Steps I am taking to raise my SHBG.

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Tyler81, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    1. Metformin 500mg in the morning
    2. No refined sugars in my diet
    3. tamoxifen 5mg 3X per week (also for other reasons)
    4. Low fat Paleo diet
    5. Berberine (recently ordered this, will take 500mg 2X daily)
    6. Coffee 3 cups of coffee per day

    The goal is to raise my SHBG from 14-15 range to 20-30 range.

    The hope is that by doing this I can tolerate testosterone injections much better.
  2. tenpoundsleft

    tenpoundsleft Member

    I take 2x850mg of Metformin per day (in the morning and before dinner)

    Curious about Berberine - allegedly some negative sides with Metformin from an anabolic receptor perspective (possibly only applicable to nattys?). Isn't taking both Berberine and Metformin overkill?

    What's your BF% right now?
    Tyler81 likes this.
  3. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    It MIGHT be overkill but if overkill means it raises my SHBG then it's worth it.

    I'm not sure about my bodyfat % it's not too high but i have bit of fat over my stomach .... I may upp my cardio a bit too.
  4. DoUEvenCardio

    DoUEvenCardio Member

    The biggest factor in you feeling healthy, is to live healthy. I also had low SHBG (12nmol/L) and I know exactly why. No sugar coating necessary, I was worried about furthering my career after college and put my health to the side. I ate like shit, drinking alcohol and never did cardio for years after college.

    According to my BMI (25.3%), I was hovering on normal and overweight, nothing to worry about right? No, the truth was, I was slowly killing myself. The depression, low testosterone, fatty liver, low libido, low SHBG, etc. were signs that my body was not doing well.

    You want to feel good again? Raising some numbers on your blood test is not the answer no matter how bad you want it to be. The fact that you don't know your own body fat % should be a light bulb going off in your head. You ever ask someone who is obese how much body fat they have, I bet they tell you "I'm not sure about my body fat %".

    It's good to see you are focusing on some of these issues like diet and body health, but don't forget the number one reason that guy raised his SHBG imo, he did cardio and a shit ton of it which helped lower his body fat % and strengthen his immune system.

    Good Luck.
  5. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member


    Yeah I know popping a pill isnt the full solution that's why it's a multi-step approach. Honestly think that cutting out refined sugar is a huge part of the puzzle which should hopefully heal any liver issues I have and raise my SHBG. I already have been excercising a long time and eating fairly healthy but I was overdosing on sugar for years. Sweets, juices, you name it, I was doing it. From my understanding one of the reasons for low shbg is pre-diabetes/insulin resistance. So i was just adding fuel to that fire.

    I am really hoping this entire approach works.

    Drinking more coffee, or adding berberine alone probably wont work.

    But doing ALL of these things should technically work because it's worked for other people and i'm not some alien where all of these steps combined shouldnt work for me.

    I may upp my cardio too but I am already fairly lean.

    I will look into getting my body fat % done.
    DoUEvenCardio likes this.
  6. chemman

    chemman Member

    So a buddy of mine also has an issue with low SHBG and is trying to correct it before going on TRT. Here's what he has to say:

    The reason why you’re having issues is because you’re insulin resistant. You have all the classic signs of metabolic syndrome/pre diabetes to diabetes. Low total T, normal free T, and low SHBG is indicative of metabolic syndrome to diabetes. This isn’t a good situation and all, and the normal free T under these circumstances is a BAD thing. You need normal levels of SHBG for other cellular functions which are not fully known but purportedly for feelings of well being for instance. Please refer to .

    T injections aren’t going to really solve your problem which is low SHBG. Any T you inject is leaving your system quickly because there’s little SHBG there to bind it.

    You’re somewhat pre diabetic most likely (get your HbA1c, CRP, & triglycerides checked). You need to keep daily carb intake below 50g a day. Furthermore, you should avoid mixing fats and carbs in the same meal. Whenever insulin spikes from carb intake, any fat that you consume int he same meal will be shuttled into fat. Furthermore, that high insulin will decrease SHBG levels. You are in a chronic state of insulin resistance which is why your SHBG levels are low.

    Becoming insulin sensitive via mainly through low carb paleo or keto will do you wonders. You don’t need to do a lot of cardio – do Tabata sprints twice a week, and some LISS cardio & do your compound lifts 3x a week doing things like squats, deads, bench, military press, etc.

    The berberine is fine – take it when you eat your carbohydrates. Don’t take it on an empty stomach. Overall, you should be hitting between 20-50g of carbs daily. Check out the reddit keto guide for more info for keto. The other thing is get like .82g per pound of total body weight in protein daily. That protein won’t turn into fat no matter the circumstances (except under unrealistic situations).

    I suggest you pick up Mark Sisson’s book Primal Blueprint & read it all (quick read) but to keep it simple: A) keep your net carbs to <50 g . The lower you can go the better. If you’re going to do keto look at into reedits keto guide about doing it properly (hint: potassium, and magnesium intake to get over keto flu). B) don’t combine fats/carbs in same meal (compartmentalize – look into lean gains which alternates fat and carb days) C) do HIIT sprints twice a week (Tabata Protocol) & do your compound program 3x a week.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  7. ddp7

    ddp7 Member

    What about 52 shbg? My lab said the maximum is 80,so it seems a normal value to u?
  8. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    This is fantastic.
    Thanks dude I really appreciate it.

