Testosterone Boosting Ingredients To Avoid
Forget The Manufacturers Hype and claims – Of all the ingredients that you might see listed on a T-boosting supplement’s label, there are quite a few in common use that quite simply – DO NOT WORK.
From my intensive research, studies and personal experience over the past 12 years, I have compiled a list of natural ingredients commonly found in many T-boosters that are either worthless or weak and ineffective at best.
This article details many of the more common ones.
Bottom line here – If you find a supplement that lists a number of these in its formula, do not waste your money, and instead look for one that contains many of the ingredients listed in my list of effective t-boosting ingredients.
Table Of Contents
- 0.1 Testosterone Boosting Ingredients To Avoid
- 0.2 T-Boosting Ingredients That Do Not Work
- 0.3 Tribulus Terrestris : Effective T-Booster Or All Hype?
- 0.4 Can Banaba Leaf Boost Testosterone
- 0.5 Milk Thistle
- 0.6 Maca
- 0.7 Horny Goats Weed – Icariin
- 0.8 Ecdysteroids
- 0.9 Hawthorn Berries
- 0.10 Gingko Biloba
- 0.11 Saw Palmetto
- 0.12 Astragalus Membranaceus
- 0.13 Coleus Forskohlii
- 0.14 Massularia Acuminata
- 0.15 Cordyceps
- 0.16 DHEA
- 0.17 Cissus Quadrangularis
- 0.18 Deer Velvet Antler
- 0.19 Ginger
- 1 Licorice
- 1.1 Eurycoma Longifolia Jack
- 1.2 Basella Alba
- 1.3 Hibiscus Macranthus
- 1.4 Rhodiola Rosea
- 1.5 Paederia Foetida
- 1.6 20-hydroxyecdysone
- 1.7 Damiana
- 1.8 Rhaponticum Carthamoides
T-Boosting Ingredients That Do Not Work
Tribulus Terrestris : Effective T-Booster Or All Hype?
When you look at natural testosterone boosters, one ingredient that appears in a great number of them is Tribulus Terrestris.
Its actually one of the most popular natural ingredients in the world, but whats the real story behind it….
Does it really deliver on its claims and promises?
In this article, I take a look at Tribulus Terrestris. its source, and the tests of clinical studies that have looked at its potential for boosting testosterone.
Extracted from the plant group Zygophyllaceae, an annual creeping plant common to Eastern Asia, China as well as parts of southern Europe. It has wide spread and well documented uses in Chinese medicine with its fruits being used for the treatment of various health problems including:
- Abdominal Distention
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Disease.
In Indian medicine, the root is widely used with its uses aimed at treating
- Poor appetite and jaundice.
Also Known As
It can sometimes appear on ingredient labels as : Gokshura, Puncture Vine, Yellow Vine, Goathead and Caltrop.
There are no less than 25 species of Tribulus, with the types found in Bulgaria, China and India being said to be the most effective when used in supplement form.
The main components found in Tribulus include
- Sulphated Spirostanol saponins
- Vitamin C
Uses Of Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus has been found to be beneficial when used to treat the following:
- Cardiovascular problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Menopausal symptoms
- Poor Appetite
- High Cholesterol
When used for libido enhancing purposes, using a 60% saponin extract, a dose of between 200-450mg per day is thought to be sufficient.
Clinical Studies That Looked At Tribulus Terrestris
Now although some results from animal studies can be repeated in humans, this results, even from our closest relations – monkeys many do vary because of the subtle but key differences in the human body.
Trials Involving Human Test Subjects
Most of the marketing hype surrounding Tribulus Terrestris is based on the results of one clinical trial carried out in 1985.
Using an extract containing 10% protodioscin. 16 humans ( 8 men, and 8 women) were given daily doses of tribulus terrestris. The results did return a significant increase in testosterone. The trouble with this study is that the number of test subjects is tiny.
Other studies have been performed since 1985 on healthy men and all have failed to replicate the results.
Does Tribulus Terrestris Boost Testosterone?
There was one other human trial carried on on a number of men who were suffering with low sperm count.
The results did show a very small increase in libido, erection strength and testosterone production.
The one problem was with this trial is the size of the dose that the test subjects had to take. They took 6000mg per day – a simply huge dose.
With most supplement makers recommending 500-1000mg per day at best – maybe 1500mg at a push, this would mean taking several horse sized pills to get this amount per day into your body.
Potential Health Problems/Side Effects
Let alone the potential for health problems – looking at webmd it can effect blood sugar levels and mess with medication in people with diabetes, it has shown to be potentially harmful to unborn babies when taken by pregnant women.
Considered safe to be taken for periods of up to 90 days, it has also been linked to some side effects that can include stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, sleeping problems, and excess bleeding in menstrual women.
Eating the actual unprocessed fruit is not generally advised and is considered to be possible unsafe. There has been one isolated report of serious lung problems linked to eating the fruit.
My Conclusion On Tribulus Terrestris
In spite of the overwhelming hype and claims made by countless supplement manufacturers, the claims linked surrounding Tribulus terrestris as an effective testosterone boosting ingredient are largely unfounded and rather misguiding.
There is no solid clinical evidence that demonstrates a clear link to increased testosterone by taking Tribulus Terrestris.
The couple of human studies that have reported very mild increases in testosterone are isolated at best, and numerous further studies have failed to replicate the results.
As for the age old claims that it can boost libido and erection strength, again the results are rather limited, with no positive effects at all being recorded in otherwise healthy men.
“As one of the most over hyped testosterone boosting ingredients on the market, its not one that I would recommend that you take at all… “
That said if you did want to try it especially for libido boosting purposes, make sure that you take an extract that contains a minimum of 60% Saponins.
If you are looking for a clinically proven testosterone boosting supplement, a good place to start would be by looking at my recommended T-booster page (Click Here).
From my intensive studies and research, I have evaluated and reviewed many of the popular products out there and have, based on my findings, compiled a list of the products that deliver the best results, use only clinically approved ingredients (note Tribulus does not appear in ANY of them).
