Nutrients that did not impress us
There are a quite a number of so called nutrients that have been commercially offered as testosterone boosters. If there is little credible evidence to support this claim, then in our opinion, it might not be worth buying. Here is our list of nutrients that we have found to be “problematic”. This is just our opinion.
Tribulus Terrestris. There is not credible evidencet that this supplement increases testosterone in humans. There have been some animal studies on rats that indicate an increase in testosterone. However, of the human trials, results have been inconclusive. In addition, there is one disturbingreview where irregular heartbeats have been attibuted to Tribulus Terrestris withdrawal, There are some anecdotal claims of enhanced erection strength, but if this is really true, then perhaps there has been an increase in dihydrotestosterone from the 5 alpha reductase enzyme. But regarding testosterone enhnacement, the results have not supported it’s use.
Saw Palmetto. This nutrient has not been shown to increase testosterone in humans, so it’s on our list for that purpose only. However it does have a generally accepted use as a treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlargement of the prostate. According to some tests, it seems that Saw Palmetto can slow or arrest the growth of the prostate. However, whether it can actually reduce the size of the prostate is a bit fuzzy, with conflicting test results. The administration of progesterone cream can work better, as this treatment has been shown that it results in a reduction of the prostate size, back to normal over time (4-12 months) by offsetting estrogen dominance. The downside is that progesterone cream can also give a man (mild) gynocomastia. However, it’s reversable upon cessation of the cream. The issue of BPH is “estrogen dominance“, and this is best treated by raising progesterone in the male body, and/or lowering estrogen with aromatase natural inhibitors, and yes, the Time Machine is equipped with a number of effective natural aromatase inhibitors. Another point about Saw Palmetto is that it is a mild PDE-5 inhibitor similar to Horney Goat Weed. Of course it is not nearly as strong as Sildenafil citrate (Viagra). Lastly, Saw Palmetto is a mild 5 alpha reductase inhibitor (5AR) and as such, will lower dihydrotestosterone, which leads to loss of libido and erectyle dysfunction. Users sometimes report a mild increase in sexual function, and then a loss of libido. The really scary thing is, the loss of libido due to the apparent inhibition of 5 alpha reductase can take years to reverse after cessation of saw palmetto. Therefore, we don’t use it, and consider it to be very dangerous.
Guaco. An increase in testosterone has been noted in rats, from one study in 2003. However there is no evidence or tests that would show this result in humans.
Tongkat Ali. We have mixed feelings about this one. There are some credible studies involving human subjects, and animal subjects that would indicate that this nutrient may actually increase testosterone. We know that it can cause an increase in lean muscle for subjects that are lifting weights. The problem is that the manufacturers of this nutrient have faked it so much that getting the real product is questionable. This has been especially problematic in Malasia and the UK. When american vendors purchase from those countries, then the problem appears here. Some manufacturers have actually spiked their Tongkat Ali products with pharmaceutecal PDE5 inhibitors (such as tadafil), in order to gain customer favor. While this nutrient may be worth trying, the reputation and reliability of the seller must be scrutinized before purchasing. The other issue is the dosage. In lab animals (rats) the succesful dosage has typically been around 500 mg per KG of body weight. For a human subject, this would be like taking 50 grams per serving, or 1/2 a cup of powder. The absorbtion rate is poor at around 10%. Taking large amounts of anything that is of questionable purity is risky.
Black Galingale. There was a study in 2007 reported in the “Journal of Reproduction and Development” that tested this in rats. From the study, testosterone and leutinizing hormone was increased in rats. However, Lot’s of nutrients produce admirable results in rats. There are no human tests that we can find that show that humans can men can enjoy this effect. In addition, raising leutinizing hormone is not be enough for aging men. The sensitivity of the leydig cells to LH also needs to be addressed, which is something that the Time Machine is designed to do. We have found that aged men already have high lutinizing hormone. The issue is leydig cell response.
