When it comes to testosterone supplements, men should know a new study finds there is precious little evidence to support claims they will boost testosterone levels, sex drive, strength and overall energy. To come to this conclusion, the researchers first broke down 50 testosterone supplements into their component parts.
The investigators then search through a comprehensive scientific publication database for any solid proof that the supplements can do what the companies who make them say they can do. But only 12% of the products contained any ingredient show to provide some testosterone relate benefit in human trials. And nearly half (48%) contained ingredients that studies found could have negative impacts.
Scientific support was for claims
In general, they not anti-supplements,” note study author Dr. Mary Samplaski. They have a lot of patients who take them. But the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] says very clearly that these products not claim to treat medical conditions. And 90% of these testosterone supplements do make such claims. So they was just really curious what the scientific support was for the claims being made.
Samplaski said, “What they find is that in the vast majority of cases there was no evidence to show that any of the ingredients in these testosterone supplements were effective in any way. The upshot, she said, is that “people should understand that just because there’s a sexy website with a pic of Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t mean it’s the result they should expect.
Supplements were then broken down by their ingredients, which include vitamins, minerals, folic acid, mushrooms and a variety of herbals. Ingredient amounts were also tallied, with an eye towards the FDA’s stated daily allowance and tolerable upper intake levels for each. On average, each supplement contain seven ingredients.
Just four ingredients fenugreek, shilajit, D-aspartic acid and vitamin D were find to have the subject of rigorous studies design to track patients over time to assess their impact on testosterone levels. Of those, only the first two ingredients were show to have a beneficial impact. Another 10 ingredients were also link to positive impacts on testosterone levels in a variety of animal investigations and human trials that retroactively analyze previously collect data.
Impact on testosterone
But 60% of the ingredients in question had no scientific data of any kind exploring their impact on testosterone. What’s more, many of the supplements were find to contain doses of vitamins and minerals that far exceed recommend levels. In some cases, even tolerable upper intake levels were exceed, including zinc levels find in two supplements.
The findings were schedule to be present Saturday at the American Urological Association annual meeting, in Chicago. Research present at meetings should be consider preliminary until publish in a peer-review journal. According to Cambridge Health Alliance general internist Dr. Pieter Cohen, the problem is that supplements are regulate in a very different way than over-the-counter medications and prescription medications.
And that means “there is great leeway in advertising supplements; which leads to many unsupport claims appearing on supplement labels,” they said. Even worse, when clinical trials have demonstrate that a supplement does not work; so the companies can still continue to make the same unsupport claims. This has led to brisk sales of supplements even after they were prove to be ineffective,” Cohen added.
What’s also concerning is that sometimes supplements such as those promote for men’s health might be formulate to include prescription strength drugs; which can pose a risk for patients struggling with conditions such as high blood pressure or anxiety, they explain. Cohen’s advice: Avoid taking any supplement that purports to have immediate effects on the human body.