Do testosterone boosters really do anything?
It’s not really big news that a lot of men are more than fleetingly interested in their testosterone levels. We regularly see in the news that testosterone levels are dropping across the west and many of us are well aware of the health implications and for many of us the vanity implications of this fact.
For men, having low testosterone can be completely devastating, leading to weight gain, mood swings, poor sleep, muscle loss, irritability, brain fog, and a host of other issues. . And with weight gain and stress causing further declines in testosterone production, be part of a downward spiral.
Then of course beyond the basics of health there’s the issue of vanity, it’s not like it’s a small part of us that wants to be leaner with more mass muscular. And testosterone plays a huge impact on that, as is common knowledge.
And to make matters worse, the fact that men’s natural testosterone levels drop about 1% every year after age 30.  a host of these problems are simply attributed to aging, as change can be relatively slow.
It can also be greatly exacerbated by deficiencies in vitamins, zinc  and vitamin d  being two of the most common, and when it comes to vitamin D, nearly half of the adult population in the United States is deficient.
And that brings us to the market for testosterone boosters, supplements designed to help increase testosterone levels without requiring medical intervention. The question, of course, is whether testosterone boosters actually work?
Or maybe it should be, is there a reason to take a testosterone booster instead of a vitamin pill? And if there is a reason, what ingredients belong in good testosterone boosters?
Why wouldn’t I just take a multivitamin to boost testosterone?
Well, that’s a good question, chances are that if you’re like most adults in the United States, it would probably have a beneficial impact on your overall health, not to mention your testosterone. Of course, if you have a perfectly balanced diet and exercise, chances are you won’t need it, but seeing as we have an obesity crisis going on, it’s clear that many of us are not.
The reality is that there are three types of testosterone booster on the market, one that is largely a testosterone-focused multivitamin (many multivitamins don’t actually meet the full recommended daily allowances), these tend to be relatively inexpensive and similar in price to a multivitamin. A well-known example is Weider Prime.
Then there are herbal products and looser products, which can be divided into two types of testosterone boosters. Those that actually contain ingredients that have been in human trials showing an increase in testosterone, and those that are complete snake oil.
And unfortunately when tested about three quarters of the products on the market fall into the snake oil camp and when a large scale study has been done on commercially available products 5% have actually reduces testosterone. , 50% did nothing and only 30% actually worked, the rest being undetermined. All of the products seemed to be backed by studies though, so what was the difference between them? Quite simply, it was the difference between whether the ingredients were backed by human or animal studies.
On the plus side, however, is that this means some actually work, not as effectively as large scale lifestyle changes or medical intervention, however, the good news is that certain plant compounds can increase testosterone beyond of a simple vitamin pill.
So does this mean you can actually bio-hack your testosterone levels? Well sort of. But, you need to make sure to do your research and buy a product that contains relatively few ingredients that actually have an effect on humans.
Why do you need vitamins for testosterone
Most deficiencies can impact testosterone production directly or through a training effect, for example an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone) lowers testosterone levels, the same goes for poor sleep , and deficiencies can cause both of these problems. That said, some are directly related to testicular function or estrogen conversion.
Vitamin D3 – as we mentioned earlier most of the US population is deficient in Vitamin D, this is no surprise with the EASNA (Employee Assistance Society of North America) estimating that over 70% of North American office workers don’t have enough access to natural light. When supplemented with D3, the deficient men showed a 46% increase in testosterone levels. Who
Zinc – Men with low testosterone and zinc deficiency have been found to fully recover to normal levels when supplemented with zinc.
Magnesium – Studies have shown that magnesium supplements cause a moderate increase in testosterone in trained and untrained men. 
Amino acids and testosterone
There are a few amino acids that have been shown to be helpful, but, just a few and they are by no means the most effective, the one that gets the most attention is DAA (D-Aspartic Acid). The reason for this is largely that it has noted effects that help increase muscle growth as well as mild testosterone boosting effects. And much of the market for testosterone boosting supplements comes from men looking to improve their performance in the gym.
Do herbal compounds actually boost testosterone?
Some do, but not many, and the few testosterone-boosting herbal extracts that are well-supported by studies can be broken down into the following short list:
- Panax Ginseng (NOT American Ginseng)
Maca is also often included in these supplements; however, it doesn’t do much for testosterone, however, it has been shown to improve blood flow to certain parts of the male anatomy, and since many men buy testosterone boosters for this problem, it is showing up in many testosterone supplements.
Some other supplements may have an indirect effect if they help with sleep, stress, etc. But they do not directly improve testosterone in healthy men. BCR.org has reviewed in detail the features of each of these herbs that boost testosterone levels.
Do testosterone boosters work? Conclusion
Well, the answer is yes, no, maybe? There are things you can do to bio-hack your testosterone levels. But, you need to do your research. The thing is, the market is bloated with products that promise a lot but do very little because there is almost no regulation around what can be called a testosterone booster. But, if you stick with a supplement that is largely focused on the ingredients we’ve listed above, chances are you’ll see positive results.
1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077344/
2 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8875519/
3 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21154195/
4 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407704/
5 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20352370