Unlike other supplement companies that sell natural testosterone boosters and estrogen control supplements, I actually encourage my customers to get before and after blood work, as I know my products in contrast to most of my competitors actually work. This is why we have so many testimonials for ASTB where customers detail the significant improvements in testosterone levels they experienced. Good luck finding another natural testosterone booster with commiserate testimonials. You’re more likely to find your next wife at a strip club in Vegas or become a millionaire by playing slots.
Most supplement companies don’t care if their products work. They put 90% of their focus on marketing and 10% if even that on designing a supplement. This is why there are so many abysmal supplements on the market with the same antiquated ingredients that everyone who has done even a modicum of research knows are ineffectual.
Back to blood work, blood work to establish a baseline is always prudent regardless of whether you decide to take my supplements or not. While blood work is not perfect as it is only a snapshot of what is occurring at the moment the blood is drawn, it is still useful data to help determine where you are and assist in producing detailed action steps to improve levels. Otherwise, it’s just a guessing game and when you treat life as a guessing game there is no telling how messed up you can get.
A helpful panel of blood work to get before taking ASTB consists of testosterone (free and total) SHBG, estradiol, and DHT. Total testosterone tells you the entire amount of overall production you have. While free testosterone is far more important as it reveals the amount of testosterone you have access to, generally the higher your total testosterone the more likely you are to have ideal free testosterone levels as free testosterone is generally 1-2% of your total testosterone. It is rare to see an individual that has low total testosterone and superb free testosterone levels. However, it is common to see high total testosterone and very low free testosterone levels which is why it is crucial to test the latter.
If you only acquire total testosterone and it’s a great number, yet you feel terrible with no sex drive and motivation, it is going to be perplexing and straight-up frustrating. However, if your results illuminate high total testosterone and depleted free testosterone then you know why you’re not achieving the results you desire. This brings us to the next important marker to test for which is SHBG (Sex hormone-binding globulin). SHBG is an important transporter hormone that takes testosterone to receptor sites all over the body to be utilized. However, if you have excessive SHBG it binds up free testosterone and makes it inaccessible. This is the reason why ASTB includes stinging nettle root as it unbinds testosterone from SHBG and makes it more usable. It doesn’t impact total testosterone the way the other ingredients Bulbine Natalensis and Mucuna Pruriens do, but it does assist with making the all-important free testosterone levels more pronounced (Bulbine and Mucuna also improve free testosterone levels and Mucuna supports the crucial motivation neurotransmitter dopamine)
Next, it is important to measure estradiol as high levels are often a sign that you’re converting way too much testosterone into estrogen. The more body fat you carry the more likely this is to occur as overweight men have elevated levels of aromatase which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen. As mentioned in a recent article on estrogen dominance, estrogen dominance in men is at an all-time high which is why so many men have excessive body fat in the lower body and pecs which are undeniable signs of estrogen dominance. If you have excess stomach fat, measure the adrenal estrogen estrone as well as elevated levels of estrone are often seen in men with stomach fat. If your estrogen levels are high then you should definitely stack EC with ASTB. Doing so will improve not only testosterone levels but the all-important testosterone-to-estrogen ratio. Remember, the goal is not to take estrogen levels to depleted levels. You want optimal which is not too high or low and a good target is 20-30 ng/dl.
Finally, DHT is another important hormone to measure. DHT is actually several times stronger than testosterone for provoking sex drive and motivation. That said, having excessive levels floating around your bloodstream is not desirable. This can lead to hair loss, prostate enlargement (Although this is more likely to be due to excess estrogen levels), high blood pressure, acne, and the not sexy in any country, excessive back hair. Similar to every hormone it is not about high or low, but ideal levels. For many, being right in the middle of the range will provide all of the benefits and none of the negatives. My friend and #1 hormone optimization expert Dr. Mark Gordon states that it is the DHT in the brain that provides many of its benefits and DHT in the blood can’t pass the blood-brain barrier. Instead free testosterone needs to pass the blood-brain barrier and then be converted into DHT. Yet another reason why excellent free testosterone levels are paramount.
In summary, it is always better to have data to assist with determining the most beneficial actions. I wouldn’t run a business without keeping track of revenue and expenses and one’s health should be no different You’re not going to get to the right destination without first knowing where you are. While many like to shout trite statements such as it’s not about the destination, it is about the journey, such idiocy is not relevant when it comes to hormone optimization. The most important criterion is acquiring the desired results and the sooner the better, otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels and wasting time not being hormonally optimal.
You can get blood tests on your own without requiring physician approval at directlabs.com This is the company I use for testing. You simply purchase the desired tests and take the requisition forms to your local Quest diagnostics location. Results are sent to you directly in 5-7 days. They have tons of discount code specials through out the year so make sure to sign up for their email list.
Next time I will get into recommended tests for overall hormone optimization as remember comprehensive hormone optimization goes far beyond just measuring testosterone and estrogen. Until then chill before the next episode.