10 Best Supplements for Men
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements lifters use and for good reason.
You may have see it at health stores, added to preworkouts, and even included in commercial energy drinks.
But what are Creatine’s benefits and is it really worth all of the hype?
And the short answer is yes — yes, Creatine is really worth all the hype.
But Creatine’s benefits extend far beyond just to helping you grow muscle and get stronger.
How It Works
Creatine is a non-essential amino acid that your body can produce it naturally through glycine and arginine, but it is notoriously difficult to consume an active-dose’s-worth through food sources alone.
It is synthesized by your liver, kidneys, and pancreas [R].
In fact, the average person would need to consume an exorbitant amount of food to enjoy an active dose to the point where their diet would be derailed.
When you supplement creatine, you body stores it as phosphocreatine which is a precursor to ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) — equivalent to your body’s energy currency of choice.
Most ATP (around 95%) is stored in the muscles, with the remainder stored in the liver, kidneys, and brain.
Increased ATP levels can power the muscles through vigorous training regimens as well as directly contribute towards recovery and growth.
1. It Will Help You Build Muscle and Get Stronger
Interestingly, Creatine is one of the few over-the-counter supplements that will actually help you gain a supraphysiological edge when it comes to building muscle and strength.
This means that it will allow your body to build more muscle and develop more strength that it would’ve been capable of without it.
It also helps with an increase in satellite cell signaling — which facilitates muscle repair and new muscle growth — hence the reference to a supraphysiological edge.
Additionally, it can help with the following:
- Increased workload: Enables more total work or volume in a single training session, which is a key factor in long-term muscle growth
- Raised anabolic (muscle-building) hormones: Creatine can provoke a rise in anabolic hormones, such as IGF-1, to promulgate muscle growth
- Lower myostatin levels: Elevated levels of the protein myostatin can slow or totally inhibit new muscle growth. Supplementing with creatine can reduce these levels, increasing growth potential similar to YK-11, a myostatin inhibitor.
- Improved cell signaling: As we mentioned, it can increase satellite cell signaling, which contributes towards muscle repair and new muscle growth to a supraphysiological level.
- Reduced protein breakdown: It can stave off protein breakdown (catabolism) and muscle loss induced by a variety of factors, including overtraining.
- Increased cell hydration: This boosts water content within your muscle cells, which can enlarge the cells that may play a role in temporary muscle growth. Some fear that it can lead to bloating or a weighing down, but this isn’t the case. Hydration has been proven to be crucial when it comes to informing athletic performance.
2. It Has Been Proven to Boost Athletic Performance
After rising to prominence following the 1992 Olympic Games, Creatine has shot into the atmosphere in terms of popularity. Between 1996-2001, its sales volume increased eightfold.
As we have discussed, Creatine can significantly boost strength and muscular development through a variety of pathways, but for athleticism, we need to mention muscle cell hydration and its role in producing adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
Hydration — along with sleep deprivation — is the leading cause in a drop in athletic performance. By prolonging or improving hydration, endurance and athletic performance will both receive a boost.
ATP is necessary for muscle cell energy production.
It can increase athletic performance by 15%, although it doesn’t have much of an impact for less vigorous activities [R].
3. It Has Nootropic Properties
When you think about Nootropics or smart drugs, for the sake of increasing productivity, stimulants like Modafinil, Adderall, and Caffeine pop into your mind.
Many individuals out there looking to improve their productivity without suffering from the side-effect profiles of stimulants — clamminess, jitteriness, anxiety, elevated body temperature, tachycardia, hypertension, headaches, feeling “cracked out,” comedowns, etc. — are left to work with their own devices, failing to unlock their maximum potential.
But the evergreen bodybuilding supplement makes a strong case for improving productivity, not just by increasing mental acuity by refueling neurotransmitters, but also by fueling the brain to prolong stamina as well as offering protection from neurological diseases and neurotoxins [R].
It can also improve reasoning abilities and counteract some of the sluggishness brought on by sleep deprivation [R].
Vegetarians and highly-stressed individuals have been reported to enjoy stellar results from supplementing creatine [R].
