SHBG: Testosterone Trapper
Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein that binds to androgens and estrogens.
SHBG’s role in the body is to bind to these hormones, inhibiting their function.
This means that the bioavailability of your sex hormones is influenced by your level of SHBG.
SHBG is similar to the evil hormone called estradiol which we talked about in an earlier newsletter.
This is where it gets serious.
As you already learned, your testosterone (T) levels and free T levels drop as you age.
But what you might not know is that your SHBG levels dramatically increase as you age. By making testosterone inactive, it boosts testosterone decline.
That’s why you have less appetite for sex.
The road to salvation is to increase your free T level, because this form of testosterone does not bind to SHBG. Free testosterone is responsible for high libido, strong erections, bone density, and physical energy.
Just like estradiol, your SHBG level should be normal; both low and high levels can cause problems because SHBG maintains your homeostasis.
Its abnormalities are associated with multiple killing diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and sleep apnea.
Here’s some eye-opening information: SHBG levels are higher in vegetarians because their diets lack essential amino acids, thus negatively affecting their T levels.
Keep this in mind: meat and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Because SHBG is produced by the liver, men with liver disease have increased SHBG.
Estrogenic states such as pregnancy, hyperthyroidism (SHBG is related to T3 and T4), cirrhosis, and use of certain drugs all lead to an increase in SHBG.
If you are on a calorie-restricted diet, your body increases SHBG while lowering testosterone.
Alcohol abuse harms the liver, leading to cirrhosis, which is linked to SHBG elevation.
Use of certain medications and other ...