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I don't want to take steroids, what can I do to help?

Q) I'm a middle-aged guy who's concerned my
testosterone levels have dropped and are
affecting my progress. I don't want to take steroids, what can I do to help?

A)First, I am pleased to hear that you have omitted steroids as an option. Second, you'll be pleased to hear that there is an herbal-based formula on the market that is clinically validated to dramatically increase testosterone. But before we go there, I think it is important to provide an overview on this vital male hormone because I am so often asked about it, especially by guys around your age.

The decline in testosterone usually begins in men in their thirties, sometimes even sooner, and decreases at a relatively constant rate, thereafter. The decline in testosterone causes a compensatory rise in luteinizing hormone (LH), a pituitary hormone and potent stimulator of testosterone secretion. There are a number of impairments in the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis that controls testosterone production with aging. When Leydig cell numbers are decreased, there is disruption in LH stimulation of testosterone, and negative feedback loops are more sensitive.

Another important determinant of testosterone levels is obesity. Part of the decrease in testosterone with age may be due to the fact obesity increases with age. Testosterone levels are on the order of 25% lower in obese men compared to normal-weight men. It is not just the total testosterone, as free testosterone levels are reduced in obesity as well. On the flip side of the coin, losing too much weight by drastically cutting calories and/or exercising exhaustively can reduce testosterone levels. Studies in wrestlers, for example, who cut calories and exercise exhaustively to cut weight during the competitive season, have shown dramatic decreases in testosterone. In another study, testosterone levels decreased by 50% after 5 days of a low calorie diet and prolonged physical activity in soldiers.  Collectively the studies that have examined the effects of energy intake on testosterone indicate that large reductions in calories and body weight can reduce testosterone levels.  This is especially true if a large reduction in calories is combined with prolonged and exhaustive physical activity. So aging decreases testosterone and you can't stop aging, but you can slow or prevent the natural decline by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes adequate exercise and maintenance of your ideal weight and avoid very low fat diets.

Based on the data so far, it is clear that there are many men across the spectrum of sports, fitness, dieting and age that have less than optimal testosterone levels in their bodies. And when you combine these stunning facts with the reality that testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone in men that plays an essential role in controlling muscle growth, enhancing sexual interest, erectile function, mood, and bone density, and it's no wonder so many products are marketed to naturally enhance testosterone.

This brings up another problem-credibility and efficacy of the T-boosters available on the market. The first generation testosterone boosters simply provided precursors to testosterone in hopes they would be converted to testosterone in the body. Of these 'prohormones', DHEA and androstenidione (andro for short) were the most common. Research did not consistently support a testosterone enhancing effect of these supplements, in fact in many cases, estrogen levels were increased, which is basically just the opposite of what we want to achieve. Then the second generation of testosterone boosters involved supplements aimed at keeping testosterone more active and making it more bioavailable. Approaches included inhibition of aromatase that prevents conversion to estrogen, inhibition of 5 alpha reductase that prevents conversion to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), stimulation of luteinizing hormone that controls testosterone release, and most recently, ways to increase testosterone receptors in skeletal muscle.

Few supplements have a solid base of research to support inhibition of this enzyme. A pilot study showed some promise for saw palmetto and the carotenoid Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis. Tribulus terrestris extract is a common ingredient in many supplements that is purported to naturally increase testosterone by stimulating LH levels. However, up until recently the purity and potency of trib products were problematic as many of these products simply do not contain enough saponins-the active ingredient in trib. There is some evidence that L-carnitine L-tartrate increased androgen receptors in muscle, which translates into more potential binding of testosterone at this target tissue. I have found that one product specifically has real potential in that regard, called AndroCept.

The problem up until recently with almost all testosterone boosters is that they were based on theoretical or in vitro results, not real life trials where a supplement has been clinically shown to raise testosterone levels.

The good news is that the testosterone boosting category has gone from wishful thinking to hardcore real-world and clinical proof. We now have powerful and proven products on the market that can make a real difference for you and anyone wishing to significantly increase their T-levels. Recent science has provided a couple good testosterone products, with varying degrees of effectiveness but one really stands out for having a clinical trial in humans to support its efficacy.

AndroTest is a powerful blend of Tongkat Ali (150 mg) and Tribulus terrestris extract (1500 mg) with unprecedented high levels of saponins (40-48% protodioscin, 80% total), along with other complementary compounds. The product-specific study on this remarkable supplement involved a 4 week randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial in healthy adult men aged 35 to 55 years. These men were healthy and not taking any medication or supplements that would interfere with testosterone levels. They were recruited based on the desire to increase libido and testosterone, but they did not have any clinically defined sexual dysfunction. The purity of AndroTest used in this study was validated by an independent laboratory. Once enrolled, the subjects were randomized to receive either AndroTest or placebo for four weeks with evaluations conducted at baseline, week 2 and week 4. This was a very rigorously controlled study. In fact to control for variations in testosterone levels, the investigators collected 3 blood samples at 30 minute intervals and then averaged them at each time point. All blood was collected at the same time in the morning and after an overnight fast. Statistical tests indicated a clear increase in the AndroTest group compared to placebo for both free testosterone and total testosterone. Changes were seen as early as two weeks!

At the conclusion of the 4-week study, the results rendered by this study were no less than amazing as AndroTest caused very substantial increases in free and total testosterone including increases of up to 218% and 275%, respectively. Even more impressive were some of the individual responses. One subject who had relatively low testosterone levels in the AndroTest group had a more than 3-fold increase in total testosterone and 2-fold increase in free testosterone after 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in SHBG. Blood pressure and detailed blood work indicated no adverse effects associated with supplementation. These numbers, these results, have literally changed the history of this category whereby it is now confirmed that boosting T-levels in a significant way is no longer wishful thinking but instead a cold hard reality, with AndroTest!

Inspired by their great success with this monumental achievement, the product development team at ProSource continued their work in this field in an effort to make AndroTest even more effective. After intensive research, they then developed AndroTest Extreme, which contains another clinically validated testosterone booster, Testofen™ containing a special Fenugreek extract. A recent clinical study investigated the effects of Testofen on free testosterone levels in active men aged 18-35 years with normal health status and with at least 1 month prior experience with resistance training. Sixty subjects were provided an 8-week supply of capsules containing either placebo or premium-grade extracts of Fenugreek (300 mg/day). A comprehensive safety profile was performed and there were no adverse side effects associated with supplementation. After 8 weeks, the Testofen group showed a remarkable 96% increase in free testosterone compared to a 48% increase with placebo. The Testofen group also showed significant improvements in body composition as measured by decreased skinfold thickness and better maintenance of muscle mass compared to placebo. The addition of Testofen to the already clinically validated and super potent AndroTest formula makes AndroTest Extreme a very exciting option for those seeking serious testosterone enhancement.

These study results show without a doubt that AndroTest's remarkable and reliable effectiveness can be counted on to alleviate your concerns. In fact, I can assure you that once you try this proven product, you will feel a noticeable difference. The simple fact is, AndroTest, and its amped up offshoot, AndroTest Extreme deliver the goods better than any other testosterone-boosting supplements out there.