Whats more they all offer cash back guarantees which assure buyers of a full refund should they after taking as directed, be unhappy with the results.
Can Banaba Leaf Boost Testosterone
Found In A Few Testosterone Boosting Supplements, But Does Banaba Leaf Actually Work?
Banaba leaf ( also known as Lagerstromia) is a plant based supplement common used for its anti diabetic properties..
It has also been claimed to have muscle boosting properties and can be found in a few testosterone boosting products.
Also known as Banaba, Crape Myrtle, Crepe Myrtle.
Taking Banaba Leaf
There have been no trials that actually confirm both minimum and maximum doses,.
It has been shown in trials to be effective when taking the leaf extract at 3000mg per day.
The following compounds in Banaba Leaf include
- Valeoneaic acid
- Ethyl Gallate
- Betulinic Acid
- Caffeic Acid
- Corosolic Acid
The two key compounds are believed to be Valoneaic and Corosolic Acids
it has been found to have minor anti oxidant effects and it may be able to contribute to better glucose control in diabetics.
Can Banaba Leaf Boost Testosterone?
There have been no clinical studies ( that are publicly available anyway) that either prove or disprove manufacturers claims that Banaba Leaf can help to increase testosterone levels,
claims by some manufacturers that it can help increase muscle mass are also unfounded…
The only proven effect of Banaba Leaf is its ability to help control glucose in diabetics. – Something that has been proven in both animal and human clinical trials…
The Testosterone Boosting Effects Of Milk Thistle
Appearing in a number of testosterone boosting supplements is Milk Thistle… but what is it and does it have any effect on testosterone production? Milk Thistle is a member of the plant family Asteraceae.. a medicinal thistle that has some well documented uses in traditional medicines.
It gets its name from the white veins that run through the plants leaves, and has a history that dates back to the ancient Roman and Greeks.
Also Known As
It can also be found on supplement labels as:
- Marian Thistle
- Mary Thistle
- St Mary’s Thistle
- Holy Thistle
- Sow Thistle
- Christs Crown
- Venue Thistle
- Heal Thistle
- Variegated Thistle
- Wild Artichoke
- Carduus Marianus
- Silybum Marianum
In traditional medicines it has been used to help treat conditions including:
Gall Bladder disorders including Hepatitis, Jaundice and Cirrhosis.. it is also believed to help protect the liver from chemical and natural toxins including some types of snake venom, mushroom and alcohol poisoning.
Studies have shown that it could have anti-obesity effects but the evidence is still somewhat limited to trials with mice – read study here-
The main components found in Milk Thistle are:
- Vitamin E
- Funaric Acid
- Triterpene acetate
Can Milk Thistle Boost Testosterone
Currently there is no clinical evidence whatsoever that Milk Thistle has any beneficial effects with regard to testosterone production.. there are no recorded trials that have ever looked into this and therefore its effects, both positive and adverse ( if any) are unknown and unproven.
Maca is part of the same family of plants as the Broccoli family, native to and found only in Peru, its roots best resemble a turnip..
There are two main types of Maca. largely identified by the colour of the root itself – Black Maca has a purplish/black root and Red Maca – Red, there is also a yellow form.
Also known as Peruvian Ginseng, Maca Root and Lepidium
Uses Of Maca
It has a history of being used as an aphrodisiac and for its ability (in particular red Maca) to help reduce prostate hypertrophy.
As a food stuff its taste is not particularly pleasant, often considered to be rather earthy or grassy.. In supplement form it is advised to take it in tablet form as opposed to powder.
Although tested for its effects on various health aspects, it has only been shown to have positive effects ( to varying degrees) on
- Menopause (slight reduction in symptoms)
- Depression in post menopausal women
- Anxiety in post menopausal women
- Erection Frequency
- Sexual Function
- General Well Being
- Blood Pressure
There have been no reported issues with human consumption of Maca..
Doses of up to 3g per day have been well tolerated with no reported side effects
Taking Maca To Boost Testosterone
There have been many trials to study the effect of Maca on both testosterone production and luteinizing hormone.
Trials including healthy men involved them taking between 1.5g and 3g of root extract for 12 weeks..
While there were positive increases in libido and sexual function in virtually all test subjects there was no evidence whatsoever that testosterone levels had increased at all.
Other similar trials on both testosterone production and luteinizing hormone production have also shown no benefits.
It has been clinically established that while Maca Root does generally have a positive effect on both libido and general sexual function ( both common symptoms of low testosterone).
It does not however have a direct affect on testosterone production itself.. That said, It still may be beneficial to men with reduced sex drive..
Horny Goats Weed – Icariin
The Testosterone Boosting Effects Of Horny Goats Weeds
A popular natural ingredient found in many male health supplements is Horny Goats Weed
Also known as Epimedium, Icariin, Fairy Wings, Rowdy Lamb Herb, Yinyanghuo or Herba Epimdii
Horny Goats Weed is the recognised name for the plant genus Epimedium… is active ingredient is a compound known as Icariin
Its main constituent components are:
- IkariosideA and B
- Sagittatoside B
- Diphylloside A and B
Horny Goats Weed gets its name from ancient Chinese sheep and goat herders who noticed that the sexual activity of their herds increased once they eat the leaves of these plants.
Sometimes referred to by its main active ingredient Icariin.
It has found a place in many male sexual health supplements, largely down to its know ability to increase libido and sexual function.
Human studies have suggested that 60mg daily is the lowest effective dose, better results have been achieved with slightly larger amounts…
As an ideal guide
- a 150lb man should take 110mg
- a 200lbs man should up to 150mg
Its primarily use has been established a a libido enhancer or aphrodisiac,
There have been suggestions that it has the ability to boost both cognitive function and heart health, and it has been linked with slight improvements in bone density.
Horny Goats Weed And Testosterone
Despite many manufacturers claims, various studies ( that have all been carried out on animals with no human testing) fail to be conclusive.
Studies involving castrated rats showed a marked increase in erection potency and sexual activity but regretfully zero or minimal changes at best in testosterone production…
Numerous other studies returned similar results.
The general feeling is that although icariin has the inbuilt mechanism to increase testosterone production, it actually fails to do so.
