If you have been researching natural ingredients that can boost T levels you will no doubt have come across many different products with varied formulas and ingredients. But did you know that many of the ingredients used in testosterone boosting products do not actually work?
What Will I Learn
7 Ingredients that aren’t Proven to Boost Testosterone
Following on from our article about foods that kill testosterone – we are now focusing on test boosting ingredients to avoid.
Put another way – ingredients that are are included in many of today’s popular supplements that have little or no positive effect on increasing T levels.
I have studied and researched hundreds of ingredients, reading clinical tests and trial notes to determine those that really work and those that quite simply do not work.
Here are the one’s that have no real evidence that they work?
Recommended Reading: Which Test Boosters are the most effective? Best testosterone boosting pills revealed.
Tribulus Terrestris – Not Shown to Boost Testosterone Levels
Hugely popular in traditional medicine and in modern day supplements.
Tribulus Terrestris forms the mainstay of many test boosters available on the market today.
Also called Trib, Puncturevine or Protodioscin it is featured largely in male targeted supplements.
The majority of these aimed at boosting libido as well as testosterone production.
Taken from a plant that is native to eastern Asia, China and some parts of Europe.
It’s fruit has some well documented uses (by the Chinese) in the treatment of some health conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
- Abdominal Swelling
In traditional Indian Medicine, its root is also used to help treat
- Poor Appetite
There are over 25 different varieties of Tribulus, however it is thought that the varieties native to China, India and Bulgaria are the most potent.
Tribulus is made up from 9 compounds:
- Vitamin C
- Sulphated Spirostanol Saponins
For boosting libido, using a 60% saponin extra, experts tell us that a dose of between 200-450mg per day is optimum.
Tribulus Terrestris is known to be used to help treat
- Cardiovascular Problems
- Menopausal symptoms in women
- Poor Appetite
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Cholesterol
- Increased Blood Pressure
Tribulus Terrestris and Testosterone
There have been literally hundreds of clinical studies carried out on Tribulus.
Now results are somewhat mixed with older guys suffering with low T seeing some noticeable improvements in libido and sexual response.
Trials involving younger, healthy men with normal testosterone production saw no benefits whatsoever.
The Facts Are This:
Tribulus can most certainly help provide a boost to a sluggish libido and/or erection problems.
However as an actual T booster, it has failed miserably in all clinical trials. It cannot help to provide even a hint of an increase in testosterone production.
If a flagging sex drive is your ONLY concern, then taking a product that has it in its formula, could offer you some benefits.
But if you are looking to boost overall T production, be it for building muscles or to regain your youthful vitality, then forget it.
IT DOES NOT WORK!
Overall the claims by manufacturers about Tribulus Terrestris are largely inflated and generally misleading.
On its own, as a T boosting ingredient, it just isn’t worth taking.
Maca – Another Testosterone Boosting Ingredient To Avoid
A member of the Broccoli family, Maca is native to Peru and actually looks like a turnip.
It has 3 types, largely identified by the actual colour of the root. Red, Black and Yellow Maca.
It can also appear on ingredient labels as Peruvian Ginseng or Lepidium
Uses For Maca
Maca is used traditionally in the treatment of prostate hypertrophy. It is also considered to be an aphrodisiac.
Its not actually that palatable to eat with an earthy or grassy taste.
It has been tested for its medicinal qualities and has shown some benefits in the treatment of:
- Menopause and depression
- Anxiety in menopausal women
- Blood Pressure
It is on the sexual side that Maca gets most press.
It is thought to be good at boosting libido, erection quality and spermatogenesis (development of sperm)
Doses up to 3g per day have seen no real health issues, it does seem that Maca is quite safe to take.
Will Maca Boost Testosterone
There have been a number of intensive clinical trials that looked into the testosterone boosting effect of Maca.
One trial saw healthy men taking between 1.5g and 3g of Maca daily for 12 weeks.
The end results was that the majority of men saw increase in libido, sexual desire and erection quality.
There was however, no reported increases of T levels in any of the test subjects.
