Do Natural Testosterone Boosters Work?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Question: Do Natural Testosterone Boosters Work?
Answer: Natural testosterone boosters can be effective for some individuals, but their effectiveness varies from person to person.
While some studies suggest that certain natural ingredients can help increase testosterone levels, more research is needed to fully understand their benefits and potential side effects.
It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Testosterone boosters have been gaining popularity in recent years, as more and more people are looking for ways to improve their athletic performance, build muscle mass, and increase their energy levels, legally and safely.
But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to these supplements.
Are they really effective at boosting testosterone levels? Or are they just another fad that promises more than it can deliver?
From the science behind how they work, to the potential risks and benefits, we'll explore everything you need to know to make an informed decision about whether or not testosterone boosters are right for you.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the truth about testosterone boosters and what you need to know before you decide to try them out for yourself.
So, let's dive in and get to the bottom of this controversial topic!
What is testosterone and why is it important?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but it's also present in smaller amounts in women.
It plays a critical role in the development of male reproductive tissues, such as the testes and prostate, and is responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as muscle mass, body hair, and a deeper voice.
Testosterone also has an impact on a person's mood, energy levels, and overall sense of well-being.
This has led to a growing interest in testosterone boosters as a way to counteract these effects.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Testosterone provides men with a healthy sex drive while helping them build muscle mass and physical strength, produce sperm, and produce healthy sperm sperm production.
As men age, testosterone levels will naturally diminish slightly; if your libido drops dramatically or you notice symptoms of low testosterone levels (including decreased physical strength or difficulty producing sperm), see your healthcare provider immediately.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often an early indicator of low testosterone levels, though other health conditions could also contribute to it. Therefore, it's essential that you consult your physician in order to identify whether low T is to blame.
Signs of low T may also include fatigue or weakness. Since testosterone is an anabolic hormone that helps build muscle mass, its absence may weaken your muscles and make physical tasks more challenging to complete.
Hair loss may also be a telltale sign of low testosterone. With age comes natural thinned-out facial and body hair; if this process speeds up quickly then this could indicate hormonal imbalance.
Your kidney and liver health will also be checked as any conditions affecting these can have an effect on hormone production.
Treatment typically entails increasing your testosterone production with artificial products like gel patches, injections or implants for treatment called testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Common ingredients in testosterone boosters
There are a variety of ingredients found in testosterone boosters, but some of the most common include:
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that's found in the testicles and pituitary gland. It's been shown to increase testosterone production in men, although the effects are relatively small. It does however, appear to promote male fertility in a considerable way.
Tribulus Terrestris is a plant extract that's often marketed as a testosterone booster. However, there's extremely limited evidence to support its effectiveness.
Fenugreek is an herb that's been shown to increase testosterone levels in some studies. It's often included in testosterone boosters as a way to improve muscle mass and strength. Fenugreek has also demonstrated its ability to promote fat loss.
Zinc is an essential mineral that's involved in a variety of bodily processes, including testosterone production. Some studies have shown that supplementing with zinc can increase testosterone levels in men who are deficient in the mineral.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that's involved in a variety of bodily processes, including bone health and immune function. Some research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in testosterone production among a wealth of additional health benefits.
Do testosterone boosters really work?
The effectiveness of testosterone boosters is a controversial topic. While some studies have shown that certain ingredients can increase testosterone levels in men, the effects can be relatively small.
Additionally, the studies that have been conducted on testosterone boosters have often been small and of low quality, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.
One review of 50 studies on testosterone boosters found that while some ingredients, such as D-aspartic acid and fenugreek, may increase testosterone levels in men, the effects were relatively small and inconsistent.
The review also found that many of the studies conducted on testosterone boosters were of low quality and had significant limitations.
The main issue regarding natural supplements is that there is no standardization and no regulation. Nor does there seem to be any correlation between the ingredients 'that work' and the effective doses.
As such, you may find supplements that contain useful ingredients (such as ashwagandha) but not in the doses that reflect positive results in numerous clincial studies. This is where Military Muscle is differrent.
How Do Natural Testosterone Boosters Work?
