On the market of dietary supplements, there are many products that are supposed to contribute to the rise of testosterone production to the limits of the body’s potential. In fact, they do not bring the expected results. There are, however, those that actually work and let us achieve the highest possible level of androgens in our bodies.
High testosterone level is highly desirable for men – hence the demand for products that raise its level is still rising. It contributes to an increase of sex drive, improved well-being, greater vitality and achieving better results in terms of physique, such as fat burning, building muscle mass and increasing strength.
Which dietary supplements raise testosterone levels?
Boron is a trace mineral found in the human body. It contributes to:
- maintaining the proper state of the skeletal system
- speeding up wound healing processes
- proper metabolism of vitamin D, estrogen and testosterone
- absorption of magnesium
- reduction of markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein or TNF-alpha tumour necrosis factor
Boron has a beneficial effect on androgen metabolism by reducing sex hormone-binding globulin – SHBG. SHBG limits the bioavailability of the hormones with whom it will react. SHBG shows affinity, among others, to testosterone and estradiol (and from those two, affinity for estradiol is higher).
Supplementation with a dose of 10mg daily allowed to achieve an alleviated level of SHBG. There was an increase in free testosterone level by 28% after one week of supplementation and a decrease in estradiol level by 39%.
Another study based on a dose of 6mg daily showed a similar effect on androgen levels. It can be considered as a long-lasting effect because the measurements of those were made after 60 days.
It is worth noting that the dose of 2.5mg daily doesn’t show any benefits, and there are suspicions that doses above 20mg daily may have a negative effects on health.
In summary, boron supplementation in doses of 6-10 mg per day results in a significant increase in the level of free testosterone and a reduction in estrogen levels without affecting the total testosterone level.
Fenugreek is a plant that has found application in traditional Ayurvedic medicine because of its pro-health properties that support the sugar and cholesterol metabolism in the body.
This plant is rich in glycosides and steroidal saponins, which in clinical studies showed properties that limit the process of testosterone aromatization. They also showed an increase in free testosterone level in healthy young men. In the experiment, which used 500mg of extract for 8 weeks, there was an increase in 26% biologically available androgen.
Summing up, fenugreek can positively affect the level of the biologically active form of testosterone, and at the same time, the research shows its high safety of use.
Cordyceps Sinensis is a fungus that has the ability to regulate the production of testosterone by the testicles, and also reduces the level of cortisol, whose excessive growth, as a result of stress, in itself limits the body’s potential of androgen production.
In one study, 10 athletic men practising professional cycling in the 30-40 age range were examined and given an extract of 445-890 mg (dose dependent on physical load) of Cordyceps for several weeks three times a day. Supplementation resulted in a significant increase in testosterone level after a physical exercise, where the placebo group experienced a decrease in androgen concentration as a result of intense physical stress.
The plant also has the ability to stimulate testicles to produce androgens because it mimics the effects of luteinizing hormone (LH. Interestingly, the time it took for cordyceps to show an effect was the same as that of chorionic gonadotropin – a drug that also mimics the effects of LH. The concentration of 3 mg/ml seems ideal as at 10 mg/ml testosterone decreased to baseline.
In conclusion, Cordyceps Sinensis has a beneficial effect on the androgen balance in training men, where intense exercise may cause a decrease in androgen levels. Also, due to its mechanism that mimics luteinizing hormone, it may prevent a reduction of testosterone production in a physiological way.
Vitamin, which de facto is closer to the hormone in terms of its actions, affects the production of androgen hormones, including testosterone.
Despite the significant impact of vitamin D3 in the human body, many people have deficiencies of it, which results in a low level of free testosterone and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Supplementation with vitamin D3, in order to achieve its optimal concentration in the blood, will result in an increase in free testosterone, by limiting the production of SHBG – this effect is observed at the concentration of the metabolite 25-(OH)-D3 at the level of 30 ng/dl in blood.
Summing up vitamin D3, when its blood level is high enough, reduces the activity of SHBG. Therefore supplementation with this vitamin to achieve the potential hormone metabolism improvement is indicated, especially in people who live in not sunny regions of the world or consume a low amount of products abundant in D3.
Other supplements increasing testosterone level
The above-mentioned supplements have a real effect on the level of testosterone activity in healthy, non-obese people, such as young physically trainers who aim to maximize the potential of their hormonal balance. There are of course other preparations which have the status of testosterone boosters, but these rather help with the production in case of androgen disorders, hence they have not been included above. These are:
Tongkat Ali – which helps to raise testosterone levels, but for people which testosterone level is above the population mean, as in healthy young people it adds nothing to the androgenic metabolism.
Coleus Forskholii – raises testosterone levels through the mechanism of activating cAMP, but in obese people, in whom obesity caused a decrease in androgen production below standard.
Ashwagandha – reduces the drop in testosterone levels resulting from chronic stress, so it restores only its normal level. Also, it helps maintain normal hormone levels in the elderly or in a group of people with fertility disorders.