Similar results have been recorded in other trials too
Rather like Tribulus Terrestris, taking Maca could have benefits if you are simply looking to improve your libido and erections.
Its not one of the testosterone boosting ingredients that we recommend.
If you want to boost you T levels , be it to help your results in the gym or simply restore your declining levels, then taking Maca Will NOT help.
DHEA – Possibly Not Safe
DHEA ( AKA Dehydroepiandrosterone) is an ingredient found in some test boosters.
It is found naturally in the body, with its main purpose in life being the biosynthesis of both Testosterone and Estrogen.
Uses Of DHEA
When extracted it can be used in supplement form, most commonly to treat adrenal insufficiency in women.
It is also thought to help correct female infertility.
DHEA has been used in cream form to help treat reduced libido in older women.
The ingredient has also been shown to be effective at increasing Estrogen production in women.
There are thoughts that it has cardiovascular benefits too.
It is also thought to treat lupus, but neither of these claims have much clinical testing to back these claims up.
It has also been considered to be effective at reducing the stress hormone cortisol, and it is also thought to help improve IVF results.
Sources Of DHEA
DHEA is actually produced from cholesterol.
It is converted to pregnenolone by the enzyme P450 ssc.
Then another enzyme (CYP17A1) then reacts with it to change into 17a-hydroxypregnenolone, before it changes into DHEA.
Is DHEA Safe
It is actually not known if taking DHEA is actually safe when taken in the long term.
Research has highlighted the fact that it could potentially increases the risk of some cancers (Breast And Prostate) alongside diabetes and even strokes.
It has shown that it can stimulate and enlarge the male prostate.
It can also alter the bodies regulation of blood sugars.
The World Anti Doping Agency has banned DHEA from use in competitions”
DHEA has also been linked with causing male hair loss, anxiety, problems sleeping and in women, unusual or excessive har growth.
The World Anti Doping Agency has banned DHEA from use in competitions.
It is still legal to buy on the open market in the US.
However many countries now only allow it to be obtained strictly under doctors prescription.
As for safe doses, up to 100mg per day is not thought to cause to many problems.
DHEA and Testosterone
There are a few testosterone boosting supplements that use DHEA in their formula.
There have been a number of studies that have looked at its potential for boosting Testosterone.
On trial followed 40 healthy men, there were given 100mg of DHEA daily for 12 weeks.
The results were very disappointing with no increases in either serum or free testosterone being reported .
Another study involved 30 healthy men aged between 19 and 29 who took 150mg DHA daily alongside a healthy exercise routine over an 8 week period.
Again the results reported no increases in the hormone.
There have many other studies, all reporting back similar results.
The general consensus being that DHEA has no real effect on male testosterone production.
What is does appear to do is help older women regain their libido.
Any man looking to boost his testosterone should ignore DHEA as an ingredient.
Aside from the blanket failures in clinical studies, its inherent health risks (in particular the risks to the prostate) should not be ignored.
Another one of those testosterone boosting ingredients to avoid.
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack – Testosterone Boosting Ingredient To Avoid
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack (also known as Tongkat Ali, Malaysian Ginseng or Longjack) is a natural herbal extract used in male health supplements.
Uses Of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack
Its main use is in the treatment of poor libido.
It is also thought to have benefits in the treatment of anxiety but this is not actually confirmed.
It has also been used in the treatment of
This is one supplement that is best taken in pill form, as a root, it has a nasty, rather bitter taste.
Safe Doses of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack
The safe recommended daily dose of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack is around the 200mg mark.
Banned In many Countries
There are some countries where Eurycoma Longifolia Jack is not legally allowed to be bought and sold.
It is currently legal in the US.
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack and Testosterone
While it has seen some positive effects on libido and erection quality.
It’s ability to raise T levels is highly questionable.
Studies have shown some slight increases in test levels when taken by men with really low T.
They saw that their testosterone production increased back to baseline normal levels.
However clinical trials involving men with normal or slightly low testosterone did not see any improvements whatsoever.
