The average testosterone levels of men are plummeting.
A 2007 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found a ridiculous 1% drop per year in U.S. men’s testosterone levels since the 1980s. A Danish study from 2010 found similar results: Danish men born in the 1960s have 14% lower testosterone levels than those born in the 1920s.
Another study from the European Journal of Endocrinology discovered that men born in 1970 had roughly 20% less testosterone than their fathers. These findings align with a 2016 study in which researchers learned that grip strength in today’s 20-34-year-old man is 19 pounds weaker than the same age group in 1985. Obviously grip strength isn’t the only benchmark for fitness, but this data can be used to extrapolate average, overall strength levels.
The research makes it clear: men are losing testosterone and getting weaker.
Why is this happening?
There’s a multitude of reasons. One of which is lower levels of physical activity and exercise, but I’m not here to talk about that. We all know the negative effects of living a sedentary lifestyle.
I’m here to talk about the more insidious culprits that aren’t as well known: endocrine disrupting chemicals and other environmental toxins.
What Are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?
Endocrine disrupters (EDCs) are chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental effects. To put it simply, they wreak havoc on our insides. They’re nasty and they’re everywhere.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – BPA is common in many plastic products and has been linked to lower testosterone levels and sperm count, among other concerns that it can adversely affect fetal development.
- Phthalates – Phthalates are found in many plastic and vinyl products, as well as cosmetics/personal care products. Phthalates have been linked to testosterone reductions.
- Pesticides on our food, dietary soy phytoestrogens, and even fluoride are part of this group, too.
- Don’t forget about lead and other heavy metals.
Another environmental agitator is electromagnetic fields, which have also been affiliated with lower T levels in humans and animals. EMF exposure is all around us as well, from power lines and microwaves to cell phones and cell phone towers.
It’s unfathomable how many everyday items and environments are contaminated by these disrupters. It’s even worse when you realize so many people have no idea that they’re constantly ingesting them.
How to Avoid Testosterone Killers
Given the prevalence of endocrine disrupters, it’s difficult to completely avoid them. However, there are ways to significantly limit their interference in your life:
- Shop organic and natural – Organic foods have lower amounts of pesticide/chemical residue. Other organic/natural items, such as cleaners, detergents and personal hygiene products, are made without harmful chemicals.
- Get rid of unnecessary plastic – Store your food in glass containers. Use glass or stainless steel water bottles.
- Avoid processed foods – Eat real, fresh foods that haven’t undergone processing and packaging.
- Look for “green” home improvement items – Seek out toxin-free alternatives to regular paints and vinyl.
- Avoid artificial fragrances – Air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, scented candles, etc.
- Limit EMF exposure – distance yourself from electronics whenever possible and don’t be attached to your cell phone 24/7. Repair faulty wiring in your home. Hopefully you don’t live close to cell towers and power lines.
- Get a better water filter – Get a pitcher and/or filtration system that filters out more of the garbage we don’t want in our bodies, such as this.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but coupled with a proper training program, it’s enough to get you on the right path to healthier testosterone levels.