Testosterone, the key sex hormone, begins its decline after 30 for many men, leaving many feeling lethargic, depressed and less active than before.
Some natural testosterone boosters offer a natural way of increasing testosterone and stimulating production while simultaneously increasing energy levels.
Many supplements contain herbs or other nutrients scientifically proven to increase testosterone while providing additional health benefits.
This is acheived by filling some nutritional deficiencies that are often associated with a Western diet.
It also includes certain botanical extracts and phytochemicals that can stimulate more testosterone production to acheive hormonal balance.
Oysters, fatty fish, bananas and leafy green vegetables may help naturally increase testosterone levels through diet.
In fact there are many foods that optimize a positive hormonal balance, but we often do not have the ability to consume them all.
In this case, Military Muscle harnesses those nutrients, ad uses high concentrations to give you what you need conveniently and cost effectively.
Potential side effects of testosterone boosters
Testosterone boosters can have potential side effects, especially if taken in high doses or for extended periods of time. Some of the most common side effects include:
Testosterone boosters can increase oil production in the skin, which can lead to acne breakouts.
Testosterone can convert to DHT, a hormone that's been linked to hair loss in men who are genetically predisposed to the condition.
Testosterone boosters can increase the size of the prostate gland, which can lead to urinary problems.
Testosterone can have an impact on a person's mood, and some men may experience irritability, aggression, or mood swings as a result of taking testosterone boosters.
However, these effects are more often than not associated with synthetic testosterone such as TRT or anabolic steroids. You would be very unlucky to experience these conditions using a natural T-booster.
Natural ways to boost testosterone
While testosterone boosters may be an option for some men, there are also natural ways to boost testosterone levels. Some of the most effective strategies include:
Regular exercise, particularly weightlifting and high-intensity interval training, can help to increase testosterone levels in men, this also includes sprints.
Eating a diet that's rich in protein, healthy fats, and whole grains can help to support healthy testosterone levels. Additionally, avoiding processed foods and excess sugar can help to prevent insulin resistance, which can negatively impact testosterone production.
Getting adequate sleep is important for overall health, but it's also critical for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Chronic stress can negatively impact testosterone production, so finding ways to manage stress, such as through meditation or yoga, can be helpful.
Supplements that may help with testosterone levels
In addition to testosterone boosters, there are also a variety of other supplements that may help to support healthy testosterone levels. Some of the most popular include:
Ashwagandha is an herb that's been shown to increase testosterone levels in men who are experiencing stress.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), one of the oldest herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine, has long been recognized for its ability to promote youthful energy and endurance while increasing testosterone levels.
Ashwagandha is widely believed to increase testosterone and other key male reproductive hormones such as luteinizing hormone, an essential element of reproductive health.
A recent study demonstrated this correlation; testosterone increased by 15 percent while salivary DHEA production (which helps produce hormones such as testosterone) also rose 18 percent; this might explain why many credit this herb with increasing sexual performance and improving libido.
Studies published in Health Science Reports demonstrated that men taking ashwagandha supplements showed significantly improved scores on an exam designed to assess sexual dysfunction.
Ashwagandha users experienced increases in their sperm concentration and semen volume as well as increases in arousal and orgasm levels.
As mentioned earlier, vitamin D may play a role in testosterone production. Supplementing with vitamin D may be especially helpful for men who are deficient in the nutrient.
Vitamin D deficiency can result in decreased testosterone levels, particularly as daylight hours decrease and exposure to sunlight decreases.
Without enough vitamin D, some men begin feeling cranky or disinterested in sexual activity - not to mention decreased bone health and increased risks associated with cardiovascular-related deaths.
Studies conducted in 2015 demonstrated that vitamin D3 serum levels were an accurate predictor of total testosterone, when controlled for age and BMI. This suggested that low vitamin D can directly hinder testicle testosterone production.
Another study evaluated healthy overweight participants enrolled in a weight reduction program who received either vitamin D supplements or placebo and found that at the conclusion of it their total and bioactive testosterone levels were significantly higher among those taking vitamin D than among those given placebo.
These findings weren't entirely unexpected as it is well known that diet and exercise increase testosterone. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell whether these improved levels were solely caused by vitamin D supplementation or were also the result of overall improvement in health due to weight loss.
