This is a huge thread, that I feel is important to educate people about SHBG levels.
From a T-Mag article: Testosterone Unleashed!
by Dr. Lonnie Lowery
. Under-eating is related to higher SHBG concentrations.
. Over-training is related too.
. Over-eating, conversely, lowers SHBG.
. Insulin is inversely related to SHBG levels.
. Particular supplements appear to reduce SHBG binding.
In a nutshell, consuming two to three protein-carb meals before lunch and two protein-fat meals after lunch seems a decent "androgen emancipation" strategy. It should keep insulin levels reasonably high while providing both proper substrates to muscle and reducing SHBG. The probable free-Testosterone elevation over time should help the higher circulating insulin that you're cultivating do it's anabolic/ anti-catabolic thing. And let's not forget, early or late, workouts generally enable an additional carb meal post-exercise, so take advantage of them. Getting an insulin spike when Testosterone and GH are also high is like hiring three construction workers at once!
Okay, now that we know how to carefully jack-up insulin regularly enough to keep SHBG from hog tying our precious T, let's briefly talk supplements. Perhaps the most interesting is Avena sativa, or green oat, like that found in Biotest's Tribex-500. Data on this stuff are sparse but there is some suggestion that it combats SHBG. An often touted but unpublished report from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco suggests that green-oat extracts do release Testosterone from its binding proteins.
And as a side note, Japanese research suggests increased luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion as well, via interactions with the anterior pituitary gland itself (6, 9). Yeah, these latter studies were done in amenorrheic women, but I told you the data were sparse! Anyhow, the combined effect could well be higher circulating concentrations of free T, even in men.
The other general approach is to simultaneously raise total T and free-T via prohormones. Although unpublished, I've seen first hand that androstenediol, for example, can raise serum Testosterone levels with the bound (SHBG-tied) and unbound levels rising simultaneously. One could very well speculate that a prohormone (or other steroid), combined with green oat supplementation and natural (or unnatural) insulin elevation could be quite the ticket for muscle anabolism.
To summarize our "unleashing" plan, we need to 1) Eat every 2-3 hours, focusing on protein with carbs in the morning and protein with "healthier fats" in the evening 2) Allow for adequate rest - perhaps two "off" days weekly - to prevent over-training 3) Limit high-volume training cycles to just a few weeks, and 4) Possibly consider a 2-4 week course of Avena sativa along with the frequent eating to see if one's prohormones, (etc.) are more effective.
With the person-to-person variation in SHBG being on the order of 40-50% (27), these "unleashing" suggestions may be just the ticket for those of you who have high SHBG and don't even know it. Although the "free hormone hypothesis" debate rages on, it is an interesting scenario - especially if we can control it. If you get less progress from a cycle of androgens than your gloating training buddy, SHBG may be involved. Perhaps the data mentioned here is your missing factor. In any case, the research suggests a new mechanism for the wonders of massive, disciplined eating.
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein synthesized by the liver. Circulating androgen and estrogen concentrations influence SHBG synthesis. The regulation of SHBG synthesis, combined with SHBG's higher affinity for testosterone, impacts bioavailable testosterone levels.
SHBG binds up to 98 percent of the steroid hormones in the blood including 5a-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), testosterone and androstenediol with particularly high affinity, and estradiol and estrone with slightly lower affinity
Male and female children have similar SHBG concentrations until the onset of puberty, when SHBG levels begin decreasing more rapidly in males than in females. Levels are higher in women than in men, due to the higher ratio of estrogens to androgens in women. Levels are especially elevated during late pregnancy and in women taking oral contraceptives.
True androgen status can be assessed either by measuring free testosterone or by calculating the ratio of total testosterone to SHBG, known as the free androgen index (FAI).
SHBG being high is rarely the problem for most people, LOW SHBG is however a problem.
androgens lower SHBG, so unless you have low test your SHBG levels are generally low.
since DHT has the HIGHEST affinity for SHBG, lowering it can mean a big bald head for those that are prone.
Look for signs of low SHBG... and Raise it quickly... even though your sex drive may lax.... its worth it for OVERALL health and hairloss issues
Diet: Mostly Organic - Fish, Chicken, Grass Fed/Wild Meat, Soup, Wht Rice, Potatos, Oatmeal, Spinach, Variety Vegetables/Fruit, Quality Ice Cream, Chocolate, Dates, Lettuce Shots, Juicing
Supplement: R-ALA, Frm Cod Liver, Encapsulated Probiotics, etc...