Testosterone is what makes a man, a man
More of it contributes to more muscle, less body fat and a stronger stamina.
What’s alarming however, is the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism recently discovered that men who are born more recently have consistently lower testosterone levels than previous generations.
In fact, the testosterone levels of today’s men are at their lowest level in recorded history.
The Plague of Stress
The trend of so many diseases seems to constantly be on the rise. Obesity, type-II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, infectious diseases and low testosterone levels in men have all been constantly increasing in prevalence from one generation to the next, where today we have the highest rates of these diseases in history.
There are a myriad of explanations: A physician might tell you that today’s generation doesn’t exercise nearly as much as our predecessors. A dietician may tell you that the poor diet decisions are the culprit to the increased incidence of type-II diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. A pathologist may suggest that the increase in infectious diseases could be attributed to bacterial resistance or over prescription of antibiotics.
While all these separate mechanisms makes sense, an overarching variable that can connect all these conditions is the sustained rise in stress over the last several decades.
Stress Isn’t Just in your Mind, It Affects your Hormones
The symptoms of stress comes in many forms, but the hallmark of how your body responds to stress is through the release of cortisol, which is why it is typically termed “the stress hormone”.
Cortisol, while having acute benefits when released during specific situations and at specific times of the day, has many detrimental effects if elevated too frequently, too high or for too long, including compromised immunity, sleep disruption, eating dysregulation and hormonal interference. High cortisol levels are known to be associated with high rates of mortality and chronic diseases.
This is of major importance for today’s generation with the highest level of stress from any other generation. In fact a recent study shows that stress has increased 24% in men from 1983 to 2009.
More Stress Means Less Man!
The stress hormone, cortisol, is a steroid hormone that is released by the adrenal cortex under the influence of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and has catabolic effects on muscle tissue. On the contrary, testosterone is a steroid hormone secreted from the Leydig cells of the testes and, although also under the influence of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, testosterone has anabolic and anti-catabolic effects on muscle tissue. While they have opposing effects on muscle tissue, these two hormones also affect each other. This means that, not only does cortisol undo / reverse the effects of testosterone, it can actually negatively affect the production and release of testosterone from the testes themselves. Chronic exposure to cortisol in the body acts as a potent inhibitor of the production of testosterone through a number of distinct mechanisms:
- Endocrine interference - Increased cortisol levels disrupt and suppress endocrine signaling in the regulation of testosterone production. This includes inhibition at the level of hypothalamus and pituitary in their production of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) respectively.
- Direct inhibition - Elevated cortisol directly inhibits testosterone production by Leydig cells in the testes. Glucocorticoids such as cortisol have been found to directly inhibit the transcription of several genes encoding testosterone biosynthetic enzymes. A protein called 11βHSD1 is responsible for protecting the Legdig cells from such glucocorticoids in order to maintain testosterone biosynthesis. Overwhelming cortisol concentrations, however, will exceed the capacity of 11βHSD1 and induce the suppression of testosterone secretion.
- Cell death - Excessive cortisol exposure may also decrease testosterone by inducing Leydig cell death (apoptosis), reducing numbers of Leydig cells per testes and thus reducing the total potential of testosterone production.
With this information, you may want to run out and grab a testosterone booster to get yourself back on course. However, it’s important to remember that not all testosterone boosters work the same way, have the same quality of data, or ensure your safety.
KSM-66® - Much More than a Testosterone Booster
The newest iteration of a testosterone booster is the branded ashwagandha root extract, named “KSM-66®”. Otherwise known as Withania somnifera, this is an ancient Indian herb that means ‘Smell of Horse’ with the traditional belief that ingesting the herb will confer the strength and virility of a horse. However, solid scientific evidence for its effectiveness or mode of action has only recently been uncovered with several strong, credible, peer reviewed publications.
Many people are nervous / cautious about artificially affecting their natural testosterone production through supplementation, because it innately seems unnatural or unsafe to interfere with our own body chemistry. However, this concern is rooted by not fully understanding why testosterone levels are so low in the first place and how KSM-66® really works to reverse it. What these skeptics fail to understand is that their own chronic cortisol level is what is unnatural, and what is interfering with testosterone production. Simply managing stress and plasma cortisol levels can have a huge effect on the body’s ability to regain its natural control in producing testosterone.
