The Testosterone Supplement Myth
For the past decade we have been bombarded with marketing gimmicks and commercials promoting testosterone boosting supplements, creams, and potions from every media source conceivable. If you are reading this then you probably have already fallen prey to this claim of “natural” boosting and likely may have already put your money toward this claim. Hey, I have myself and I probably still have some old stuff on the shelf, LOL. But I’m here to tell you that this is a scam and most claims have no merit. These products simply just don’t work and I myself have fallen prey to this marketing ploy. Heck advertising has gotten so good that google knows where I am presently and what I am likely to spend my money on next. We all want to look and feel better and younger and why not. However, I don’t want to just blow my money on things that simply don’t work.
Why does this keep happening? First we live in a world of instant results and instant fixes. At least that is what we see on TV and social media. Also, we see influential people i.e fitness gurus and other people we look up to and trust that support and promote many of these fads. To make this worse, testosterone deficiency is a very real and ever increasing phenomenon afflicting a large population of men looking for answers.
Our media has influenced us in a negative way in regard to testosterone replacement because of the “juicing” or taking of other dangerous anabolic steroids. These unregulated and often foreign made steroids are in fact dangerous. This is not the case with regulated and monitored testosterone replacement. Unfortunately advertising has trumped good judgement and clinical facts. Testosterone has been studied extensively for the past three decades with many excellent health benefits seen with a monitored and supervised approach.
The vast supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA and as such companies can make wild claims about their products without any substantial proof. Unfortunately you don’t know if these products could actually raise your testosterone nor do you know if the ingredients used are actually genuine.
Of note there are some studies involving supplements that the makers point to with claims of success. And in fact some herbal supplements have been found to demonstrate a small increase in testosterone levels. However, the increase that has been shown is minimal at best and temporary and may not even be related to testosterone alone.
Tribulus terrestris is a plant based extract that is in many testosterone boosters. It’s benefits are almost totally confined to the ability to enhance libido. There is almost no evidence that correlates this with a measurable rise in testosterone. Neychev VK, et al found in their study in 2005 that Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men.
Next, Tongkat Ali is another herbal supplement that supposedly raises testosterone levels. It has been studied mostly in rats and the results were inconclusive. In one study of young men it did raise the testosterone a small percentage. The mean average increase was 80 ng/dL. Also the total testosterone was not affected.
Zinc Magnesium Aspartate or ZMA is another popular supplement. Zinc actually may raise your testosterone minimally if you have a zinc deficiency or possibly with overtraining states. However, when anabolic markers were studied there was no change at eight weeks.
Fenugreek was studied by a company that manufactures a Fenugreek based workout supplement. This study showed an average increase in serum testosterone levels of around 6%-7%. This is a tiny increase in levels and likely will have no health benefit. Other studies have shown no effects on hormonal levels. Again libido has been said to be increased but not testosterone.
There is really no good reason to try these supplements if you have low testosterone levels. A clinical dose of therapeutic testosterone has been proven without a doubt to optimize your testosterone. Proper Testosterone Replacement will raise your low t levels from less 350ng/dL often to greater than 1000ng/dL. There are many and various excellent health benefits with a regulated plan and physician supervised approach. The point of doctor input is to regulate a healthy level and to evaluate potential pitfalls of treatment. We measure objective data along the course of treatment to maintain excellent health and optimal testosterone levels.