May 13th, 2016
According to a new study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association (1), a spike in the consumption of testosterone supplementation has been observed in the past couple of decades. This spike is partly attributed to the increasing awareness in the general population regarding the complications of testosterone deficiency (also referred to as hypogonadism) and partly due to easy availability of over-the-counter testosterone formulations (such as low-dose testosterone creams, gels, pills etc.) Based on latest statistics, there are more than 5.6 million users of prescription testosterone supplementation only, with overall size of testosterone market has exceeded $1.6 billion in 2011.
But regardless of the efficacy and health benefits of normal testosterone levels, the hazards of most commercially available testosterone formulations cannot be ignored. Some common adverse effects of poorly regulated testosterone supplementation are:
Some other adverse effects of testosterone replacement therapy are; sleep apnea, hormonal imbalance, hypercoagulability of blood (or polycythemia) to list a few.
As it is evident that despite all the claims of “male enhancement”, testosterone supplements are not safe at all. In order to boost up your testosterone levels go for alternate but healthy options. Such as:
Instead of consuming powerful hormonal analogues, it is most desirable to boost the natural production of testosterone and/or reduce the conversion or degradation into less potent hormonal breakdown products. Some recommended nutritional supplements include:
Lifestyle modification can also help in improving the testosterone levels; thereby minimizing the need of testosterone supplementation:
1. Vigen, R., O’Donnell, C. I., Barón, A. E., Grunwald, G. K., Maddox, T. M., Bradley, S. M., … & Rumsfeld, J. S. (2013). Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. Jama, 310(17), 1829-1836.
2. Surampudi, P. N., Wang, C., & Swerdloff, R. (2012). Hypogonadism in the aging male diagnosis, potential benefits, and risks of testosterone replacement therapy. International journal of endocrinology, 2012.
3. Abdel-Kawi, S. H., Hashem, K. S., & Abd-Allah, S. (2016). Mechanism of diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) induced testicular damage and of grape seed extract-induced protection in the rat. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 90, 64-75.
4. Liu, T. C., Lin, C. H., Huang, C. Y., Ivy, J. L., & Kuo, C. H. (2013). Effect of acute DHEA administration on free testosterone in middle-aged and young men following high-intensity interval training. European journal of applied physiology, 113(7), 1783-1792.
5. Rietjens, R., Stone, T. M., Montes, J., Young, J. C., Tandy, R. D., Utz, J. C., & Navalta, J. W. (2015). Moderate Intensity Resistance Training Significantly Elevates Testosterone following Upper Body and Lower Body Bouts When Total Volume is Held Constant. International Journal of Kinesiology & Sports Science, 3(4), 50.
6. Reynolds, A. C., Dorrian, J., Liu, P. Y., Van Dongen, H. P., Wittert, G. A., Harmer, L. J., & Banks, S. (2012). Impact of five nights of sleep restriction on glucose metabolism, leptin and testosterone in young adult men. PloS one, 7(7), e41218.