Research from some of the most well respected medical institutions have hinted at serious health complications from pharmaceutical grade testosterone boosters. The research is sporadic at best with some denying any correlation between the T-boosters and different cancers and others claiming the link is there. Other conditions such as blood clots, heart attacks and stroke have also been cited. Some instances proven, others not. When it comes to testosterone, not a man on the planet wants to be deficient, but what risk is acceptable? Before entering into the potentially dangerous field of medical testosterone boosters, there are several natural aspects and supplements that should be examined and tried before going down that road. There are many different natural supplements that have proven to improve testosterone levels as well as a few lifestyle suggestions that can have a positive impact as well.
Vitamin D Among its many other amazing benefits, vitamin D is a natural testosterone booster. If you are experiencing lower than normal testosterone levels, you might want to check your Vitamin D level. Vitamin D is top vitamin that people are deficient in. Your testosterone level could be effected by a simple vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D is a proven testosterone booster. In 2011, a study was done showing that men who took 3,332IU of Vitamin D, increased their testosterone. The broad active and free testosterone levels were increased. (1) Vitamin D is a safe, proven supplement to start with.
Creatine The most studied supplement on the market has been through about 10 new studies to test whether or not testosterone increases when taking Creatine. The answer is an overwhelming yes. All the studies proved 100% positive for an increase in testosterone. The percentages varied between studies but the average increase was 25% increase – some higher but none lower than 17%. So, yes, not only does creatine build lean muscle mass and increase energy, but it increases testosterone and DHT levels significantly (2)
Tribulus Terrestris This plant is an herb that started out as far from a libido booster as you can get. In African tribes it was used as a weapon. Its thorns were saturated with poison and laid on the ground for their enemies to step on and perish. Not a pleasant thought. Here in a more modern world, a positive use has been found for the herb – testosterone enhancer. When ingested, the herb upsurges the luteinizing hormone. This hormone then signals testosterone to increase. Not only does the testosterone level increase, but, it is also known to aid in fighting erectile dysfunction by relaxing the muscles to allow an increase in blood flow. Although it is not a well-known herb in the western world, it has been used for hundreds of years in European and Chinese medicine. (3)
Zinc Another stellar supplement for testosterone increase is Zinc. Zinc has proven itself in many ways but its ability to increase testosterone is one of its best. Zinc is depleted by guys who weight lift, or drink a lot of alcohol or those having regular sex. Even a mild deficiency can lower testosterone levels significantly. Having a low zinc level stops the pituitary’s release of the luteinizing hormone which is the hormone that gives the signal for testosterone to be released. A low zinc level = low testosterone. Low testosterone = low sex drive. Adding a combination of Zinc and B6 will reduce the prolactin levels. Prolactin directly effects the sex drive, or lack thereof. Reducing it, causes the sex drive to increase as well as a bonus of dopamine. Zinc is safe and is one of the biggest deficiencies for men. (Note: Never take Zinc with calcium. Calcium blocks Zinc from being absorbed.)(4)
D.A.A: This is one of the more popular herbal remedies for testosterone. Yes, it does cause an increase in testosterone, but it is not a significant amount. There are still studies in progress that are trying to nail down just how much of an effect D.A.A. actually has. It is an amino acid that controls the release of hormones. It’s naturally produced by the body. Taking the supplement has shown an increase of testosterone of up to 50%, but only for the first 12 days. This would require cycling to keep it effective. So far, no cited side effects that can hurt you, but long term effects are not yet known. This would be suggested as one of the last choices for testosterone boosting – the long term studies and few studies in general do not guarantee safety or that there will not be lasting negative side effects. (5)
So these are proven supplements that are tried and true. There are others that are called upon to increase testosterone, yet they just don’t do it. Many are being used, but it is truly a waste of time. Here are a few:
ZMA: ZMA absolutely will not increase testosterone. But it has Zinc, right? Right, but Zinc and Magnesium actually interfere with each other’s absorption. They fight to get through and the result is a trace amount at best – not enough to make a difference. (6)
Fenugreek (TFG): This is popular and a lot of people try it based on one poorly done study. In fact, all the studies that followed the initial Fenugreek/Testosterone study have weighed in somewhere between “does nothing and not quite sure”. It is unreliable at best and you would have much better luck using an absolutely proven supplement over this. (7)
When dealing with testosterone levels and supplements, you are going to really want to check for the purity levels. There are rumblings in several scientific journals that hint to impure supplements doing harm rather than good. Be very aware of your body and your reactions to whatever supplement you decide to use. Chances are you will not have the intense reaction that pharmaceutical testosterone replacement therapy has had – which has caused some wicked side effects – but just keep an eye on your moods, sleep patterns, etc. It will help you decide which works best for you.
Other factors such as pre-diabetes, being overweight and lack of exercise can also be factors to look into when dealing with decreased testosterone levels.