Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
“hCG is a hormone that mimics luteinising hormone (LH), which stimulates the testes to produce more testosterone”
“Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of testosterone. They can be used to increase muscle mass and performance but are associated with significant health risks and are not recommended for non-medical purposes.”
”Aromatase inhibitors block the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, potentially increasing testosterone levels.”
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)
“SARMs are compounds that selectively target androgen receptors in the body, aiming to mimic the effects of testosterone without some of the associated side effects.”
Of course, not all supplements are created equal. Outside of a medical setting, use of any of the above gets a bit sketchy. Malik is quick to point out that anabolic steroid use without a prescription is illegal, and can lead to possibly fatal health issues including cardiovascular problems and liver damage. Meanwhile, SARMs are currently under investigation as to their safety, and their ability to even boost testosterone in the first place is not well-established.
The dangers in boosting testosterone levels
Malik explains that too much testosterone can be as damaging as too little, with links from everything from an increased risk of heart attack and stroke to prostate cancer, a hormone imbalance leading to testicular atrophy, and imbalances in other hormones like estrogen. “Excessive testosterone supplementation can suppress sperm production, leading to infertility, and is associated with mood swings, increased aggression, and irritability,” he says. Oh, and to top it all off, an overproduction of oil in the skin can lead to acne.
In fact, in 2014, the FDA issued a general warning for the risk of venous blood clots associated with testosterone product use, with risk of heart attack and stroke. “There is a lack of regulation of dietary supplements,” adds Wells. “Some have potentially serious side effects such as:
- hyperviscosity (thickening of the blood)
- worsening untreated sleep apnea
- severe heart failure
What’s more, Wells points out that “most studies” have found that increased testosterone levels don’t necessarily equate to an increase in muscle mass, so if getting swole is your aim, you could well be risking it all for nothing by taking unproven supplements.
Follow the doctor’s orders
The best bet is to ditch the supplements, and follow the advice of actual doctors, in this case, Aston and Wells. Wells points to research that a daily supplement of 1000IU (recommended by the Australian Institute of Sport) may help boost vitamin D and testosterone levels. She also points to evidence that Beta‐hydroxy‐beta‐methylbutyrate (HMB), Betaine and L-Arginine may all help.
Meanwhile, Aston suggests zinc supplements, Omega 3 supps, and even herbs such as fenugreek and ashwagandha may help.
Again, our best advice is to exhaust the natural methods – including diet and increased exercise, as explained above – before turning to a medical professional. Go it alone with testosterone supps and you could well end up with an array of unintended side-effects.
Read the full article here