‘Does Nugenix Work?’ A look at the ingredients
Those asking the “does Nugenix work” question should first know what’s in the product and whether any of those individual ingredients have been show.to boost testosterone. The so-called main ingredient in Nugenix is listed as ‘Testofen, a proprietary extract from the Fenugreek plant . Along with this is the plant extract , an ingredient that’s long been hyped as a T-booster. The other ingredients listed are citrulline malate (an amino acid) along with 50 mg. of zinc and vitamins B6 and B12.
Obviously, the citrulline, zinc, and B-vitamin ingredients were merely included as support additives. They can be acquired in adequate amounts from either a well-balanced diet or a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. Therefore, the claim of Nugenix being capable of raising natural testosterone is primarily based on the alleged power of ‘Testofen and ‘Tribulus’ to spur more testosterone production.
I’ve already written my opinion of Tribulus right here, if you care to read it. If not, you can go with this summarization: both the objective and anecdotal evidence for that herb being effective at boosting testosterone in humans are not good.
This should raise good questions in the mind of any thinking person: If Testofen™ raises testosterone, why would Tribulus Terrestris need to be combined with it? Conversely, if Tribulus Terrestris ever had been effective, why would marketers need to jump on a newer claim of the same effects being derivable from the Fenugreek in Testofen™? This second question should be especially salient given that Tribulus Terrestris has been around as a supplement for a long time.
I often wonder stuff like that. The assumption we’re obviously supposed to buy into is that both these extracts have always done what’s claimed about them and that combining them makes them… well, reeeeally effective.
‘Does Nugenix Work’… and if so, how would it “work?”
If a product can naturally stimulate more testosterone production, there are a couple of ways by which it could work. That’s because male testosterone production happens through a loop feedback axis. When the hypothalamus in the brain detects blood testosterone levels as being too low, it sends a signal to the testes via lutienizing hormone (LH). It conversely reduces its output of LH when it gets readings that T-levels are adequate. If a substance could stimulate LH output, it could result in more testosterone. If a substance acts similarly to LH itself, thus directly stimulating the leydig cells in the testes, it could result in higher T-levels as well.
There’s an additional, indirect way that a substance could naturally raise testosterone levels. This would be by suppressing the antagonists of testosterone. There are two major ones to be aware of: estrogen and SHGB (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin).
Estrogen is created in the male body (in a form called ‘estradiol’) by way of an enzyme called aromatase. The aromatase converts some of the testosterone molecules into estradiol molecules. This is natural and normal as we guys designed to have some estrogen. When too much conversion takes place, however, estrogen can get too high and begin to fill the cell receptor sites where testosterone would otherwise reside. This can adversely affect testosterone levels because the estrogen filling these receptor sites often sends a ‘false signal’ to the hypothalamus – effectively convincing it that the sites possess testosterone and that T-levels are, therefore, adequate.
Bottom line: high estrogen equals lower testosterone. Thus, if a product can reduce estrogen directly, or it reduces aromatase, it could raise testosterone.
Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG), on the other hand, is what directly controls how much ‘free testosterone’ is available. It is a glycoprotein that’s produced primarily in the liver and has 98% of ‘total testosterone’ “bound up” at any given time. Therefore, ‘free testosterone’ – which is the biologically active form that affects muscle, libido, body composition, energy levels, etc. – can be increased either directly or indirectly: It can be directly increased by reducing the amount of SHBG or it can be indirectly increased by raising the production of ‘total testosterone.’
By the way higher estrogen levels have been shown to increase SHBG levels – another means by which excessive estrogen can lower testosterone.
Given those explanations, there are only a few ways in which Nugenix could work if the “does Nugenix work” question could be answered in the positive:
- Directly stimulating the leydig cells to produce more testosterone
- Stimulating more LH release which, in turn,stimulates the leydig cells
- Reducing levels of estradiol in the body
- Reducing SHBG levels in the body
Any one of these routes could lead to higher ‘free testosterone.’ If researchers had discovered their proprietary product could effectively double this small percentage of the hormone, you’d think they’d explain the means by which it occurred.