Creatine is also one of the safest and most studied performance enhancing drugs — yet one of the fewest over-the-counter supplements that can actually yield supraphysiological results.
And lastly, creatine can also provide antioxidant benefits.
Now, when it comes to the ol’ noggin, it is used to restock ATP levels produced by the mitochondria in the brain cells.
When your neurons use ATP, it loses its phosphate molecule becoming ADP (adenosine diphosphate). But when Creatine is added into the mix — becoming phosphocreatine in the body — the depleted ADP is reconverted to ATP to continue fueling the neurons.
As Nootropics Expert puts it, you can expect to enjoy some of the following benefits:
- Brain Energy. Creatine can reduce mental fatigue. Creatine re-charges ATP which is the fuel source for your brain cells.
- Neurotransmitters. Creatine re-charges ATP which is directly involved in producing, packaging and secreting neurotransmitters. Creatine boosts intelligence, improves memory, facilitates faster thinking, and improves mood.
- Neuroprotectant. Creatine fuels ATP, and boosts cellular metabolism which helps protect against neuronal damage from toxins. And improves cognition.
Studies have shown that children with higher levels of creatine in their brain enjoyed a better working memory when it came to performing daily tasks over children with lower levels of the naturally-occurring amino acid [R].
Another study shows that this non-essential amino acid can improve productivity with a middling dose in a state of sleep deprivation [R].
4. You Cannot Get Enough Creatine From Your Diet Alone
Ok, you can get enough Creatine from your diet, but are you willing to shovel down several pounds of food a day?
Raw salmon and beef contain roughly 1-2g of Creatine per pound. If you do vigorous activities like lift weights, you would need 5-10g — depending on activity levels and bodyweight — of Creatine per day to optimize your body’s Creatine stores.
This would mean consuming anywhere between 5-10lb of meat per day.
Instead of stretching your stomach and breaking the bank, it’s better to buy Creatine Monohydrate in supplement form for your sake!
Some preworkouts contain it, but at around 1-2g per servings, making it pathetically underdosed. This is a marketing ploy to add prestige to their product and to create an opportunity to upsell more supplements down the line.
5. It Has Been Extensively Studied and Proven to Be Safe
And finally, despite the concerns of some, it has proven to be safe and is well-studied. Of course, if you do have any lingering concerns, we recommend you to contact your physician before taking on any new supplementation.
It has a phenomenal safety profile and we recommend all lifters to supplement this wonderful product. You don’t need a loading phase or to take it in cycles. Between 5-10g of Creatine a day is enough to reap the benefits for body and mind.https://www.youtube.com/embed/kKU8CgIOH7Q?feature=oembed
Magnesium is one of the most important, as well as the most abundant, minerals in the human body. Despite its importance, magnesium deficiency is thought to be extremely common, with estimates suggesting as many as two in three adults in the US may be deficient. In the US, the recommended daily dosage for men is 400-420mg a day and 310-320mg a day for women. Certain conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, Type 2 diabetes and alcoholism can leave sufferers chronically deprived of the mineral.
The body cannot satisfy its own magnesium needs; they must be met through dietary sources. Magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, leafy vegetables, milk, yoghurt, fish, avocados and dark chocolate. Many will choose to supplement with magnesium tablets even if they eat a healthy diet.
Here are five reasons why you should ensure you’re getting enough magnesium.
1. It is essential for the proper functioning of your body, full stop.
To put it bluntly, magnesium makes your body work properly. Without it, innumerable vital bodily functions will not work as they should. Magnesium is involved in over 600 reactions within the body, playing an essential role in energy and protein production, gene protection, muscular contraction and regulation of the nervous system.
2. It Can Improve Your Athletic Performance
Take it for the best dodgeball performance of your life
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of consuming enough magnesium for athletic performance. Depending on the kind of exercise performed, you may need as much as 20% more magnesium than when you’re at rest.
One benefit of magnesium is that it helps blood sugar move into the muscles and helps dispose of lactate, which builds up during exercise and is responsible for causing fatigue.
