Written by Ben Bunting BA(Hons), PGCert.
Vitamin D is naturally sourced from the sun, or a few food sources. As such a vitamin D deficiency can easily occur.
However, vitamin D is highly important for the body, and can have an impact on the androgen hormones, such as testosterone.
We shall take a look at the effect vitamin D can have on androgen levels, and whether you need to be more aware of the impact of this sunshine vitamin.
In this article we shall cover the following points:
Vitamin D is important for a number of bodily systems, including bone health and the immune system.
It plays a role in the production of the male hormone testosterone, and the hormone plays a critical role in both muscle development and in maintaining sperm health.
Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium and phosphorus from your diet, helping to maintain your bones, teeth, and muscles.
Many of us get vitamin D from food, but most of us are also dependent on sunlight. The sun works by turning chemicals underneath skin into vitamin D.
Our bodies don’t require vitamin D from food and sunlight every day. Vitamin D deficiency is an indication of low vitamin D levels if you do not get enough over a longer period of time.
Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin upon exposure to sunlight; it is then metabolized in the liver and kidneys in the form of 25-dihydroxyvitamin D. In conjunction with receptor binding to vitamin D (VDR), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D regulates the expression of hundreds of genes involved in skeletal and other biological functions.
Calcium and phosphorus homeostasis are important to maintaining bone mineralization through vitamin D. Vitamin D also causes a variety of non-skeletal effects, particularly on the immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems.
According to evidence from observational studies, vitamin D concentrations are associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Current research indicates that correcting vitamin D deficiencies in glucose intolerances may decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus growth.
Observational studies have documented an increase in COVID-19 in incidences and severity due to vitamin D deficiency. Please review more information.
Preliminary studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation may provide promising interventions in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema) and Crohn’s disease.
Testosterone is produced by the gonads (produced by Leydig cells in testes and by the women’s ovaries), although it is produced also by adrenal glands in both sexes. This substance stimulates the development of male characteristics and is an androgen.
Men have higher levels of testosterone, which stimulates the development of their internal and external reproductive organs during foetal development and is essential to the production of sperm during adulthood.
As well as signalling the body to make new blood cells, this hormone ensures muscle and bone strength during and after puberty as well as increasing libido in both men and women.
It is known that testosterone contributes to many of the changes seen in boys during puberty (like an increase in height, body and pubic hair growth, enlargement of the penis, testes, and prostate gland, In addition, it regulates the secretion of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone.
In women, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. Female sex hormone – estradiol – is the main hormone produced from the ovary, most of which converts to testosterone.
Compared to women, testosterone comes in much smaller amounts. In adolescence and early adulthood, testosterone production in men increases by 30 times more.
This hormone plays an essential role in the development of male reproductive tissues. Additionally, it promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle growth, bone mass, and hair growth.
Recent scientific studies have shown a link between vitamin D and testosterone, the important male sex hormone.
Vitamin D may help men maintain healthier testosterone levels.
A 2011 study found that Vitamin D supplementation may increase testosterone levels, according to the results.
The Clinical Endocrinology journal reported a positive relationship between androgen levels in men and vitamin D status.
A study published in 2020 saw that men with a vitamin D deficiency had lower testosterone levels than men who were vitamin D sufficient.
It was concluded by a study featuring in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology that, “vitamin D status is positively associated with testosterone levels.”
On the flip side, there is a study which concluded that vitamin D supplementation didn’t make any change to healthy young men, i.e. those who weren’t suffering from a testosterone deficiency.
Many diet plans and physicians argue that because Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, it provides the body with more calcium which, in turn, provides more testosterone.
There are numerous studies which report a positive correlation between vitamin D and testosterone.
While vitamin D isn’t in plentiful supply from food sources, and long exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer using a vitamin D supplement is an ideal method to maintain a sufficient vitamin D status.
This is a practice that is promoted by some health agencies such as Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.