Testosterone is the predominant sex hormone in male human beings. Its counterpart is estrogen, the predominant sex hormone of the female. Testosterone functions as the chief regulator of the male’s sexual features, such as voice deepening, muscle growth, bone density, facial hair formation, sex drive, enlargement of the organ, and production of sperms.
The secretion of this hormone sets off at puberty and progressively shows itself by the features listed above. However, the testosterone level in a man usually decreases with age resulting in infertility (due to lowered sperm count) and decreased sex drive.
This deterioration of sexual capabilities can also result from chronic health complications such as type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, renal (kidney) failure, obesity, head injury, HIV/AIDS, testicular injury, pituitary gland dysfunction, etcetera. The remedy for testosterone drop is usually treated by Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), involving the introduction of the deficient hormone by administering it into a muscle (as injections) or on the skin (as gels or patches) or under the skin (as pellets). Supplements differ from the TRT in that supplements do not directly replace the lacking hormone (testosterone) instead, aid the body in producing more of it. It is these supplements that form the actual concern of this piece.
Testosterone Supplements: What Are They?
Testosterone supplements, also called testosterone boosters are medications taken to increase the testosterone level in the body. In other words, they are SARMs that counteract deficits in testosterone production. They do this by stimulating the relevant glands to secret more of the hormone as a response mechanism to the lack being suffered.
Below are some testosterone supplements commonly used;
1. D-aspartic Acid
Known in short as DAA, this is an amino acid that creates and releases different hormones, testosterone included. It causes the hypothalamus to secrete more gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This GnRH, in turn, stimulates the pituitary gland ( the master of all the glands) to produce luteinizing hormone (LH), which promotes more testosterone production. However, it is not a sure bet to increase testosterone level, as research on its efficacy has admitted.
2. Vitamin D
Of course, you already know of the bone-strengthening potentials of this vitamin, which is naturally synthesized by the skin when exposed to sunlight. Well, it has shown great promise in raising testosterone levels also. Research done in the US shows a link between vitamin D and testosterone levels. Men who spent more time in the summer sun were found to have more vitamin D and —- most likely as a consequence — more testosterone levels than the other group. Another study split men into two groups and subjected one group to 3,300 IU of vitamin D daily. This group was found to have increased testosterone levels by about 20%, from 10.7nmol/L to 13.4nmol/L. Therefore the conclusion is that vitamin D could also play a significant role in boosting the hormone level.
This is a herb-based supplement with significant potency in bolstering testosterone levels. A 2011 study on 60 men aged 25-52 showed improved sexual vigor (likely resulting from increased testosterone) after taking fenugreek in various calculated amounts for six weeks. 500mg of fenugreek per day could up testosterone levels and sexual performance.
While ginger is more primarily known for reducing inflammation and cholesterol levels, it could also prove a great agent for heightening testosterone levels. Experiments conducted on rodents have shown an increase in testosterone and sexual function when given a steady supply of ginger. In humans, the effects are not quite conclusively known yet, as few experiments have been done. But in one of these few trials involving 75 men, their testosterone was observed to have increased by 17% after three months of daily ginger intake. While more research is still needed to validate the role of ginger in this area, its general usefulness for human health is undoubted, so there’s nothing to be lost by taking it.
A major factor in many body reactions, zinc could also be useful in raising testosterone. Studies point towards a correlation between zinc levels and that of testosterone. One study suggests that men with infertility and low testosterone can benefit from taking 220mg of zinc sulfate twice per day, for 1-4 months.
While there is a great host of testosterone-boosting supplements on offer, only a few have sufficient research to support their effectiveness as standard treatments. Also, most of them are useful for those with already low fertility or testosterone levels rather than normal people who desire an increase. It must also be recognized that these supplements could also cause some side effects in the long term, especially for those who already have special health conditions.