The Extreme Testosterone capsule is formulated to increase testosterone and improve libido in those who are naturally deficient or finding themselves slowing down with age.
The capsule contains 3 essential nutrient supplements, Vitamin D (as Cholecalciferol), Vitamin B-3 (as nicotinic acid) and Zinc (as amino acid chelate). Vitamin D has been found to significantly increase overall testosterone levels in healthy adult men when paired with a weight loss program.[i] There is significant evidence this effect holds true when not undergoing weight-loss programs. The Vitamin B-3 is present due to its well documented ability to stimulate human growth hormone (HGH) leading to higher blood HGH levels. [ii] Other experiments have found that B-3 supplementation can change lipid profiles to more heavily favor high density lipoproteins (HDL) which is colloquially referred to as good cholesterol.[iii] This not only benefits overall body function, but also increases testosterone, due to it being bio-synthesized from these very cholesterols. The presence of Zinc was inspired by the discovery that zinc deficiency is associated with hypogonadism in men, which is the failure of the testes to function properly. This caused people to wonder how Zinc effected teste function. A study designed to elucidate this found that after 3-6 months of Zinc supplementation that the dose of zinc directly correlated to blood testosterone levels in healthy men.[iv]
Outside of essential nutrients, the capsule contains a range of extracts and chemicals that have been shown to increase testosterone or libido. The first of these is Tribulus Terrestris Extract. By itself there is little indication that Tribulus Terrestris extract can increase serum testosterone levels in humans, however in studies that examined its use in a blend of other extracts, there was found to be a slight increase in testosterone over the control. The same study did find substantiating evidence that the extract increases nitric oxide release, which is the primary mechanism with which PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra work.[v] This is similar to how another component of this capsule works: Epimedium grandiflorum, colloquially known as horny goat weed. Studies of the extract of E. grandiflorum have found that it acts as a less potent PDE5 inhibitor than Viagra, but that the biological markers related to arousal where amplified nonetheless. Even more interesting is that in rats the extract significantly increased the neuronal projections in the pelvic ganglia nerves, which are responsible for the innervation of the genitals.[vi] This interesting finding could indicate there is more to E. grandiflorum’s mechanisms than simply acting as a natural PDE5 inhibitor, but could hypothetically improve gonadal functioning in the long term.
While those components of this capsule can help with arousal, another ingredient, Maca Root extract, can improve fertility. In a meta-analysis of 5 studies researchers concluded that there was suggestive evidence pointing to the likelihood that maca supplementation improved semen quality in both infertile and healthy men.[vii] However more studies with larger populations are needed to confirm this conclusion. Despite the claims of some supplement supply businesses there is still insufficient evidence that maca root has any effect on erectile dysfunction as it is sometimes advertised to have.[viii] Ashwagandha root extract standardized to 2.5% withanolides serves to accentuate the action of maca root extract in improving semen quality. Withanolides are a group of over 300 steroids that are found in members of the nightshade family, of which Ashwagandha root is a part. In a 2013 study extracted withanolides were given to men suffering from oligospermia, a disease characterized by a low sperm count per mL of ejaculate. The ashwagandha extract group was found to have 167% increase in sperm count, a 53% increase in semen volume, and a 57% increase in sperm motility.[ix]
Fenugreek Extract is also included in the capsule. Fenugreek is a south Asian plant that has been found to reliably increase free testosterone in humans and, within the context of structured resistance training, significantly increase upper and lower body strength and reduce body fat percentage, when compared to a placebo group.[x] The authors caution that the mechanism leading to these changes is still unknown, due to the very small amount research available on Fenugreek extract.
This capsule also contains elemental boron. Supplementing boron has wide ranging effects throughout the human body, but for this capsule we will only look at its effect on testosterone. A meta-analysis found that supplementing boron for 1 week increased free testosterone by 28% while decreasing estrogen 60%.[xi] The presence of boron accentuates the benefits of the Vitamin D also in this capsule by inhibiting the primary method which the body breaks down Vitamin D complexes.[xii] To further drive home the importance of boron in this capsule, realize that a large portion of men in the united states are boron deficient due to their diets not containing enough leafy greens and legumes.
Finally, the last addition to this capsule is Tongkat Ali extract. Sometimes referred to as Malaysian Ginseng this is a traditional medicinal plant that has been purported to improve libido, energy and sports performance. Research found that supplementing Tongkat Ali reduced cortisol (the stress hormone) exposure by 16% and increased free testosterone by 37%. Additionally, people in the study reported decreased tension, anger and confusion over the course of the study. [xiii]
To cap off this capsule is BioPerine. It was isolated from black pepper and patented with the purpose of increasing absorption of other chemicals. BioPerine has been licensed from Sabinsa for use in this blend to further enhance its testosterone and libido increasing effects. While the exact mechanisms causing it to enhance absorption are still under investigation it is currently thought that by inhibiting glucuronidation enzymes that it prevents compounds from being metabolized for a longer time, thus allowing them to exert their effects for a longer period of time. You can read more about BioPerine at the manufacturers website http://www.bioperine.com/index.php/mechanismsofactions
[i] Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreir J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. (2011). Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 March
[ii] Galescu OA, Crocker MK, Altschul AM, Marwitz SE, Brady SM, Yanovski JA. A Pilot Study of the Effects of Niacin Administration on Free Fatty Acid and Growth Hormone Concentrations in Children with Obesity. Pediatric obesity. 2018
[iii] Zeb Shah T, Ali AB, Ahmad Jafri S, Qazi MH. Effect of Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3 or Niacin) on the lipid profile of diabetic and non – diabetic rats. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 2013
[iv] Prasad AS, Mantzoros CS, Beck FW, Hess JW, Brewer GJ. Zinc Status and Serum Testosterone Levels of Healthy Adults. Nutrition. 1996.
[v] Qureshi A, Naughton DP, Petroczi A. A systematic Review on the Herbal Extract Tribulus Terrestris and the roots of its putative aphrodisiac and performance enhancing effects. J Diet Suppl. 2014 March.
[vi] Shindel AW, Xin Z-C, Lin G, et al. Erectogenic and Neurotrophic Effects of Icariin, a Purified Extract of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium spp.) In Vitro and In Vivo. The journal of sexual medicine. 2010
[vii] Lee, MS; Lee, HW; You, S; Ha, KT (October 2016). “The use of maca (Lepidium meyenii) to improve semen quality: A systematic review”. Maturitas (Review). 92:
[viii] Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E (2010). “Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review”. BMC Complement Altern Med.
[ix] Ambiye VR, Langade D, Dongre S, Aptikar P, Kulkarni M, Dongre A. Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
[x] Poole C, Bushey B, Foster C, et al. The effects of a commercially available botanical supplement on strength, body composition, power output, and hormonal profiles in resistance-trained males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010
[xi] Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011
[xii] Miljkovic D, Miljkovic N, McCarty MF. Up-regulatory impact of boron on vitamin D function—does it reflect inhibition of 24-hydroxylase? Med Hypotheses. 2004
[xiii] Talbott SM, Talbott JA, George A, Pugh M. Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013