As Dr. Tom Cowan puts it in his excellent article on men’s health, “Impotency . . . involves an imbalance of the entire hormonal axis–pituitary gland, adrenal glands, testicles and even the thyroid gland. All of these glands are governed by the same feedback loops between the brain and the body. They function as a group and have much to do with determining our overall health.”
The other key fact about testosterone, whether produced in the testicles or in the adrenal glands, is that it is made from cholesterol and requires, among a number of other nutrients, vitamin A for its formation. Here’s a great article by Chris Masterjohn, which discusses the intimate relationship between vitamin A and testosterone production.
Chris cites a human study comparing the dietary intakes of one hundred fifty-five pairs of twins, which found a correlation between testosterone levels and vitamin A intake.
Given these basic facts, here’s how to squander testosterone and suffer all the unfortunate consequences:
EAT LEAN MEAT: Your body needs vitamin A to process and utilize protein. When we eat protein without the fat, the body must use stored nutrients, particularly vitamin A, to utilize that protein. The same goes for skinless chicken breasts, skim milk, egg whites without the yolks and—worst of all—protein powders. In nature, protein comes with nutrient-dense fats and their cargo of fat-soluble nutrients, particularly vitamin A.
USE STIMULANTS: Coffee, tea, chocolate and industrial soft drinks contain caffeine and similar substances that whip the adrenal glands into producing adrenaline, a hormone that wakes us up, but at a price. After the stimulus of caffeine, the adrenal cortex must go into overdrive to produce chill-out hormones that repair and bring the body back to homeostasis. This system cannot handle the constant stress of stimulants; burn-out is the frequent result. It’s interesting to observe primitive men who, while capable of great energy expenditure, always follow the thrill of the hunt or the adrenaline rush of war with a period of R and R—standing around gossiping, laughing and sharpening their spears. They know better than to subject themselves to constant stress.
TAKE VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS: What? Don’t we need vitamin D for fertility? Yes, we do, but taking vitamin D by itself can deplete the body of vitamin A. We need to get our vitamin D from foods that also contain vitamin A, such as poultry liver, egg yolks and cod liver oil.
EXERCISE HEAVILY EVERY DAY: Heavy exercise depletes vitamin A and also puts stress on the adrenal glands. Exercise is great—especially in the sunlight and open air—but not when carried to extremes, which can deplete that adrenal fire.
EAT SOY FOODS: The estrogenic isoflavones in soy foods can inhibit testosterone, reduce thyroid function and diminish overall vitality. Prisoners forced to eat a lot of soy foods call it chemical castration.
TAKE STATIN DRUGS: How can you make testosterone if your supplies of cholesterol are too low? Impotency and infertility are common side effects of these cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Do these sound like the habits of the typical American male, eating a macho diet of lean meat, the coffee mug constantly at hand, overdosing vitamin D with supplements, pushing himself with punishing workouts, perhaps downing soy-based smoothies and, as a final straw, succumbing to the sweet talk of his physician to get his cholesterol numbers right?
Want to keep your mojo even into old age? Then ignore the experts and eat traditional fertility foods, rich in vitamin A and other nutrients needed for virility and vitality: organ meats, animal fats, red meat with all the fat, oysters, cod liver oil, fish eggs, butter and egg yolks. Eat lots of these foods. Feeling sleepy? Take a power nap, not a shot of adrenaline from Starbucks. Enjoy a weekly game of tennis rather than a heavy daily workout at the gym. Say no to vitamin D pills and read labels to avoid anything containing soy. And above all, remember that real men don’t take statin drugs.
This formula results in the kind of confident and mellow masculinity that contributes mightily to a happy family life and a peaceful and just society.
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No organization has contributed more to our knowledge of vitamin A than the Weston A. Price Foundation. Updates on vitamin A research are a common feature of Wise Traditions, the Foundation’s quarterly journal. To receive the journal, become a member by clicking here.