Most bodybuilders know that testosterone is THE big anabolic hormone and that keeping your T levels as high as possible can help you build the most muscle possible. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for natural testosterone boosters. And, while most of those compounds come from exotic herbs with even stranger names, you just might be overlooking a potential testosterone enhancer that’s already in your supplement arsenal: vitamin D. Is there a connection between Vitamin D and testosterone?
Long known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is used in bodybuilding circles for its ability to boost calcium absorption. And calcium not only makes your bones stronger, it’s also vital for strong muscular contractions.
But could good old D really help you produce more testosterone? At least some research studies are pointing in that direction.
What Science Says About Vitamin D and Testosterone
In 2011, scientists from the Medical University of Graz in Austria set out to determine whether vitamin D can affect testosterone levels in adult males.
The Study examined 200 overweight but non-diabetic men who consumed either vitamin D or a placebo daily over the course of a year. The men were on a weight-reduction diet during the experiment, and 165 of them completed the program.
At the end of the study, the vitamin D group showed significant increases in total testosterone, free testosterone, and bioactive testosterone. By contrast, the placebo group showed NO increase in testosterone.
Several other studies involving both men and rats have shown that vitamin D may boost testosterone, but T levels were not the primary target of those research efforts. Basically, the scientists measured testosterone (and other vital signs) as part of the studies, but they were more interested in fat loss, blood levels of vitamin D, or other biomarkers.
Because there was not a focus on controlling factors that can influence T levels, there may be explanations other than increased vitamin D for the observed rise in testosterone.
Should You Supplement with Vitamin D?
The Austrian research and other related studies are certainly enough to perk up the ears of any bodybuilder interested in adding more lean mass — so, all of us, basically.
While those results are encouraging and should lead to further study into the correlation between vitamin D and testosterone levels, you should NOT run out and start mega-dosing on D.
Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, it stays in your tissue for much longer than a water-soluble substance like vitamin C. That means that it’s possible to overdose on vitamin D.
An overdoes of vitamin D can be particularly nasty since it generally leads to more calcium in your blood stream, which can cause weakness, vomiting, nausea, and even kidney problems.
To get the most out of your vitamin D, including any possible testosterone boost, make sure you’re getting at least the US recommended daily allowance, but don’t go much beyond.
Vitamin D is a potent and essential nutrient that can keep you healthy and growing … if you don’t abuse it.