A study showed that volleyball players who took 250mg of magnesium a day saw improved jumping and arm-movement abilities, although they were not judged to be magnesium-deficient in the first place. Another study showed that increased magnesium intake resulted in greater strength performance in basketball, handball and volleyball players:
‘Strength tests included maximal isometric trunk flexion, extension, and rotation, handgrip, squat and countermovement Abalakov jump, and maximal isokinetic knee extension and flexion peak torques.’
Athletes who supplemented it for four weeks showed improved running, cycling and swimming performances in a triathlon, and also experienced reductions in levels of insulin and cortisol.
3. It helps regulate your moods and your testosterone
In another article we’ve already talked about the epidemic of depression blighting the modern world, and in particular the role of low testosterone in causing depression in men. Studies have shown that low magnesium levels – and low zinc levels – will seriously deplete your testosterone, and that supplementation increases free and total testosterone levels in sedentary and active men, with the latter experiencing the greatest increases.
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Analysis of nearly 9000 people has showed that those under 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of developing depression.
Supplementing with magnesium can dramatically reduce symptoms of depression. One clinical trial of depressed adults showed that 450mg of magnesium daily improved mood as much as antidepressant medication.
4. It has benefits against Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance
More than 34 million Americans have diabetes, with 90 to 95% of them having type 2. Although type 2 most commonly develops in people aged over 45, increasing number of teens and even children are developing the disease as a result of unhealthy lifestyles.
The disease develops as a result of insulin resistance, when the cells of the body become resistant to the hormone insulin, which is involved in regulating blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
In another article we’ve already shown that increased testosterone seems to guard against diabetes, as does eating eggs. It’s also clear that increasing your magnesium intake can help too. As much as 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have a magnesium deficiency, which can reduce the body’s ability to keep blood sugar levels within an acceptable range.
Magnesium deficiency may also be at least partly responsible for the actual onset of the condition. A long-term study of 4000 people showed that those with the highest intake of the mineral were nearly half less likely to get diabetes. The high levels of insulin that accompany insulin resistance, the first stage of diabetes sometimes referred to as a ‘pre-diabetic’ state, cause the body to lose magnesium through urine, causing further depletion.
Zinc is an essential mineral that many people aren’t getting enough of. Here we’ll give you five powerful reasons why, if you are deficient, you should supplement or eat more foods that contain zinc, to ensure you’re getting enough
Zinc is an essential mineral that many people aren’t getting enough of. Here we’ll give you five powerful reasons why, if you are deficient, you should supplement or eat more foods that contain zinc, to ensure you’re getting enough.
- 5 Reasons to Supplement Zinc
- Am I likely to be deficient?
5 Reasons to Supplement Zinc
1: It boosts your immune system
Zinc is a very low-risk intervention to boost your immune system, something everybody should be thinking of doing in the present circumstances.
Zinc has been referred to as the ‘gatekeeper of immune function’, and if you’re deficient, you’re most susceptible to allergies and auto-immune disorders. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to decrease the length and severity of common cold symptoms, for instance.
One study in 50 older adults found that taking 45 mg of zinc gluconate for a year decreased a number of inflammation markers and also reduced the frequency of infections.
Zinc deficiency has also been linked to ‘poor COVID-19 outcomes’, and this may have something to do with the next reason on our list: its testosterone-boosting effects. We’ve already written about the fact that studies are suggesting that low testosterone can make you as much as six times more likely to die from coronavirus.
2: It boosts your T
Zinc is a common ingredient in test-boosters and with good reason: because it works. Studies have shown that zinc supplementation will reliably increase the testosterone levels of men who are deficient. If you’re already getting enough zinc, however, supplementation will have little to no effect.
3: Can improve blood sugar regulation
We’ve written about insulin sensitivity at length and in particular about why having poor sensitivity (often referred to as resistance) is a very bad thing. In fact insulin resistance is a common marker for a number of other serious, even fatal, conditions.
Did you know that even a short-term change to a paleo diet from a typical Western diet can improve a number of health markers, including insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles? Click here to find out more!
Research suggests that zinc may help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
One review reported that zinc supplements were effective at enhancing both short-term and long-term blood sugar control in people with diabetes, and other studies have shown (one, two) that zinc may help increase insulin sensitivity as well.
4: May improve heart health
Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide, accounting for a third of all deaths.