Although more research needs to be conducted into how vitamin D increases testosterone, it appears that adequate sun exposure and including foods rich in vitamin D in your diet may help keep adequate levels of this vital nutrient. If taking a vitamin D supplement, ensure it contains research-backed ingredients with doses proven safe and effective for use.
Magnesium is an important mineral that's involved in a variety of bodily processes, including testosterone production. Some research suggests that supplementing with magnesium may help to support healthy testosterone levels.
Men often fail to monitor their magnesium levels properly, yet this should change. Magnesium plays a significant role in over 300 biological processes within their bodies and any deficiency can lead to problems including hormone imbalance, muscle development issues, heart health issues, sleep issues, cortisol regulation issues and healthy brain signaling among many others.
Magnesium can be found in legumes (beans and lentils), whole grains, vegetables (particularly broccoli, squash and green leafy vegetables) and nuts such as almonds. Unfortunately, most people do not receive enough due to consuming processed food products and lacking adequate magnesium in their diets. Magnesium can also be found in seaweed and certain fruits with recommended daily allowance for men up to age 31 being 400 mg daily and for females it should be 310 mg.
Recent research examined how magnesium supplementation and exercise affect free and total testosterone levels among young men over four weeks. Three groups participated; one took magnesium supplements; two completed 90-120 minutes of tae kwon do five days per week; while a third combined them both. Of all three, those that performed both saw significant increases in both free and total testosterone.
Magnesium increased strength from not only an increase in testosterone, but also from increased ribosomal protein synthesis, an essential part of protein synthesis. While this study was small and controlled, its findings show magnesium to be an effective anabolic hormone booster; however skeptics may argue it may simply be correlation rather than causation as strength may have increased independently of magnesium supplementation.
Stinging nettle plant contains powerful aromatase inhibitors that prevent estrogen-converting enzymes from turning your testosterone into estrogen and also increases free testosterone availability - this makes it an excellent addition to herbs that boost libido and sexual drive.
Stinging nettle leaf and stem extracts have long been used to treat arthritis and soothe sore muscles, with one study reporting reduced pain when applying an extract directly to the base of thumb. Another trial demonstrated how taking a combination of nettle leaf extract with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen helped people lower their dose of the anti-inflammatories.
Stinging nettle root can be used alone or combined with other herbs to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlarged prostate gland which leads to pain and difficulty urinating. Some supplements combine it with saw palmetto, an herb known to aid with BPH; studies indicate that using an combination of stinging nettle root, pyridoxine, and zinc could also treat this condition effectively.
Mucuna Pruriens can increase testosterone by raising levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, both crucial factors in testosterone production and spermatogenesis, respectively.
Mucuna pruriens is an annual plant native to Africa, the Caribbean and India that bears its Latin name of velvet bean; other names for it include cowhage, dopa bean or monk fruit.
Mucuna pruriens is rich in L-dopa - an L-dopa precursor that feeds dopamine neurotransmission - making it the only natural source available (other than pharmaceutical drugs) and generally recommended over synthetic L-dopa for use with Parkinson's due its lower risks of side effects and higher efficacy.
Recently, infertile men undergoing psychological stress were administered Mucuna pruriens powder treatment for three months.
The results demonstrated that Mucuna pruriens treatment significantly alleviated stress levels and raised serum cortisol, decreased seminal plasma lipid peroxide content while increasing GSH and ascorbic acid contents of seminal fluid and the activity of antioxidant enzymes SOD and catalase enzymes within semen, suggesting Mucuna pruriens could improve fertility by improving semen quality.
These findings suggested Mucuna pruriens could improve fertility by improving semen quality; suggesting Mucuna pruriens improves infertility through increasing semen quality improvement alone.
Boron may not receive much publicity in the media, yet it can significantly boost natural testosterone production in multiple ways. Boron plays an integral role in muscle growth and bone health as well as hormone regulation - it even assists weight loss! Furthermore, its benefits extend to wound healing, reduced inflammation levels and helping balance estrogen levels.
