Do Testosterone Boosters Work?—Choose Research Over Marketing

On the shelves of a health store, fitness supplement store, or online marketplace, you’ve undoubtedly seen the testosterone boosters for sale—supplements promising a natural route to raising testosterone levels, boosting muscle mass, and increasing sex drive.

But do these OTC testosterone boosters work?

It’s always recommended you go with science over marketing, and research shows little support that any of these claims are true. Few of these products provided any clinical research to back their claims that higher testosterone levels could be achieved.

Don’t be fooled by the marketing spin. Stick with the facts.

A muscular man's torso with his left arm outstretched can be seen. In his outstretched hand, he is holding a number of pills that could be testosterone boosters.

Testosterone Boosters: The Facts About Safety Regulation

Testosterone boosters are dietary supplements, so the safety regulation and fact-checking of their marketing claims is always suspect. The oversight of these products is nothing like the highly regulated medications that legitimate hormone replacement providers prescribe.

The FDA regulations that do exist to regulate these supplements are at times inadequate and are generally not well enforced, although they’re making efforts to do a better job. It’s largely up to the companies selling these products to ensure your safety.

They could contain just about anything, and it’s entirely possible these products don’t contain any of the ingredients they claim to.

“Many supplements on the market merely contain vitamins and minerals, but don’t do anything to improve testosterone. Often, people can be vulnerable to the marketing component of these products, making it difficult to tease out what is myth and what is reality.”

That was the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of Southern California who analyzed the ingredients of the first 50 testosterone boosters that appeared in a Google search on the topic.

In fact, zinc, vitamin B6, and fenugreek extract were the most common ingredients, and the amounts included in many of the products were well beyond recommended daily limits.

That makes these testosterone boosters more dangerous than they could possibly be helpful.

Don’t Attempt to Treat Low T by Yourself

Let’s take the issue of safety a step further.

Even if we pretended for a moment that these testosterone boosters worked—which they don’t—there’s another, potentially worse issue:

The effects of treatment on your body and overall health aren’t being monitored.

Hypogonadism (the clinical term for low testosterone) is a medical condition, and it requires medical treatment.

Even if a particular supplement worked and wasn’t directly dangerous, you wouldn’t know what they were actually boosting your testosterone levels up to, because your levels aren’t being accurately monitored.

Increasing your testosterone levels isn’t something you can safely do yourself with any level of precision. You would have to constantly test your own testosterone levels. You easily could end up taking far too much, boosting your testosterone levels beyond what your body needs, and causing some very serious side effects.

The long and short of it is that testosterone boosters and supplements claiming to raise your T levels don’t work, and they could even be unsafe.

Medical Treatment Over Testosterone Boosters

Save your money, and take care of your medical problem the right way.

At a reputable medical establishment, the provider will evaluate you very carefully through a series of rigorous tests to determine if you suffer from hypogonadism. If you begin therapy, you’re evaluated regularly. If you report side effects, your treatment is adjusted.

(Learn more about how Low T is diagnosed and treatment plans are developed here.)

If you’re hoping for relief from the common symptoms of low testosterone, safer and more effective options are available.

Medical science continues to conclude that TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) has actual benefits that can improve your quality of life, namely relief from the debilitating symptoms such as fatigue and low sex drive.

If you’re interested in learning more, we recommend our comprehensive guide. It provides facts and the answers to the most common questions concerning TRT and the treatment of low testosterone.

Read the Guide


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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

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