Halotropin is Pro Supps’ test-booster and consists of just about every alleged test-boosting ingredient under the sun, some of which may be more effective than others…FIND IT HERE
Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic herb with a relatively wide variety of health implications ranging from cognitive support to anti-cancer effects. However, in the context of Halotropin, Pro Supps is most likely concerned with preliminary evidence suggesting Ashwagandha can influence Testosterone levels in humans.
A 2010 study, published in Fertility and Sterility”, found that Ashwagandha (5g basic root powder) was able to restore Testosterone levels in infertile men, though subjects did not experience spikes beyond the normal range. These findings were replicated in a 2011 study in which it was also noted that the effects were more apparent in stressed men (Ashwagandha is a known adaptogen).
Unfortunately, while the above mentioned studies certainly indicate that Ashwagandha is effective for restoring Testosterone those who are deficient in the first place, there is no evidence to suggest it can boost Testosterone in non-deficient men.
Trigonella Foenum Greacum (also known as Fenugreek) has become extremely popular in test-boosting/libido enhancing supplements. Unfortunately, given the current body of research, Fenugreek is highly unreliable when it comes to increasing Testosterone.
A 2009 study, published in the “International Journal of Exercise Science”, found that Fenugreek supplementation had no influence on Testosterone (or any other hormone). A similar failure was noted in a 2011 double-blind, placebo controlled study in which 6 weeks of supplementation with a Fenugreek derived extract (Testofen) led to scoring 25% higher on a libido test (sexual arousal and orgasm in particular) than the placebo group, but with no increase in Testosterone levels, meaning that the mechanism of action was not an increase in Testosterone.
While two studies have failed to show any Testosterone-boosting effect of Fenugreek supplementation, one 2010 study, published in “The International Journal of Sports Nutrition”, found that supplementation with 500 mg of Fenugreek extract (Testofen again) resulted in a significant increase in free-Testosterone levels.
Unfortunately in supplement industry, positive studies tend to cloud out negative studies, even when there more of them. When looking at the research as a whole, Fenugreek does not reliably increase Testosterone, though it may certainly enhance libido, mimicking some of the effects of increased Testosterone.
WHITE BUTTON MUSHROOM
Agaricus bisporus, more commonly known as White Button Mushroom, has been demonstrated to suppress Aromatase, the enyme which converts excess Testosterone to Estrogen, both in vitro and in vivo (mice).
A 2006 study, published in “Cancer Research”, found that extracts from Agaricus bisporus were effective Aromatase Inhibitors in both cells and living mice. These results were roughly in-line with those of an earlier (2001) study in which White Button Mushroom extract inhibited Aromatase activity and cancer cell proliferation in women with breast cancer. However, no human studies have yet been conducted to determine whether White Button Mushroom extract will reduce Estrogen in healthy individuals.
Avena Sativa, also known as the common oat, is claimed by supplement companies to boost free testosterone levels via blocking the action of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG, as the name implies, is a protein which binds to the circulating sex hormones in the blood, preventing them from entering into cells and carrying out their functions. It is generally believed that about 98% of our sex hormones are bound by SHBG, leaving about 2% to carry out their functions. This explains why supplement companies are so intent on finding a miracle SHBG blocker that could “free up” all that extra testosterone! SHBG in humans have been shown to be positively correlated with estradiol (estrogen) and negatively correlated with testosterone and insulin.
While SHBG technically binds both testosterone and estrogen, it appears to have a much stronger affinity for Testosterone than Estrogen (about 3 times greater), meaning lowering SHBG would raise Testosterone relative to Estrogen. Unfortunately, while claims by supplements companies that Avena Sativa effectively blocks SHBG levels are pervasive, the research is completely non-existent. Ultimately, it is doubtful that Avena sativa contributes significantly to the Halotropin formula in any way.
Eluthero is an adaptogenic herb which has been used, both in traditional medicine and the supplement industry, to reduce stress and improve exercise performance. There is very little research regarding its effects on hormone status in humans, but preliminary evidence suggests it may influence the overall hormonal environment. A 2001 study from “Life Sciences” found that an extract (equivalent to 4g Eleuthero Root) increased the Testosterone to Cortisol ratio and that this increase was the result of a non-significant (31%) increase in Cortisol. This researchers concluded that this elevation of the stress response was the result of Eleuthero being a regulator, rather than a reduction agent. In other words, in the presence of extreme stress, Eleuthero may lower Cortisol, and in the absence of stress, it may raise Cortisol.
Unfortunately, in the context of Halotropin, the effects of Eleuthero would be negligible because the dose present in the formula is not anywhere near would has been shown to influence the hormonal environment one way or another.