Read The Recent Studies Here
Despite its well documented and researched abilities in helping to boost libido and general sexual function.
Icariin has no actual proven testosterone boosting properties..
However, its proven abilities could make it useful to a man with low testosterone, but only if reduced sex drive is the only problem.
Ecdysteroids are found in some male testosterone boosting supplements, but what are they and just how affective can they be?
Ecdysteroids are class of hormones that are actually the androgens of the insect world.. also found in many plants ( about 6% of all plants in existence) they are primarily involved in the reproduction cycle and little else..
Common sources of Ecdysteroids include
- White Button Mushrooms
- Ajuga Turkestanica
- Vitex Scabra
Ecdystroids are found in the formulas of some supplements under the names: Suma Root or Extract, Brazilian Ginseng, Beta-ecdysterone, Turketsterone and Ecdysterone.
They get their name as they have a steroid backbone and by their association with the moulting process ( called ecdysis).
They are usually present in plants to help protect the plants from pests and unwanted insects
Also found in insects, they are hormonal compounds used in the sexual reproduction of insects.
They have a similar makeup to testosterone and is considered the most ‘testosterone like compound’ in insects.
It is considered that an effective dose is in the region of 200mg per day…
When tested on Rats they have been given 5mg/kg of body weight and it does appear to show anabolic properties.
Clinical Testing looking at Testosterone Boosting in Humans
There have been 6 clinical studies that have looked into the benefits of supplementation with Ecdysteroids..
These range from 2006 to present day.
Only one trial has been carried out on Humans, the rest being performed on both Rats and Mice under strict laboratory conditions.
The Human study was carried out in 2006 at the Human Performance Lab, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Belton, Texas..
it followed 45 resistance trained males aged between 18 and 29.. over six months they were given 200mg Suma Root ( 60mg Ecdysterone) daily
When the results were evaluated it was apparent that no significant change in testosterone production had taken place in any of the test subjects.
The Studies Conclusion Reads As Follows:
Ecdysterone, and sulfopolysaccharide (CSP3) did not significantly affect anabolic or catabolic responses to resistance training, body composition, or training adaptations.
“Since most of the previous studies reporting positive effects of ecdysterones have been reported in obscure journals with limited details available to evaluate the experimental design and quality of the research, it is difficult to compare results.
Nevertheless, present findings do not support the purported ergogenic benefit of ecdysterone supplementation in resistance-trained males.”
Supplementing with ecdysterone (Suma) has not shown any proven ability to increase testosterone in any male and it must be now assumed that its testosterone boosting effects are negative..
There a number of testosterone boosting products that include Hawthorn Berries in their ingredient formula….
We have taken a good look at this ingredient and our findings are as follows:
Hawthorn Berries ( real name Crataegus Pinnatifida) is a commonly used herbal extract that is traditionally used to boost Heart health.
Also known as:
- Chinese Hawthorn,
The fruit of the Crataegus Pinnatifida, it is native to northern China, and can also be found in parts of Japan, Europe,North America and South Korea..
There are up to 18 different types of the plant, and most have similar properties ( it is claimed)
Its key components include
- Chlorogenic acid
- Citric, Quinic and Malic acids.
Most parts of the plant does appear to have extremely good levels of anti-oxidants, largely due to its high levels of phenolic compounds..
The fruit is the most commonly used part in health supplements.
The most common uses for Hawthorn berry include the treatment of Congestive Heart Failure, High Blood Pressure, Hypoxia and Hyperlipemia ( abnormally high levels of lipids and lipid protein in the blood)
It has also been shown to help boost hair growth in Wistar Lab Rats, so could have the same effect when used by men suffering with hairloss (untested on humans).
Hawthorn Berries And Testosterone Boosting
There have been no clinical trials that have investigated the possibility of hawthorn and any testosterone boosting properties..
In fact there have been NO human trials whatsoever on hawthorn on its affects on any health condition
Hawthorn has no clinically approved benefits regarding testosterone boosting, we suggest that you avoid any product that tells you otherwise…
Gingko Biloba is a popular natural extract found in many supplements..
Many manufacturers claim that it has far reaching benefits across a broad lost of health issues.
It is in fact one of the 10 most popular dietary supplements in the western world,….
Also known as the Maidenhair or Fossil tree, it is on of the oldest types of tree to be found on earth with a history that dates back around 190 million years..
Popular in Chinese medicine, the fruits and seeds were the first to be used, but nowadays the leaf extract is just as popular.
Gingko has a number of unique components that include
- Gingkolic acid
The key components are Bilobalide and Gingkolides
It has been established that doses ranging between 40mg-240mg are sufficient to boost cognitive function and provide other benefits…
Gingko is primarily used to improve cognitive function, focus and concentration, it has however showed some positive effects when used to treat:
- Post Menstrual Syndrome
- Sleep Quality
Gingko Biloba And Low Testosterone
Gingko has not demonstrated any ability whatsoever when taken to boost testosterone levels in trials and studies….
it has however been shown in trials involving Wistar rats that it can boost nitric oxide in the blood which could have a positive effect on erection quality and longevity….
It’s ability to help improve focus and memory could also be of benefit to anybody with advanced hypogonadism
As an actual Testosterone booster, Gingko fails to deliver on all counts.
That said if erection problems or poor concentration are problems to you, it is possible that supplementation with Gingo Biloba at the right amounts daily could in some cases offer some potential benefits..
A Common Ingredient In Male Health Supplements – But Does It Work?
Saw Palmetto is a natural fatty acid extracted from the plant serenoa repens, a dwarf palm tree found in parts of America
Commonly used to help boost libido and sperm motility, as a diuretic and also to help boost breast size in women.
It is also thought to have testosterone boosting properties and also is used to help control and/or stop male hairloss. This is down to it causing a blocking effect on the enzyme that changes testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) something that is known to cause hairless in some men.
Taking Saw Palmetto
The recommended dose is usually between 160 and 320mg per day ( using an extract that contains 80-90% liposterolic compounds
There are no reported side effects with exception of two reported (rare) cases of pancreatitis.
