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Review

Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions

by 1,* and 1,2,3
1
High Performance Sports Laboratory, Moscow Witte University, 115432 Moscow, Russia
2
Department of Sports Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), 119991 Moscow, Russia
3
Russian Football Union, 115172 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anthony C. Hackney
Endocrines 2021, 2(2), 109-120; https://doi.org/10.3390/endocrines2020011
Received: 16 March 2021 / Revised: 11 May 2021 / Accepted: 13 May 2021 / Published: 17 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Endocrinology)
“Testosterone boosters” (TB)—are supplements that are claimed to increase testosterone levels in the human body. While the consumption of TB may be popular among athletes, there is insufficient evidence both about the safety and the real efficacy of TB. In our review, we searched MEDLINE/PubMed and Cochrane Library for studies on the effects of 15 substances that are claimed to increase testosterone levels Anacyclus pyrethrum; Bulbine natalensis; Epimedium (horny goat weed); L-arginine; L-carnitine; magnesium; Mucuna pruriens; pantothenic acid; selenium; shilajit Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali); Serenoa repens (saw palmetto); boron; Withania somnifera (ashwagandha); and Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) in athletes and healthy adults under 55 years of age. We found such studies regarding 10 out of 15 substances: L-arginine (3 studies); L-carnitine (2); magnesium (1); selenium (2); shilajit (1); Tongkat Ali (2); Serenoa repens (1); boron (3); ashwagandha root (2); and fenugreek (7). Many of them fail to prove the efficacy of these substances to increase testosterone levels. Tongkat Ali, ashwagandha, and fenugreek were the substances with the strongest evidence. The positive effect of magnesium and shilajit on testosterone concentration was shown in single studies. Conflicting data found that L-arginine, L-carnitine, Serenoa repens, selenium and boron do not appear to increase testosterone levels. There are almost no data on the safety profile of various TB components; however, certain TB components may be linked to coagulation, and pancreatic and hepatic disorders. Based on the review, the authors conclude that at present TB cannot be recommended for use by athletes due to insufficient data on their efficacy and safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: androgens; athletes; Eurycoma longifolia; fenugreek; ashwagandha; shilajit; magnesium; boron androgens; athletes; Eurycoma longifolia; fenugreek; ashwagandha; shilajit; magnesium; boron
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lazarev, A.; Bezuglov, E. Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions. Endocrines 2021, 2, 109-120. https://doi.org/10.3390/endocrines2020011

AMA Style

Lazarev A, Bezuglov E. Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions. Endocrines. 2021; 2(2):109-120. https://doi.org/10.3390/endocrines2020011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lazarev, Artemii, and Eduard Bezuglov. 2021. "Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions" Endocrines 2, no. 2: 109-120. https://doi.org/10.3390/endocrines2020011

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