Androgen receptors (AR) belong to the group of nuclear receptors, a class of proteins found in cells that are responsible for sensing thyroid and steroid hormones and other molecules. Basically, androgen receptors are activated by binding androgenic hormones such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The primary function of this receptor is DNA-binding transcription factor which regulates gene expression. Before testosterone and DHT can even start making changes in your body, they have to enter DNA first. Therefore, to enhance effects of these hormones you should work to increase density and sensitivity of androgen receptors. This post lists seven easy and natural, ways to achieve this goal.
1. Go Easy On Selenium
Selenium is a trace mineral that takes part in numerous bodily processes including the immune system and cognitive function. However, high intake of selenium-rich foods is strongly linked to decreased expression of androgen receptors.
One study found that diets high in selenium (and isoflavones) reduce androgen-regulated expression. For instance, higher levels of this mineral decrease expression of androgen receptors Dhcr24 and Abcc4. To enhance sensitivity and density of AR, make sure your diet isn’t too high in this mineral by limiting controlling the intake of selenium-rich foods.
2. Try Intermittent Fasting
Chances are high you’ve already heard about the intermittent fasting, an eating pattern where people fast almost the entire day and then consume almost entire daily calorie intake in a short period. Intermittent fasting has a wide array of health benefits and it can also help enhance AR sensitivity.
A group of researchers from Sweden found that fasting for 12-56 hours can enhance responsiveness to testosterone by up to 180%. Also, short-term fasting increased the response by 67% which is amazing. That said, Intermittent fasting seems like a mission impossible to some people, but it is easier than you think. Here is how to make the process easier:
- Drink lots of water
- Consume tea or coffee to keep appetite at bay
- Keep yourself busy
- During the eating phase, consume satiating foods that keep you full for longer
- You don’t have to do it every day, make it flexible to your schedule and listen to your body
3. Increase DHT Levels
While you can easily learn everything you need about testosterone, DHT is unfairly overlooked. The reality is that DHT is more potent and evidence shows it has a two-fold higher affinity to androgen receptors than testosterone. DHT is associated with secondary male characteristics such as deeper voice and body hair. It is five times more powerful than testosterone because it binds to the same sites as testosterone, but with more ease and remains bound for a longer period of time.
Increasing DHT levels is a great way to enhance expression of androgen receptors and you can do it naturally. Here are some tips to follow:
- Lose weight
- Try weightlifting
- Supplement with creatine
- Avoid rice, fenugreek, saw palmetto, and vegetable oils
- Eat healthy fats
4. Drink Coffee
Coffee has gotten a bad rep recently which isn’t, actually, fair because it has numerous health benefits. You’ve probably heard or read some tips which suggest limiting coffee intake because it is bad for your testosterone levels. Evidence shows otherwise! For example, one study enrolled 24 professional rugby-league players who were asked to ingest caffeine prior to exercise. Findings, published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, showed that caffeine led to increased testosterone during exercise and scientists concluded that coffee has the potential o benefit training outcomes through anabolic effects.
That’s not all; the International Journal of Experimental Pathology features a study which found that caffeine enhances AR tissue expression, increases androgenic signaling, and improves hormone levels. Of course, you shouldn’t chug the coffee like water. Stick to moderate consumption every day.
5. Consume Carnitine
Carnitine is a substance that helps the body turn food into energy. It is present in the food we eat, particularly meats. The same study which discovered that resistance training enhances androgen expression by 11% also found that supplementation with carnitine increases androgen receptor content by 15% in three weeks.
Furthermore, a research from Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that l-carnitine l-tartrate reduces the amount of exercise-induced muscle tissue damage and it leads to a post-workout increase of IFG-1. Also, IFG-1 stimulates androgen receptor by enhancing adrenal and gonadal androgen synthesis and trans-activation of androgen receptors.
L-dopa or levodopa is a naturally occurring amino acid found in some plants, especially mucuna pruriens. Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume and you’ve probably found it on the label of a wide array of testosterone supplements. L-dopa is a precursor of dopamine.
According to the study from the Molecular Cancer, this compound acts as a co-activator protein to the androgen receptors. Moreover, l-dopa enhances the activity of androgen receptors, thus explaining the reason it is one of the most common ingredients in supplements for men.
7. Try Weightlifting Training
Weightlifting not only increases your muscle mass but hormone levels too. The growing body of evidence shows it can do wonders for expression of androgen receptors as well. A study from the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that 18 untrained men who were assigned to resistance training experienced an increase in androgen receptor and protein as well as higher testosterone levels. In a separate study, resistance training enhanced the androgen expression by about 11% in just three weeks. To get the most out of this training, consult a fitness trainer who will create a workout plan for your needs and preferences. This will also minimize the risk of injuries.
See More: The Importance of Androgen in Male Enhancement
While androgen hormones such as testosterone and DHT are of extreme importance for every man’s health, to get the most out of them it is necessary to increase density and sensitivity of androgen receptors. This can be achieved in a natural fashion focusing on healthy lifestyle, well-balanced diet, and physical activity.