Research suggests that taking zinc may improve several risk factors for heart disease and may even lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
A review of 24 studies found that zinc supplements helped decrease levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
A study of 40 young women showed that higher intakes of zinc were linked to lower levels of systolic blood pressure.
Other research suggests that low levels of blood zinc may be associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
5: May improve your skin, especially if you have acne
Zinc supplements are commonly used to promote skin health and to treat common skin conditions, specially acne.
Zinc sulfate has been shown to be especially useful for decreasing symptoms of severe acne; for instance, a three-month study of over 300 people taking zinc showed that it was effective for treating inflammatory acne.
Zinc supplements tend to be favoured over other treatment methods because they are cheap, effective and tend to have few side effects.
Am I likely to be deficient?
If you’re zinc deficient, as with all deficiencies, you will manifest certain symptoms.
Zinc deficiency can result in skin changes that look like eczema at first. There may be cracks and a glazed appearance on the skin, often found around the mouth, nappy area and hands. The rash won’t get better with moisturisers or steroid creams or lotions.
People with zinc deficiency may also experience:
- hair loss
- changes in their nails
- more infections
- feeling irritable
- loss of appetite
- eye problems
- weight loss
- wounds that take a long time to heal
- lack of taste and smell
Zinc deficiency can slow a child’s growth and delay them reaching sexual maturity.
The FDA’s recommended daily allowance for zinc is 8mg for women and 11mg for men.
Like most of the FDA’s recommendations, however, their zinc RDA seems to be on the low end of healthy. Other recommendations go as high as 30mg per day.
Four ounces of red meat has 5mg of zinc. So if you eat a single 12-ounce steak, you’ll be exceeding the FDA’s RDA and getting half of might be considered optimal.
Oysters are known for their high zinc content: six oysters contain 30mg. Other shellfish like shrimp are also rich in zinc. Nuts like peanuts, almonds, and cashews all have around 2mg per ounce. An individual egg has over half a milligram per egg.
The likelihood is, then, that if you’re eating a high-protein diet with lots of meat and eggs, you probably don’t need to supplement with zinc.
But if you’re not eating meat, eggs, and nuts consistently, you’re more likely to need a zinc supplement. Or, if you occasionally eat these foods but aren’t hitting the optimal range, a supplement is probably a good idea. Vegans or even vegetarians are the most likely to benefit from a zinc supplement.
It’s worth noting, too, that anti-nutrients such as phytates can interfere with the body’s absorption of zinc.
Which type of zinc to choose?
When choosing a zinc supplement, you’ll notice that there are many different types available.These various forms of zinc impact health in distinct ways.
Because it’s one of the most widely available and cost-effective forms of zinc, zinc gluconate is probably the most cost-effective kind; although some prefer the taste of zinc citrate.
However, if you’re able to invest a bit more, zinc picolinate may be better absorbed.
4. Maca Root
We’ve noticed a lot of people talking about maca root and its supposed benefits in recent weeks.
These are said to include:
- Improved memory
- Improved concentration
- Reduced prostate size
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased strength
In this article we’ll put those claims to the test.
Maca root: what does it really do?
Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is grown in the Andes. It’s a cruciferous vegetable, like kale or spinach, and the roots have been used in these Andean communities for a variety of remedies.
Most people now are interested in maca root because of its supposed test-boosting properties.
It’s worth noting that most studies supporting its effects are animal studies.
One study, on rats, showed that maca root caused an increase in production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which has a significant role in the production of testosterone.
A second rat study showed a significant increase in testosterone concentration and also enhanced function of the Leydig cells, which are involved in its production. Bulbine natalensis has been noted to have a similar effect.
Pro-inflammatory foods, including processed food, cause low testosterone, fascinating new study
Pro-inflammatory foods such as processed foods are responsible for low testosterone in men, according to a new detailed study out of China.
Since we first launched our website, we’ve been reporting on the modern world’s low testosterone epidemic and the dreadful effects of eating processed food, so the importance of this new study should be clear to anybody who has been keeping up with our articles on these subjects.
