols, including catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin-3-gallate, and proanthocyanidins, which show antioxidant action as good as or better than vitamins C or E in most studies.
Even better, in addition to its own antioxidant effects, green tea appears to stimulate the body’s own antioxidant enzymes in the liver, small intestine, and lungs. Since the liver breaks down hormones, supporting healthy liver function leads to more stable testosterone levels and better male hormonal balance. Catechins enhance the immune system, destroy certain bacteria and viruses, fight inflammation, and regulate the production and activities of hormones. Another bonus found in green tea is the bioflavonoid called quercetin which also modulates hormones. In producing green tea extracts, the plant must be lightly steamed and dried to release the therapeutic constituents: If tea leaves are allowed to oxidize, the enzymes in the resulting black tea can degrade the polyphenols. Steaming inactivates these enzymes and protects the healing antioxidants.
Testosterone deficiency is linked with an increase in systematic inflammation and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, low testosterone levels are associated with obesity, insulin resistance, an adverse lipid profile, and cardiovascular mortality. While male hormone balance does not get as much attention as female hormone topics, optimal hormone levels are vital to men’s well-being, and necessary for keeping inflammation under control. It is important that the root causes underlying male hormone imbalances are addressed.
Green tea extract has several mechanisms for supporting healthy testosterone levels:
- Green tea is a potent anti-inflammatory: It protects Leydig cells in the testes from damage caused by inflammation. Testosterone is made in the Leydig cells, which are easily injured by the inflammatory process. If Leydig cells fail, then testosterone production drops. Green tea inhibits the actions of prostaglandins, inflammatory modulators; this ultimately leads to improved testosterone production. Also, chronic inflammation prevents the formation of new Leydig cells, further reducing testosterone production. Reducing inflammatory activity throughout the male body is a major factor in improving hormone balance.
- It is known that certain active constituents in green tea called catechins, largely the epigallocatechins, inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme breaks down testosterone into a by-product called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. With less 5-alpha reductase activity, testosterone levels can rise and stay at a healthy level. At the opposite end of the spectrum, excessive intake of green tea can inhibit testosterone release. Researchers discovered that this effect could be reversed if the amount of green tea consumed was lowered. Green tea has another added bonus: it also contains the bioflavonoid called quercetin, which also enhances stable testosterone levels.Researchers looking at the medicinal action of green tea noted a clear relationship between a specific green tea catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate or ECGC, and its benefits for male androgen hormones: They found that ECGC has the ability to help maintain stable tissue testosterone levels, and to reduce testosterone breakdown into DHT. It also supports optimal production and biological actions of other androgens and hormones such as cortisol. Avoiding spikes of adrenal stress hormones including cortisol also enhances healthy testosterone output.
- Green tea extract acts as a botanical adaptogen that promotes hormone stability: An adaptogenic herb can enhance or subdue natural function, according to the body’s needs, to bring the body closer to an optimal balanced state. Current clinical observation indicates that green tea has a moderating effect on testosterone levels, either boosting the hormone if levels are low, or helping the body to reduce production or bind up excess testosterone if levels are too high.
In our clinic, we have had excellent results with a green tea concentrate providing the most potent of green tea’s medicinal compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, present at an ideal 45% or 165mg per capsule. The total dose is usually 300-400mg per capsule that includes an additional smaller amount of whole green tea leaf. This provides the antioxidant equivalent to three cups of green tea, but without the tea’s 120mg of caffeine. We like a formula that includes the benefits of theanine, lignans, and chlorophyll with whole green tea leaf. With our patients, such a blend shows excellent benefits for testosterone support, as well as antioxidant boosting, weight balance, and seasonal affective disorder. Patients report having better stamina and often an increased sense of well-being.
Recommendations: Green Tea Extract 300-400mg, including the medicinal compounds epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, at an ideal 45%, along with therapeutically potent polyphenols, including catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate and proanthocyanidins, and whole green tea leaf. Take once or twice daily, with breakfast or lunch, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
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