A carotenoid found in tomato products, as well as other fruits (pink grapefruit and watermelon) with antioxidant activity. Unlike certain other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene has no pro-vitamin A activity. Epidemiological studies have linked consumption of lycopene-containing foods to a reduced risk of prostate and other cancers, although it’s difficult to say whether the benefits are solely due to lycopene, or a combination of nutrients, at this point in time.
Lycopene is often included in supplements, but typically in doses less than what can be obtained from readily available foods. A typical supplement, for example, contains 10 – 25 mg – an amount that can easily be obtained by drinking a glass of tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail (22 – 23 mg per 8 oz. serving).
Humulus lupus (Hops)
A climbing perennial vine, the flowers of which are used as a flavoring agent in beer. Hops contains a range of flavonoids, including 8-prenylnaringenin – a potent phytoestrogen. Hops also exhibits chemopreventive activity, as an inhibitor of CYP1A1 – a liver (Phase I) enzyme that activates chemical carcinogens. Hops extract – in combination with valerian – has been studied as a sleep aid. Compounds isolated from hops also possess cytotoxic, anti-aromatase and antioxidant activities in-vitro, although in-vivo research remains to be done.
A combination of vitamin B6, zinc monomethionine aspartate and magnesium aspartate marketed as a testosterone booster. ZMA initially took the bodybuilding world by storm on the strength of a study showing increased testosterone and IGF-1 levels in collegiate football players. Less impressive results were obtained from a subsequent study, however. The current consensus is that supplemental ZMA (or similar combinations of the relevant nutrients) may be useful for boosting testosterone only in people who are deficient in zinc and/or magnesium.
See the ZMA review for more information.
An essential mineral for human nutrition. Zinc is an important component of many enzymes and proteins and has important antioxidant, immune and anti-inflammatory activities. Zinc also plays a role in normal reproductive and sexual functions for both men and women. It’s well known that marginal zinc deficiency can impair testosterone production in men.
See the Zinc review for more information; also the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center.
Also known as “Malabar Spinach”—a tropical vine eaten as a vegetable in Asia and Africa. A handful of cell-culture and rat experiments (performed by the same research group in Cameroon) demonstrated that Basellla extracts could increase testosterone production, but there is zero data in humans; nor any info on what constitutes an effective dose.
Androsterone (ADT) is a testosterone metabolite that is secreted in sweat and excreted in urine. It’s a reputed pheromone and weak androgen. 1-Androsterone has a double bond at C-1, and is alleged to be a prohormone for 1-testosterone, a potent anabolic steroid and Schedule III controlled substance. Unlike the now-banned prohormones, however, more than one enzymatic step is required to convert 1-androsterone to the target hormone.