Men frequently raise concerns about diminished or inadequate sex drive - an issue that is generally thought of as a product of the aging process, but may also affect younger men. While testosterone levels are not the only things that can affect a man's sexual readiness factor, they can play a big part in it, and men who have concerns about penis health should definitely consult with a doctor to see if raising testosterone is a route that they should explore.

What exactly is testosterone?

The word testosterone is tossed around with abandon nowadays, so it's a good idea to be clear about what it actually is. Testosterone is a male sex hormone. When a boy reaches puberty, his body releases testosterone in order to help with masculine development. The hormone works to develop muscles, create pubic and chest hair, bring the voice down in pitch and mature the penis and testicles. It also is a major contributing factor to the sex drive.

Testosterone does begin to decline gradually sometime after a man hits 30; however, the decline can be very gradual, and significant decreases in sex drive are often more likely to be related to other health factors (e.g., stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, etc.). As mentioned earlier, consulting with a doctor can help determine if testosterone therapy is the appropriate path to take to improve penis health.

Ways to boost testosterone.

Testosterone replacement or supplemental therapies may be recommended by a doctor; however, there are more "natural" ways to increase testosterone that may be recommended, such as:

- Vitamin D. Although studies have not decisively confirmed this, it is thought that vitamin D plays a role in testosterone production, so raising the D may also raise the T.

- Zinc. Hypogonadism is a condition that negatively impacts hormone production, and lack of zinc can play a role in hypogonadism. Even in men without hypogonadism, zinc is an important component of the process that regulates male hormone production. Oysters, by the way, are high in zinc, which may be the reason they have earned a reputation as an effective aphrodisiac.

- Working out. Weightlifting has a significant relationship to the amount of testosterone that circulates through the bloodstream during and after a good workout. (This is one of the reasons many men feel especially "primed for action" after going to the gym.)

- Losing weight. Accumulating excess body fat is not just bad for overall health, it also can throw hormone production out of balance. While obesity does not by itself lower testosterone, it does increase the production of estrogen, which negates the effects of testosterone.

- Herbs. Certain herbs, such as saw palmetto and ginseng, are thought to aid in testosterone production. Herbal supplements should be used with caution, however, because even natural, plant-based products can have adverse side effects and may react with certain medications.

- Certain fats. Monounsaturated fats and saturated fats are considered positive testosterone producers; trans-fatty and hydrogenated fats are not. That means loading up on nuts, olive oil and whole milk dairy products and watching out for French fries, donuts, shortening, and the like.

- Garlic. At least one study has indicated that garlic helps along the testosterone production process. Be advised, of course, that garlic does have a noticeable impact on breath freshness, so time the consumption in such a way as to not offend a partner when moving in for that first kiss of the night.

Penis health is not focused solely around hormone production, of course; it's equally crucial that the organ's overall health be attended to, and that requires the utilization of a top notch penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). Men should search out a cream that contains L-arginine, an enzyme with beneficial effects on the all-important penis blood vessels and, as a result, proper oxygenation of organ cells. The selected cream should also include a wide range of vitamins, including B5, which is needed to ensure healthy penis cell metabolism.