In a new study, researchers found that testosterone-boosting supplements, also known as “T boosters, may not help men improve their libido or build body mass.
Men who what to do these things may need to think twice before using the supplements.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Southern California.
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men. It helps men develop more “masculine” features like bulging muscles, a deep voice, broad shoulders and a hairy chest.
Most men after age 30 experience a gradual decline in testosterone.
Testosterone-boosting supplements are supposed to alternatives to traditional testosterone replacement therapy.
But many of these supplements merely contain vitamins and minerals, but don’t do anything to improve testosterone, according to the researchers.
Often, people can be vulnerable to the marketing component of these products, making it difficult to tease out what is a myth and what is a reality.
In the new study, the team used a structured review approach to explore the active ingredients and advertised claims of 50 T boosting supplements.
They performed a Google search with the search term “Testosterone Booster,” thus mimicking typical internet research for someone looking to increase testosterone levels, and then selected the first 50 products that came up in their search.
After that, they reviewed published scientific studies on testosterone and the 109 components found in the supplements.
They found that zinc, fenugreek extract, and vitamin B6 were three of the most common components in the supplements.
Among the 150 supplements, the researchers examined 16 general claims to benefit patients, such as claims to “boost T or free T”, “build body lean mass or muscle mass”, or “increase sex drive or libido.”
Although 90% of the T booster supplements that claimed to boost testosterone, less than 25% of the supplements had data to support their claims.
Many also contained vitamins and minerals even more than the tolerable levels.
The findings show that these supplements may not benefit men and may even bring health risks.
The team hopes there will be more regulation around testosterone-boosting supplements to protect consumers.
They suggest patients seek a medical professional for low testosterone issues.
The lead author of the study is Mary K. Samplaski, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology.
The study is published in The World Journal of Men’s Health.
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