Pure testosterone is available via multiple delivery methods under close medical supervision, while herbal variants populate the shelves of local health shops.
Testosterone exists within male and female reproductive organs. Referred to as an androgen hormone, testosterone determines the gender of a fetus during its developmental stages. Boys receive a massive release of testosterone in-utero, while girls receive trace amounts.
Individuals with healthy testosterone levels display:
Solid bone density levels that help in avoiding osteoporosis.
Even fat distribution gives people a fit appearance.
Muscle size and strength start to increase with regular physical activity.
An adequate red-blood cell count carries oxygen through the body and fights off anemia.
Active libidos and maximum potency facilitate an active sex life.
Generous sperm production in males encourages sexual activity and increases the potential for procreation.
Peak production levels occur during puberty and start to decline after age 30 in males, while females continue producing trace amounts until they enter menopause. A condition known as hypogonadism describes males who are incapable of natural testosterone production.
Older males with reduced testosterone levels and individuals suffering from hypogonadism experience a variety of health problems. Sexual dysfunction is a common complaint, along with sleep difficulties and emotional issues. Decreased testosterone in post-menopausal females typically results in a decreased libido. Supplemental testosterone improves the quality of life for many enduring the frustration of this hormonal imbalance.
Due to its natural abilities as a strength enhancer, testosterone supplements became popular among athletes and health enthusiasts. Abuse creates a myriad of problems, including acne, jaundice and deformed genitalia. The Mayo Clinic also found that overuse caused a thickening of the blood and increased the potential for cardiovascular problems. According to Men’s Health Magazine, traditional steroid supplements were no longer available to the public after 2005, but a number of natural alternatives immediately hit the consumer market.
Natural Testosterone Alternatives
Tribulus Terrestris, DHEA, Creatine, HMB and L-Arginine are the most popular forms of testosterone alternatives. Each focuses on a particular task handled by the hormone. Consumers need to consider the risks involved with each substance before making a decision.
Tribulus Terrestris is a European plant that currently populates the sunny California landscape. Processed into liquid form, stores market the solution as a testosterone booster. Unfortunately, scientists at the University of Michigan discovered that male users were more likely to experience a reduction in good cholesterol levels and breast development.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) pills are a veteran product on the testosterone-building market. A synthetic version of another naturally produced hormone, the material increases testosterone AND estrogen levels. Created to slow the dreaded signs of aging, good cholesterol suffers and male users are at a high risk for breast development.
Creatine builds endurance and expedites the post-workout recovery process. Available as a powder, users blend the substance into a drinkable shake. Users report minimal side effects, but cramping and stress injuries do occur.
Betahydroxybetamethylbutyrate (HMB) pills hold a unique distinction. Research in The Journal of Applied Physiology indicates the amino acid facilitates lean muscle development. Early studies show the product is equally effective as creatine but there is not enough data as of June 2013 in regards to potential side effects.
L-Arginine pills increase blood flow to muscle tissues for improved performance. This amino acid derivative caused heart attacks during a study detailed for the Journal of the American Medical Association. Medical experts strongly recommend that the public stay away from this widely available supplement.
Bodybuilding forums indicate that manufacturers designed most natural supplements solely for male users. A number of females states they experience minimal effects with weaker products, acne being a common nuisance. Females of childbearing age should be extremely cautious when using any form of testosterone, considering the hormone causes massive birth defects. Studies are minimal on the effects of previously listed products in female users.
Testosterone health supplements offer a less invasive means of augmenting basic human functions. All products are variants on chemicals already found within the body, but too much of a good thing can have major consequences. Considering the serious risks associated with these items, consumers should keep their doctors informed during their use.