Low testosterone levels can destroy your life; if you’ve everything to no avail, here are three lesser known test boosters you should try in 2021.
It really do be like that
Earlier this week we reported how a new study has shown that a low-fat vegetarian diet is about the worst diet you can follow if you want to maintain optimal testosterone levels. While a low-fat diet on its own may decrease a man’s testosterone levels by 10-15%, a low-fat vegetarian diet may decrease levels by as much as 26%.
This is a significant blow for advocates of vegetarian and vegan diets, who like to claim that these diets are just as healthy as – if not more than – diets built around or containing animal products.
Instead, the study highlights what we have known for a long time: that a diet rich in traditional whole-food sources – the foods our ancestors have been eating since time immemorial – is the best way to be a healthy, high-functioning man.
As well as choosing your foods carefully – red meat, eggs, butter, among others – there are additional things you can do to optimise your testosterone levels, including taking supplements. Here we’ll consider three test boosters you should try that will help you achieve that aim.
Test Boosters You Should Try: Why Testosterone Matters
Testosterone: the master male molecule
Testosterone is the hormone most associated with masculinity. While it is also important to women’s bodies and their health, the increased levels of testosterone in the male body are responsible for the host of traits that make men men, and not women.
Body hair, muscle mass, bone density, strength, aggression, dominance and competitiveness – increases in all of these things are associated with increased testosterone in men.
A less-than-optimal testosterone level can have serious consequences for a man’s health. Athletic performance and mental and sexual health will all be affected. A man with low testosterone will also be at higher risk of, among other chronic diseases, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Although falling testosterone levels are a fact of life for all men as they age – after the age of 30, a man can expect to lose 1% of his testosterone every year for the rest of his life – the natural reduction all men will suffer pales in comparison with the society-wide collapse in testosterone levels that has occurred since the middle of the twentieth century.
A 2007 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a significant reduction in the testosterone levels of men since the 1980s. A 60-year-old American man in 2004, for example, had 17% less testosterone than a 60-year-old American man in 1987. These findings were corroborated in a study of Danish men, who displayed a two-digit decline between the 1920s and the 1960s.
Men today have considerably less testosterone than men of the same age even a single generation ago, and testosterone levels continue to plummet as lifestyles become more sedentary, food choices become increasingly unhealthy and men are exposed to more and more chemical pollution, especially estrogenic substances.
Although some men try everything to boost their natural testosterone production to improve their life, most test boosters on the market are gimmicked minerals and vitamins. Many of these show far less promise than our list of test boosters you should try.
The human male sperm: yet another addition to the endangered species list?
The collapse in testosterone is part of a broader collapse in fertility that has led one expert to claim that by 2045 the majority of men may be unable to reproduce, a scenario sometimes dubbed ‘spermageddon’.
Apart from taking a test to establish whether you have low testosterone, there are various symptoms you’ll experience if you have low levels.
We are planning to begin selling home hormone-testing kits soon, so that you can find out for yourself whether you have low, normal or high testosterone.
The main symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fertility problems (inability to conceive)
Boys with low testosterone levels may develop slower, with little or no body hair, under-developed muscles and smaller penises; and men with low T will have difficulty building muscle, no matter how hard they try.
In extreme cases of low testosterone, usually referred to as hypogonadism, men may also develop breast tissue (gynecomastia) and osteoporosis (reduced bone density).
Hypogonadism has a variety of causes, which include:
- Certain genetic disorders
- Pituitary disorders, including pituitary tumours and injuries
- Inflammatory diseases
- Obesity and also rapid weight loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Steroid use
Obesity, in particular, is an increasingly common cause of hypogonadism.
Test Boosters You Should Try #1: Bulbine Natalensis
Bulbine in the wild
Bulbine natalensis is a plant that is indigenous to South Africa, where it is known by many names, such as ibhucu, ingcelwane and rooiwortel.
It has been used in traditional remedies for a number of different purposes. The sap has long been used for treating wounds, burns and rashes, and the root is used to treat vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes and rheumatism.
Only recently, though, has the plant come to the attention of western practitioners as a potent testosterone booster and libido enhancer.
In a study conducted at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, rats given a dose of the plant had a serum testosterone level that was 347% that of the control group that did not receive the plant. The dosed rats also had 35% less estrogen and observably more libido.
Average rat dosed with bulbine natalensis — one of the promising test boosters you should try.
(Ed: Isn’t that a squirrel!?)
In rats, at least, the plant appears to work because it increases testosterone levels in the testes and blood, which in turn causes testes to grow and secrete more testosterone. It does this by raising levels of hormones and compounds that are used in the production of testosterone. In addition, it raises levels of an enzyme that ensures health sperm.
There are very few human studies of the effects of bulbine natalensis, since it is a relatively new health product. Its long-term effects are unknown, but a clinical study of its use in men for a period of 28 days stated that the supplement is safe according to various markers of health, including blood, kidney, liver and heart markers.
