Testosterone is a very important hormone for men and women. It directly effects sex drive, motivation, muscle mass, virility and vitality. This hormone has been compared to the fountain of youth and therefore has been used for anti-aging and performance enhancement.
But there are significant risks, similar to that of taking any other powerful pharmaceutical that make taking testosterone a potential danger to long-term health.
Before going to the doctor and asking for the testosterone patch or andro-gel, try these naturopathic supplements that increase your ability to produce more of your own testosterone.
D-aspartic acid is one of two forms of the amino acid aspartic acid. The other form is L-aspartate.
D-AA can be used as a testosterone booster for infertile men and by athletes as a temporary booster. Elevated testosterone levels only last a week to a week and a half in healthy men, with testosterone returning to normal afterward.
D-AA works in the central brain region to cause a release of hormones, such as luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and growth hormone. It may also build up in the testicles, where it alleviates a rate-limiting step of Testosterone synthesis, which leads to a testosterone increase.
Similar to Zinc, Vitamin D can also regulate testosterone levels. However, ‘deficiency’ is a bit different.
The RDA/DRI for Vitamin D tends to be around 400-800 IU (International Units) per day, depending on country of origin. This is a good level to aim for from food, but it may still be in the range of ‘subclinical deficiency’
Year-round supplementation of 3000 IU Vitamin D can increase testosterone levels by maintaining serum vitamin D above 30nmol/land increases a bit further around 50nmol/l. This is primarily due to vitamin D being able to regulate the aromatase enzyme.
If you live far away from the equator or otherwise stay indoors most of the day, supplemental Vitamin D would be needed (as dietary sources give relatively low amounts).
Eurycoma Longifolia Jack is the herb name for what is more commonly known as Tongkat Ali, Malaysian Ginseng, or Longjack
The aphrodisiac effects of Eurycoma are quite reliable and appear to span a large variety of animal models, limited evidence in female rats but it appears to affect these to a similar extent as in males. It is difficult to do a comparative analysis between other herbal aphrodisiac to assess potency, but Eurycoma is anecdotally one of the better ones.
Hormonally, Eurycoma appears to have remarkable anti-estrogenic effects in vitro and has a potency similar to Tamoxifen when the active ingredient is injected. Promising, but no human studies exist on it currently or studies assessing oral intake of Eurycoma Extract. On the testosterone side of things, the literature appears to be needlessly promising. No peer-reviewed evidence currently establishes Eurycoma as a testosterone booster in otherwise healthy persons or rats but many studies are quick to cite presentations by an M.I. Tambi claiming these boosts in testosterone. None of Dr. Tambi’s research presented in conferences appears to be indexed in Medline and the claims expressed cannot be proven.
Tribulus terrestris is a herb from Ayurveda that is mostly recommended for male health including virility and vitality, and specifically more catered towards cardiovascular and urogenital health. It is a common supplement for its libido enhancing properties and supposed testosterone boosting properties.
On the sexual side of things, tribulus does appear to be a relatively reliable and potent libido enhancer in rats and the lone human study assessing this has confirmed an increase in sexual well being and erectile function. While it is not exactly known how tribulus works, it is known to enhance androgen receptor density in the brain (muscle tissue not confirmed) which may enhance the libido enhancing properties of androgens. Limited evidence suggests that it is weak to non-effective in enhancing fertility.
Withania somnifera, commonly known as ashwagandha, is an herb used in Ayurveda medicine. Ashwagandha means ‘Smell of Horse,’ which refers to the fresh root’s distinct horsey smell, and the traditional belief that ingesting the herb will confer the strength and virility of a horse.
Ashwagandha is an Adaptogen. It is supplemented primarily for its ability to prevent anxiety. Ashwagandha’s anti-anxiety effect is even synergistic with alcohol. It also shows promise for relieving insomnia and stress-induced depression. Ashwagandha can significantly reduce cortisol concentrations and the immunosuppressive effect of stress.
Beyond reducing stress levels, ashwagandha can improve physical performance in both sedentary people and athletes, as well as reduce Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Ashwagandha can improve the formation of memories, and may be able to treat Alzheimer’s disease, though more human evidence is needed before supplementation can be recommended specifically for Alzheimer’s.