Testosterone is one of the most crucial hormones in a man’s body, and the notion that it declines with age can be immensely disturbing.
After all, it’s the male-defining hormone; it’s what makes a man a man.
Testosterone encouraged the development of male sex organs in the womb, and spurred their further development, as well as muscles, body hair and changed behaviour, during puberty.
In adulthood, it is crucial for the production of sperm, maintains a healthy interest in sex and ensures muscles and bones remain strong. It makes for a more vital life.
With all of that in mind, we’ve examined the Australasian market to bring you our pick of the best testosterone boosters to buy in Australia and New Zealand in 2016.
But first, let’s learn a little more about the hormone we probably all take for granted until it starts to run low. ..
Why Does Testosterone Decline?
Many things can impact testosterone levels, including exposure to various chemicals, prescription drugs, injury to the testicles and other ailments such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, HIV and AIDS.
By far the most common reason for falling testosterone levels, however – and one that most of us can’t avoid – is age.
Testosterone levels are highest between 20 and 30 years of age, and begin to fall after that. Yes, that young. Research shows that testosterone typically falls one or two percent for every year after the age of 40, and may end up as little as a third of its original count by the age of 80.
Such a gradual decline often means that most men don’t notice it until they hit their 50s, possibly the first time they experience significant symptoms. That doesn’t mean that its loss isn’t already felt in the body before then, however. Testosterone is linked to pretty much every major organ system from the brain to the arteries, and some of those will already be feeling the shortfall. A third of osteoporosis sufferers are men, for instance, with the most common cause being low testosterone.
By the time you notice symptoms, your level might well be as low as 200 or 100ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter), as opposed to the 1,000ng/dL to 300 ng/dL normal range.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
In adult men, a testosterone deficiency can cause a whole host of issues, from losing muscle bulk to losing interest in sex, struggling to get or maintain an erection and producing a lower volume of semen. You may struggle to concentrate, feel weaker, lose hair, gain wrinkled skin or put on more body fat.
Low levels of testosterone are also linked to heart disease and diabetes.
The Situation in Australia and New Zealand
Testosterone prescriptions have been massively on the rise in Australia, so much so that the Australian government introduced the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to control it. Now GPs must first consult with an expert in endocrinology, urology or a member of the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine, before prescribing testosterone replacement.
Fewer men are now also eligible for treatment, after the scheme reduced the eligibility threshold from 8nmol/L of serum (bioavailable) testosterone to 6nmol/L.
Critics of the scheme argue that it penalises men for taking responsibility for their health, and does nothing to help those men with sub-optimal testosterone levels that won’t qualify for official treatment but still need help. Testosterone supplements may be their only way forward.
New Zealand doesn’t seem to have seen such a rise in testosterone prescriptions, but oral and injectable forms of testosterone supplementation already require consultation and recommendation from an endocrinologist.
Taking Testosterone Supplements without a Deficiency to Build Muscle
Of course, not everyone taking testosterone supplements is deficient in the hormone; testosterone is a popular all-round supplement because of its ability to influence the physical.
Bumping up your natural testosterone levels into the high-normal range can have a positive impact on your physique, no matter what your existing testosterone levels.
Be aware of marketing hyperbole that promises the world, but it is true that improved testosterone levels may help to build lean muscle, lose belly fat, improve your sex drive, boost energy levels, and improve your mood, among other things. There’s a reason test boosting supplements are favourites among body builders.
BEST TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS TO BUY 2016
Whatever your reason for wanting to improve your testosterone levels, here are our recommendations for the very best T boosters to buy in Australia and New Zealand in 2016…
# 1st Place: Prime Male
Prime Male is designed for men over 30, and ranks as our first place and best testosterone booster because of its combination of 12 different ingredients. Specifically, Prime Male earns it place at the top of our ranking because of its ingredients, dosages and combinations.
