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Testosterone Supplements: 10 Sources Worth Your Attention
With so many testosterone supplements out there today, we at IIFYM decided to give you the goods when it comes to knowing what testosterone supplements work. If you’ve followed us for quite some time you know IIFYM does not recommend many products, yet we try to provide you with informative content such as providing you with macros with the IIFYM calculator.
While this article contains many different ingredients to look for, there are still more out there that studies are being conducted on. So, sit back and get ready for an informational content piece to help boost your potentially lagging natural testosterone levels.
*Before getting started, IIFYM and the author would like to point out that testosterone supplements are not for everyone and can have serious side effects to your overall health if not used as directed. IIFYM and the author recommend that you consult with your doctor before using any testosterone supplements. Also, IIFYM and the author does not support the use of testosterone supplements to anyone under the age of 18.
This herb is one that many people may have never heard of before but is one of the testosterone supplements that shows great merit. Forskolin has been shown to stimulate cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate). cAMP acts as a messenger between cells and hormones in the body.
In one study, it was found that taking 10% Forskolin extract twice a day for 12 weeks yielded a 33% increase in testosterone levels compared to the placebo group .
A separate study, done in-vitro found that Forskolin was able to boost testosterone as much as 200% in Leydig cells—mainly due to cAMP stimulation that Forskolin has been shown to enhance . A final study16 found showed that Forskolin is an activator of androgen receptors. This alone gives off anabolic effects in the body, again thanks to cAMP .
2) Butea Superba
A herb that no one has really heard of before is Butea Superba. This herb has the ability to not only increase testosterone but also contains anti-estrogen compounds. Found mainly in Thailand, this herb is used by many men in that area to also increase their libido but some also use it in their regimen of testosterone supplements.
In one study using healthy men, Butea Superba was found to increase testosterone levels by as much as 11% .
What you will also find throughout this article are ingredients that have minimal amounts of studies surrounding them. For that reason, IIFYM and the author would like to see more research done on each to show they are indeed effective.
This common spice is something many find in their homes already. While IIFYM is not recommending you simply start adding it to all of your dishes, the research shows some encouraging news when it comes to testosterone supplements.
One study in Iraq was shown to increase testosterone levels by 17% in infertile men . While there wasn’t a group added to this study of non-infertile men, this still shows some promise as one of the testosterone supplements available. More research will need to be done, but luckily, ginger supplements are inexpensive.
At IIFYM, we try to help you live a healthy lifestyle to minimize the negative effects poor exercise and nutrition habits can have on the body. Our coaches are well equipped to help you with your body composition goals, often times that involves which supplements are most effective.
4) D-Aspartic Acid (D-AA)
D-AA is an amino acid that is naturally occurring. It, like Forskolin, is a messenger between Leydig cells and your brain. While more research on D-AA is needed, there are studies that are extremely promising when considering this in the lineup of testosterone supplements.
While none of the studies are done on healthy males, the findings are still encouraging when more research is conducted.
One study has shown that in as little as 12 days, D-AA can increase testosterone levels by as much as 44% . My IIFYM friends, this can truly be beneficial if more science comes along showing its effectiveness. In the same study after using D-AA, they found the same individuals had a 22% increase in testosterone levels even after discontinuing the product.
5) Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly is a very dense liquid created by worker bees. This liquid actually contains a very small amount of testosterone along with other nutrients and enzymes. Generally, what happens in the world of bees is that when a new queen is brought in, the bees feed the larvae with Royal Jelly which in turn gives that particular larvae testosterone.
Testosterone supplement may provide an advantage with muscle building, but it all starts in the kitchen. Let our coaches provide you with a Custom Macro Blueprint for consistent results!
The Royal Jelly allows the new queen to live up to 40 times longer than a normal worker bee and allows the queen to grow around 60 times larger as well. At IIFYM, we like to call that an “alpha bee”. Should you add it to your list of testosterone supplements? Maybe. The research is pretty compelling.
One study on humans has shown Royal Jelly increased testosterone by as much as 20% in infertile men while a second study8 shows an increase of 14% in healthy men who were fertile .
One of the most common testosterone supplements on this list is ZMA. This product is made up of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. Most commonly used at night-time as a sleep aid, this product also has the ability to boost testosterone levels in humans. Many people, especially athletes, are deficient in zinc and magnesium which can alter hormone profiles.
In a study using male athletes, a seven-week trial has shown to increase testosterone levels by as much as 30% . Not only did the athletes get a boost in test, but they were also found to sleep better and have a 12% increase in strength.
I would highly recommend all my IIFYM peeps to consider this product, as it’s one of the most common supplements in our client’s regimen. While there are indeed mixed studies out there on ZMA, the benefits of using the product outweigh any negatives.
7) Mucuna Pruriens
If you have heard of Mucuna Pruriens, it probably wasn’t for being on the list of testosterone supplements. Mucuna Pruriens has been known to help improve libido. However, this little gem also increases dopamine which has been shown to stimulate testosterone production in men.