While it has some proven libido boosting qualities, unless you have very low clinical hypogonadism, you will not see any real t-boosting benefits from taking Eurycoma Longifolia Jack.
Another one of those testosterone boosting ingredients to avoid.
Saw Palmetto – One to Avoid
Saw Palmetto is an extract taken from the plant serenoa repens.
This is a dwarf palm like tree found in parts of the US.
Its main uses include boosting breast size in women, as a diuretic, and most commonly to help boost sperm motility and general libido.
It is also used to treat irregular urine flow in men along with benign prostate hyperplasmia.
It is also thought to have testosterone boosting properties.
In the body it works to block the secretion of an enzyme that turns free testosterone into DHT (Dihydrotesosterone).
This is thought to cause hair loss in some men.
It is thought that doses of around 16-320mg per day are perfectly safe.
There have been no reports of any adverse side effects
Saw Palmetto And Testosterone
Despite many manufactures claims there is no clinical evidence that Saw Palmetto actually helps to boost testosterone.
It is one of those testosterone boosting ingredients that does not deliver on its claims.
It can help improve libido, so if that is your main or only concern, it could offer some benefits.
Its only real interaction with testosterone is its ability to control and reduce DHT.
In men who are predisposed to hair loss (if it runs in the male members of the family) it could reduce or slow down the onset of the problem.
Licorice – T Booster Ingredient To Avoid
Commonly found in health supplements as well as most candy stores.
Licorice is taken from the root of the plant family glycyrrhiza.
Popular in chinese medicine it is used to boost vitality as well as treat certain digestive problems.
It is made up of a number of flavonoids that have claimed health benefits.
It is thought that to promote general health a daily dose or 8-15mg is sufficient, to treat certain conditions, doses up to 100mg are perfectly safe.
Effects Of Licorice
Licorice has been studied and has been shown to
- Increase the stress hormone Cortisol
- Decreasing the Oxidation of LDL Cholesterol
- Decrease Lipid per oxidation
- Increase levels of Serum DHEA
- Reduce the size and pain caused by canker sores
- Increase blood pressure
- Boost the levels of parathyroid hormone
- Licorice And Testosterone
Licorice reduced testosterone production by 55% in just 7 days”
Clinical studies have shown that licorice can actually reduce testosterone levels further.
Test subjects in one trial were given 7g of licorice per day for a week.
After the test period, their testosterone levels were checked and were found to be a staggering 55% lower that the pre study readings.
Fortunately their T levels returned to normal within 7 days of stopping the licorice intake
Licorice is nice to eat as a treat occasionally, and it does have some health benefits.
However given the fact that it has been proven to actually reduce testosterone levels, its certainly one of those testosterone boosting ingredients to avoid.
Icariin (Horny Goat Weed)
When looking at testosterone boosting ingredients, another that is found in many male health supplements is Icariin,.
This particularly in those associated with libido and erectile dysfunction.
It can also be listed on ingredient labels as Epimedium, Fairywings, Rowdy Lamb Herb, Herba Epimdii and Yinyanghuo.
Folklore tells us that ancient goat herders discovered its libido boosting effects when they noticed increased sexual activity amongst their herd of goats after they eat the leaves.
Icariil has been subjected to extensive studies.
It is thought that the lowest effective dose is 60mg daily.
Better results have however been obtained when taking larger amounts.
A basic guide is:
A 150lb man should take 110mg, and a man weighting 200lbs should take 150mg
Uses Of Icariin
It has also been linked, (but not proven) to improved cognitive function, bone density and heart health.
Icariin and Testosterone
Although many manufacturers claim otherwise, clinical trials have proven inconclusive when it comes down to testosterone boosting.
Furthermore, there are to date no actual human trials on record
Castrated rats showed an increase in mounting and general sexual activity the given Icariin, but tests on actual testosterone levels all returned zero improvements.
Although scientists feel that Icariin demonstrates the general ability to boost testosterone, it actually fails to do so.
As such, it has no place in a testosterone boosting supplement.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this information about which testosterone boosting ingredients to avoid.