1. Free testosterone is the portion of testosterone that is available at any given moment to perform testosterone activity in the body.
The majority of testosterone, greater than 90% is bound to a protein sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) or albumin. Both of these proteins when attached to testosterone inhibit it from performing its regenerative work in the body.
2. With age, the amount of bound testosterone tends to increase.This does not have to occur and I can attest having tested 1000’s of people’s testosterone levels of all ages, that there are plenty of 60-to-80-year old’s who have excellent free testosterone levels.
However, unless genetics have gifted this to you, it will require a lifestyle of supporting testosterone production and minimizing excess SHBG production to keep your levels in the upper tier of optimal testosterone.
Even for people who are using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), many do not notice significant life and well-being improvement because their free testosterone portion isn’t rising, even though their total testosterone is.
3. When getting your free testosterone levels checked, be sure to get a direct measurement, rather than a calculated measurement of free testosterone. Also, test for Free and Weekly Bound Testosterone (FWBT) as this can show the amount of testosterone bound to albumin and is specifically associated with changes in libido and bone density.
You will notice that for free testosterone the reference range will be from 7 to 24ng/dl and for FWBT the range will be from 40-250 ng/dL for men and 0.0-9.5 ng/dL for women. These are huge reference intervals, so if you are having all the signs and symptoms of low testosterone it is important to make sure you get your levels up to the high end of the reference range and enjoy the difference.
4. To increase your proportion of bioavailable testosterone optimal sleep is crucial. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night is a must.
I have seen many guys with total testosterone in the 800’s but showing every symptoms of low testosterone because their free testosterone was at 5 or 6. The culprit was poor sleep hygiene.
In order for supplements and training sessions to support your free testosterone, it is imperative that your bedroom becomes a sanctuary of rest and nasal breathing a habit.
Creatine has also been shown to have a small but consistent effect on increasing free testosterone.
Dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, salmon, tuna, grass fed beef, sun exposure are great sources for many of these nutrients.
However, in many cases, supplemental support is necessary to see a jump in free testosterone if nutrient levels are deficient.
Along with maximizing intake of nutrient dense foods, it is paramount that highly processed flours and vegetable oils be scratched form any regular dietary ingestion.
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