Is it Safe to Take Testosterone Boosters?

Increase muscle strength and physical endurance is a common goal for many people. The Endocrine Society recommends offering testosterone boosters to people with symptoms of testosterone deficiency. For men over 65 years of age, treatment should only be initiated on an individual basis and after consultation with the person about the risks and benefits (1). D-aspartic acid is a natural amino acid that has been studied for its potential to increase levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.

A recent study found that it can increase these hormones, which can stimulate the body to release more testosterone. However, a subsequent study showed that taking 3 grams of D-aspartic acid did not affect testosterone levels, and taking 6 grams actually lowered levels. Zinc is an essential mineral for the healthy functioning of your body, and zinc deficiency has been linked to low testosterone levels. Zinc may promote testosterone production in the testicles, and long-term zinc supplements may increase testosterone levels.

Magnesium is another mineral that has been shown to increase both free and total testosterone levels, with higher increases seen in those who exercise. Testosterone pills and boosters are often advertised as the ultimate solution for low sexual desire, low stamina and low muscle mass. However, many side effects of over-the-counter testosterone supplements can cause serious and permanent damage to your body. Although scientific evidence suggests that these pills may not actually work to increase testosterone, many health and nutrition stores continue to sell these dubious products to unknown consumers.

These products may provide a short-term increase in testosterone, but not a long-term increase that can effectively prevent related health problems. As reported in Sports Medicine magazine (opens in a new tab), after age 40, men's testosterone levels drop between 1% and 3% per year. A study published in the journal Nutrition (opens in new tab) has shown that taking zinc supplements to marginally deficient men of age for six months resulted in an almost double increase in serum testosterone. Testosterone therapy may help reverse the effects of hypogonadism, but it's unclear if testosterone therapy would benefit older men who are otherwise healthy. Worryingly, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism linked low testosterone levels to an increased risk of death. Testosterone stimulants can also permanently lower sperm counts, leading to significant infertility problems.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone linked to liver damage, kidney failure, and an increased risk of heart attack and prostate cancer. In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, magnesium supplementation raised testosterone levels in middle-aged men and prevented it from declining during HIIT workouts. In a study with taekwondo athletes and sedentary men, magnesium supplementation increased testosterone levels in both groups. According to a systematic review published in the International Journal of Concentrated Research (opens in a new tab), the most common ingredients that increase testosterone include tribulus terrestris, eurycoma longifolia (longjack plant), zinc, L-arginine, aspartate, horseweed and yohimbine. The key to staying safe when using over-the-counter testosterone stimulants is to read ingredient labels and choose products that are approved by your doctor or the FDA. Over-the-counter testosterone supplements contain ingredients and nutrients that have been directly and indirectly linked to higher testosterone levels.