It’s hard to listen to the radio and not hear an ad about your local “Low T” center for men with low testosterone. 5% of males aged 40–50 and as many as 70% of males over 70 may have low testosterone or what is officially called “hypogonadism.”
Testosterone starts to decline in most men after 30, but the decline accelerates after 50.1 Low testosterone levels have been associated with decline in libido, erectile dysfunction, lack of energy, less physical strength and endurance, loss of height, decreased enjoyment in life, low mood, feeling grumpy, falling asleep after dinner, and decreased work performance.2, 3 Some studies suggest that low testosterone may also contribute to cognitive decline and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.4, 5, 6
Not For Men Only
Although testosterone is thought of primarily as a male hormone, it is an important hormone for women too. A review study of the clinical significance of testosterone has shown its positive association with sexual function and a healthy libido in women.7
Is Medical Testosterone Replacement Risk-Free?
As with any medical treatment or drug, it is important to evaluate the benefit versus risk, including potential side effects. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) has been linked to a host of side effects that include cardiovascular, prostate, sleep, breathing, and urinary tract concerns.8 While larger studies are needed to confirm these risks, many are turning to alternative solutions to boost testosterone levels.
But how do you know which pill or powder may be the real thing? Of course, this is when I turn to the combination of modern science and ancient wisdom. There are two Ayurvedic herbs that have recently been exhaustively studied and it was found that the combination significantly boosts testosterone levels. These herbs are shilajit and Malaysian ginseng—both used for thousands of years in Ayurveda.
Shilajit is a naturally occurring, mineral-rich botanical with many bioactive components, including fulvic acids. It comprises rock humus, rock minerals, and organic substances that have been compressed by layers of rock mixed with marine organisms and microbial metabolites.9
Shilajit has a rich history of use in Indian Ayurvedic and siddha medicine as a health and wellness optimizer. It is known as a rasayana because of its rejuvenating qualities, which include heightening physical performance and relieving fatigue.10
According to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, weightlifters use shilajit to promote better strength, recovery, and muscular hypertrophy, and also to combat physical stress, but human data on these uses are lacking.11
>50 studies on shilajit suggest that it has positive effects on testosterone levels and adaptogenic, antioxidant, and immune supportive benefits.12
The proprietary preparation of shilajit used in LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost, called PrimaVie®, has been well-studied. In one study, the equivalent of 2 capsules of LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost daily for 90 days was evaluated in 75 healthy male volunteers aged 45–55 for its testosterone secretion efficacy and its stimulation effects.
This double-blind placebo-controlled study revealed that PrimaVie® shilajit, when compared to placebo, significantly increased total testosterone, free testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The levels of testosterone were well-maintained.9
Shilajit Boosts Testosterone and Sperm Count
Another study evaluated 35 infertile males who took the equivalent of 1 capsule of LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost for 90 days. At completion, 28 of the subjects had significant improvement in sperm count and testosterone levels rose by an average of 23%.
The sperm was was found to have less oxidative stress and contained small amounts of shilajit, suggesting the shilajit played an active role in these reproductive changes.13
The studies also showed that liver and kidney profiles were unchanged and there were no adverse side effects during the 12-week study.13, 14
Eurycoma longifolia root (Malaysian ginseng) is considered a tonic and an adaptogen for supporting healthy libido, energy, sports performance, and weight management by promoting healthy testosterone levels and freeing testosterone from SHBG.
Most of the testosterone on the body is bound to a protein called the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This bound form of testosterone is inactive in the body as it is already bound up and occupied. Both shilajit and Malaysian ginseng have been found to boost free testosterone.
The LJ100® patented form of Eurycoma longifolia used in LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost is a root extract whose safety and efficacy is backed by at least 12 human clinical studies.
A randomized, placebo-controlled, two-month study with 20 volunteers age 38–58 who consumed LJ100® showed improvement in sexual desire and performance. Also, testosterone and DHEA levels were high-normal when compared to the placebo group.15
In this study, HDL cholesterol improved, those with type 2 diabetes showed improvement in blood glucose levels, and insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1) were balanced to a high-normal level.15 Medical Testosterone Replacement Therapy has been shown to boost IGF-1 levels, which are linked to weight gain and prostate health concerns.18
Like shilajit, the benefits of LJ100® used in LifeSpa’s Testosterone Boost are not limited to particular genders or age groups. Two studies, one in middle-aged and one in senior males and females, demonstrated the herb’s promotion of healthy fitness, vitality, and vigor concomitant with an increase in free testosterone and a decline in SHBG.16, 17
In summary, it appears that the combination of these two herbs supports healthy free testosterone levels in men and women, which, in turn, supports vitality, virility, and vigor.