Saw Palmetto contains a number of fatty free acids that include
- Lauric acid
- Myristic acid
- Linoieic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Oleic acid
Lauric and Oleic appear to be the most prominent.
Uses Of Saw Palmetto
It is often used to help treat benign prostate hyperplasmia and treat irregular urine flow in men.
Saw Palmetto and Testosterone Production
Despite numerous claims by countless manufacturers and its inclusion in a large number of male health supplements, there are no clinically proven benefits reported that actually prove that increased testosterone production and/or libido can be gained by taking Saw Palmetto.
The only interaction regarding testosterone is its ability to reduce DHT and therefore can possibly help guard against male hairloss…
Astragalus Membranaceus is a semi-common ingredient found in an ever increasing number of male health supplements… often those aimed at boosting a flagging sex drive and other symptoms associated with low testosterone.
Astragalus Membranaceus is a natural herbal extract that is commonly used in traditional medicines…it is thought to have anti inflammatory effects and is also believed to increase life expectancy..
Also known as Astralagus, Huangqi, membranous Milk Vetch Root, Ogi, Huang Qi and TA-65
A member of the Fabaceae group of herbs.. it is native to areas of Mongolia, Northern China and Siberia.. The root is the main source for any extracts and is often used in a warm drink where it has a sweet taste with a slight element of heat.
It contains a great many various flavanoids, saponins and polysaccharides along with amoino acids, sucrose and phenolic acids. These Include
- HDTIC Isomers
- Gluconic Acid
The key ingredient is one of the astrogalosides… a steroidal saponin
In traditional Chinese Medicines, Astragalus Membranaceus has been used to treat diarrhoea, fatigue, reduced appetite, breathing issues, sweating and frequent colds.. it is also thought to increase longevity.. although an interesting thought, something that remains unstudied and unlikely.
It has been shown to have benefits when protecting heart health.. Studies have shown that it has a slight benefit when used to lower blood pressure
Astralagus and Testosterone
There have been no clinical studies carried out that either prove or disprove the effects on testosterone production… one study did demonstrate a slight increase in sperm motility in Wistar rats,
There are suggestions that it could help preserve male fertility, but there have been no clinical tests carried out on human subjects to confirm this possibility.
Despite its inclusion in a number of testosterone boosting supplements, there is no direct evidence whatsoever that Astralagus has ANY effect on testosterone production whatsoever.. the possibility of it being able to boost sperm motility should not be discounted, but overall, its currently not one to be recommended without further testing..
Another natural ingredient appearing in a few natural health supplements is Coleus Forskohlii.. A natural indian plant based herbal extract that is commonly found in fat burning formulas.
Its active compound is called Forskolin.. it works in the body to activate an enzyme that increases a molecule known as cAMP.
When this molecule (cAMP) is increased in fat cells, it can help speed the fat burning process, thus making the supplements more effective.
Coleus Forskohlii is also known as Foskolin, Coleonol and 7beta-acetoxy-1alpha,6beta,9alpha-trihydroxy-8,13-epoxy-labd-14-en-11-one.
Effects Of Coleus Forskohlii Supplementation
It has been reported that taking Coleus Forskohlii can help reduce or alleviate symptoms of the following:
- Obesity ( more effective in males)
- Intraocular pressure
- Bone Mineral Density
- Body Fat Mass
- HDL Cholesterol
It has a yellowish brown colour when in supplement form, it is known for its quite pleasant smell, but bitter taste
The suggested dose is 500mg (10% forskolin) per day, often split into two servings.
Coleus Forskohlii As A Testosterone Booster
There have been a few studies that examined just how Coleus Forskohlii reacted and worked at hormonal levels to increase testosterone levels.
The results do seem to show a minor increase when a dose of 250mg was taken twice a day by men who were overweight.
Its ability to increase cAMP replicates the actions of luteinizing hormone in the testicles to increase testosterone levels.
It has also shown an ability to induce CYP34 in the liver – another precursor to increased testosterone productions
The general thoughts are that Coleus Forskohlii is more effective when used in overweight men… those that were slimmer and/or fitter saw little or no increases in testosterone.
Coleus Forskohlii has shown some beneficial effects in the regeneration of testosterone production
Its effects, however, do appear to me more effective in men ( more than women) who are obese..
Generally speaking, anybody who is otherwise fit, healthy and of average weight will possibly fail to see any benefits from taking Coleus Forskohlii..
Massularia Acuminata is a herbal based treatment originating from Nigeria in Africa.
Local tribespeople use it as both a chewing stick, to help treat gum problems and it has been suggested that its extract has both aphrodisiac and testosterone boosting properties.
Also know as Pako, Ljebu and Orin Ljebu, its extract appears in a few male health supplements aimed at boosting low testosterone and sexual response.
Massularia Acuminata has only actually been clinically tested on Lab Rats, from this research, the estimated safe dosage for humans has been calculated out at 50mg per KG of body weight.
For a 150lb man this would work out at 550mg daily, 200lbs 700mg and so on.
Made up from a mixture of Alkaloids, Saponins, Phenolics, Flavanoids and Tannins, research has failed to identify a key active ingredient.
Uses Of Massularia Acuminata
Apart from the unsubstantiated claims on its testosterone boosting and libido enhancement abilities, the common use of Massularia Acuminata in Africa is as an anti gingivitis treatment
Effects On Testosterone And Libido Enhancement
The only clinical studies on Massularia Acuminata have involved lab rats.. in several studies there were some increases in testosterone shown.. the general feeling is that this increase was caused by increased sexual activity and not a direct result of the ingredient generating increases in testosterone production.
One thing was apparent and that was lower doses seem to be more effective.
Is Massularia Acuminata Safe
It has been shown to be potentially harmful to the liver in Rats…. there have been no tests on humans to confirm or deny both the effects and risks
Untested and Unproven… don’t fall for the hype surrounding this ingredient..
Another ingredient commonly found in many male health supplements is Cordyceps… a type of mushroom that is commonly found in various chinese medical treatments.
With suggested benefits that include anti ageing and fertility boosting properties, I look into this natural ingredient and check out the facts..