Ixoreal Biomed Inc. created KSM-66® through a 14 year process of research and development, to produce the highest concentration full-spectrum extract available today, and only recently, clinically shown to be effective. Among several other currently ongoing clinical trials, KSM-66® at a dose of 600mg daily has been clinically shown to improve many different variables of general health and well-being in healthy human populations published in high-quality, highly credible, pubmed-indexed publications. While this should be the standard, this quality of data is actually relatively rare.
Recent research has explored the mechanisms underpinning several of the wonderful benefits of ashwagandha root, not just with testosterone production but other clinical benefits as well. One of the major mechanisms how KSM-66® exerts it’s benefits is through the manipulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a hormonal regulatory system that controls the release of cortisol in response to varying stressors.
By reducing the influence that cortisol has on the many facets of testosterone production, KSM-66® has been clinically shown to improve overall testosterone levels.
A study in 46 male subjects, KSM-66® produce a significant increase in serum luteinizing hormone (34%) and testosterone levels (+77ng/dL; 17%) in 12 weeks alone with no other intervention.
When combined with an 8 week resistance exercise training program KSM-66® ingestion was associated with a 96ng/dL improvement in serum testosterone, which was 434% greater than the increase observed from the exercise treatment alone.
Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
In a study with 64 healthy volunteers, KSM-66® ingestion was associated with a significant and drastic reduction in cortisol levels by 27.9%. The decrease in cortisol was accompanied by decreases in perceived stress (44%), anxiety and insomnia (69.7%), social dysfunction (68.1%), and depression (79.3%).
KSM-66® ingestion was associated with a 139% increase in bench press strength vs only a 84% increase from exercise alone (placebo) (74% greater increase), and a 52% increase in leg extension strength vs only 39% from placebo (48% greater increase).
KSM-66® ingestion was associated with significant increases in thigh muscle size, arm muscle size and chest muscle size by 8%, 17%, and 3% respectively compared to only 6%, 10%, and 1% increases with placebo (40%, 67%, and 137% greater increases in muscle sizes).
KSM-66® ingestion was associated with 6% improved recovery (serum creatine kinase) after exercise compared to placebo.
Chronic stress and cortisol is commonly accompanied by food cravings, a decrease in dietary control and impaired mental well-being. All of these factors can in degree are correlated with weight gain. Chronically elevated cortisol levels are responsible for redistribution of fat to visceral adipose tissue, the increase in food intake and leptin resistance thereby exacerbating the increase in food intake and promoting metabolic syndrome. By reducing cortisol, and resolving perceptions of stress, Ashwagandha is believed to contribute to healthy weight management.
In a study with 50 healthy male volunteers, KSM-66® ingestion was associated with a 16% decrease in body fat percentage compared to only 7% decrease with exercise alone (127% greater improvement). Furthermore, KSM-66® reduced desire or craving for food in 50 healthy male volunteers, reduction in body weight (3%) and a reduction in BMI (2.9%).
The clinical data regarding KSM-66® goes on and on, including improvements in cardio-respiratory endurance, memory and cognition, anti-aging, and immunity. KSM-66® is truly a multi-functional herb with unlimited abilities that can improve so many aspects of life quality, as more studies are still underway looking at additional possibilities that KSM-66® has for improving quality of life. This is why KSM-66® is the winner of several awards and honors including “Best Botanical Ingredient”, “Innovative Ingredient of the Year” and “Herbal Industry Leader”.
The epidemic of increasingly rising stress in today’s society, combined with a consistent decline in modern male testosterone levels is becoming increasingly more of a concern.
One sure-fire way to help combat both of these issues is with the use of KSM-66®.
With such a tremendous wealth of high quality clinical research and publications, there should be no reason to doubt the benefits of KSM-66®.
Among all the uncertainty of the safety and efficacy of nutritional supplements of today, Ixoreal Biomed Inc. is unique in their commitment to the highest form of scientific evidence. This involves always using double blind, placebo-controlled, randomly assigned, healthy human populations, conducted in high-quality research environments with highly respected investigators, and publishing in high-quality, PubMed-indexed journals. This level of attention is what makes the measured data so powerful and convincing.
This high-quality, research support is why KSM-66® is one of the few ingredients that made it in our best formulated testosterone booster to date, Status™.
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