Dangers of Testosterone Supplements
Posted: April 21, 2023
It seems like ads for testosterone supplements are everywhere. You’ve probably been blasted by online pop ups, found them in your mailbox, and even seen them on TV commercials featuring one of your childhood football heroes. They generally make all kinds of claims about boosting performance in the gym and in the bedroom. However, for men who are looking to improve their low testosterone because it is impacting their health, these supplements can do much more harm than good.
Testosterone supplements don’t actually contain any testosterone. In fact, they legally cannot contain testosterone because TRT is regulated. These supplements are not regulated or approved by the FDA, since the FDA states that supplements and herbal remedies aren’t intended to treat, prevent, or cure medical conditions like low T.
Nevertheless, many supplement companies have tried to capitalize on men suffering from low testosterone by using marketing ploys. They claim to “naturally” boost testosterone levels in the body using unproven ingredients.
There’s little to no scientific proof behind these claims. A lot of these supplements actually contain harmful levels of ingredients like boron and zinc, both of which can cause death in high doses. Taking them can put your health and life at risk.
There are several supplements that claim to boost testosterone, including popular brands like:
- Total T
TRT is the only approved treatment that has been scientifically proven to treat low testosterone.
Testosterone Supplements May Contain Dangerous Levels of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are good for you, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Overdosing on vitamins and minerals is surprisingly common, especially when you’re eating a normal diet plus taking supplements with high levels of vitamins on top of it.
This is a big risk with testosterone supplements, which often contain significantly higher levels of ingredients than the recommended daily dose or even the upper tolerable intake level, which is the point where poisoning and death can occur.
Too Much Zinc Can Cause Death
One big offender commonly found in testosterone supplements is zinc. If you take too much extra zinc, it can cause serious problems. Most people easily get the daily required amount of zinc through their diet, as it is found in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, and even dark chocolate.
Chronically getting too much zinc can cause immune system issues and copper deficiency. When you take too much at once, it can cause zinc poisoning and even lead to death. Thousands of people call poison control every year due to zinc overdose.
Several supplements on our list contain pretty high levels of zinc. Testofuel and Testogen both provide 91% of the recommended daily amount of zinc in their supplements. Paired with a normal diet, you might get more than the recommended amount and suffer from health effects and symptoms.
Testoprime contains 364% of the daily value for zinc at 40 mg, which is the upper limit dose for adults. Anything over the upper limit dose is where you can start to see zinc poisoning. Once again, with a normal diet you’ll be getting additional zinc than what you take in supplement form, so this is a serious concern that can prove fatal.
Boron Overdose Can Cause Death
Like with zinc, boron is also fatal if you get too much. There is no set daily dose of boron, but most experts recommend getting between 1 mg and 13 mg per day, with the upper dose limit being 20 mg. Most people get their daily intake of boron through their diet, as it’s found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and even your morning cup of coffee.
However, many testosterone supplements contain pretty high levels of boron, nearly half of the upper limit. For instance, Testogen and Testofuel both contain 8 mg and Total T contains 10 mg, which is exactly half of the upper daily limit. Keeping in mind you’ll get more boron from things you eat and drink, so you may be at risk for dangerous or even deadly levels of boron.
Unstudied Ingredients Have No Dosage Recommendations and Unknown Effects
Remember that you can overdose from basically any ingredient, including vitamins and minerals generally considered healthy. Many of the ingredients used in testosterone supplements haven’t been studied enough to have a recommended dose or upper dose limit, so we simply don’t know how much might be dangerous. Therefore, this is another risk that you take when using supplements.
Supplement ingredients range from normal vitamins and minerals to exotic ingredients found only in small parts of the world. Currently, none of these ingredients have been proven to increase testosterone levels. Some of the more common ingredients found in testosterone supplements that don’t have a standard recommended dose include:
- Fenugreek extract
- D-aspartic acid
- Vitamin B
Many supplements use fenugreek extract because of a small article funded by a company that uses fenugreek in their own products. However, subsequent scientific studies have actually found no change in testosterone levels with fenugreek use.