Cordyceps is also known as Cordyceps sinensis, Caterpillar fungus, Cetepiller mushroom, Summer grass-winter worm, Totsu Kasu, Aweto
A mushroom that is traditionally used to treat fertility and sexual function in eastern chinese medicine, it is said to have libido and sexual performance enhancing properties..
It is suggested but not proven that a safe daily dose of Cordyceps is around 1000mg
The compounds found in Cordyceps include:
- Cordyceptic Acid
- Various Peptides
Uses For Cordyceps
There are no recorded tests and trials involving the use of cordyceps on humans concerning testosterone production, its effects on this and various health conditions has however been tested on rats and mice under laboratory conditions.
Cordyceps has been shown to have fatigue and stress reducing properties.. initial thoughts on its ability to increase the ability to undertake aerobic exercise are largely unproven..
There has been just one study looking at how the effects of cordyceps help older people to perform exercise which did report some slight improvements..further research is required to confirm its effects..
It has also been shown that Cordyceps can reduce both cAMP and HcG steroidogenesis, this works along the same lines as another ingredient – Coleus Foskohlii.. this has provided some minor increases in testosterone production, but these results are based on testing with mice and rats and its effects on actual human hormone production are untested and unknown.
Products Containing Cordyceps
Despite its uses in traditional Chinese medicine the facts are that any effects and results on humans are largely untested and unproven…. It may have a positive effect on energy, libido and sexual response particularly in older people.
Dehydroepiandrosterone ( DHEA) is an ingredient found in some natural testosterone boosting products..
In its natural state it is one of the most abundant circulating steroid to be founds in humans, it is naturally produced in the brain, gonads, and the adrenal glands where its main purpose is to help in the biosynthesis of both Testosterone and Estrogen..
When extracted, it can be used in supplement form, its primary use is actually in women who are suffering from adrenal insufficiency, and it has been used ever since 2000 in treatments to correct female infertility.
There has been minimal testing into its effects in helping to reducing cardiovascular disease.. so far the studies have failed to determine any cardiovascular benefits.
There is some short term evidence that treatment with DHEA can help reduce the effects of Lupus but the long term effects are currently unknown.
It is not known if long term treatment with DHEA is actually safe, some research has suggested that DHEA based supplements could actually increase the risk of Breast and Prostate cancers, diabetes and strokes, it is thought to stimulate and enlarge prostate glands, as well as causing possible male hair loss, increased anxiety, sleep problems and in women – unusual hair growth.. studies also show the possibility that it can alter the body’s regulation of blood sugar.
Courtesy Of Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA is produced from cholesterol through two cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone by the enzyme P450 scc (side chain cleavage); then another enzyme, CYP17A1, converts pregnenolone to 17α-hydroxypregnenolone and then to DHEA
DHEA is a banned substance ( for use in sports events) under the code of the world anti doping agency, it is however, legal for sale in the US as a dietary supplement, in many other countries such as Canada and Australia, it is only strictly available by prescription..
It is considered that persons aged over 40, should be able to take DHEA in amounts of up to 100mg without too many risks.. a recommended dose in the younger person has not been established.
Effects Of DHEA
DHEA is commonly used in a topical form ( cream or gels) to treat reduced libido and other symptoms of post menopausal women, it is shown to provide an increase in the sex hormone Estrogen.
It can help reduce concentrations of SHBC in overweight older individuals.. 50mg of DHEA given to menopausal women aged between 45-64 over a 6 month period did show an overall increase in estrogen/androgen concentrations –
It has been thought to reduce levels of cortisol, but studies are inconclusive
Often used to help increase fertility, studies have shown that women taking 75mg of DHEA has improved successful cases of IVF –
DHEA and Testosterone
DHEA is found in some testosterone boosting supplements, and there have been numerous studies looking into its effects.. the majority of tests have ( it has to be said) been carried out on women looking into its fertility boosting effects, but there have been a number of trials carried out on adult males
One trial looked at the effects of DHEA on 40 healthy males, they were given 50mg of DHEA twice daily for 12 weeks.. the results were largely disappointing, with no noticeable increases in free or serum testosterone being recorded –
Another study looked at the effects of DHEA supplementation on 30 healthy and young men aged between 19-29 who took regular exercise, a daily dose of 150mg DHEA over 8 weeks failed to provide any increases in testosterone
Numerous other studies and trials have been performed using DHEA on both adult men and women of various age ranges..
The only group that showed regular improvements in testosterone were menopausal and post menopausal women… tests in the young, and in particularly male test subjects of any age were largely inconclusive.
DHEA certainly has its part to play in boosting sex hormones, but the trials and studies all show that it is only really effective in the older woman.. it has its potential for health risks as well, so care does need to be taken when using DHEA as part of daily supplementation…
One ingredient starting to appear in an increasing amount of male health supplements that include treatments that promise to boost testosterone is Cissus Quadrangularis
Cissus Quadrangularis is a herbal extract found in traditional medicine that is often used to treat joint and bone health, along with female health issues including the menopause and libido problems.
The extract is taken from a plant found in parts of Asia, including India, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
It is also known as Harjor, Asthi Shrinkhala and Bone Setter
Cissus Quadrangularis contains certain active compounds that include
- Isometric Ketosteroids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Uses Of Cissus Quadrangularis
Its traditional uses include the aforementioned treatment of female disorders such as menopause and libido/menstrual problems
It is however most used by athletes however as it is claimed to have muscle relaxing and joint protecting properties, especially to help reduce joint and muscle pain after intensive workouts.
There are also limited reports of its ability to speed the healing time of fractures, the majority of these studies have been performed using test animals, so whether to same effect will be seen in humans is still unknown.
There have been two studies on humans that have looked at the fat reduction benefits of cissus… a natural gum type compound similar in makeup to glucommanan – a natural extract which is found in a large number of appetite suppressing supplements. The studies although largely inconclusive have showed an appetite suppressing tendency which could lead to weight loss.