Although more research needs to be done, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for its efficacy, both in online product reviews and forum posts, qualifying it for the list of test boosters you should try.
Test Boosters You Should Try #2: Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus terrestris, a herb belonging to the zygophyllaceae family, is indigenous to southern Europe, Southern Asia, Australia, and Africa.
It is often used in the treatment of infertility, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. It is also used by athletes to increase muscle strength and improve performance in sports. Soviet and eastern bloc athletes in particular are known to have used preparations of the herb for some time, just like our third booster, ecdysterone.
Its supposed libido-enhancing properties have been studied and verified in a number of studies. [R] [R] In men, higher dose preparations have been shown to produce significant improvements in erections and sexual satisfaction. It also appears to show beneficial effects by improving blood sugar levels and reducing levels of harmful blood cholesterol.
The testosterone-boosting potential of this herb, despite its widespread use for this purpose, especially in the eastern bloc, is actually quite hotly debated. It should be noted that actual studies of the effects of tribulus terrestris are limited, but one review of the studies concluded that it does not affect testosterone levels beneficially.
Another study, however, showed significantly increased levels of testosterone in animals but not in humans unless as part of a wider regime of supplementations. Despite this, the study concluded that there were observable physiological effects of tribulus, including increased release of nitric oxide, and that these may have beneficial effects.
In short, the jury’s out at present, at least until further research is conducted. But that’s no reason not to try tribulus, especially since it has other beneficial effects that have been substantiated.
Test Boosters You Should Try #3: Ecdysterone
Popeye was on to something
Actually, technically ecdysterone isn’t a test booster, so it shouldn’t be on the list. But studies have shown that it has amazing potential as an anabolic substance, so we’re including it anyway. Ecdysterone is a phytosteroid that is found in many plants, including spinach — making its effects worthy of placing it on the “test boosters you should try” list.
Like tribulus, ecdysterone has long been used by Russian and eastern European athletes to provide a competitive edge. Indeed, ecdysterone is often referred to as ‘the Russian secret’ for that very reason.
Soviet weightlifter Anatoly Pisarenko: almost certainly an ecdysterone user…
Although ecdysterone resembles the testosterone molecule in structure, there’s no evidence that it works like testosterone. In fact, it appears to have its anabolic effects not by binding to the body’s androgen receptors like testosterone or SARMs, but by working on the body’s estrogen receptors. [R] This may explain why ecdysterone also appears to have promising potential for the treatment of certain breast cancers. [R]
At least two recent studies have demonstrated the powerful anabolic effects of ecdysterone in a clinical setting, in both animals and humans. It would appear that the studies, both of which were conducted under the supervision of Professor Margaret Parr, were initiated at the behest of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which was aware of the long tradition of ecdysterone use by Soviet and Russian athletes.
The first of the two studies was conducted on rats and noted the following:
‘Ecdysterone exhibited a strong hypertrophic effect on the fiber size of rat soleus muscle that was found even stronger compared to the test compounds metandienone (dianabol), estradienedione (trenbolox), and SARM S 1, all administered in the same dose (5 mg/kg body weight, for 21 days). In C2C12 myotubes ecdysterone (1 µM) induced a significant increase of the diameter comparable to dihydrotestosterone (1 µM) and IGF 1 (1.3 nM).’ [R]
Yes, you read that right: a stronger effect than dianabol, trenbolox, the SARM S1 and IGF 1 (insulin-like growth factor 1).
After this first study, Parr cautioned that ‘ecdysterone should be considered to be included in the class “S1.2 Other Anabolic Agents” of the list of prohibited substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency.’
More recently, a double-blind study, again involving Professor Parr, tested ecdysterone on humans. [R] Athletes were divided into two groups, with one group getting a daily dose of ecdysterone and the other receiving a placebo. After ten weeks, the results were unmistakeable: the group that had received the ecdysterone had experienced significantly greater increases in muscle mass and strength than the placebo group.
‘Significantly higher increases in muscle mass were observed in those participants that were dosed with ecdysterone. The same hypertrophic effects were also detected in vitro in C2C12 myotubes. Even more relevant with respect to sports performance, significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance were observed.’
Although ecdysterone still remains legal, Professor Parr again cautioned that it should be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances.
These are striking results, and in combination with the anecdotal evidence of Soviet and Russian usage, suggest that ecdysterone could have a powerful role to play in fueling your gains. Ecdysterone supplements are commonly available and are not expensive. What’s more, since it’s not a testosterone booster, per se, you could even try stacking it with other “test boosters you should try” — something like bulbine natalensis or tribulus terrestris for a 1-2 knockout punch.
Ecdysterone also appears to be more or less perfectly safe to take. Unlike with other anabolic agents, no side effects have been noted, such as liver or kidney toxicity, either in Parr’s studies or in another earlier study. [R]
In spite of these three, the best and quickest way to boost your T levels is to lose excess belly fat.