Prime Male promises to boost testosterone by tackling three main barriers or triggers to its production and strength:
Luteinizing Hormone is the hormone most influential on testosterone generation. It stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes to produce it, and to support sperm production. The main ingredient in Prime Male is D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate (D-AA-CC). D-AA has been proven to boost testosterone by 42% in just 12 days. The D-AA-CC version is even more potent.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) binds to testosterone and renders it inactive, killing its power. Prime Male tackles this by including magnesium, Boron and nettle root, all of which help to neutralise SHBG.
Too much of the female sex hormones oestrogen and prolactin in men can lower testosterone levels, which is why Prime Male includes Luteolin (reducing oestrogen while increasing testosterone) and Boron. A daily 10mg of the latter for one week reduced oestrogen by 39% in healthy men.
Other ingredients include:
- Zinc to boost sex drive, virility and testosterone, included here in highly absorbable form zinc citrate.
- The active ingredient levodopa in Mucuna Pruriens (velvet bean) has boosted testosterone levels by 39% in men with a low sperm count. Anything standardised to 10% of levodopa should be effective; at 15% in Prime Male, it is highly concentrated.
- Korean Red Ginseng 4:1 extract (root): This is a potent sex booster but the jury is still out on whether it does much for testosterone.
- Vitamins: Specifically B6 (P-5-P), a significant testosterone booster; vitamin D3 (boosts free, bioactive and total testosterone) and vitamin K2. The latter helps to tackle age-related testosterone decline.
- BioPerine®, black pepper extract, boosts the absorption rate of other substances within the supplement.
Big Thumbs Up: Most testosterone boosters — in fact, most supplements full stop – struggle to combine as many as ten ingredients into one product without including them in such small dosages that they’re too weak to work. Prime Male gets around that danger by using highly absorbable and active forms of ingredients that combine together to boost each other’s effects. The end product is a truly synergistic supplement that really does boost testosterone.
Extra Marks: Extra marks given for not skimping on the quality of the ingredients. Prime Male uses premium versions of its ingredients, such as D-AA-CC; P-5-P; BioPerine®; zinc citrate and more.
Added Bonus: Its ingredients also provide support for prostate health, as well as libido and vitality.
Where to Buy: Buy from the official website at www.primemale.com (offers international shipping).
# 2nd Place: TestoFuel
- Encourage real muscle growth
- Increase strength and muscle size
- Reduce body fat
- Boost your mood and stay motivated
- Improve your sex drive and increase libido.
According to TestoFuel, testosterone is the missing link and the reason why you’re working out and eating well, but not gaining muscle. Check out our review here.
Thumbs Up For: Containing many of the same ingredients as Prime Male, including D-Aspartic Acid, zinc, magnesium, vitamins D3, B6 and K2, and ginseng. Key proven test boosting ingredients – DAA, zinc, magnesium and vitamins B6 and D3 – are included in this formula and should do a lot of the work.
Thumbs Down For: Failing to include premium forms of their ingredients. Prime Male’s D-AA-CC (D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate) is much more potent than plain DAA, while zinc citrate is arguably easier to absorb than TestoFuel’s zinc monomethionine and aspartate. Likewise, Prime Male’s P-5-P version of vitamin B6 is better than TestoFuel’s Pyridoxine HCI version.
There’s also a big question mark over two other ingredients – fenugreek and oyster extract.
We’ve yet to see any independent evidence of fenugreek’s testosterone boosting powers. All positive studies done so far have been carried out by fenugreek manufacturers, and we’d be stupid to rely solely on their word. Even if it does help testosterone, fenugreek has been shown to block DHT, an even stronger male sex hormone than testosterone, which creates an overall negative.
We’re not convinced of the testosterone-boosting powers of oyster extract either. It sounds exotic, but the only real benefit in oysters comes from the zinc within them – and we already have that in this formula. For some reason, they have included 100mg of oyster extract but only 10mg of zinc. We personally would have reduced the oyster extract and bumped zinc up to the standard 30mg.
Best For: A solid second choice with enough proven testosterone-boosting ingredients to work well.
Where to Buy: You can buy from the official website at www.testofuel.com (offers international shipping).