D-aspartic acid is sometimes used in T boosters because it’s an amino acid that may increase luteinizing hormone in your brain, which is what tells the testes to create testosterone. However, results are mixed, with some scientific studies finding that D-aspartic acid supplements either made no change to testosterone levels or in fact reduced them.
Some supplements also include vitamin B, specifically vitamin B5, B6, and B12. Vitamin B5 and B6 deficiencies are quite rare, so you probably don’t need to take any supplements for these. B12 deficiency is more common, but there is no evidence that taking B12 supplements increase testosterone levels.
Essentially, because there are no peer-reviewed scientific studies of how these ingredients affect low T, many of the key ingredients in these supplements have little to no proof of being able to improve your testosterone level.
Testosterone Supplement Companies Make Unfounded Claims
Many testosterone supplement companies make unfounded claims about their products. Some say they can stop low T, reverse the symptoms of low testosterone, or even increase free and total testosterone. Yet, few of these supplements have been studied by scientists.
Some of the companies do cite articles they claim proves their supplement’s abilities to increase testosterone. However, there are several issues with these articles. For one, many of them are funded and conducted by companies that sell products with those particular ingredients, which creates some serious conflicts of interest.
Additionally, many studies into various ingredients’ effects on testosterone aren’t even conducted on humans, with most being animal studies. The few articles some of these companies cite as proof of their claims that do feature humans are flawed because they’re short and small. In contrast, there are many well-designed scientific studies showing the ingredients having either no effect on testosterone or even doing the opposite – lowering testosterone.
Several researchers have looked into the validity of the claims of the most well-known testosterone boosting supplements found online. In 2019, researchers looked into evidence behind ingredients in five popular testosterone supplements found on Amazon and concluded that the evidence for these ingredients was flawed and limited. The researchers said that doctors need to warn their patients about testosterone supplements.
Another study from 2020 did similar research into ingredients found in testosterone supplements they found online. These researchers found that many ingredients listed in testosterone boosters not only had practically no scientific proof, but many of them lowered testosterone according to previous scientific research. Therefore, they may not only be ineffective, but could potentially make your low T worse.
TRT Is the Only Approved Treatment for Low Testosterone
Testosterone replacement therapy is the only approved treatment for men with low testosterone. If you think you have low testosterone, our healthcare providers can test your levels and provide a TRT prescription if appropriate. TRT contains real testosterone to increase the testosterone levels in your blood to healthy ranges and reduce your symptoms. With testosterone replacement therapy, medical professionals monitor your treatment to help you feel your best and improve your health.
Some common symptoms of testosterone deficiency include:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
If you notice these symptoms, you could be suffering from low T and need treatment with testosterone replacement therapy. Our healthcare providers can diagnose you with low testosterone and provide treatment tailored to you. Our team may prescribe TRT in the form of testosterone injections, which directly enter the bloodstream for fast, effective results.
By contrast, testosterone supplements are not approved by the FDA and do not treat low testosterone. They’re not an alternative to TRT and instead contain various mixes of herbs and vitamins. Using testosterone supplements if you think you have low testosterone is a form of self-medication that can be ineffective, harmful, or even deadly.
Talk to Our Healthcare Providers About TRT if You Think You Have Low T
If you think you have low T, it’s best to get help from qualified healthcare providers instead of taking unregulated supplements. Self-medicating with testosterone supplements may not only be ineffective, it can prove dangerous to your health. Instead, our team uses medical treatments to bring your testosterone levels into healthy ranges. We use FDA-approved bioidentical TRT to increase your testosterone levels and alleviate your symptoms. Our team works with you to create treatment programs customized to your needs and lifestyle and provides ongoing monitoring to help you get results and feel your best.
Effective, Customized Treatment Solutions from Low T Center
Improve your health today. Our team at Low T Center is here to help you feel your best through custom treatment solutions. We make healthcare for men simple, convenient, and affordable. Regain your energy, sex drive, and quality of life by treating your low testosterone levels today. Contact us now to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.