In animal and human research, testosterone deficiency had already been related to higher levels of inflammation throughout the body. Men who have low testosterone are known to have greater amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines, tiny proteins produced by cells when they react to damage, illness, or inflammatory stimuli in the environment.
A scale known as the “Diet Inflammatory Index” (DII) had already been developed to help investigate how food impacts one’s risk of inflammation, particularly in relation to other health indicators, and the Chinese researchers used this index as a central part of their research.
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Despite this lack of corroborating human studies, maca root’s nutrient profile makes it a prime candidate for improving testosterone levels in humans.
Maca contains zinc, magnesium and iodine, all of which need to be present in sufficient quantity if you want to have optimal testosterone.
The problem is not just that foods today contain less iodine than they used to, but that all sorts of toxic halogens like fluorine, chlorine and bromine in the water supply reduce its effectiveness within our bodies.
A teaspoon of maca root may contain as much as 17% of the recommended daily allowance of iodine.
The takeaways on maca root
At present, the jury is out on whether maca is a good test booster for men.
5. Tongkat Ali
After stating that behaviour – i.e. doing the right things – should be your primary focus if you want to have optimal testosterone levels – a point we’d wholeheartedly agree with – Huberman discussed two herbal remedies that he claimed can have powerful test-boosting effects.
Rogan had heard of the first, tongkat ali, and many of you might also have heard of it as well; the second, fadogia agrestis, a Nigerian plant, is more obscure. Here we’ll talk about tongkat ali and examine the claims for its effects. Next week, we’ll turn to fadogia agrestis.https://www.youtube.com/embed/bJWmJo3w_0Y?feature=oembed
Tongkat ali: what it is and its traditional uses
Eurycoma longifolia, otherwise known as tongkat ali
Eurycoma longifolia, otherwise known as tongkat ali, is a flowering plant in the family Simaroubaceae. It is native to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and has also been found in the Philippines.
The plant has long been used in folk remedies and is now also used in supplements, as well as food and drink additives.
A great many benefits have been attributed to tongkat ali. Traditionally, the root is boiled in water and the water is consumed as tonic. Tongkat ali is variously used for post-partum recovery, as an aphrodisiac, and for relief from fever, intestinal worms, dysentery, diarrhoea, indigestion and jaundice. Tongkat ali is also attributed antimalarial, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anti-dengue and immunomodulation properties.
As a supplement, tongkat ali is marketed for improved sexual health, stamina and energy boosts and testosterone optimisation.
Our concern here is with testosterone optimisation. Does tongkat ali work?
Does tongkat ali work to improve testosterone?
In his interview with Joe Rogan, Andrew Huberman attributed powerful testosterone-optimising effects to tongkat ali.
There are at least seven studies – human and animal – which are relevant and together suggest that tongkat ali does indeed have powerful testoterone-boosting effects, as well as many other potential benefits. Let’s look at these studies one by one.
A 12-week study of 12 men showed that supplementation with tongkat ali (200mg per day) increased serum testosterone levels significantly as compared to the placebo or control group. All sexual parameters were improved and a general feeling of well-being was reported. Liver and kidney function tests revealed no harmful effect of the extract on the critical organs.
A study suggests that the ‘sigma male’ lone wolf meme may have some truth behind it. Mice which spend less time in social situations have increased testosterone, probably because they do not experience the stresses associated with social interaction.
A five-week study of 13 physically active elderly males and 12 women were given 500mg of tongkat ali a day. There was a significant increase in total and free testosterone levels in both sets of subjects. Muscle strength also increased in both cases.
76 men with late-onset hypogonadism were given 200mg a day for five weeks. Testosterone levels increased significantly for all subjects, and 90% had normal male aging symptoms after the supplementation, compared to just 35% before.
109 health men aged 30-55 were given 300mg of tongkat ali a day for 12 weeks. Although testosterone did not increase significantly, sexual well-being scores did, and there was an increase in sperm motility and semen volume.
Extracts of tongkat ali were used on rats and significantly increased levels of serum testosterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, as well as increased spermatogenesis.
Researchers isolated certain compounds in tongkat ali and used them on rat testicle cells in petri dishes. The researchers showed that tongkat ali works by inhibiting enzymes responsible for bioconversion of testosterone, which ultimately results in increased testosterone levels.