Eurycoma Longifolia, also known as Tongkat Ali has been shown, in various studies, to increase Testosterone in male rats, but the only human studies that exist have tested the effects of Tongkat Ali in infertile men, not healthy men.
A 2010 study published in the “Asian Journal of Andrology” found that supplementation with 200mg of an extract of Eurycoma Longifolia significantly improved various indications of male fertility (in humans), though the mechanism of action was unknown. A 2012 study published in “Andrologia: Volume 44” (the same researchers from the above mentioned human study) found that men suffering from Hypogonadism (diminishing functionality of the gonads) who were treated with a 200 mg daily dose of Eurycoma longifolia extract reached normal Testosterone levels after a 30 day period. To be fair, at the start of the study about 35% of the men were showing normal Testosterone levels, and at the end about 90% showed normal levels. Still, 35% to 90% is clearly statistically significant. Unfortunately, Halotropin likely contains far less than the 200mg dose demonstrated to recover Testosterone levels. Furthermore, it’s unclear whether there is any benefit for healthy individuals with normal Testosterone levels.
Currently, Urtica dioica is used to treat inflammation resulting in joint and muscle pain, as well as to treat urinary symptoms of prostate enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). It is claimed (mostly by supplement companies) that Stinging Nettle may indirectly boost testosterone by lowering sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG is a protein that binds to the sex hormones (androgen/estrogen), thus rendering them biologically inactive. The term “free testosterone” refers to testosterone that is not bound to SHBG, and is therefore free to enter cells.
A 2012 study, published in “Andrologia”, found that Nettle Extract increased serum Testosterone in rats via 5-alpha-reductase inhibition. However, one human study which sought to determine if Nettle was an effective treatment for BPH also measured testosterone levels and found no such increase. While the mechanism of action exists by which Stinging Nettle could theoretically increase Testosterone, human studies are lacking and the only one we have to go by produced no such results.
Rhodiola Rosea has a long history of use as an adaptogen, meaning it can decrease the body’s sensitivity to stressful situations, physical or mental. Preliminary studies in animals have shown that Rhodiola Rosea produces anabolic effects similar to low dose testosterone treatment. One human trial, to determine a possible role in erectile dysfunction, found that subjects who consumed 150-200mg Rhodiola Rosea daily for three months experienced heightened sexual function. Whether this was a direct result of increased testosterone is unknown, but given the preliminary support from the animal studies, it is certainly a possibility. Unfortunately, Halotropin contains much less than 150-200mg of Halotropin per serving.
Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a relative of Broccoli, indigenous to Peru, which has historically been used as an aphrodisiac. While frequently included in products aimed at increasing Testosterone, research has confirmed that the aphrodisiac effects of Maca are not caused by an elevation in Testosterone, nor does it have any significant impact on any hormones.
A 2002 study, published in “Andrologia”, found that Maca supplementation increased sexual desires, but that this effect was independent of Testosterone, which stayed the same. These findings were replicated in a 2003 study, published in the “Journal of Endrocrinology”, in which supplementation with 1.5 and 3 grams of Maca extract for 12 weeks had no influence on Testosterone levels in healthy men.
In several human studies, Maca has demonstrated a clear aphrodisiac effect when at least 1.5 grams is consumed. A 2009 study using 2400mg of Maca showed “a small but significant effect of Maca supplementation on subjective perception of general and sexual well-being in adult patients with mild ED.” A separate 2009 pilot study, this time investigating a potential effect on physical performance, found that Maca supplementation effectively improved physical performance (cycling) in trained male cyclists, while simultaneously increasing sexual desires. Overall, it appears Maca supplementation with at least 1.5 grams may increase sexual well-being and possibly improve certain aspects of physical performance, but will not increase Testosterone.
Tribulus is probably the most popular alleged herbal Test-booster currently available. However, while Tribulus is effective for enhancing libido and sexual wellbeing, it has literally never been shown to increase Testosterone in humans. In fact, it has outright failed to do so in at least three separate studies using a variety of doses.
A 2005 study, published in the “Journal of Ethnopharamcology” found that 200mg daily (60% saponin content) had no effect on Testosterone in healthy men. These results were replicated in a 2007 study in which 450mg of Tribulus extract daily failed to influence testosterone levels in male athletes. Even a 2012 study, this time testing the effects of 6g of Tribulus extract on infertile men, found a less than significant trend towards increased Testosterone.
