Natural Testosterone Boosters Are Boosting Your Wallet

Learn what’s inside over-the-counter testosterone supplements and why you may want to consider healthier alternatives.

Natural Testosterone Boosters Are Boosting Your Wallet

Medically reviewed in December 2020

Popeye the Sailor reached for a can of spinach whenever he wanted to be “strong to da finich.” Similarly, men who want to boost their strength and sexual vitality may reach for “natural” testosterone-boosting supplements. But research shows these over-the-counter (OTC) products containing vitamins such as B5, B6, B12 and niacin—along with zinc and magnesium—aren’t any more effective than a healthy dose of spinach.

A study, published in the World Journal of Men’s Health, looked at the info on labels of the first 50 OTC products in a Google search for “testosterone booster.” Roughly 90 percent claimed to naturally increase testosterone levels; around 50 percent said they’d boost libido and strength.

When researchers cross-checked the ingredients (there were 109 unique components) with published studies on their efficacy, only 25 percent were backed by research supporting manliness-boosting claims. Ten percent of the research showed some ingredients reduced testosterone levels. And 13 products exceeded FDA upper limits for zinc, niacin and magnesium—upping your risk for toxicity, especially if you also take a multivitamin.

Guys, if you’re dealing with a low sex drive, get your T level checked (between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.). If you have diagnosable low-T, Rx testosterone may be helpful. But it’s important to explore other factors that may contribute to a flagging sex drive, such as an unhealthy diet, inactivity, poor sleep, depression or cardiovascular disease. Remember: Your most powerful sex organ is between your ears—use it to motivate yourself to become healthier and your libido will likely increase.

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