It’s not exactly news that smoking is bad for you! For years, the habit has been seen as a silent killer. And whilst not typically considered a drug addiction, the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. Plus, of course, cigarettes can have life-threatening consequences on your health.
In particular, cigarette smokers are more likely to be men. Over the years, there have been many studies investigating the impact of cigarette smoke on male reproductive hormones such as testosterone, but the findings are still contentious.
What does the research say about smoking and its impact on testosterone levels?
According to a new research study that compares testosterone levels in both smokers and non-smokers, results have revealed that both groups had almost identical average testosterone levels. Researchers have suggested that cigarettes and smoking tobacco probably do not affect testosterone levels.
Similarly, another study looking into the differences between non-smokers and heavy chain smokers revealed that the serum levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and androgen levels were almost the same in both research groups.
A further study that was carried out on 71 men who decided to quit smoking revealed slight increases in testosterone levels a few months after quitting smoking. However, one year later, their T levels had dropped back to the same level as when they were smokers. Some men even experienced a significant drop in their testosterone levels.
Can smoking impact hormonal metabolism?
Typically, it’s been observed that men with increased testosterone levels have increased risks of certain behaviors and addictions. This could be gambling, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Therefore, researchers have historically assumed that smokers have higher testosterone levels, making them responsible for their risky behaviors. Men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to be smokers than those with lower testosterone levels.
Another study has suggested that cigarettes metabolize testosterone very quickly, so smoking makes testosterone metabolism in the liver more efficient. However, it’s strange and unknown why this metabolizing impact doesn’t impact the overall testosterone levels in smokers.
Several studies have supported the harm-free impact of cigarettes on testosterone levels. One study that provided slightly unusual results compared T levels in smokers and those who don’t smoke. As per other studies, there isn’t a significant difference in testosterone levels between smokers and non-smokers. However, it does seem that smoking reduces zinc levels, a critical mineral required to produce testosterone. This suggests that men who smoke and have a poor diet could have a zinc deficiency which may lead to low T levels.
How does smoking impact your hormones?
Smoking has an anti-estrogenic and pro-androgenic impact. This means it has a negative effect on estrogen and a positive effect on testosterone levels. But as well as the effect on our sex hormones, it also impacts our body’s hormones, particularly cortisol.
Smoking and cortisol
Cortisol, a hormone released by our bodies in response to stress, leads to the fight or flight response. Generally, our brains use cortisol to divert energy from non-essential bodily functions and instead towards those which help with the fight or flight response. Smoking has been linked to increased cortisol levels and impacts the hormones involved in the production of cortisol. These increased levels of cortisol can have knock-on effects on our hormones.
Our bodies finely balance our hormones to ensure normal physiological functions. Cigarette smoke and the chemicals in tobacco can upset this delicate balance and lead to a knock-on effect on these essential processes. Research has shown that the negative effects of smoking not only impact your hormone health but also the processes in your body and those directly involved in your sexual health.
Does chronic marijuana use lead to low testosterone levels?
Historically, marijuana use has been linked to having several effects on male sexual health and low testosterone production. However, a recent study in Denmark has reported increased testosterone production amongst marijuana users. However, for male reproductive health, marijuana use, and low testosterone, more research is needed.
Also Read: How much does testosterone cost? (TRT)
There is a potential link between cannabis use and the male reproductive system, and increased testosterone, however. The Denmark study hasn’t conclusively proven the impact or continuous use of cannabis on testosterone levels.
Does this mean that smoking isn’t so bad for you? If my levels are normal
The short answer is no.
Whilst there is a library of research that proves that smoking doesn’t lead to low testosterone levels, it can impact your erections due to accelerating vascular damage due to atherosclerosis.
Plus, smokers have been found to have lower ejaculate volume, and low sperm count, and male fertility is at increased risk than non-smokers.
In addition, cigarettes impact your overall wellness and the well-being of your vital organs. For example, your lungs and heart. So, while smoking may not contribute to low testosterone levels, it impacts your sexual and general health.
Why do we need testosterone?
As well as sex drive and sperm production, testosterone also affects bone and muscle mass, weight loss, fat storage, mood and general well-being, and red blood cell production. Generally, once a man hits around 30, his testosterone levels can start to taper off, but other factors can also impact testosterone levels. Certain health conditions can affect testosterone levels and some men may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy in order to increase their total testosterone.
What happens when a man has low testosterone?
Low testosterone can produce a variety of symptoms in men, such as:
- Decreased sex drive (libido)
- Fat or weight gain
- Low mood or depression
- Low self-esteem
- Thinner bones
- Less body hair
- Lethargy or fatigue
Other ways to keep your testosterone topped up
Whilst it doesn’t seem like smoking has an impact on your testosterone levels, we also don’t recommend that you keep up the habit as it has other nasty effects on your body.
We recommend keeping your T levels topped up to keep you feeling and looking your best. Testosterone levels are crucial to our bodily functions, from gains and more energy to an increased sex drive. Worried about your T levels? Testogen is a must-have.
Testogen’s 100% natural formula gives your daily life the little boost it needs! It safely increases testosterone, energy levels, and muscle growth. Testogen can safely support muscle growth and performance when paired with a healthy diet and exercise.