Boron increases testosterone by inhibiting sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds with testosterone, rendering it unavailable to your body, so by decreasing SHBG in your system more testosterone becomes available to build muscle mass and strength. One study using 10mg boron daily for one week showed an incredible 28% rise in free testosterone!
Boron increases testosterone by guarding against Vitamin D deficiency. This is an issue for many, and Vitamin D has long been proven effective at increasing natural testosterone levels. A study with 13 participants taking 6mg of calcium fructoborate each day showed 19.6% increases in their Vitamin D levels and 28.3% rises in natural testosterone levels over 8 weeks of supplementation with Boron.
Iron is essential to all living things and found in many different foods such as meats, whole grains and vegetables. Our bodies store it in hemoglobin protein that transports oxygen around our cells back to our lungs for us to breathe out again. Its importance cannot be understated.
Testosterone increases red blood cell production (erythrocytosis) and iron homeostasis by suppressing the master iron regulatory peptide, hepcidin. Furthermore, testosterone exerts direct androgenic effects on RBCs through interactions with androgen receptors or by 5a-reduction to DHT or aromatization to E2. Unfortunately, its exact mechanism remains unknown.
Low testosterone levels are one of the leading causes of anemia, in which your blood lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen effectively, leading to fatigue, weakness and poor immunity function. Anemia is a serious health concern which may result in fatigue, weakness and poor immunity function if left untreated.
Researchers have demonstrated that when iron levels exceed normal range, even within normal limits, they interfere with the effective functioning of testosterone.
Therefore, keeping iron levels under control is particularly crucial for older men at increased risk for hypogonadism. In fact, one study demonstrated that anemia-causing iron levels could be reduced through therapy to experience an increase in their testosterone levels.
Vitamin A increases testosterone by supporting Leydig cell function and decreasing oxidative stress and cortisol levels, as well as improving sperm quality and motility by increasing production in the testis and improving blood flow to it.
If you're an older adult or have an insufficient diet, getting enough Vitamin A through diet alone is especially crucial; eating a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as supplements may be effective ways to do this.
Vitamin K is widely known for its role in blood clotting and bone health (its name comes from Danish), however it also plays other more surprising roles, including relieving calcium from arteries to prevent plaque formation and increasing insulin secretion and sensitivity.
More recently, vitamin K has been proven to possess powerful testosterone-boosting effects. Studies have demonstrated its efficacy at naturally increasing natural levels of the hormone by decreasing inflammation in the testes and stimulating cholesterol synthesis - both essential precursors to testosterone production.
Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and natto, but higher concentrations are found in goose liver pate and supplements designed for male health such as Menaquinone-4 (MK-4).
Although vitamin K is best-known for its role in blood clotting, it plays a multitude of other crucial processes too. One such process is helping your body utilize calcium effectively so as to form strong bones.
Vitamin K2 has been demonstrated to increase testosterone by decreasing inflammation in the testes and encouraging steroidogenesis, though human trials will need to take place first before we can be sure whether high doses of this nutrient supplementation is safe and effective.
How to choose the best testosterone booster for you
If you're considering taking a testosterone booster, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it's important to choose a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer.
Look at the background of the company and any people that are associated with the product. Do they have any relevant experience or qualifications?
It's also a good idea to read reviews from other users to get a sense of how effective the product has been for other people. Try not to be swayed by 'product review sites'.
These affiliate websites often push the products that they earn commission from and very often never use the product or even touch the bottle.
Look for actual customer reviews from places such as Trustpilot. They're often shorter reviews and less interesting to read but provide a valuable insight from users.
Keep in mind that individual results may vary, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Conclusion: The verdict on testosterone boosters
So, do testosterone boosters really work? The answer is complicated.
There are many supplements out there, most are 'white label' or 'private label' off the shelf formulations with little to no clincial benefit.
Other products can be better, but you must do your research in to that brand and the ingredients included. Not only that, look at the doses, and understand why they have included those doses.
Some T-Boosters include ingredients that have positive outcomes in studies, but many do not include the relevant doses required to provide positive outcomes. As such, they're just not worth using.
A product such as Military Muscle has been developed by sports nutritionists and military physical trainer's to ensure that the user's performance is optimized for positive results.