Maca root. This nutrient seems to be nutritional in many ways. However, it has been shown that it has no effect on lutinizing hormone or testosterone in humans (Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C (Jan 2003)
Ashwagandha. This nutrient comes mainly from India and is used to treat aa variety of health issues, such as libido, fertility, stress, tumor growth, arthritis, and other ailments. However there is no scientific evidence that this nuitrient increases testosterone, or any other important hormones in animals or humans.
Fenugreek. This nutrient is being used and sold as a testosterone booster, as well as a lactation aid for women. There are reports of increase breast size but we are not aware of any indepedant human trials where fenugreek actually showed an increase in testosterone production. There was one trial conducted by Gencor Pacific Inc. but they appear to own and sell a Fenugreek “T Booster” product, so it’s not really an independant study. Also the participants seemed to all have low testosterone levels to begin with, with the claimed average of 17.76 pg/ml. The normal range is usually stated at 35-155 pg/ml. Final claimed readings for free testosterone was 35.29, which is at the low end of the normal range, and it’s very low considering that the test subject were supposed to be “healthy” 18-35 year old men who were weight training. Additionally, the product that they sell includes zinc and magnesium and vitamin B6, so the increase in free testosterone was not totally due to Fenugreek. Zinc, magnesium and B6 are all known mild testosterone boosters. We would not claim that the Gencor product is not effective. However, raising free testosterone to the low end of the normal scale leaves much room for improvement, and the lack of truly independant tests casts some doubts. Fenugreek has been shown to increase libido and sexual function, but it’s mechanism of action appears to be unknown.
Other reports of strength increases have been conflicting, where some trials show, no change, and other trials showed an increase in strength. However, in our opinion, a nutrient that has been shown consistently to increase lactation and breast size is probably not appropriate for men. Another trial did show that fenugreek increased total testosterone in young males by 6.54% and free testosterone by 12.26% (very small increase). However, estradiol was increased by 26.6% which suggests a problem for men. In this test, no significant strength increases were found which is to be expected since the improvement was so small.
White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus). While this fungus has been promoted as a “super food”, it appears to be a significant aromatase inhibitor that appears to be dose dependant. While we acknowledge the use of anti aromatase inhibitors, the Time Machine is already equipped with them, and the addition of white button mushrooms in the diet (like 5-10 per day) has been calculated to be too much. Some estrogen levels are required in the body, and lowering estrogen too much has been associated with onset of osteoarthritis in men and women (yes both). The cessation of white button mushrooms however can greatly reduce the symtoms overnight.
Vitamin B6 or pyidoxal 5 phosphate. Piridoxine Hydrochloride is the synthetic form of the vitamin (which must be coverted by the liver to the activated form) and pyridoxal 5 phosphate is the activated form. Either way, when combined with excess zinc, the combination can be very strong 5 alpha reductase inhibitor, which will reduce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. If you are trying to slow down hair loss, then this is effective. However, when you reduce DHT, you also reduce libido and erectile function. Nocturnal tumescence is reduced and “morning erections” goes away. We use both in the Time Machine, but at very calculated dosages, so that we don’t sabotage ourselves. We don’t recommend supplementing more B6, as virility is pretty important to most men.
Cinnamon. This natural food has some very good heath benefits. However, it is also a natural Nitric Oxide inhibitor. Specifically, 2′-hydroxycinnamaldehyde (HCA) has an inhibitory effect on nitric oxide (NO) production through the inhibition of NF-kB signaling. The bottom line is, if your in the habit of sprinkling cinnamon powder on your foods, on a daily basis, you will be causing a mild form of erectile dysfunction. Therfore, aside from it’s other benefits, we can’t recomend using it. Ample nitric oxide production is paramount to endothelial health, blood pressure regulation, overall longevity, and of course, erections. Cinnamaldehyde has also been shown to inhibit testosterone production in vitro. There are many internet sources that claim Cinnamon is good for testosterone production, of course with no corroborating studies, and it certainly conflicts with my findings. I have witnessed several persons using cinnamon, and they suffered from low testosterone and nitric oxide production. Thankfully, the condition is reversible. With our experiments, we found that the Time Machine has a tough time raising testosterone in a cinnamon consumer. A person really has to eliminate cinnamon so that the Time Machine can work its’ magic.
Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint. These are used for food manufacturing purposes, and they are used in soaps, shampoos, cough-relievers, lip-balms, and tooth-paste. According to mainly animal studies they do reduce testosterone production.
Circumin. This is typically used as an anti-inflammatory and anti cancer treatment. The bad new is it inhibits nitric oxide, which is not conducive to low blood pressure or great erections.
Flaxseed. The omega 6 content is impressive, however, flaxseed is a pretty strong testosterone inhibitor in women and men. Severals tests confirm this. Flaxseeds appear to increase SHBG which renders testosterone inactive. Flaxseeds are also loaded with estrogenic lignans.
Vitamin B12, cyanocobalamine. This is a water soluable vitamin with a huge array of health benefits. In proper dosage of around 2-6 micrograms per day, it’s fine. However, at megadoses in the range of 1000-6000 micrograms per day, it inhibits nitric oxide and will cause erectile dysfunction.
Farm raised fish. The issue is what is being fed to the fish. Some of the “feed” may contain “ethoxiquin” which is a toxic anti oxidant that is meant to keep the fish fat from going rancid. There is concern that ethoxiquin can cross the human blood brain barrier and also cause DNA damage. Wild caught fish is better.
Omega 6 fatty acids: Okay, this is bad news, since the following foods to avoid are tasty. First, some background on this. Omega 6 fatty acids in excess of 1500 mg per day normally contribute to higher levels of Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), which raises DAX1 (inhibitory protein in the leydig cells), which inhibits production of steroidogenic acute response protein (StAR), which cuts your testostone production. StAR protein is needed to transport cholesterone into the mitochondria for conversion into testosterone. Therefore, excess omega 6 fatty acids inhibit testosterone production. The foods that are very high in omega 6’s are vegetable oils, nuts (all of them), corn, eggs, and pork. These are foods to avoid. This means, no salad dressings (they are all based on vegetable oils), no french fries, no fried chicken (broiled is fine). No potato or corn chips. You can’t eat anything that was cooked in vegetable oils. No nuts of any kind, especially almonds, no eggs, no corn, no grits, no corn tortilla’s etc. Raising COX2 not only inhibits testosterone, but it also causes a malfunction in the immune system whereby your own T cells will attack your joints, and cause arthritis. Unfortunately this diet reduces us to eating fruits vegetables and some meats. However, this is arguably what we’re designed to eat.
Coconut oil. This oil is largely lauric acid which is a 12 carbon fatty acid. The fats with 12-16 carbon atoms are known to inhibit the 5 alpha reductase enzyme, which lowers DHT and takes your libido and erectile function with it.
High glycemic foods. Naturally this would include refined sugars from sugar cane, high fructose corn syrup and othe sources. The body is well capable of maintaining proper blood sugar levels with insulin and glucagon. However, the body is designed to be fueled with fruits, vegetables and meats. High glycemic foods adversely effect the controls. High glycemic foods cause an excess of insulin production, which lowers blood sugar below normal, and lowers your energy levels. High glycemic foods also spike blood sugar and kill endothelial cells. When sufficient endothelial cells are killed, blood pressure rises, and erectile dysfunction sets in. LDL’s rise, HDL’s drop, and cholesterol builds up in the arteries. It is not just candy bars that do this. The body considers wheat products (breads, pizza, pretzels, etc) and russet potatoes to be just like a refinced sugar. The pancreas reacts to these foods the same way: excess insulin, and stressed endothelial cells. High glycemic foods should be avoided. The reward is healthy endothelial cells, and long term energy levels. We would not put the wrong fuel in our automobiles because they might not run correcly, and we should not put the wrong fuel in our bodies. They won’t run right.