Do TESTOSTERONE boosting supplements work?
Updated: Sep 12
The article briefly examines some of the supplements that allegedly boost testosterone levels in men. We try checking scientific evidence for the effects of various testosterone boosting supplements. While some help boost normal testosterone levels others only help in correcting low testosterone levels. Let us look at science for answers.
In the earlier blog - 10 ways to increase testosterone naturally, we learnt what is testosterone, what are the effects of low testosterone and the top 10 ways to increase testosterone naturally. Let’s look at the various supplements that allegedly increase testosterone levels.
#1 FENUGREEK Extract:
There is some evidence which suggests that Fenugreek extract supplements may reduce the enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen. A reduction in such enzymes, in turn, reduces the testosterone to estrogen conversion. This may increase free testosterone and total testosterone levels. A study on Fenugreek extract supplements also proved an increase in strength, fat loss and libido.
A study found that caffeine could boost testosterone production. The study concluded: Caffeine has some potential to benefit training outcomes via the anabolic effects of the increase in testosterone concentration, but this benefit might be counteracted by the opposing catabolic effects of the increase in cortisol and the resultant decline in the testosterone:cortisol ratio.
#3 GINSENG Extract:
A clinical study concluded that the use of Ginseng extract significantly increases free testosterone and total testosterone.
#4 YOHIMBE Extract:
Yohimbe is extracted from the bark of a tree. There is some evidence that having Yohimbe extract may help in boosting testosterone. Yohimbe may also promote the release of nitric oxide leading to dilation of blood vessels for increased flow of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. It has also proved effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Yohimbe should be taken under the supervision of a doctor or a qualified nutrition consultant as there have been reports of side effects like anxiety, increased heart rate, seizure, heart attack and high blood pressure.
#5 DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE (DHEA):
Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is a hormone that has the capability of boosting testosterone. Some studies have found a testosterone increase of 20% in the group that was on DHEA supplementation as compared to a placebo group. However, most professional sports have banned the usage of DHEA for increasing testosterone.
#6 PINE BARK Extract:
Pine bark extract is produced from the bark of pine trees. Recent research suggests a combination of Pine bark extract and L-Arginine may increase testosterone production.
#7 GINGER Extract:
Most studies on the effects of Ginger extracts on testosterone were done on rats and have shown positive signs. However, there have been very few human studies. Although there is no study to prove the effectiveness of Ginger extract supplements to increase testosterone, the scientific community believes that Ginger extracts may help with boosting testosterone. Till then, we will have to wait for the results of such a study.
#8 TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS Extract:
Tribulus Terrestris has been in use (as an alternate medicine) to treat conditions like low sperm count, erectile dysfunction etc. There is some evidence that it may help correct testosterone in individuals with very low testosterone levels. However, there is no evidence that it may boost testosterone in individuals whose testosterone levels are normal.
#9 ASHWAGANDHA Extract:
Ashwagandha is a herb used in Indian medicine – Ayurveda. It is an adaptogen that helps the body handle anxiety and stress. There is some evidence that suggests Ashwagandha extract supplements can increase the production of testosterone. Being an adaptogen, it may help in reducing the production of Cortisol and thus increase testosterone production.
#10 ZINC & MAGNESIUM Supplements:
Zinc & magnesium supplements may help to reduce the decline in testosterone levels and help in getting the testosterone levels back to normal. However, there is little evidence to suggest that zinc and magnesium supplements may boost testosterone levels in individuals with normal testosterone levels.
#11 L-ARGININE Supplements:
L-Arginine is an amino acid. A combination of Pine bark extract and arginine has shown to increase testosterone levels.
#12 GARLIC Extract:
Studies on rats have found conclusive evidence that garlic extract combined with a high protein diet is capable of boosting testosterone. However, human studies have not been able to establish a link between consuming garlic extract supplements and increasing testosterone.
#13 BASELLA ALBA Extract:
Basella alba is a herb and its extract has shown to be effective in increasing testosterone in bulls and rats. However, human studies have not been able to establish a link between consuming Basella alba extract supplements and increasing testosterone.
#14 CHRYSIN Extract:
Lab research suggests Chrysin might increase testosterone and improve performance but research in humans has not found any effect on testosterone levels.
#15 SAW PALMETTO Extract:
Saw palmetto is proven to increase testosterone by preventing the breakdown of testosterone into its by-product called dihydrotestosterone.
#16 VITAMIN D Supplement:
Studies have been able to establish a link between low testosterone levels and deficiency in vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D supplement may help restore normal testosterone levels.
#17 D-ASPARTIC ACID:
D-Aspartic Acid is a type of amino acid. Studies have proven its efficiency in correcting low testosterone levels but have not found any link in boosting normal testosterone levels.
Now we understand that some testosterone supplements may boost normal testosterone levels, some may restore low testosterone levels to normal levels, some need more research to prove their effectiveness & uncover side effects and some may not work at all.