It is suggested that a daily dose of between 300-600mg per day could be beneficial, some studies, in particular those studying the effects of Cissus Quadrangularis on joint pain used higher doses of up to 3200mg
Cissus Quadrangularis As A Testosterone Booster
While Cissus Quadrangularis can help reduce joint pain and possibly muscle fatigue, regretfully there is no clinical evidence of its ability to improve any symptom of low testosterone or elevate the natural levels of the hormone itself…
Deer Velvet Antler
Velvet Antler is a common ingredient found in many male health supplements.. The extract is taken from crushed or powdered antlers, largely taken from deer, it can also be taken from elk antlers.
Its main uses are in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, immune deficiencies, tissue repair, gynaecological problems and general health promotion.
The main part of the antler responsible for the extract is the base…
Velvet Antler Is Also Known As
Deer Velvet Antler, Deer Antler, Elk Velvet Antler, Cervus, Lu Jiao Pan…
The Extract of Deer Velvet Antler is largely composed of
- Hylasuronic acid
- Copper and Manganese
- fatty acids
- Various Bioactive peptides
Velvet Antler has a very similar mineral profile to bone tissue, it could contain certain growth hormones such as testosterone but these are in too small quantities to be active ingredients.
Their is no clinically proven dose for use on humans, most supplement experts suggest that 500mg is the beneficial daily amount
The Uses Of Velvet Antler
The compound has been tested for its ability to help treat many health conditions, this is without doubt the reason why it appears in the formulas of many health supplements.
Despite many claims and trials looking into its beneficial effects, it has only been shown in one study to provide a minor boosting effect to muscle torque ( strength) all other trials have failed to show any benefits to this commonly used compound.
Does It Boost Low Testosterone
There has been at least two studies involving human test subjects looking at the testosterone boosting ability of velvet antler… 1 study running over 12 weeks saw healthy adult men take 1000mg of velvet antler.. the results were disappointing with no increases in testosterone being recorded.
Another study, also using health adult males saw them take an increased daily dose of 1500mg over a period of 11 weeks… again, the same result occurred, with no increases in free or serum testosterone being recorded.
Other trials looking at the effect on Luteinizing Hormone failed to reveal any effects.
Despite its inclusion in many popular male health products inparticular a large number of testosterone boosting supplements.. the facts are quite clear that Velvet Antler has no proven benefits when taken to either boost testosterone or any other symptoms associated with reduced hormone levels.
Ginger is a common spice well used in both cooking and in Traditional medicines..
Also known as Zingiber Officinale Roscoe or Zingiberaceae
Common Uses For Ginger
Ginger is commonly used to treat nausea and stomach upsets, it is also beloved to help reduce travel sickness and even nausea caused after anaesthetic
Taking Ginger Extract
To help prevent nausea, a dose of approximately 1-3g are usually deemed effective other health benefits can be obtained by taking it in larger doses.
Uses Of Ginger Extract in Supplement Form
Ginger has been tried and tested on many aspects of general health and has been shown to have provide positive effects ( to varying degrees) on the following:
- Gastric Emptying
- Osteoporosis (Slight)
- Inflammation Of Joints ( Mild Effect)
- Bad Cholesterol Levels
- Colon Cancer
- Muscle Pain
- Vertigo – Still under testing (but results look positive)
- Appetite – has shown appetite reducing properties
- Ejaculate Volume
- Sexual Response
- Sperm Count
- Semen Motility.
Ginger As A Testosterone Booster
There have been clinical studies that have tested the ability of ginger supplementation to boost production of both testosterone and luteinizing hormone in men suffering with reduced libido…
Over a three month trial involving infertile men, an increase of 17.7% testosterone production and 43.2% luteinizing hormone was shown.
Similar trials revealed increased semen motility (40.7%) and a small increase in actual sperm count (16.2%)
You can read the trial reports here – http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=71548
Ginger has been proven to have positive effects on the male libido and general sexual response, both key effects of reduced testosterone levels, further studies have shown that good increase in testosterone levels can seen after relatively short term supplementation containing Ginger root extract.
Licorice – More Than Just Candy??
Licorice is one of our most popular forms of candy…. it is also a common addition in health supplements… taken from the root of the plant Glycyrrhiza ( part of the Glabra species)..
It is often used in Chinese medicine and has several uses as both a vitality promoting agent and also to aid certain digestive disorders. It contains certain protective flavanoids that can have health benefits.
Licorice is also known as Liquorice, Yashtimadhu, Glycyrrhiza, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis, and Glycyrrhia Glabra.
Chinese medicine recommends doses of around 8-15mg for maintaining general health, and up to 100mg for treating certain disease states.
Licorice contains the following bioactive compounds
- Glycyrrhetinic acid
- Glycyrrhyzic acid
- Various flavanoids
- Isoangustone A
- Lichochalcone A-E
The two key components being Glycyrrhizin and its metabolite Glycyrrhetinic acid..
Uses And Effects
Licorice has been studied with regard to its effects on certain health issues..
Cortisol – it has been shone to increase levels of the stress hormone Cortisol
LDL – It can decrease the oxidation of LDL
Lipid Peroxidation – Minor decrease in Lipid Peroxidation has been shown
DHEA – Licorice can increase levels of serum DHEA
Canker Sores – Licorice has been shown to reduce the pain and size of canker sores
Blood Pressure – Has the potential to increase Blood Pressure
Parathyroid Hormone – Shown To Increase Parathyroid Hormone
Can Licorice Boost Testosterone
Licorice has been shown in clinical studies to actually REDUCE testosterone levels, the study, looking at healthy male test subjects saw the men given 7g of liquorice daily for 7 days… the results indicated a dramatic drop in testosterone levels down to 55% of the pre-trial readings Another similar study showed a slightly lower drop in testosterone of 26%
In most men – normal testosterone production returned within 4-7 days after cessation of the trial
Licorice can have some health benefits, but the majority of studies do show that quite possibly, its detrimental effects possibly outweigh any benefits… For sure any testosterone boosting supplements containing licorice should be avoided….
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack (AKA Tongkat Ali, Longjack or Malaysian Ginseng) is a commonly used herbal extract that is often found in various male health supplements, particularly those aimed at boosting virility and sexual response.
