In the liver, sexual hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is produced mostly as a carrier protein. A drug called SHBG regulates testosterone, DHT, and estradiol by binding to them and circulating them in the body.
An SHBG level can be unduly low (meaning there are more unbound sex hormones available for use) or high (meaning fewer unbound sex hormones are available). SHBG levels may rise due to low-protein diets, which can lead to lower testosterone levels, reduced fertility, decreased bone density, and higher cancer rates. The main thing is how to control the lower SHBG?
What is SHBG?
1. In the liver, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is produced in large quantities. In the meantime, low SHBG is often associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and hypothyroidism.
2. Having a normal level of SHBG is important since it controls how much hormone is delivered to the body’s tissues. A woman’s threshold is between 18-144 nmol/L, and a men is between 10-57 nmol/L.
3. In this article, we will discuss ways to increase your level of free testosterone by lowering your elevated SHBG levels. The following are a few solutions to increasing low SHBG levels. It binds certain hormones, such as:
- dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
- estradiol (an estrogen)
4. Your blood is filled with these hormones as SHBG carries them. This bound state prevents hormones from being used by your cells. The body does this in order to keep hormone levels in check.
5. When your body’s SHBG levels are low, it is more likely to have unbound sex hormones available. SHBG levels that are high mean that your body has fewer free sex hormones available to it.
6. There are differences in SHBG levels between males and females. Several other factors can affect SHBG levels and cause them to be abnormally low or high. Continue reading to learn more about SHBG levels and explore the reasons you might need to go for a test.
What Are Normal SHBG levels?
1. As an adult, the normal concentration ranges of SHBG are:
- The average male has between ten and 57 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).
- (non-pregnant) females: 18 to 144 nmol/L
2. SHBG levels are typically lower in men than in women. Typically, however, as a man ages, his SHBG level rises, as his testosterone levels decline.
3. SHBG levels are typically raised during pregnancy. The levels usually decrease after the birth of a child.
4. Depending on where you have this test done, the normal range values may differ from one lab to another.
What causes low SHBG and who’s at risk?
1. An individual with low SHBG levels is more likely to develop the following factors:
- Weight gain
- Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance
- The hypothyroid condition
- Disease-associated with Cushing
- Fatty liver disease in non-alcoholics
- The overproduction of growth hormones in adults is called acromegaly
- Usage of androgen steroid
2. Prior to puberty, men and women have higher levels of SHBG than in adulthood; however, SHBG levels decrease after puberty. The level of SHBG in adulthood remains constant.
3. The SHBG levels in a man increase with age. During puberty, a man may produce higher levels of testosterone, and as the man ages, he may produce less testosterone.There is less information on how aging and menopause affect SHBG levels in women.
4. In women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), SHBG levels may be low and insulin resistance, obesity, and excess androgen production may be present.
5. In addition, research suggests that low SHBG levels in women may be a marker for type 2 diabetes development. It is believed that low SHBG levels also correlate with obesity.
How To Lower SHBG?
Taking SHBG reduces testosterone production. The fact that testosterone can increase athletic performance and does naturally decrease with age may be a reason why some people would want to lower their SHBG levels. Please seek medical advice before attempting any lifestyle or supplement changes aimed at lowering SHBG levels.
1) Dietary Changes
- According to a study of over 1,500 men, high-protein diets were associated with a decrease in blood SHBG levels.
- One cup of red wine a day reduced blood levels of SHBG in women who participated in a clinical trial. White wine had no effect.
- Studies have found that the following supplements decrease SHBG production and/or reduce its interaction with sex hormones, though further research is needed to confirm these findings:
- Boron [97, 98]
- Magnesium [99, 100]
- Calcium 
- Zinc [101, 102]
- Vitamin D 
- Fish oil (or any other polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements) 
- Tongkat Ali 
Which Drugs That Lower SHBG Levels?
- It is important to know that we are not recommending any of these drugs with the writing of this section. What we are doing is simply describing the available information. Many drugs have unwanted side effects and are more complex medicines that should not be taken without a physician’s prescription. If you take any medications, speak with your doctor.
- In several human trials, glucocorticoids used to treat inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and allergies decreased SHBG levels:
What Can You Do To Increase Your SHBG Levels?
- In order to treat low SHBG, you need to determine what the cause is. This will include taking care of any underlying conditions.
- If necessary, your doctor will explain your SHBG results and the treatment options available to you. Please follow your doctor’s recommendations whenever possible.
SHBG levels may be elevated by a number of factors including:
1. Get regular exercise
The clinical trial randomized to the treatment group
From a trusted source- An anaerobic exercise program of moderate intensity for a year increased SHBG and DHT in sedentary men aged 40 to 75. In this group, the exercise program did not influence other androgens. In a large-scale study in a select population, there was evidence that exercise can increase SHBG levels. In the study, women who were postmenopausal, overweight, and sedentary were studied. There were 178 minutes of aerobic exercise per week during the yearlong exercise intervention.
2. Drink coffee
Two or more cups of regular caffeinated coffee a day have been associated with higher SHBG concentrations in women over 60.
3. Take certain oral contraceptives
The levels of SHBG in women with PCOS increased after three months to one year of taking certain combined oral contraceptives, according to a meta-analysis.
4. Increase fiber and decrease sugar in your diet
Researchers found in 2000 that men aged 40 to 70 who consumed more fiber had higher SHBG levels, while men eating more protein had lower levels. However, the researchers of this study noted that their results differ from previous ones.
5. Research conducted
Recently study looked at the effects of a postmenopausal woman’s diet on SHBG in the postmenopausal women population. It was found that low glycemic load or glycemic index diets, combined with low sugar and high fiber, may lead to higher levels of SHBG. The relationship between these variables needs to be further explored.
6. Lose weight
In other research, it has been shown that obese children can have significant increases in SHBG levels when they lose weight.
7. Take certain supplements
In order to increase testosterone, herbal and dietary supplements claim to lower SHBG levels. There’s no way to know for sure whether some of them have merit. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not involved in the regulation of supplements, so manufacturers are free to make claims that may not be true. In some supplements, ingredients can cause unwanted side effects, interact with prescription medicines, or aggravate underlying health conditions. Adding a new supplement to your routine shouldn’t be done without consulting your physician. You can discuss the product with him or her, as well as your risk for any negative effects.