Testosterone boosters are available everywhere in the market today. There is a delusion that they cure low sex drive, fatigue and fertility issues in men.
With the myriad of ads on all media, men are asking their doctors for testosterone prescriptions or buying them directly on the internet and in local stores. Interestingly, these ads do not describe the supplements, but rather jump into describing the benefits of having optimal levels of testosterone. They do not say how the product can effectively increase testosterone levels and that they have proven side effects. This brings about the question of whether the supplements work.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that regulates sex drive, produces sperm, stimulates erections, builds up muscles, affects bone mass and boosts strength. It is primarily produced in the testicles and is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. The brain controls the amount of testosterone these glands should produce, and too much of it is not better.
What Are Testosterone Boosters?
Testosterone boosters are plant-based supplements that claim to boost testosterone levels naturally and address various health concerns. Unlike steroids that contain synthetic versions of testosterone, these boosters are natural supplements. Various studies have mixed results, showing that certain supplements might have a positive effect on the levels of testosterone in the body.
Though testosterone boosters claim to provide increased levels of testosterone within a certain time, no single study can validate this claim. Some studies show little or no change, depending on the specific supplement being investigated. It has, however, been proven that hormone replacement therapy raises testosterone levels better than these boosters.
The Truth Behind Testosterone Supplements
Testosterone supplements bought over the counter (OTC) may not contain pure, high-quality and effective ingredients for increasing testosterone. Many come from unreliable sources, can’t permanently raise or maintain testosterone levels and pose various health risks. Furthermore, the boosters bought over the counter can’t have the same effects on muscle composition, mood, energy and sex drive as actual testosterone.
Some men that have taken these OTC testosterone supplements for several years have complained of adverse side effects from the products. These testosterone boosters are linked to kidney failure, liver damage, abdominal pain, heart problems, prostate risks and other health issues. Even supplements that come from trusted sources and are used as prescribed have also been found to cause various serious health issues. Some of the issues include:
- Hair loss
- Male breast enlargement
- Prostate enlargement
- Testicular atrophy
- Loss of libido
- Increased aggression
Why Do People Take Testosterone Boosters?
There are a lot of infertility cases in America, and the male issues contribute to about one-third of the cases. Many men use these supplements for bodybuilding, but with the intensive marketing of the products, people with fertility issues are also taking them. This is due to the skewed notion that testosterone helps in sperm production and perhaps could aid in conception.
Most infertility in males is caused by poor sperm quality that causes insufficient sperm concentration and movement. Men turn to testosterone supplements to try to increase the production of sperm and the amount in the body. Unfortunately, this is flawed logic as testosterone boosters can only be associated with enhanced libido, increased virility, sexual drive, musculature, energy and mood.
Testosterone levels in men fall below the normal levels as they age and this affects how they feel, view and experience the world. Various symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, low libido, depression and low sex drive among others can have devastating effects on a man, thus they seek to increase their testosterone levels. This condition is called hypogonadism or Low-T and can be treated by undergoing testosterone replacement therapy or taking prescribed testosterone boosters.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
TRT is an alternative treatment option that can help men who experience hypogonadism or andropause to restore the natural levels of testosterone in their bodies. A qualified doctor tests the levels of testosterone in the body and prescribes medications that can effectively counter the condition. These medications contain an appropriate dose of testosterone that is determined to be ideal for the symptoms and physiology.
Testosterone boosters bought over the counter are very much unlike replacement therapy that provides medications that have testosterone hormone. The supplements that claim to boost testosterone levels in the body do not include testosterone. Their impact on testosterone levels comes from secondary processes without supplying exogenous testosterone to the body.