Testosterone is known to play a vital role in male health. This “masculinity hormone” helps men develop muscle mass, lower body fat, support sexual health, mental health, bone health and much more. Unfortunately, the testosterone levels of today’s men are at a historic low due to changes in diet and other lifestyle factors.1 In addition, the body’s testosterone production begins to naturally decline after about the age of 30.
To fight this, many men turn to testosterone boosters – compounds that naturally and safely increase testosterone levels. Testosterone boosters are among the most popular supplement categories, and 2019 is set to continue this trend.
Top Testosterone Supplements for 2019
Testosterone boosters will continue to be a popular supplement category in 2019. However, we can expect to see the continuation of two specific trends:
- Increased scrutiny by supplement users and health experts, highlighted by recent events such as the lawsuit against testosterone booster Testofen
- Increased interest in natural, safe, side effect-free ingredients
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a flowering plant popular in India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine. This versatile adaptogenic herb has long been associated with promoting strength, virility, and overall good health.
Ashwagandha is ideal for boosting testosterone in people suffering from any form of stress, be it physiological or psychological. This includes sleep deprivation, working out, work stress, the stress of aging, and stress caused by sexual health conditions such as infertility.
So far, clinical research has shown that ashwagandha can increase sperm count and testosterone levels in both healthy men and those with fertility issues.2 In particular, the branded ashwagandha extract KSM-66 has been demonstrated to directly increase testosterone levels by 17% and sperm count by 167% in a clinical study of 46 men with low sperm count. 3 In addition, studies have shown that this herb can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, 4 which can negatively impact testosterone levels.
In addition, there is some early evidence that ashwagandha can help younger men as well, with a study showing increased muscle mass & strength when used together with a weight training program.5 With all of this evidence in tow, 2019 may be the breakout year for ashwagandha as a testosterone booster. More on ashwagandha.
D-Aspartic Acid (DAA)
D-Aspartic Acid or DAA for short is an amino acid naturally present in the human body and select foods such as soy. DAA has been suggested to increase testosterone by triggering its natural production cycle, which includes the production and release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which then triggers luteinizing hormone (LH), which signals the testes to produce testosterone.
DAA appears to be a universal T-booster, meaning that it can effectively be used by both healthy men, and those suffering from low testosterone. Research studies show that it is capable of boosting testosterone and related parameters such as sperm count.6
However, DAA has also seen some negative research, and anecdotally, many people report that DAA increases testosterone only for a few weeks before it returns back to normal. As such, it may be best to use when you need a short-term boost. More on D-Aspartic Acid.
Luteolin is an antioxidant compound found in fruits and vegetables such as broccoli and navel oranges. It is used as an ingredient in testosterone boosters thanks to its ability to block aromatase – the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen (female sex hormone).
Luteolin won’t directly increase testosterone, but can help indirectly by slowing its conversion into estrogen. However, the jury is still out on whether it actually does anything significant. So far, all we have is some early evidence of luteolin’s aramotase-blocking ability. Having said that, luteolin has some potential to gain popularity in 2019, especially as more research is done. More on luteolin.
Also known as velvet bean and cowhage, Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume plant. Mucuna has a history of use as a medicinal herb for many different conditions, including male sexual health issues. Mucuna contains the active ingredient L-dopa, which appears to promote testosterone production. As such, it’s not surprising that it has found its way into many testosterone supplements.
Mucuna can be used by men of all walks of life, but seems to be particularly effective for those suffering from sexual health issues. So far, research has shown that it can boost testosterone in men with low sperm count.7 More on Mucuna Pruriens.
Coleus Forskohlii (Forskolin)
Coleus forskohlii is a plant from the mint family found throughout Asia. Also known by its active ingredient forskolin, this herbal remedy has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to help with a wide variety of conditions. Today, forskolin supplements are most commonly used for weight loss.
Forskolin is ideal for men who want to boost testosterone with the primary goal of losing fat. This benefit is backed by a clinical study where that men taking forskolin not only lost more weight but also saw a 34% increase in testosterone levels. 8 More on forskolin.
Zinc is an essential mineral involved in many different biological functions, including the production of testosterone. Coupled with its reputation as an aphrodisiac, it’s not surprising that zinc is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters, and will remain so in 2019.
Zinc is a great fundamental ingredient to have in any multi-ingredient testosterone booster. Considering that mild to moderate zinc deficiency is relatively common, zinc can be a great testosterone ingredient for men of any age. However, it can be particularly useful for the elderly and vegetarians, since these two groups have an increased risk of zinc deficiency.
In addition, research has demonstrated that the body’s zinc and testosterone levels are closely linked,9 and that supplementing zinc helped wrestlers maintain healthy testosterone levels during 4 weeks of intense training.10 More on Zinc.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant essential minerals in the human body. It has more than 300 different roles. As a testosterone booster, magnesium is used for its ability to block sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that binds itself to testosterone and deactivates it.
Simply put, magnesium increases the amount of testosterone in your body that is active. Also similar to the case of zinc, many people – and especially older adults – have a mild deficiency in magnesium. In addition, research has shown that magnesium supplementation can raise testosterone levels in both active and sedentary adults.11 Thanks to this, magnesium is another great foundational ingredient in testosterone boosters. More on magnesium.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a flowering plant known for its tiny stinging hairs. Nettle is one of the most versatile herbs in the world, having been used for everything from making rope to medicine. As a testosterone booster, stinging nettle has three key biological activities:
- Inhibition of aromatase, the enzyme which converts testosterone to estrogen.
- Inhibition of 5a-reductase, the enzyme which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- Binding with SHBG, the protein which binds to testosterone, making it inactive.
Considering that it can increase testosterone levels through three different, natural ways, nettle is a great testosterone ingredient for all men. Nettle is particularly useful for older males, because stinging nettle is also a popular remedy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – enlargement of the prostate that may be linked to changes in testosterone levels.
Having said that, clinical research of its testosterone-boosting effects has only just begin. As such, nettle is one testosterone herb that may see increased interest in 2019. More on stinging nettle.
Testosterone boosters aren’t going anywhere, and 2019 will continue to be another important year for this supplement category. And far from only being the choice of men over 30, testosterone boosters are increasingly being used by the younger crowd as well, particularly those involved in intense physical training.
If you want more information on testosterone supplement ingredients and how they work, check out our:
- Full list of testosterone supplements
- Guide to testosterone supplements
- Top-recommended individual testosterone supplement
- Top-recommended testosterone stack supplement
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17062768 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609282 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863556/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4658772/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2774316/ ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18973898 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16129715 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875519 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16648789 ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20352370 ↩