In a human study using healthy individuals, Tongkat Ali increased testosterone levels by around 37% .
One study has shown that continued use of Mucuna Pruriens for 90 days increased testosterone levels by 27% in healthy men and as much as 38% in infertile men . A second study looking at just infertile men found that Mucuna Pruriens increased their testosterone levels by 38% showing Mucuna Pruriens to be one of the viable testosterone supplements available .
No, I didn’t sneeze—but thank you. You may have never heard of Shilajit, but you will soon—assuming companies can get their hands on this difficult to find ingredient. However, I have a feeling more companies will try to include this in their products in the near future. This Indian herbal medicine flies under the radar as it can only be found on the deep rocks of Himalaya.
On a study of infertile men, testosterone levels were increased by around 24%, showing that Shilajit belongs on the list of testosterone supplements that works . More studies need to be produced on healthy men to see the true value of Shilajit.
9) Tongkat Ali
This herbal extract is very well-known in Malaysia for its ability to help men with erections. That being said, it also has some testosterone boosting properties as well which lands it on our list of testosterone supplements. While the name might have you scratching your head, it’s more commonly known in the United States as Long Jack or Eurycoma Longifolia in some products.
In a human study using healthy individuals, Tongkat Ali increased testosterone levels by around 37% .
Ashwagandha is a herb you may have seen in a few different products in the industry. It’s mostly commonly used to reduce stress, however, it does have some testosterone boosting properties.
Supplements are meant to assist in the nutrition process, but our Custom Macro Blueprint will be the focal point of your dietary approach
There are three studies in particular that I found where Ashwagandha has increased testosterone with infertile men [11,12,13]. While none of the studies are done on healthy males, the findings are still encouraging when more research is conducted.
When it comes to testosterone supplements, there may be many, but the majority of them don’t have enough study based evidence to give a definitive answer on whether it boosts testosterone levels in men. Many of the studies that have been shown to increase testosterone are done on infertile men. The same studies using those ingredients need to be done on healthy men to know for sure if we can give it the IIFYM thumbs up.
For that reason, use the ingredients above with caution if at all. The science is there, but as we all know, science evolves and studies in the past can be invalid. Testosterone supplements aren’t going anywhere in the industry and will most likely be around forever. If you keep up with the science, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on what testosterone supplements you want to try and what testosterone supplements you want to steer clear of.
If you have questions regarding IIFYM please feel free to click on the IIFYM FAQ tab on the website. Also, if you are looking for some great IIFYM guides, IIFYM recipes, or even IIFYM meal plans, check out the IIFYM programs available on the website.
- Godard, Michael P., Brad A. Johnson, and Scott R. Richmond. "Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men." Body Composition and Hormonal Adaptations Associated with Forskolin Consumption in Overweight and Obese Men - Godard - 2005 - Obesity - Wiley Online Library. Obesity, Aug. 2005. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
- Kumar, Vikas. et al. Disruption of LH-induced testosterone biosynthesis in testicular Leydig cells by triclosan: Probable mechanism of action. Toxicology. 4 Sept. 2008. Web. 21 Nov. 2016
- Shukla, KK. et al. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertility and Sterility, 29 Oct. 2008. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
- Gupta, A. et al. A proton NMR study of the effect of Mucuna pruriens on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
- Mares, Waleed Abid Al-Kadir. et al. The effect of Ginger on semen parameters and serum FSH, LH & testosterone of infertile men. Tikrit Medical Journal. 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
- Biswas, TK. et al. Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia. Andrologia, Feb. 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
- Al-Sanafi, Ali E. et al. "Effect of Royal Jelly on Male Infertility." Thi-Quar Medical Journal, 2007. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Morita, H. et al. "Effect of Royal Jelly Ingestion for Six Months on Healthy Volunteers." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Talbott, Shawn M. et al. "Effect of Tongkat Ali on Stress Hormones and Psychological Mood State in Moderately Stressed Subjects." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. BioMed Central, 26 May 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Cherdshewasart, W., and N. Nimsaku. “Clinical trial of Butea superba, an alternative herbal treatment for erectile dysfunction.” Asian Journal of Andrology. Sept. 2003. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Ahmad, MK. et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertility and Sterility. Aug 2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Gupta, A. et al. Efficacy of Withania somnifera on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males: a proton NMR study at 800 MHz. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Mahdi, AA. et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality in stress-related male fertility. Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 29 Sept. 2009. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
- Brilla, L. R., & Conte, V. (2000). Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 3(4), 26-36.
- Topo, E., Soricelli, A., D'Aniello, A., Ronsini, S., & D'Aniello, G. (2009). The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 7(120), 1482-1488.
- Nazareth, Lynne V., Weigel, Nancy L. Activation of the Human Androgen Receptor through a Protein Kinase A Signaling Pathway. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 16 Aug. 1996. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.