Andropause is one of those silent surprises that creep up on people in mid-life. Men in their late 40s are quite familiar with menopause for women, but are surprised to discover that they go through a similar life shift, called Andropause!
What Is Andropause?
In medical terms, andropause is sometimes referred to as ADAM (Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male) or PADAM (Partial Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male). Technically, a drop of testosterone by 300 ng/dl of blood (or more) is considered to be .
Many Systems Affected
Testosterone is synonymous with maintenance of libido in most of our minds, but that is not all that the hormone does in the human body. It is connected with bone health, liver health, maintaining muscle mass and managing body weight as well. So men too put on weight (albeit in different places from women) around this age. They too need to worry about bone strength and muscle mass. And finally, lowering of libido is a matter of grave concern to most men. There are hormone replacement therapy options for male menopause, but their use is not widespread yet.
Symptoms Of Andropause (In Men 50 Years And Above)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass
- Mood Swings
- Increased body fat
Natural Supplements For Managing Andropause
Why not look at natural ways to boost your production of testosterone? Herbal extracts can play a crucial role in upping testosterone levels and they have been used in several traditional cultures for centuries.
The name sounds like it comes from the boxing circuit, but this is an herb native to Malaysia and Indonesia and goes by the common name of ‘pasak bumi.’ Water-based extracts from this plant have been found to increase libido and sperm health parameters in a clinical trial of men aged 30–55. Aside from boosting sexual health, extracts from this herb (2 capsules per day containing 75 mg of extract each seems to work for many) can also help reduce fat mass that accumulates when testosterone levels go down. Interestingly, this herb also helps prevent osteoporosis in men, which can happen when testosterone is low. Tongkat Ali extracts can accelerate the expression of bone-forming proteins like osteopretegerin and stop bone loss that can be a symptom of andropause. This herb sure packs in a lot of punch!
If you thought only women go through emotional upheavals in this phase of life, you’re in for a surprise; men go through it too. Luckily, Tongkat Ali, or the extracts from its roots to be more precise, can help here too. In a study involving men and women, participants who took daily supplements of extracts from the roots of Tongkat Ali had a
- 11% Reduction in Tension
- 12% Reduction in Anger
- 15% Reduction in Confusion
- 16% Reduction in Stress Hormones and
- 37% Increase in the Levels of Testosterone
What worked in the study: 2 capsules per day containing 75 mg of extract
Arginine is an amino acid that is normally found in protein-rich foods. Arginine supplements can have a positive impact on reducing stress and erectile dysfunction (ED) by helping blood vessels relax and enabling a robust blood flow. In a study involving middle-aged men with ED, it was found that when L Arginine Aspartate was combined with the pine bark extract Pycnogenol, erectile dysfunction parameters improved substantially and frequency of sexual intercourse doubled within a month. If you are on medication for high blood pressure, do remember that Arginine can lower blood pressure as well, so use with care and medical advice.
What worked in the study: 2,800 mg L-arginine in combination with 80 mg of Pine Bark Extract per day
You can never go wrong with a good quality multivitamin that ensures you get all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for critical repair and rejuvenation to combat andropause symptoms. Stomach acid production is known to decline as we age, so our ability to absorb vital nutrients from food goes down. Here’s what a good multivitamin should ideally contain.
Putting it All Together
Male menopause is an aging-associated phenomenon that is, unfortunately, unavoidable. The transition, however, can be made without the annoying symptoms. While supplements, especially herbs, have been used safely in traditional cultures for centuries, individual effects vary depending upon each person’s genetic makeup. Do involve your medical practitioner, especially if you are already on prescription drugs.
Be safe, educate yourself about the needs of your body and never try more than one supplement at a time. Here’s to your vibrant health!