The market for health supplements is hotly contested, with many products offered, some of which make very bold claims. One market sector that is particularly competitive is that of testosterone boosters. The question is – do they work? Are there products that can boost testosterone levels in men? And if so, why is it important to do so?
Natural testosterone production decreases as we age. By age, we don’t mean ‘get old’! In fact, testosterone production in men can begin to decrease quite rapidly around the age of 30 and beyond. The result is reduced sex drive – and sexual performance. Many men take boosters to increase muscle mass, as testosterone is also active in this area, and to help when working out.
To determine whether a testosterone booster is going to do the job it claims, you need to take a look at the ingredients. There are two that are known to help boost testosterone levels – zinc and magnesium – which you should see in any good product, and many claims are made for selenium.
Indeed, there are many natural plant extracts that lay claim to helping boost testosterone production. One such is tongkat ali which you may not have heard of. Let’s have a closer look at what it is, and what it claims to do.
What is Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat ali is a plant that is found in Malaysia and Thailand. It has been used in that part of the world as an aphrodisiac for a long time. An extract of the plant is traditionally used to increase sperm count, and it is also said to aid muscle strength, weight loss and improve the libido. Given these are all associated with testosterone levels, it is no surprise it has found its way into testosterone boosters.
Does it work? Studies performed on animals have shown that tongkat ali does improve sperm quality, and has an influence on hormonal levels in general. There have also been studies carried out on human subjects.
In one such clinical trial, a group of 12 men aged between 40 and 65 were given 200mg of tongkat ali extract a day, along with an antioxidant, for a period of 12 weeks. The result showed that all subjects described a ‘general feeling of well-being’ as well as having improved sexual performance, and an increase in testosterone production. There were no recorded side-effects.
In another trial, a group of 63 people – male and female – who had reported mild levels of stress were given the same 200mg dosage for four weeks. In this instance, testosterone levels were found to be increased, while the stress hormone – cortisone – was reduced in output.
In other trials conflicting results were found – one appeared to show that while sexual performance was notably improved in the subjects taking tongkat ali extract, testosterone levels were not improved – so it is difficult to come to a clear conclusion. What is certain is that tongkat ali is a harmless extract that has been used for centuries in eastern medicine, and that it is perhaps possible it will help some users to experience better sexual performance and raised testosterone levels, as well as reducing stress.
Choosing a Testosterone Booster
If you are in the market for a testosterone booster, you have plenty of options to choose from. There is no doubt that tongkat ali is an ingredient that you should consider, but make sure you do so alongside the more vital ingredients such as zinc – which has been proven to help – and magnesium, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when taking any health supplement for testosterone.