Is there any value at all from taking The whole Herb caps from GNC to boost testosterone levels? There are different websites saying YES and..........no. The truth I think lies somewhere in between.A supplement researcher by the name of Richard Kreider PhD of Texas A&M University did a study involving a "purported aromatase and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, "which turns out to have been fenugreek".
For 8 weeks, 30 YOUNG Male subjects received either a capsule containing 500 mg of fenugreek or a placebo while following a supervised resistance exercise routine. The fenugreek extract was standardized for "grecunin" and supplied by the Indus Biotech of India. I am NO SURE of exactly what grecunin actually is, so can't comment on it.
In any event over the course of the study, total and bioavailable (free) testosterone increased 6.57% and 12.26% respectively, in the subjects taking fenugreek. Estradiol and DHT levels also increased 25.5% and 6.10% respectively. Though not significantly, NO changes in hormone levels were found in the placebo group.
As explained in my recent post about boron, the enzyme aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol, whereas 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) converts testosterone into DHT. Thus, you might think that because estradiol and DHT increased in this study, albeit not significantly, the fenugreek supplement didn’t work. The authors seemed to come to a different conclusion, stating, “estradiol decreased 9.64% from Week 0 to Week 4 before rising above baseline values by the conclusion of the 8-week study. Because of a significant increase in total and bioavailable testosterone without a corresponding [significant] increase in estradiol and DHT, we conclude that the [fenugreek extract] successfully, but incompletely, inhibited aromatase and 5-α reductase activity.”
The researchers also measured changes in body composition. While the fenugreek extract did not change fat-free mass, subjects receiving it did experience a reduction in fat mass of 1.77% vs. 0.55% in the placebo group. Granted, such changes may not be all that significant to you in the real world, but they were statistically significant here in the laboratory. The fenugreek supplement was found to have no significant effects on strength.
The authors drew an important conclusion, one worth keeping in mind when you walk through your local sports supplement store in search of a “testosterone booster”:
“AIs [aromatase inhibitors] marketed by nutritional supplement companies claim that these products increase androgen levels similarly to anabolic steroids while simultaneously suppressing estrogen levels. The current data, along with those from our previous work (Willoughby et al., 2007), support this notion to some extent, because we saw increases in total and bioavailable testosterone accompanied with minimal change in DHT and estradiol. Conversely, as our data suggest, an increase in endogenous testosterone levels does not always translate to an increase in muscle hypertrophy and strength. It is likely that the increase in endogenous testosterone levels from the experimental supplement did not affect androgen-receptor expression or the interaction between testosterone and an androgen receptor, which provides a possible explanation of why fat-free mass and strength did not increase more than in the PL group in our investigation. Thus, these data support the notion that elevated levels of testosterone within physiological levels have no influence on muscle strength in strength-trained young men.”
Most people taking a supplement like the one studied here will do so in the hope that it will provide not merely a change in testosterone, but also some downstream benefit: a change in body weight, body fat, muscle size, strength, libido, energy, mood, etc. What this study suggests is that supplementation with this particular fenugreek extract may allow young, healthy resistance-exercising males to lose slightly more body fat than would be the case if they took a placebo.
My (OWN Limited research) has shown me that TESTOFEN is the better product for boosting testosterone levels with few if any side effect compared to the various gels such as Androgel 1.62 etc. The Ageless male is a better product than the Fenugreek whole herb caps as it contains other ingredients. here is a LABEL from Ageless male:
In regards to Ageless male, I already get more than adequate levels of B6, magnesium and Zinc and can buy a TESTOFEN extract product from Swanson Vitamins for around $15 a month as opposed to $35 for Ageless male from GNC.
TESTOFEN unlike other fenugreek prodcuts available today, contains HIGH concentrations of a specific group of saponin glycosides isilated and characterized exclusively by Gencor scientists. These compunds called fenusides, are the subject of ongong research which Gencor believes will continue to support fenugreek's testosterone promoting benefits.
Here is a link to Swanson's TESTOFEN product which i feel is a GREAT value in the marketplace right now for those like myself who will NOT go back on any other gels and creams etc because of the side effects.
Testofen Fenugreek Extract
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SWANSON$14.99Item:SWU461Availability:In StockCaps Size:O, Pill Size GuideSize:300 mg 60 Caps
Testofen--a unique, standardized Fenugreek extract
Features testosterone-supporting fenusides
Studied for its effects on libido in men & women
Fenugreek is nothing new. But Testofen isn't your average Fenugreek. It's the result of diligent scientific research performed by Gencor Pacific, a global nutraceutical leader deeply rooted in the traditions of Ayurvedic medicine. Testofen has high concentrations of a specific group of saponin glycosides isolated and characterized exclusively by Gencor scientists. These compounds, called fenusides, are the subject of ongoing research, which Gencor believes will continue to support Fenugreek's testosterone -promoting benefits. In Ayurveda, Fenugreek is valued mostly for its effects on blood sugar and GI health. But many practitioners also recognize its benefits for hormonal support, especially its effects on testosterone, which appeared to enhance libido in both men and women.