Vitamin D and Testosterone

July 6, 2016

Did You Know vitamin D3 levels are related to testosterone levels?  By definition, a vitamin is a nutrient that cannot be produced by the body, but is necessary for vital functions of the body tissues and organs.  Vitamin D is produced in the body when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet light.  Because our bodies can manufacture vitamin D, technically it is not a vitamin, but a prehormone.  The active form of vitamin D, which our bodies manufacture, called calcitriol, is a hormone.  Hormones by definition can activate a cell in two ways:  First, some hormones enter the cell and bind with the DNA in the nucleus.  Second, some attach themselves to the cell membrane.  Vitamin D (calcitriol) can do both.


Vitamin D has a whole host of positive benefits including preventing cancer, heart disease, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, periodontal disease, etc.  Well, now it looks as though we can add increased testosterone to the list.   A Harvard study examined 1362 male participants and found a positive association between vitamin D3 levels and free testosterone.  The researchers found a linear dose response association between D3 and free testosterone at lower levels (below approx. 75-85 nmol/l), reaching a plateau at higher levels.

(Clinical Endocrinology, 77: 106 – 12, July 2012) Paid subscription needed to view full article.

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