Sex hormone-binding globuiln (SHBG) is a glycoprotein produced in the liver. SHBG binds both estrogens and androgens, making them unavailable for the body to use. Testosterone bound to SHBG doesn't have any effects on your muscles, strength, or libido—it's as good as non-existent.
That's why it's easy to immediately paint SHBG in a negative light, and that would be a huge mistake. After all, thanks to SHBG the body is able to control the testosterone it has available at any given moment. This helps to prevent the negative effects of having excessive amounts of testosterone or any other sex hormone, for that matter.
Indeed, there is a fine balance in this matter. When SHBG levels are too high, too much testosterone is bound to SHBG and too little of free testosterone is left for the body to use. On the other hand, when you don't have enough SHBG, the body may suffer from the negative consequences of having too much androgens.
This means that issues in your SHBG levels can result in testosterone going out of control too. Just like with hormones, SHBG levels can be affected by what goes into your body with your diet or due to the environment that your body is exposed to.
For example, xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens found in processed food, plastics, and certain bath products can increase SHBG levels. Alcohol increases the rate at which testosterone converts into estrogens, and also increases the production of SHBG.
Aside from that, drugs like statins, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers can cause an increase in the body’s production of SHBG. Under these medications, the body can sometimes start making so much SHBG that there's just not enough free testosterone left for use.
Simply put, the body can produce excessive amounts of SHBG when exposed to certain substances. Knowing these risk factors is essential to managing your testosterone the smart way.
Usually, men suffer from high SHBG levels more often than from a lack of it.
When that's the case, the goal is to safely drive down their SHBG levels to restore hormonal balance.
Lowering high SHBG levels is crucial in your pursuit of optimal health, and this can be done through proper lifestyle changes—and maybe the help of a natural supplement.
The easiest and, perhaps, most beneficial thing to do is to optimize your testosterone levels through natural means. This is because testosterone has been shown to decrease SHBG levels in the body.
In this way, your body is getting the best levels of the male sex hormone while preventing SHBG from exceeding the necessary amount. This can be done by supplementing with vitamin D, boron, and zinc.
Another way of normalizing SHBG levels is by supplementing with magnesium. This effect has been seen in those who get at least one gram of magnesium daily from their diet.
Regardless of how you choose to control your SHBG, doing so is crucial as testosterone absolutely essential for men's health. Not having enough bioavailable testosterone can lead to detrimental consequences for your health and physique.