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Are supplements for boosting testosterone really effective?

testosterone levels decrease with age -

Many supplements are available in the market which are over the prescription supplements that sell themselves as aphrodisiac and increase the libido while elevating the levels of testosterone as well.

The companies manufacturing these supplements claim that they have the power to enhance several male properties like increment of fertility, enhancement of libido and T-boosting. These products also promise to add gain to the muscles as well. But it is under discussion whether these supplements are really capable of boosting T. Let us discuss this further.

Libido or T-level?

These products claim that they enhance the T-levels, but at best cases the increment is only by 20% which is not very effective for practical purposes. It is to be noted that when the testosterone level goes up, the libido levels also elevate. But it is to be kept in mind that the reverse is not true.

The supplements make the users feel ornery because of which they might think that their T-levels have risen which is not true. These supplements are more of libido boosters than T-level boosters, so if you are aware of that and happy, then it is fine to use these!

Can the testosterone levels be elevated?

It is already discussed that these supplements can boost the testosterone levels by 20% and at very rare cases, by 50%. But it is not a very exciting thing to feel because the boost in testosterone can be realized only after a blood test.

It is to be kept in mind that the levels fluctuate frequently from one time to another depending on a number of factors. So, it is easy for these supplements to claim that they elevate the T-levels because very few will go and get a blood test done to confirm their statements.

A brief on the popular T-boosters

There are a number of supplements available in market. People purchase some of the products like crazy. Some of the supplements that top the lists are described below.
Tribulus Terrestris: This is the testosterone booster that tops the charts. This supplement greatly improves libido, but does not affect the T-levels at all. It works great for men who wish to improve their libido and confidence. It also protects the body greatly from the adverse effects of stress.
• D-Aspartic Acid (D-AA): It reached the epitome of fame when a study showed that it could increase the T-levels by 42% after usage of only twelve days. People went frenzy over it and reported that their libido as well as testicle size had increased with its use. However, another study stated that the testosterone levels came down to normal after a month because one month is not long enough for the increased T-levels to cause growth and development of muscles. However, D-AA has been known to increase testosterone and fertility when used by infertile men, but has no significant effects when used by athletes or those with normal T-Levels.
Zinc and magnesium: Both of these are parts of the ZMA formula. These minerals are lost from the body with sweat and while exercising. So, it is generally recommended as T-boosters for athletes. This only helps in getting the testosterone to the normal baseline of an individual. So, it can help a person who is deficient but will not increase the level of testosterone above the normal baseline for non-deficient people.
Maca: This non hormonal libido enhancer is popular among women going through the post-menopausal phase and among young women who don’t wish to use contraceptives. It does not boost testosterone and enhances the libido only after prolonged use, not immediately.
Fenugreek: this testosterone booster consists of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors which prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, even after lowering DHT which is thought to lower the libido, the supplement greatly improves the sexual functioning and the well-being. The testosterone level gets increased only by a bit which doesn’t cause any significant gain of muscles.
Tongkat Ali: this Malaysian herb mildly boosts the T-level for infertile men but has no effect on healthy men. It is a great booster of libido. It is more expensive than the other supplements which have been already discussed.
• Mucuna pruriens: this is a source of L-DOPA which is a precursor of dopamine which is another hormone for increasing libido. L-DOPA is also a T-booster because by increasing the dopamine activity, it suppresses prolactin. However, an average man does not a high level of prolactin unless he is on steroids, so it will not help in T-boosting for healthy men not on steroids.
Vitamin D: it is an important constituent of dietary supplements for overweight men whose T-levels are known to be increased by this supplement. However, the effect on athletes and young men is still under research. Supplementing with this takes the testosterone back to the baseline but doesn’t increase the level above the baseline.

No fairy dust!

As you have already come to know by now that the bestselling supplements available in the market do not work to improve the T-levels greatly so as to cause great muscle gain. So, there is no magic syrup which you can buy from the pharmacy and get your T levels high. But the secret to increasing T-levels lies in bringing about small changes in your daily life like lifting heavy weights, having tight and deep sleep, eating leafy vegetables and animal fats and of course not getting overweight.

Moral of the story

The companies manufacturing supplements have been undergoing several research on rats, single cases and on Petri dishes. Even if the studies claim great things, most of these are ineffective when used by humans. However, the supplements if needed should be used only in a targeted way.

As already discussed, if your T-level is lower than the baseline, choose a supplement to reach the normal. For further enhancement, most supplements do not work as you already know by now, so better rely on changing your lifestyle to a healthier one which will improve your overall being and not only libido and T-levels!