What Does This Mean?
Ultimately, it looks like tongkat ali really does work. Certainly, the evidence is much better than for another herbal remedy – butea superba – which has been claimed to boost testosterone.
We recommend paying attention to the doses used in the human studies. 200mg a day appears to be a good dose. As with other test boosters like bulbine natalensis, you may wish to cycle the herb, say over a period of 8-12 weeks.
6. Bulbine Natalensis
Butea Superba has various health benefits, including the potential for being a powerful testosterone booster. As many men suffer from low testosterone, they might resort to exotic herbal supplements to correct their condition. But do these remedies, such as Butea Superba, stand up to the growing hype?
Butea superba, a plant native to India and Southeast Asia
Just a few days ago I received an email from a fitness website I’d downloaded a free ebook from: ‘30% off our test-booster, containing butea superba’. Butea superba? Never heard of it. Bulbine natalensis, tribulus terrestris – sure, I’d hear of those test boosters. Ecdysterone too; although that’s not strictly a test booster, but does have strong anabolic effects.
But butea superba? Never.
The list of benefits was certainly impressive: testosterone booster, erectile hardness and libido, anti-oxidant and anti-aging, anti-estrogen, hair growth. In addition, the email claimed their product was ‘a rare premium strain which is more potent than 95% of all the other products on the market’.
As often seems to happen, that same day I had a client ask me about butea superba. Should he use it to increase his testosterone levels? Well, I wasn’t sure. For one thing, I wasn’t sure he had low testosterone, and I still didn’t know what butea superba actually was or did, so I decided to do a little research of my own.
What Is Butea Superba?
Dried butea superba
Before we address the question of whether butea superba is a potent test booster, let’s talk a little about what it actually is.
Butea superba, also known as red kwao krua in Thai, is a flowering plant in the pea family. Like the clematis, it is a crawler plant that grows around other larger plants, especially trees. The plant is native to India and Southeast Asia.
Butea has long been used in Thailand as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual appetite and performance, which has clearly been the basis of its use as a testosterone booster. The evidence for its efficacy, however, is far from clear.
What do the studies say?
Placing a certain amount of reliance on scientific studies isn’t necessarily a bad thing
In short, the scientific evidence for the efficacy of butea superba isn’t tremendous. As far as the aphrodisiac and libido claims are concerned, two studies have shown that butea enhances erections in rats. [R] [R] Another study suggests that butea might be more effective than Viagra in humans, although the study appears to have been conducted in a slipshod manner.
First of all, it’s worth saying that, chemically, we might expect butea to increase testosterone because one of its active compounds is a strong cAMP phopshodiesterase inhibitor. Inhibition of this molecule has been shown to increase testosterone levels.
Another trial in rats, however, showed a decrease in serum testosterone, as well as other important blood markers including white blood cell count. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the butea was simply reducing testosterone production. At the same time as this decrease in serum levels of testosterone was observed, androgenic, that is masculinising, effects were observed such as increased spleen weight. What this suggests is that the reduction in testosterone may have been caused either by the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or by increased use of testosterone by the androgen receptors. Another study showed similar androgenic effects in female rats.
In a three-month human study, butea increased the testosterone levels of men with erectile dysfunction by 11%. It’s worth noting that the study was small-scale, involving just 39 men, and because other androgen markers, such as DHT, were not measured, it’s hard to draw firm conclusions on this basis alone.
Finally, there is a case study of a Thai man who was diagnosed with hyperandrogenemia – excess androgen hormones – as a result of taking an undisclosed amount of butea. As well as experiencing an insane sex drive, the man also experienced hair loss. One of the principal causes of baldness is DHT (see above), which the Thai man experienced a significant increase in; although under measurement, his serum testosterone levels had only increased 1.7%.
Should I try butea?
So you say it’s ‘a rare premium strain which is more potent than 95% of all the other products on the market’?
