The 5 Random Supplements to Lower SHBG I Tried & What Worked
A blood test showed I had high SHBG - these are the supplements I took to lower SHBG and what I recommend to other guys
I had never heard of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, never mind searched for supplements to lower SHBG until I got a home blood test kit.
I'm a 46-year-old Dad of 3, and as a coach to guys over 40, I thought I had been taking good care of myself. But I was starting to suffer from some low Testosterone symptoms (lack of energy/libido, low mood, no progress in the gym).
Turned out my Total Testosterone levels were fine, yet my Free Testosterone was low - something was 'stealing' it basically, with too much getting bound to the culprit - SHBG.
Here's my initial test result below:
As guys often do in these situations, I fell into a Google Rabbit Hole, trying to figure out what was causing my high SHBG, was it my fault, was there a magical supplement to take to lower SHBG, etc.
Maybe that's where you are right now, if so I'm here to help you fast forward your understanding of the supplements that can help, what they do, side effects and all that jazz.
I'm going to cover 4 of the main supplements you'll come across in your research around SHBG supplements, plus one other overlooked one that you shouldn't rule out.
To prove that these work, not only do I now look and feel a lot better, here is my SHBG result now:
#1 Boron has been proven to lower SHBG
If too much Total Testosterone gets bound to SHBG, you don't have enough Free Testosterone left to thrive, feeling optimistic, staying in shape, etc.
This is very common in men over 40 due to:
high stress levels (work/family/money)
lack of sleep and therefore mental/physical recovery time
The good news is that several studies have found that 5-10mg of Boron daily will reduce SHBG in men, meaning more Free Testosterone is available to us.
I can certainly attest to this, as within a couple of weeks of supplementing with 10mg of Boron I had lost some belly fat, cheered up (!) and just felt like myself again.
So if you know that your low Testosterone symptoms are due to high SHBG (and therefore low FREE Testosterone), Boron is your guy.
Side Note: you should still be trying to sleep more in general, this article explains 4 minerals to help you fall asleep too.
OK Next Supplement to Lower SHBG... #2 Tongkat Ali...
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#2 Try Tongkat Ali to balance all hormones
Tongkat Ali has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for fertility, libido and stress relief in men. I'm always sceptical of things like this though, as the benefits sound so generic, y'know?
But, ever the keen guinea pig with supplements I gave it a try. First things first, don't buy the raw powder even though it's cheaper. I thought I'd just add a little (250mg) to a protein shake, without knowing that Tongkat Ali tastes like battery acid!
Anyway, studies have shown it can lower Estrogen AND SHBG, to rebalance a man's hormones, and allow more Testosterone to circulate and work its magic.
After switching to pill format rather than the gross powder, I can only describe the feeling of taking Tongkat Ali as feeling more 'switched on' - there is an immediate feeling of being focused and motivated (I decided to take it pre-workout to take advantage of this), and my libido increased too.
So as the perfect 1-2 Punch to lower SHBG and reverse your Low Testosterone symptoms, Boron and Tongkat Ali is a powerful combination.
#3 Zinc for more Testosterone production
You can reduce the symptoms of high SHBG by coming at it from the other direction though, namely increasing the amount of Total Testosterone your body is producing in the first place.
Most men over 40 are deficient in Zinc, which we need for adequate Testosterone production. We don't need lots, just 15mg per day, but that's a lot of oysters, eggs and almonds, hence the deficiency in most of us.
Now, just because 15mg is the stated required dosage, don't fall into the trap of thinking "Well, 50mg will super-charge my Testosterone production, I'll mega-dose it!".
It doesn't work like that. Anything over 15mg will just get peed out and is a waste of money.
So take 15mg a day of Zinc Picolinate (the best absorbed compound), to help lower SHBG and increase available Free Testosterone.
#4 Don't Forget Vitamin D3 in your Fight Against High SHBG
Listen, in an ideal world we'd all be outdoors all day soaking up the sun's rays, getting a boatload of natural Vitamin D, and having sky high Testosterone levels.
There's a reason you often feel friskier on vacation - Vitamin D is one of the main building blocks for Testosterone. But we spend so much time indoors at work and watching TV that we don't produce enough Vitamin D naturally, so you need to supplement (especially in winter months).
Dosage recommendations vary from 500 iU to 10,000 iU per day (supplement companies are often at fault here, trying to charge you more for an unnecessary mega-dose), but I have found the safe sweet spot is 2-4,000 iU/day of Vitamin D3 with added K2 for calcium absorption.
As with Zinc, Vitamin D3 can help lower your SHBG levels by boosting the body's natural Testosterone production, leaving more Free Test available even after plenty getting bound to SHBG.
#5 Don't overlook Cruciferous Vegetables to Lower SHBG
Hear me out on this one... in our quest to find the best supplement to lower SHBG, we are so laser-focused on finding vitamins, minerals and fancy compounds that we overlook something completely natural and super-healthy - cruciferous veggies.
Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc all help to metabolize excess estrogen in men, which in turn lowers SHBG.
The problem for me was... I f*ckin hate those vegetables. If you like them, awesome, try and have them daily in some shape or form, but I needed to think outside the box a little to fit them into my diet.
I buy a bag of frozen sprouts and a bag of frozen spinach each week and put some in my protein smoothie - they act as the 'ice'! Yes it looks gross, but they are tasteless when using flavored protein powder, so this works for me.
Another great side effect of lowering Estrogen (and SHBG) this way is the added fiber in your diet, AND the fact that belly and chest gets reduced with less Estrogen in men.
Check Out My Video on the 10 most common Testosterone Boosting Supplements...
How to Use These Supplements to Lower SHBG in Practice
You obviously don't need, nor should you take, all 5 of those supplements on an ongoing basis to lower SHBG - that's overkill and not sustainable. What I do is this:
I take 15mg Zinc Picolinate and 4000 iU Vitamin D3 daily, throughout the year to ensure I am naturally producing enough Testosterone in the first place.
I add frozen cruciferous vegetables to smoothies each daily to keep Estrogen under control, and avoid Testosterone being 'stolen'.
If a blood test shows my SHBG is high, I then take 10mg Boron daily and 0.5g Tongkat Ali daily for 6 weeks to lower SHBG, and boost Free Testosterone. Within a couple of weeks I already know it's working as bloating is reduced, I lose some belly fat, erections are stronger and libido is higher.
It's important to understand that there is a point of diminishing returns with taking supplements to lower SHBG. Once Boron and Tongkat Ali have 'done the job', there is no need to continue taking them, and indeed excessive Boron causes vomiting, diarrhea and rashes - no fun!
As ever, remember that any supplements you take to lower SHBG, boost Testosterone and manage Estrogen aren't magic wands - lifestyle habits like getting plenty of sleep & time outdoors, working out regularly and eating healthily will do more for men's hormonal balance than any supplements.