Does smoking lower testosterone?
Side Effect of Smoking
Over the years now, it has become a widely known fact that smoking is a silent killer. Even though cigarette smoking may not be considered a traditional addiction, you have to realize that nicotine-coated cigarettes are not only addictive, but can also have life-threatening consequences for your health.
It is somewhat surprising to learn that cigarette smoking does not actually affect serum testosterone levels. In fact, several studies can support this statement.
What does science say about smoking and testosterone?
One study compared testosterone levels in both smokers and non-smokers. When the results came in, the study showed that the participants had roughly the same level of testosterone on average. Because of this, it seems likely that your testosterone levels may be unaffected by smoking.
Some similar research was conducted where participants were heavy chain smokers and non-smokers. The study results showed that serum testosterone levels and androgen levels were almost identical in both groups.
Another study found something even more surprising when they looked at men who had given up smoking. Within the first few months of withdrawal, there was a slight increase in testosterone levels. However, after one year, the participants’ T levels had returned to the same level as when they had smoked. In fact, some men experienced a significantly larger drop in their T levels.
How smoking can affect your hormones
It has been said that men who have higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in potentially dangerous situations such as smoking, drinking and gambling. This has led many researchers to believe that smokers have higher T levels, which are responsible for their risky activities. Simply put, men with high testosterone are more likely to be smokers than those with low T.
Further research has suggested that cigarettes can metabolize testosterone too quickly. Additionally, it also means that smoking makes testosterone metabolism in the liver more efficient. How smoking can actually help the body in any way is enough to make your mind wander. What is strange, however, is that the metabolic effect does not change the level of testosterone in the serum of smokers.
There are many studies out there that support the harmful effects of cigarettes on T levels. However, there is one study that has provided some startling results. This particular study suggested that there is no real difference in the testosterone levels of smokers and non-smokers. But, smoking can lower your zinc levels. Zinc is one of the main key minerals that your body needs to produce testosterone. What this may propose is that smoking combined with a poor diet can lead to zinc deficiency, which can then lead to low testosterone.
So, isn’t smoking bad for your health?
We may have recognized that there is a lot of research to suggest that smoking does not affect your testosterone levels. However, it is definitely not off the hook. Smoking can cause many other health complications, such as:
- Smoking causes about 7 out of 10 cases of lung cancer and can also put you at risk of developing cancer in other parts of the body, including; mouth, throat, bladder, bowel, liver and stomach
- It also damages your heart and circulation, increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
- Asthma and other respiratory tract infections
- erectile dysfunction or low sexual function
- reduces fertility
Continuing to smoke on the premise that it won’t harm your testosterone levels isn’t really a sensible option. If your overall health is not good, you will not be able to maintain those T levels for long.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your health is to quit smoking. Now, we know that doing so is somewhat easier said than done, however, the benefits of preventing overweight continue to exist. To quit smoking you can try:
- nicotine replacement therapy
- avoid triggers
- chew gum
- Keep going
- relaxation techniques
- get help
- Remind Yourself Why You’re Stopping
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