What’s going on, gentlemen (and ladies)? Today, I’m going to talk to you about the wonderful world of testosterone. The hormone primary associated with “manhood” but also found in lower levels in women, testosterone starts to decline in men each year once they pass the age of 30 on average. This, my friends, is a problem–this is the hormone that’s responsible for your reproductive health, hair, and other important areas of your body, so learn how you may be able to help ease that drop as you get older.

Hormone replacement therapies

If you think you may have some depleted stores of testosterone–signs include erectile dysfunction, a decreased sex drive, memory problems, depressed mood and issues concentrating–speak to your doctor about possible hormone replacement therapy. There are both synthetic and bioidentical products available, and your doctor will review your options and medical history to make recommendations and explain all that you need to know before you decide.

Add some nutrients

As a study in the Nutrition journal concluded, you need zinc for testosterone production (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519). Despite this and the fact that zinc supports your immune system and other body functions, many people are deficient in it. According to a nationwide survey by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), around 45 percent of adults aged 60 and up a have low levels of zinc, and 20 to 25 percent still had levels that were too low even after taking supplements (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/).

Using zinc supplements for just six weeks has been shown to boost testosterone in men with lower levels across various studies. However, as noted by the NIH, once dietary zinc sources were restricted, there was a drop in testosterone production (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/).

To get some zinc into your diet, aim for foods rich in the mineral, such as oysters, beef, lamb, mushrooms and fermented foods such as yogurt. Dark greens like spinach, summer squash and asparagus are also great sources of zinc.

If you feel you still need to use a supplement to get enough zinc, make sure you determine the right dose. Taking too much zinc can cause nausea and prevent the absorption of other minerals you need in your body.

You don’t have to age gracefully-it’s time to fight back! By working to increase your levels of testosterone as you age, you can help push back the hands on the clock of time a little bit longer.