Over-the-counter “natural” remedies that claim to raise your testosterone levels sound too good to be true. That’s because they are.
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No such thing as natural low-T boosters
Urologist Daniel Shoskes, MD, says there are really no such things as natural testosterone boosters.
“It’s not a medical term,” says Dr. Shoskes. “There really aren’t any substances that we know of that will ‘boost’ testosterone.”
Dr. Shoskes says testosterone boosters or supplements are sold with the aim of raising a man’s testosterone naturally. But he says only your physician — or a urologist or endocrinologist — should be administering any type of testosterone replacement.
Unregulated low-T supplements may be unsafe
Many of these over-the-counter supplements aren’t safe, adds Dr. Shoskes, because they aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
“In the rest of the world a lot of supplements are very high quality. If they say they’re going to do something, they have to do it,” he says. “In the United States that’s not the case. What you buy over the counter may not even contain what it claims.”
Testosterone therapy not for all men
The only men who should consider testosterone therapy are those with symptoms, but even if your testosterone level is low, you may not be a candidate for therapy.
Normal testosterone level — determined by a blood test — is different for everyone. However, the bottom of the normal range is considered to be 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) and the upper limits range from 1,000 to 2,000 ng/dL.
However, says Dr. Shoskes, “there is very, very little evidence that treating the number alone is of benefit. I see many men referred to us — because they have a surprisingly low number — who feel physically great in every way. Low levels without symptoms usually mean no need for therapy.”
Symptoms of low testosterone
Symptoms of low testosterone are most commonly:
- Decreased libido
- Lower sense of well-being
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty with concentration and memory
- Erectile dysfunction
These symptoms may have causes other than low testosterone, though. Talk to your doctor or urologist to make sure you know what’s going on before sending away for those “miracle” testosterone boosters.