It has also been shown to help reduce anxiety, but this effect needs more testing and trials before being confirmed.
It is known for its bitter taste when taken in forms other than those that are pill based
Other Uses Of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack
There have been clinical studies that have demonstrated positive results in the treatment of:
- Weight Reduction (minor effects when taken by obese men)
- Stress (minor reductions)
- Cortisol Levels ( minor reductions of around 16%)
- Energy Levels ( Slight Increases have been noted)
Safe Or Recommended Dosage
The recommended dose of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack is considered to be in the region of 200mg per day
The ingredient is not legally allowed to be sold in some countries… the UK being one example
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack – Sex Drive And Testosterone
Eurycoma has proved to be a reasonably effective libido booster, however when taking its testosterone boosting benefits into account, the jury is most decidedly out..
There have been tests that have shown some increases in testosterone in subjects who were hypogonadic..and one test carried out in Malaysia saw 320 men diagnosed with late onset and extreme hypogonadism treated with 200mg Eurycoma Longifolia Jack in a soluble form.
Over a period of a month most subjects saw an increase in serum testosterone averaging 46% – read study results here
In safe doses, it is accepted that Eurycoma could have some benefits to any man suffering the effects of low testosterone, especially with regard to libido and erection problems..
It does however seems to be more effective when patients are suffering with extreme clinical hypogonadism ( 6umol/L)
It does appears to be less likely to be effective when levels are only moderately low.
Basella Alba is a natural herb commonly found in treatments that help boost fertility..
Often known as Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Red Vine or Creeping Spinach.
Basella Alba is often used alongside Hibiscus Macranthus in supplement form.
It is also used in cooking to season chicken and similar meats.
Its active compounds are :
- Gomphrenin I
The Uses Of Basella Alba
The most common use is in fertility treatments, where it is often found in conjunction with Hibiscus Macranthus…. The fruit also has been shown to have antioxidant properties..
Basella Alba And Testosterone Production
There have been a few studies into just how Basella Alba reacts within the body to promote testosterone… these studies have, to date, been limited to laboratory rats with no clinical studies being carried out ( so far) on male test subjects.
The results did show a noticeable increase in testosterone levels with levels effectively doubling in 2 months…
Although testing on rats has been somewhat encouraging, and the fact that the active compounds in Basella Alba include Magnesium and Zinc ( 2 proven T-boosting ingredients) we do suggest that until testing and firm evidence on its effects on human test subjects has been carried out, that this supplement be avoided…
Hibiscus Macranthus is a commonly used plant extract thought to help boost virility and testosterone production.
From the plant family Hibiscus ( Malvaceae) it is commonly used in areas such as Cameroon where it is thought to have aphrodisiac and vitality boosting properties.
Testing And Studies
There has been none or very little testing at best on Hibiscus Macranthus as a standalone supplement, more generally it is combined with Basella Alba to provide libido boosting effects to its users.
There have been studies into the effects of Hibiscus Macranthus on testosterone production, these have been completely limited to Rats ( with no conclusive results).
No studies have been carried out on human test subjects.
There are no approved/recommended doses or any reports of adverse reactions from taking Hibiscus Macranthus.
Commonly Found In Male Health Supplements But What Are Its Effects?
Rhodiola Rosea is a traditional Scandinavian herbal extract, often featured in traditional medicines….it is commonly found in energy boosting, anti fatigue treatments
It is by nature an Adaptogen compound ( a compound with stress reducing properties)…and is second to only Panax Ginseng for use in this form of treatment.
Also known as Rosavin, Rodenroot, Golden Root, Arctic root, Rhidola, – Rhodiola Rosea is slightly stimulatory in effect but not to the same levels of caffeine.
Taking Rhodiola Rosea
Any supplement containing Rhodiola Rosea tends to largely rely on the SHR-5 extract that confers both 3% rosins and 1% salidroside
Its use as an anti fatigue supplement can be effective at doses between 50mg and 680mg….
The Active Compounds In Rhodiola Rosea
The main component found in supplements are:
Uses Of Rhodiola Rosea
There are numerous tests and trials that have looked into the effects of Rhodiola Rosea on various aspects of health and week being..
Some of the effects include
- Fatigue – noticeable beneficial effects reported
- Depression – mild, limited effects have been reported after supplementation with Rhodiola Rosea
- Stress – minor benefits and reductions in stress
- Lactate Production – minor decrease in lactate production
- Muscle Damage – Reduces circulating levels of creatine kinase after exercise
- Cognitive Effect – When linked to fatigue, effects are notable
When used to treat fatigue, it has shown a slight ability to reduce the effects of both minor and prolonged exhaustion.. this is more generally linked to the stress associated with being ‘burned out’ after extended periods of low intensity exercises.
It has been shown to help improve performance in men who do not generally exercise regularly, those who exercise often do not seem to see the same benefits.
Rhodiola Rosea has also been linked to increased seratonin production, calming stress and boosting moods…there are thoughts that it could help prolong longevity in some users. – read study
Rhodiola Rosea And Testosterone Production
There is no evidence or trials (past or present) that have studied the effects of Rhodiola Rosea on testosterone production in men… its effects cannot be confirmed or denied at this point.
It can however help to reduce estrogen levels ( increased estrogen can contribute to low testosterone levels) which does explain its inclusion in various testosterone boosting supplements…Read Study Results
Paederia Foetida is a traditional herb commonly used to boost digestive health, also know as Prasarini, Akar Sekuntut and Gandhali, it has also been linked to improvements in male vitality.
Common to the Central Eastern areas of the Himalayas ( at heights of 5000ft and above), it can also be found in areas of Malaysia.
It can also be found in asian foods due to its highly aromatic properties. There are no recommendations available that confirm minimum and maximum doses, its key components include
- Iriod Glycoloses
- Ceryl Alcohol
- Palmitic Acid
- Ursolic Acid
Uses Of Paederia Foetida
Apart from its use in the treatment of digestive disorders, it has not been subjected to many in-depth studies, it has been considered to have some anti-inflammatory effects along with anti oxidant properties.
