Testosterone is a sex hormone that regulates the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass, and the growth of body hair, but it is also important for women.
However, testosterone levels in men are now lower than ever, partly caused by the unhealthy modern-day lifestyle.
There are testosterone boosters that are natural supplements that can help increase the testosterone levels in the body.
They work by directly increasing testosterone or related hormones, but some work by preventing testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
Many of these boosters have been scientifically verified in human studies.
We have compiled in the list below five natural testosterone supplements that can help boost T levels in the body.
5 natural testosterone supplements
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Its active form functions as a steroid hormone in the body.
Nowadays, a large portion of the population has very little exposure to sunlight, resulting in low or deficient levels of vitamin D.
Increasing your vitamin D stores may boost testosterone and improve other related health measures, such as sperm quality.
One study found a close correlation between vitamin D deficiency and low testosterone. When participants spent more time in the summer sun and their vitamin D levels increased, so did their testosterone levels.
In a year-long study, 65 men were split into 2 groups. Half of them took 3,300 IU of vitamin D every day. The supplement group’s vitamin D levels doubled and their testosterone levels increased by around 20%, from 10.7 nmol/l to 13.4 nmol/l.
To get more vitamin D, increase your sun exposure. You can also take around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily and eat more vitamin-D-rich foods.
Ginger is a common household spice that has played a role in alternative medicine for centuries.
It has many health benefits, with strong research showing it may reduce inflammation and maybe work as a natural testosterone supplements.
Several studies in rats have found ginger has positive effects on testosterone levels and sexual function. In one 30-day study, researchers found ginger increased testosterone and luteinizing hormone in diabetic rats.
In another study, the rats’ testosterone levels nearly doubled. A third study found greater increases in testosterone when they doubled the amount of ginger they gave the rats.
In one of the few human studies, 75 infertile men were given a daily ginger supplement. After three months, they had experienced a 17% increase in testosterone levels and their levels of luteinizing hormone had nearly doubled.
When measuring sperm health, the researchers found several improvements, including a 16% increase in sperm count.
Although it is still early days in the research on ginger and testosterone, eating ginger is very safe and provides numerous other health benefits.
Known as an aphrodisiac, zinc is an essential mineral involved in more than 100 chemical processes within the body.
As with vitamin D, zinc levels within the body have been closely associated with testosterone levels.
One study that measured this association found that restricting zinc intake from foods lowered testosterone levels in healthy men. As expected, zinc supplements in zinc deficient men also increased testosterone levels.
Another study measured the effects of zinc on infertile men with either low or normal testosterone levels.
The researchers found significant benefits for those with low levels, including increased testosterone and sperm count. However, they found no additional benefit for men with normal levels.
In elite wrestlers, taking zinc each day also helped reduce a decline in testosterone levels following a 4-week high-intensity training regimen.
In light of these studies, zinc may help boost testosterone levels if you have low testosterone or are deficient in zinc. Taking zinc also appears to be helpful if you struggle to recover from high-intensity exercise.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a naturally occurring hormone within the body.
DHEA is a natural testosterone supplements that helps boost and controlling estrogen levels. Based on its biological effects, DHEA has become an extremely popular way to boost testosterone.
Out of all the testosterone boosting supplements, DHEA has the best and most extensive research behind it.
Several studies have found that 50-100 mg of DHEA per day can boost testosterone levels by up to 20% when compared to a placebo.
However, as with most supplements, the results are mixed. Several other studies used similar dosing protocols and found no effect.
For this reason, the effects of DHEA on testosterone levels aren’t clear. Nevertheless, DHEA use is banned in professional sports and therefore not suitable for competitive athletes.
As with some of the other supplements, it may benefit those with low DHEA or testosterone levels.
Fenugreek is another popular herb-based testosterone booster.
Some research suggests it may work by reducing the enzymes that convert testosterone into estrogen.
One of the most comprehensive studies tested two groups of 15 college men over an eight-week period.
All 30 participants performed resistance training four times a week, but only the participants in one of the groups received 500 mg of fenugreek per day.
Both free and total testosterone levels increased in the fenugreek group, whereas the group that only weight trained actually experienced a slight decline. Those who took fenugreek also experienced a greater increase in fat loss and strength.
Another study examined how fenugreek affects sexual function and quality of life.
The researchers provided 60 healthy men between 25 and 52 years old with either 600 mg of fenugreek or an empty placebo pill every day for six weeks.
The participants reported improvements in strength after taking the fenugreek supplements. The researchers also found:
- Increased libido: 81% of the group
- Improved sexual performance: 66% of the group
- Greater energy levels: 81% of the group
- Improved well-being: 55% of the group