The popularity of Tribulus is completely unwarranted given that it has failed to increase Testosterone every time it has been studied for this purpose. Because it enhances libido, it may provide the illusion of increased Testosterone, but since Test levels are not actually increased, supplementation will not result in gains in muscle mass. By including Tribulus in the Halotropin formula, Pro Supps appears to be taking a “follow the crowd” approach, but it certainly doesn’t help the efficacy of Halotropin in any meaningful way.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a byproduct created during the digestion of Indole-3-Carbinol. DIM has been shown to inhibit Estrogen in women with breast cancer, but it is tricky when it comes to its effects on estrogen. In low doses, DIM has been shown to act as an Aromatase Inhibitor (anti-estrogen). Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. By blocking the action of this enzyme, less testosterone is converted into estrogen, and the result is increased levels of testosterone relative to estrogen. A 2011 study found that, when given to subjects at a dose of 300mg daily for 14 days, DIM produced anti-estrogenic effects. Under different circumstances however, DIM has shown the opposite, meaning it actually has the capacity to increase Estrogen. So, rather than labeling DIM as pro-estrogen or anti-estrogen, it should be considered an estrogen modulator (meaning it has the ability to alter levels of estrogen one way or another). DIM appears to increase the level of 2-hydroxyestrogens (“good Estrogen”), relative to the other types, 16a-hydroxyestrogens and 4-hydroxyestrogens (“bad Estrogens”), the result of which is less of an “estrogen-like” effect, even though total Estrogen (good and bad) is being increased.
Mucuna Pruriens contains a compound called L-Dopa which primarily acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter, Dopamine. A 2008 study found that “Treatment with Mucuna Pruriens regulates steroidogenesis and improves semen quality in infertile men.” In addition to increased levels of Dopamine, Adrenaline, and Noradrenaline, the subjects who recieved Mucuna Pruriens also experienced elevated Testosterone levels. Unfortuantely, there is no evidence to suggest that Mucuna Pruriens can increase Testosterone in healthy individuals with normal Testosterone levels, but the research thus far indicates it may be useful for maintaining optimized Testosterone levels.
Bulbine Natalensis is an African plant which has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and Test-booster, and preliminary research indicates it can in fact influence Testosterone levels, perhaps quite significantly.
A 2010 study, published in “Pharmaceutical Biology”, found that Bulbine Natalensis (25,50,100mg/kg) increased Testosterone in mice quite significantly, with 50mg being the most effective dose. These findings were in-line with those of an earlier (2009) study in which 50mg/kg of Bulbine Natalensis extract increased Testosterone levels in mice by around 350%. While these Testosterone boosting effects are actually quite potent (compared to other alleged test-boosters), there was also organ damage comparable to what can occur during certain oral steroid cycles, so keeping the dose low is likely the best way to go. No human studies have been conducted to directly test the effects of Bubline Natelensis on human Testosterone levels, so the dose present in the Halotropin formula would be hard to interpret (even if it was known).
Polygonum Cuspidatum, also known as Japanese Knotweed, contains Resveratrol and the extract used in Halotropin is standardized to 50%. A 2005 in vitro study, comparing 32 traditional Chinese medicinal plants found that Japanese Knotweed exhibited the strongest affinity for Estrogen receptors. The researchers in this study concluded that Japense Knotweed is capable of regulating Estrogen (i.e. increasing it when its low and decreasing it when its high). This theory was further corroborated by a 2006 in vitro study in which Resveratrol effectively reduced the conversion of Testosterone to Estrogen in breast cancer cells (where Estrogen is high). However, no human studies have been conducted to replicate these findings so at this time there is simply not enough to evidence to conclude Resveratrol is an effective aromatase inhibitor. Furthermore, Japanese Knotweed belongs to a class of plants which have particularly poor bioavailability in oral form, so it is not likely that it is highly effective in the context of the Halotropin formula.
Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) is generally included in supplements for its adaptogenic properties and potential to enhance performance measures. A 2004 study demonstrated Schizandra to be slightly estrogenic while having no effect on Androgen receptors. Based on this research, it’s unclear how exactly Schizandra fits into the Halotropin formula.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Halotropin contains just about every alleged test-boosting ingredient under the sun. While some of these ingredients have demonstrated some efficacy with regards to increasing Testosterone (usually in mice), the 367 proprietary blend leaves little room for effective doses. Pro Supps seems to have taken the “throw it all in and hope it works” approach with Halotropin and, while the formula could potentially increase Testosterone, it is near impossible to determine which ingredients would be primarily responsible. As a libido enhancer, Halotropin may be quite effective but we feel there are better, more concrete options for Testosterone-boosters.
Still not sure which Testosterone Booster is right for you? Check out our Best Testosterone Boosters List!
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