When looking at its ability to increase both sexual function and testosterone production, a small number of clinical trials ( 2) that have been carried out on Rats have shown increases in testosterone, along with increased sperm levels and vascularity..
Test rats also showed an increase in erection capability.
The main study was carried out at the department of Pharmaceutical sciences, Dr HS Gour University, Sagar, India..
Wistar rats were given doses ranging between 50 and 200mg/kg bodyweight, and the results in the rats taking the higher dose did demonstrate a libido boosting ability.
There have been no trials carried out on actual human subjects, so the safety and actual benefits of taking Paederia Foetida are as of yet unknown and most certainly unproven.
Although some libido boosting benefits have been suggested by the inclusion of Paederia Foetida in daily supplementation, there is no clinical proof of its effects on humans….
I suggest that until such time as research is actually carried out on male subjects, that this ingredient be avoided….
A feature of an ever increasing number of testosterone boosters, 20-hydroxyecdysone is becoming a popular ingredient with a large number of supplement manufacturers.
What Is 20-hydroxyecdysone
20-hydroxyecdysone is one of a number of similar compounds collectively known as Ecdysteroids.
They are also know as Suma Extract, Brazilian Ginseng, Beta-acdysterone, turkesterone and edysterone.
They are a class of hormones coming from plants, fruits and vegetables including:
- Asparagus Filicinus
- White Button Mushrooms
- Ajuga Turkestanica
- Silene Praemixta
- Vites Scabra.
With links to the insect world, they are a hormonal compound involved in the sexual behaviour of insects, they share a similar structural makeup to testosterone and are considered to be the insects worlds equivalent to testosterone.
They are thought to have similar effects to anabolic steroids but without the androgenicity which makes them ( according to studies) safer than anabolic androgenic steroids.
They are also believed to have beneficial side effects in that they can lower cholesterol, control blood glucose, and also increase protein synthesis.
It has also shown that it can help speed the healing of minor burns and wounds..
There has only been isolated studies on human test subjects, but trials on animals have delivered some a few positive results.
For blood sugar control a recommended dose is in the region of 200mg daily, doses for other treatments are largely undetermined..
in studies looking at other anabolic effects, test rats were given doses amounting to 5mg/kg of body weight, the results did show a slight increase in energy and performance during forced swimming trials. –
20-hydroxyecdysone And Testosterone Boosting
One study involving 45 male test subjects, who were of average age of 20 and of good fitness and who took part in regular exercise consumed 200mg Suma Root ( 60mg Ecdysterone) daily for a period of 8 weeks.
When compared to the placebo group, there were no definable benefits shown.
Furthermore, there is no clinical evidence that demonstrates its ability to enhance protein synthesis.
Although there has been slight indications when tested on rats that performance could be enhanced, the evidence overall tells us that (dispute several claims made by some manufacturers) 20-hydroxyecdysone and its counterparts do not have any proven muscle boosting or testosterone enhancing properties…
Damiana is usually found in supplement form, the extra being taken from the dried leaves of the Turnera Diffusa Plant
Native to Central America, in particular the Mayan region of Mexico, the extract has a long history in ancient, tribal medicines of being an effective Aphrodisiac and energy booster.
The most common use of damiana is as a tea, the leaves are steeped in hot water and the resulting drink consumed.
In recent years, more and more supplement manufacturers are adding Damiana to their formulas, and it can now ben found in many mens health supplements, largely those aimed at boosting libido, energy and testosterone levels..
Its main active compounds include
- Beat Sitoserol
Other Uses Of Damiana
Aside from its possible aphrodisiac affects, Damiana has also been thought to have other properties with claims that is both a stimulant and a diuretic, along with it having a laxative effect as well as a kidney tonic.
Clinical Trials Involving Damiana
There is a distinct lack of any trials actually involving human test subjects… There have been trials involving lab rats, looking at the supposed aphrodisiac effects of Damiana…
Overall the results provided no distinct proof of its claimed effectiveness…
A few sporadic improvements were noted especially when the rats were fatigued, but nothing constant or anything that would effectively back up many manufacturers claims of its libido boosting properties.
Can Damiana Boost Testosterone?
There is no proof or any clinical studies that Damiana has any beneficial effect on Testosterone production whatsoever.
It has been shown to have possible anti aromatase properties ( in clinical trials using rats), so could be useful in guys coming off steroids who are looking to reduce any increased estrogen levels.. Read The Study Results Here
For any man seeking to boost low testosterone levels and to invigorate his sex drive and energy, we strongly suggest that you should not rely on Damiana to redress any shortfall.. there are plenty of other more clinically proven natural ingredients that can do this and much more….
Can Rhaponticum Carthamoides Boost Testosterone
Appearing in an ever increasing number of testosterone boosters.
Rhaponticum carthamoides is a herb extract traditionally used in Russian and Siberian medicine to boost recovery and performance especially after illness..
Also known as Russian Leuzea, Maral Root, Rhaponticum and Leauzea Carthamoides.
Taken from the plant family Ateraceae, apart from its anti fatigue uses, it is said that it can also be used for both physical and sexual enhancement.
In traditional Chinese Medicine it also has limited uses in the reduction of body fat (unproven) and boosting immunity.
Its key components are
- 20-hydroxyecdysone ( a key Ecdysteroid)
- Ellagic Acid ( Tannin )
- N-feruloylserotinin isomer seeds
Commonly used as a performance enhancer in traditional medicine it has actually not been subjected to any human testing on this or any other of its claimed properties.
One clinical study did confirm that it had an ability to help reduce stress and boost metabolic syndrome, but this study was carried on on Test Rats.. not Human Subjects –
Rhaponticum Carthamoides As A Testosterone Booster
Despite a number of studies – also carried on on Rats ( not Humans) the effects of Rhaponticum carthamoides on both testosterone and Estrogen remain unknown and unproven
Unproven and largely untested on Human subjects…
Based on the evidence found during our searches, there is no evidence of any testosterone boosting properties that could be gained by taking supplements containing Rhaponticum carthamoides.