On the basis of the scientific evidence, we’d argue that there are better test boosters on the market. We’ve examined two in a recent article (bulbine natalensis and tribulus terrestris). The evidence that butea superba is a potent test booster – with the emphasis on ‘potent’, as in the email I received – definitely isn’t there. In time, perhaps, more studies will substantiate its effects. Or maybe they won’t.https://www.youtube.com/embed/S3FePDwU0G8?feature=oembedButea Superba DHT video
Shilajit!? That sounds painful!
If you’re a frequenter of fitness Twitter, you may have heard talk of shilajit. But what is it? And, just as importantly, what does it do?
Here we’ll give the lowdown on this natural substance and its test-boosting properties, as well as a number of other beneficial effects.
Shilajit: what is it and what does it do?
For many hundreds of years, healers in the Himalayas and the mountains of the Caucasus and Altai, have collected shilajit. Shilajit is a largely organic substance with a low molecular weight. One of the main components of shilajit is fulvic acid, as well as humic acid.
In local cultures, shilajit is known as ‘blood of the mountain’ or ‘rock sweat’, and various healing properties are attributed to it.
In Ayurvedic medicine shilajit is considered a rasayana, or rejuvenator. In India, it is traded as a substance for enhancing libido and fertility. A number of supplement companies also claim that fulvic acids can clear the body of heavy metals.
Researchers wanted to test whether the libido- and fertility-enhancing properties could be demonstrated scientifically . They took 28 infertile men aged between 30 and 45, all with a low sperm count, and gave them 200 mg of a purified shilajit extract each day for 90 days. The 200 mg dose was divided over two intakes, and the men took the supplement after meals.
In the table below, we can see that during the supplementation period the men’s sperm count rose. Not only that: the sperm cells were also more motile and healthier. In addition, oxidative stress decreased and the testosterone level rose by 23.5 percent.
So how did Shilajit do these things?
The researchers believe that the shilajit helps reduce damage from free radicals in the testes, which in turn boosts the production of testosterone and sperm.
It’s also worth noting that the reduction in numbers of one type of white blood cell (listed under “haematology) in the men suggests that some of them may have been suffering from an infection, and that the shilajit helped fight it off.
Curcumin is a marvellous supplement health-conscious consumers should consider taking for a variety of reasons.
This turmeric polyphenol and common ingredient is overlooked by many, but is enjoying a recent resurgence in popularity.
From reducing inflammation, to helping prevent fat gain, and blocking estrogen, this golden-orange wonder spice can offer up a lot of benefits.
Why You Should Supplement Curcumin
1. Curcumin Can Kill Baby Fat Cells
New research seems to indicate that curcumin forces “baby” fat cells to self-destruct before they become “adult” fat cells, thus preventing the growth of fat tissue [R].
Taiwanese researchers found that the use of curcumin in a high-fat diet at a caloric surplus prevents pre-adipocytes from forming actual adipocytes in a process called apoptosis which essentially slow-cooks the cell, breaking it down.
Phagocytes are then released to clean up the broken down cells.
But this is where things get interesting.
A low dose of supplementation hindered the development of pre-adipocytes, while megadoses caused for the cells to self-terminate through apoptosis.
Although researchers weren’t entirely certain as to why this phenomen took place, they believed it may be due to curcumin’s modulating effects on the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway.
The researchers wrote: “The findings suggest that curcumin supplementation could be an effective strategy for treating or preventing the development of obesity by a curcumin-induced reduction in the number of pre-adipocytes and the fat mass of adipocytes.“
While the research appears to be promising at this stage, we still urge readers to take a tried and tested conventional route when it comes to fat loss through diet and exercise.
If you need help with fat loss, we urge you to check out our fat loss bundle to begin shedding the pounds today.
2. It Can Help Reverse Diabetes
In mice, Curcumin has been shown to combat type I diabetes, adding to the list of many positives it can bring in supplement form [R].
According to a 2009 study [R]:
[Researcher Mohsen] Meydani and colleagues studied mice fed high fat diets for 12 weeks. The high fat diet of one group was supplemented with 500 mg of curcumin/ kg diet; the other group consumed no curcumin. Both groups ate the same amount of food, indicating curcumin did not affect appetite, but mice fed the curcumin supplemented diet did not gain as much weight as mice that were not fed curcumin.
