Hormones, we all have them. Early on in our pubescent years, it is probably safe to say we just wanted them to go away. As we grow older, that wish is slowly but surely granted. Weight gain, sleep issues, metabolic conditions, poor performance in the gym and in the sack leaves us wishing they would return to previous levels. Enter modern medicine and technology; hormonal therapy, supplementation and a rapidly growing and expanding Anti-aging movement driven by demographics largely thanks to all the amazing baby boomers. Why not try cryotherapy?
Since the days of gladiators to today’s olympians, human kind has been trying to explore the prospects of increased performance to top the pinnacle of human capabilities. It has led to the consumption of countless herbal concoctions ranging from deer velvet, horny goat weed to wild fungus. As well, it has brought about the rise in pharmaceutical grade hormone use such as HGH and other anabolic steroids. What if we could use our own boosts of natural anabolic (build-up) hormones and reduction of catabolic (break-down) without the need for shady Chinese herb shops, non-third party tested supplementation or a cash filled handshake in the locker room of your local “globogym”?
The Leydig interstitial cells found in the testicle are the cells primarily responsible for the production of testosterone in males. Interestingly, these cells’ function and production of testosterone may be affected by higher temperatures. This accounts for the reasons why the mammalian testes are found outside the torso to maintain a temperature 2-7⁰C (Reyes et. Al, 2012). Testicular function was also seen to be negatively impacted by increased temperatures from increasing “stress” with the production of free radicals, chemicals and proteins (Shiraishi et. Al., 2016). Could this mean that the occasional drop in temperature would benefit the family jewels and lead to potentially increase T production? Grasso et. Al. (2014) thinks so; with a small sample of elite rugby players, there were changes in hormones found in the saliva. These hormones included an increase in testosterone, a decrease in catabolic hormones like cortisol and changes in DHEA and estradiol.
Although there is a small batch of support right now, one can’t deny how great you feel after a cryotherapy session. Who knew it could possibly give you that competitive edge? Whether you’re an elite level athlete or a weekend warrior wanting boasting rights with your buddies, there’s another reason to just “chill out.”
Grasso, D., Lanteri, P., Di Bernardo, C., Mauri, C., Porcelli, S., Colombini, A., & ... Lombardi, G. (2014). Salivary steroid hormone response to whole-body cryotherapy in elite rugby players. Journal Of Biological Regulators And Homeostatic Agents, 28(2), 291-300.
Reyes, J. G., Farias, J. G., Henríquez-Olavarrieta, S., Madrid, E., Parraga, M., Zepeda, A. B., & Moreno, R. D. (2012). The Hypoxic Testicle: Physiology and Pathophysiology. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2012, 929285. http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/929285
Shiraishi, Koji, Hiroshi Takihara, and Hideyasu Matsuyama. 2010. "Elevated scrotal temperature, but not varicocele grade, reflects testicular oxidative stress-mediated apoptosis." World Journal Of Urology 28, no. 3: 359-364. MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 28, 2016).