The commercials insult my intelligence. They show men on a golf course commiserating with each other about how their performance had gone downhill since the good old days of their youthful manhood, and some telling others how Nugenix Total T had restored them. It’s all suggestion and innuendo (“your wife will like it too”), with no specific testable claims and no science.

The claims

This product is a so-called “testosterone booster,” one of many on the market. Most of them claim to boost T or free T, build body lean mass or muscle mass, or increase sex drive or libido. Some products make many other claims such as better sleep, improved erections, increased energy, better mood, decreased cortisol, promotes healthy aging, and much more. Many of these are subjective and typical of placebo responses.

The data

A study published in 2020 identified 50 “testosterone booster” products containing a total of 109 ingredients, with a median of 8.3 ingredients per product. They found that only 24.8% of these products had any data to support their claims, and for some of those the data were conflicting. 10.1% had data showing a decrease in T, and 18.3% had data showing no change in T. No data were found on 61.5% of supplements on their effect on T. Several ingredients were present in higher than recommended doses, (a median of 1,291% of the RDA for vitamin B12, and 13 products contained doses of zinc, magnesium, or vitamin B3 that exceeded the FDA’s upper limit).

A free offer

They offer a free sample so you can try it risk-free. But there’s a catch, actually two catches. The free sample is only enough for two weeks, while they say it may take 30 days to see results. And you will be automatically signed up for regular shipments. Customers have reported great difficulty trying to cancel those subscriptions.

Conclusion: Insufficient evidence

Some men need testosterone replacement, but “Low-T” is a controversial fad diagnosis.
Some symptom lists virtually guarantee that any middle-aged man will self-diagnose low T. If a patient really needs testosterone, he should take testosterone itself, not products that are claimed (without evidence) to boost testosterone.

Author

  • Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

Posted by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.