“Curcumin appeared to be responsible for total lower body fat in the group that received supplementation,” said Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. “In those mice, we observed a suppression of microvessel density in fat tissue, a sign of less blood vessel growth and thus less expansion of fat. We also found lower blood cholesterol levels and fat in the liver of those mice. In general, angiogenesis and an accumulation of lipids in fat cells contribute to fat tissue growth.”
“Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis.” said senior author Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. “Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets.”
Meydani continued, “It is important to note, we don’t know whether these results can be replicated in humans because, to our knowledge, no studies have been done.”
3. It Reduces Inflammation
This wonder spice is well known to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation — chronic inflammation — has been linked to a host of easily-preventable diseases that shorten lifespans around the world.
Much chronic inflammation is a product of a poor diet model — one that’s high in seed oils, ultra-processed food, and other novel food sources.
Inflammation can also contribute towards other degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Curcumin supplementation can reduce the risk of such degenerative diseases.https://www.youtube.com/embed/a-YThWvgdJw?feature=oembed
Curcumin is fat-soluble and lacks decent bioavailability.
If you are to supplement it for these ends, please consider using a blend that contains piperine (pepper) as it enhances bioavailability by 2000% and consume it with a meal high in fat.
4. A Painkiller
Due to its ability to reduce inflammation, the use of this supplement can help reduce pain stemming from inflammatory conditions such as Arthritis.
Chronic inflammation can sharply reduce quality of life and leave a patient with debilitating pain.
However, with well-aimed supplementation and changes in diet model, many have managed to live a normal, pain-free life.
5. It Can Increase Your Life Expectancy
Curcumin can indirectly increase your life expectancy by preventing or combating illnesses such as cancer.
Studies have shown that this wonderful powder can prevent metastasis, kill cancerous cells, and suffocate tumors by preventing the proliferation of blood vessels to tumors.
Moreover, it can help improve the function of the lining of your blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease by helping to control blood pressure and clotting.
Another study found that its supplementation can lower the risk of heart attack in bypass patients by up to 65%.
As this fantastic herb is believed to contain antioxidant properties, you will be able to expel free radicals more efficiently.
Additionally, it has also shown promise as an anti-depressant.
6. Curcumin can Block Estrogen and Raise Testosterone
On a study conducted with cells outside the body, Curcumin was shown to reduce estrogen levels.
Another study on rats found that this marvellous spice can raise testosterone levels.https://www.youtube.com/embed/T6ikF5WyMpk?feature=oembed
Boron is a mineral found in everyday life, from foods to the environment, boron exists around us. It can give your body relief and make it function better. Boron also has nootropic benefits.
Most boron comes from the food we eat, but modern farming reduces critical nutrients people would’ve gotten in their food 50 years ago. Even though we’re eating the exact same food, it’s not as nutritional and healthy as before. That’s why I recommend you use supplements to improve your diet.
Boron specifically has gained so much popularity as a supplement because it has life-changing effects. From overall health to boosting testosterone, boron is a super supplement that should not be slept on.
Boron is best known for its ability to boost your free testosterone levels naturally, without exogenous intervention. If you take it you’re not gonna be known as a steroid user because it’s been naturally produced by the earth for millions of years.
Some studies show that it can boost your free testosterone levels by 29.5%! That’s a huge boost, especially compared to other testosterone boosting supplements like Ashwagandha that I recommend.
In another study on 13 participants, after given 6 mgs of boron for 2 months, they found that boron helped raise their DHEA and vitamin D levels.
How Does Boron Increase Testosterone?
Boron acts as an ergocentric aid. This means that it helps you naturally increase the amount of free testosterone in your body. Testosterone isn’t created with boron, but it helps your existing testosterone to do its job. Boron decreases your SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
SHBG is located in your blood, and it is a protein that binds sex hormones (testosterone for example) and decreases their effects.
Boron blocks SHBG, raising your free testosterone (previously existing) in your body. This will help you build up muscle mass and strength. With the right boron dosage, you can “free” your testosterone and see it boosted within a week of taking it.
And this is the testosterone that “matters”; the testosterone that affects changes within your body.
There are various other factors at play, but careful supplementation alongside lifestyle changes can increase your free testosterone.
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