Medically reviewed by Zara Fullerton, Medical Content Advisor
Testosterone. Does it need much introduction? Responsible for supporting muscle mass, bone density, mood, energy levels, and libido, it is one of the most crucial male hormones. This is why it’s no surprise that testosterone supplements and boosters have been increasingly popular over recent years claiming to be the answer to increasing testosterone levels to support body and performance goals (and everything in between).
Let’s discuss everything you need to know about testosterone boosters and supplements. Including the science behind testosterone boosters.
- The Primary Functions of Testosterone
- What do Testosterone Boosters do?
- Do Testosterone Boosters Really Work?
- Are Testosterone Boosters Safe?
- Can You Improve Testosterone Naturally?
- How Can You Check if Your Testosterone Supplements Work?
The Primary Functions of Testosterone
Testosterone is primarily produced in the testes of men, the ovaries of women (to a lesser extent), and the adrenal glands of both. It plays an important role in several bodily functions such as:
- Muscle mass and strength: Testosterone contributes to the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass and physical strength.
- Bone density: It aids in maintaining healthy bone density.
- Libido and sexual function: Testosterone is important for sex drive, performance, and overall reproductive health.
- Mood and energy: It can affect mood, energy levels, and cognitive function.
- Fat distribution: Testosterone helps regulate fat distribution.
What do Testosterone Boosters do?
Testosterone boosters is a term used to describe a range of supplements that claim to increase testosterone levels in men. These are just some of the most commonly found ingredients in the majority of testosterone boosters:
- D-Aspartic Acid
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Vitamin D
There are serious health risks associated with taking testosterone boosters. You should not take testosterone boosters or supplements before consulting with a healthcare provider you trust.
Related article: Can You Boost Testosterone Naturally?
Do Testosterone Boosters Really Work?
How effective testosterone boosters are is a subject of ongoing debate and more research is needed to draw a definitive conclusion. At present, there is not enough evidence or data to support the claims that testosterone supplements can have a major impact on male testosterone levels . Additionally, there are serious potential health risks that can arise as a result of taking testosterone boosters.
Below are some key findings that explore the effectiveness of some of the commonly used ingredients in testosterone supplements.
- D-Aspartic Acid: Studies have shown that D-aspartic levels to be ineffective at changing testosterone levels .
- Tribulus Terrestris: Research on the effects of Tribulus terrestris on testosterone levels is inconclusive .
- Fenugreek: Some studies have reported increases in testosterone levels with fenugreek supplementation . However, again, more research is needed.
- Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral for testosterone production, and zinc deficiency can lead to reduced testosterone levels . Supplementing with zinc may help those with a deficiency.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with lower testosterone levels. Whilst some studies suggest that supplementation may be beneficial for individuals with vitamin D deficiency, further research is required .
- Ginseng: Studies found that ginseng may only have trivial effects on erectile function and sexual satisfaction when compared to placebo and more research is needed to determine its efficacy on testosterone levels .
Are Testosterone Boosters Safe?
The only testosterone products regulated by the FDA include topical gel, transdermal patches, buccal system, and injections - these are also only approved for men who have low testosterone levels alongside a related medical condition . These products can have serious side effects so it is very important that they are only taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Testosterone boosters and supplements are not regulated which means the quality and purity of the products on the market can vary widely. Additionally, excess testosterone levels can cause many complications including:
- Fertility issues
- Heart attack
This is why it’s crucial to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any testosterone boosters or supplements.
See also: What Does High Testosterone Do to a Man?
Can You Improve Testosterone Naturally?
If you are concerned about testosterone levels, or if you are experiencing any symptoms, you should consult with your healthcare provider. As well as this, there are some healthy lifestyle changes that can be implemented to help support hormone health, including:
- Following a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in nutrients can support overall health.
- Exercising regularly: Regular physical activity is very important.
- Getting good quality sleep: Prioritize quality sleep.
- Managing stress levels: Try taking control of your stress and incorporate meditation, yoga, or simply some ‘you’ time!
- Sticking to a healthy weight: Maintain a healthy weight.
Related article: Foods That Kill Testosterone: Do They Actually Exist?
How Can You Check if Your Testosterone Supplements Work?
The most common form of testosterone test is a blood test which can measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. If you would like to check your testosterone levels from home, you can do so with LetsGetChecked’s range of Male Hormone Testing options.
LetsGetChecked’s Male Hormone Test is a simple blood test that tests the levels of testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), as well as calculating the Free Androgen Index (FAI). The test will arrive in discreet packaging with a return envelope and clear instructions inside. Online test results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be on hand throughout the process to answer any questions you may have.
It is important that any supplements or medication are taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Share all of your test results with them, they will be best placed to provide you with guidance based on your individual situation.
Related article: How do You Check Testosterone Levels From Home?
- The accuracy of your test results may be affected if you have used anabolic steroids or other steroid or hormone-containing medication within the last 3-6 months, or if you have used steroid creams within the last week.
- The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Testosterone Imposters: An Analysis of Popular Online Testosterone Boosting Supplements. Online: Sciencedirect.com
- PLos One. The effects of d-aspartic acid supplementation in resistance-trained men over a three month training period: A randomized controlled trial. Online: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- J Ethnopharmacol. Pro-sexual and androgen enhancing effects of Tribulus terrestris L.: Fact or Fiction. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Phytother Res. Effect of fenugreek extract supplement on testosterone levels in male: A meta-analysis of clinical trials. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. Correlation between serum zinc and testosterone: A systematic review. Online: Sciencedirect.com
- Horm Metab Res. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Online: Pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov
- Cochrane Library. Ginseng for erectile dysfunction. Online: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- FDA. Testosterone Information. Online: Fda.gov