The Role B Vitamins Play in Testosterone Production
The B vitamin complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) play a major role in testosterone production. While some of the B vitamins are abundant in our everyday foods, others are often lacking in the Western diet.
Our focus in this article is on B12, B6 which are the most likely to be deficient in the typical diet, as well as B3 which is crucial to replenish everyday for healthy testosterone levels.
We will discuss what role they play in testosterone production as well as a quick glance at how it affects your overall health.
It’s well known that Vegans and Vegetarians should take a b12 supplement but did you know most meat eaters should too?
Modern diets, cooking habits and sanitary practices have a huge impact on the level of b12 the average person consumes and can biologically absorb.
Without adequate b12 in your body, a whole host of complications can arise, including a severe dip in natural testosterone production.
Detecting b12 deficiency can be difficult and health problems may not even begin to manifest for 5 – 6 years.
While the amount of b12 needed is miniscule, the impact on our bodies when deficient is absolutely enormous.
A recent study of 3,000 men and women in the ongoing Framingham Offspring Study, found that 39% had b12 levels in the “low normal” range.
Even mild vitamin b12 deficiency has been associated with accelerated cognitive decline according to researchers at Tufts University. (1)
Vitamin b12 also seems to have a significant effect on testicular function, sperm motility, and concentration. (2)
Other benefits of sufficient b12 levels include:
- Higher energy levels
- Helps brain and cognitive functionality
- Aids in digestion
- Boosts mood
- Helps the nervous system function properly
B12 and Testosterone
As far as I know, there has never been a study directly linking b12 to increased testosterone.
However, b12 plays such a crucial role in so many aspects of our lives like the nervous system, higher energy levels, and positive moods (see my writeup on stress).
While it may not directly affect testosterone levels I believe it does have a huge indirect role in maximizing it.
Should You Supplement with B12?
We cannot survive without vitamin b12 and in modern society we are at an increasing risk of deficiency, the effects of which we may not start realizing until years down the road.
I believe at bare minimum you should be eating or drinking at least one food a week fortified with b12 or taking a b12 supplement to help keep your body and testosterone levels running at its peak performance.
Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in memory, blood flow, energy and of course testosterone production. Being B6 is water soluble, your body is not able to store leftover, so it must be consumed daily.
Deficiency in B6 can result in a host of maladies from nerve damage, acne, and memory loss, to kidney stones, lung cancer, and lower testosterone levels.
At one time it was thought deficiency in B6 in the West was rare, however, studies are starting to show mild deficiency is more common than once thought. (3, 4)
Interestingly enough, the older we get the more B6 we actually require, making deficiency more likely.
B6 and Testosterone
B6 has both a direct and indirect effect on testosterone levels.
On one hand it promotes androgens which increase testosterone levels. However, deficiency causes the brain to regulate hormones such as estrogen which can be detrimental to testosterone levels.
Another testosterone related benefit of B6 is it helps to increase serum growth hormone while lowering prolactin levels which have been implicated in lower testosterone levels as well as developing the unimpressive “man boobs”. (5)
Should You Supplement with B6?
It’s worth mentioning again, testosterone levels can and do fluctuate by the hour. It’s important to make sure you are getting your B6 in every day.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) stimulates growth hormone. Excess will not help you produce more but a deficiency can certainly result in a lack of. It is also critical in raising HDL (good cholesterol) while helping to lower triglycerides. (6)
Vitamin B3 deficiency is pretty rare in the West. However you need to get ample B3 each day to maximize your testosterone and one off day could potentially send your testosterone levels tanking.
B3 and Testosterone
Since testosterone is formed from cholesterol, it’s a pretty straight forward correlation between the need for B3 and maximizing your testosterone levels.
Low levels can also have a grave impact on energy levels since the body’s ability to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy require niacin.
Should You Supplement with B3?
As with all other B vitamins (excluding B12), B3 is water soluble and cannot be stored by the body so you need to ensure you get enough each day to keep your natural testosterone levels at their peak.
Our testosterone booster Force X7 includes vitamin B3, B6 and B12 in its formulation plus 10 other key ingredients!
- University, T. and TuftsNow. Mild Vitamin B12 Deficiency Associated with Accelerated Cognitive Decline. 2012 2012-12-04. – Link
- Isoyama, R., et al., [Clinical experience with methylcobalamin (CH3-B12) for male infertility]. Hinyokika Kiyo, 1984. 30(4): p. 581-6. – Link
- Center, U.o.M.M. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). 2015. – Link
- Bird, J. Who Is Actually at Risk of Vitamin B6 Deficiency? 2013. – Link
- Delitala, G., et al., Effect of Pyridoxine On Human Hypophyseal Trophic Hormone release: A Possible Stimulation of Hypothalamic Dopaminergic Pathway. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 1976. 42(3): p. 603-606. – Link
- Boden, W.E., et al., Niacin in patients with low HDL cholesterol levels receiving intensive statin therapy. N Engl J Med, 2011. 365(24): p. 2255-67. – Link