Nugenix is one of the most popular testosterone supplements.
Being young was great. Staying lean and muscular was easy – you had a great libido, and you approach everything in life with a breezy energy.
A big part of this is your testosterone levels. Testosterone, the “male hormone,” plays an integral role in your biology and psychology.
As you get older, your testosterone levels start to go down.
According to research by Peter T. Ellison and other researchers at Harvard, Yale, and a number of other top schools, the age-related decline in testosterone is associated with lower muscle mass, a low libido, erectile dysfunction, and depression, among other health problems (1). Given this, it would be fantastic if you could take a supplement that would naturally boost your testosterone to where it was when you were in your twenties.
This is what Nugenix Testosterone Booster promises to do. It’s a supplement with a blend of ingredients that it claims will boost your testosterone. Broadly, the ingredients can be broken down into two categories: vitamins & minerals, and proprietary herbal extracts.
The first ingredient listed on Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster’s supplement facts label is zinc. A study published in 1996 by a team of researchers at Wayne State University in Michigan demonstrated that zinc intake and deficiency are strongly related to testosterone levels in adults (2). Older men with slight zinc deficiency in their diets saw their testosterone levels nearly double once they started taking a zinc supplement.
However, the actual amount of zinc in Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster is relatively small—only five milligrams per serving, according to the label. This amounts to less than seven percent of your recommended daily intake—on par with the amount of zinc in one patty of ground beef—so it’s unlikely that the zinc content of Nugenix can have a significant impact on your testosterone levels by itself.
Next on the ingredient list is vitamin B6. Though it’s classified as a vitamin, vitamin B6 technically functions as a hormone when it’s inside your body. Though its exact role in regulating your testosterone levels is unclear, it does appear to have some connection. A 1984 study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry examined how testosterone levels in lab rats responded to a diet that was deficient in vitamin B6 (3). The researchers observed a marked decrease in circulating testosterone, as measured in blood samples. It’s not clear whether the drop in testosterone levels was caused by reduced synthesis of testosterone, or increased excretion of testosterone (or some combination of both), but the end result was lower testosterone levels in the mice. This research hasn’t been replicated in humans yet, but it suggests that B6 supplementation may be beneficial if your diet lacks foods rich in B-complex vitamins like fish, chickpeas, and meat. Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster does contain a substantial amount of vitamin B6—2 milligrams, which is enough to supply 100% of your daily need.
Like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 is more hormone than vitamin. It plays a role in everything from blood cell manufacture to nerve function—could it be related to testosterone levels too? There’s almost no research on the topic, save for one study in Japan published in 1984 (4). In it, 26 men with fertility problems took 1,500 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily for several weeks. Though some of the men (11 of them) did respond positively when sperm count, concentration, and motility were evaluated, testosterone levels were unchanged.
Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster contains 50 micrograms of B12, which is 850% of your recommended daily intake, but there’s no good evidence that this will have any effect on your testosterone levels.
The herbal blend
The real test for Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster is whether their proprietary herbal blend is efficacious at boosting your testosterone levels. The blend is comprised of a fenugreek extract, L-Citrulline Malate, and Tribulus terrestris, a fruit extract.
Fenugreek is a plant native to India. Its extracts have long been used as herbal remedies for various health problems. Does it boost testosterone? According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there’s some research that says fenugreek extract might help with blood sugar levels in diabetics, but beyond this, there is no good evidence to support its use (5). In fact, a 2009 study in the International Journal of Exercise Science found that fenugreek extract had no impact on any hormone levels (including testosterone) in men who lift weights (6).
L-Citrulline Malate has mostly been studied as a means of increasing anaerobic performance during exercise and decreasing muscle soreness afterwards. A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research did indeed find that Citrulline malate improved bench press performance, but testosterone was not investigated in this study.
Given the parameters of the investigation, if citrulline malate is indeed a supplement that boosts performance during exercise, it likely functions through a different pathway, one which does not involve testosterone.
Once touted as an aphrodisiac herb, Tribulus terrestris also appears to have no effect on testosterone. A study published in 2005 by Neychev and Mitev in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology examined the effect of the herbal extract on 21 young men. After four weeks of thrice-daily Tribulus terrestris extract supplementation, the researchers found no change in testosterone levels (7).
The ingredients in Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster are a mixed bag.
Perhaps the most promising are zinc and vitamin B6, but the amount of zinc is not nearly high enough to have a substantial impact on testosterone levels, and if you’re only taking it for its vitamin B6 content, it’s a very expensive supplement. Whether Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster is worth it or not hinges on the effectiveness of its herbal extracts—no doubt the reason for its high price—and on this point, it falls flat. If you want to restore your youth and vigor, it’s probably best to look for other options than Nugenix Free Testosterone Booster. There are just too many extra ingredients that aren’t helping you when it comes to boosting your testosterone levels.