  9. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    I have a buddy who was doing KETO and I was thinking about doing it but i wasnt sure if low carb paelo or keto is better. Low carb paleo is obviously easier to adhere to since Keto is often one huge meal per day with tons of fat and it requires more preparation and planning. My buddy who does it works from home so its doable for him but for me i dont know if I could stick to the keto diet with my schedule.

    Will start with the low carb paleo and see if that helps. In combination with cutting out refined sugars + more coffee + metformin + berberine + more cardio.

    I have also LOWERED my vitamin d from 10,000ius to 2000ius.

    What is your buddys SHBG and has he been able to raise it?
  10. chemman

    chemman Member

    I'm not sure what his SHBG is, but he is just getting started on losing more weight to get down to his target weight.
  11. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    The peak testosterone forum has some great threads on low shbg.
  12. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    Starting on Berberine tonight.

    Still on 500mg Metformin daily, no refined sugars, 2 cups of coffee per day which I will raise to 3 per day once I get a coffee maker;

    Will do a bloodtest to see where my SHBG is at next week after approximately two months Metformin and diet changes plus two weeks of Berberine.
  13. ddp7

    ddp7 Member

    Fantastic post, seems to be a lot of awesome info. :)
  14. ddp7

    ddp7 Member

    @Tyler81 My shbg is little high ( 52) you said that the goal is 20 - 30. Ok then(seems to be) shgb isnt my problem(in libido terms).

    Metmorfin sounds like a great stuff.Dont know it.

    Anyway,when you said more cardio: Does it mean more hiit o more liss? Thanks in advance.
  15. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    My cardio is interval so yeah I run/sprint on the treadmill for 2-3 mins then I walk for a minute and then repeat about 10X.
  16. ddp7

    ddp7 Member

    Thanks man,got the bottom line.
  17. Tyler81

    Tyler81 Member

    Took 500mg Berberine with dinner.
    Then took another 500mg with peanut butter sandwich.
    Then third dose of 500mg.

    Not sure if I should take 1000mg or 1500mg per day.
  18. ddp7

    ddp7 Member

    Taking note,again a fantastic post as usual.
  19. James23

    James23 Member

    For the record, berberine can increase SHBG without diet or exercise. It does so regularly in studies of women with metabolic disorders.

    A researcher friend of mine with low SHBG began to incorporate berberine and milk thistle into his TRT regimen, and was able to increase his SHBG up to 28 from 14 nmol/L. This effect took approximately 65 days, and persisted even after he stopped berberine. He made no other life changes.

    Of course, there's something to be said for diet and exercise, but we have to understand one thing before we beat ourselves to death about lifestyle: it should really have very little to do with SHBG.

    The average SHBG is 35 nmol/L for males. That includes people who don't lift weights, run or eat well. This number comes from the same study that suggests 650 ng/dL as the average male total testosterone.

    SHBG also increases, not decreases, with age. A damaged liver, such as a liver with cirrhosis, will produce elevated SHBG. As will an iron overload. This is contrary to a lifestyle and diet focused approach to SHBG management.

    We with low SHBG have a very specific metabolic disorder that limits the types of abuses our bodies can endure. So, yes, we ought to tread carefully around fructose and monosaccharides and should probably stay active and keep our metabolisms high.

    Berberine is able to activate an enzyme called Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) while inhibiting Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Activating AMPK is important to health, and appears to play a key role in reversing insulin resistance, promoting glycolysis, and reducing oxidative stress. One result of activating AMPK is suppression of hepatic glucose output, so that insulin and igf-1 levels are lower. Both berberine and metformin, (as mentioned previously, the drug commonly used for diabetes and PCOS), activate AMPK.

    Berberine has another action that metformin does not: it blocks proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin 9 (PCSK9), which plays a key role in metabolism of lipoprotein. Some people overexpress PCSK9 because of a genetic variant, and berberine helps lower their LDL particles by 10 to 32 percent

    It would seem that our genetic disorder relates to some of the things that berberine corrects, including the overexpression of PCSK9 or an issue with AMPK expression.

    So, while it is nice to say "no pill will replace hard work", the reality is that no hard work will inhibit PCSK9 or activate AMPK. So, the supplements are probably more necessary than the training.

    It's kind of like someone telling a man with primary hypogonadism that diet, exercise and sleep will correct his low testosterone. If your testes don't respond to LH, nothing other medicine will help. If your hypothalamus doesn't work properly, it doesn't give a rat's ass about your gym time or diet. Such can be the case with a bad liver and low SHBG.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  20. clear0cn

    clear0cn Member

    I've been doing a paleo diet for almost two months now and I feel great, lost at least 10 pounds of fat. My SHGB had decreased from around 35 to 23 over a year for no particular reason so I wanted to limit that drop since I was going to try a small cycle. My last blood work shgb couldn't be mesured because my total T was too high. I'm curious if I should try a low dose of berberine? Do you need a prescription?