Surge is Neon Sport’s testosterone booster which features a variety of familiar ingredients (Fenugreek, Tribulus, etc.)…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
Zinc Monomethionine is created by binding zinc to the amino acid methionine. Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is required for a wide range of bodily functions, the most well-documented of which is its role in immune function. Several studies have demonstrated the ability of zinc to shorten cold symptoms.
Zinc has also been studied for its possible role in testosterone production. A 2005 study noted that men with fertility issues stemming from low testosterone also had low plasma zinc levels, indicating a possible correlation.
Further research has indicated that low testosterone can be caused by zinc deficiency, but there is no evidence suggesting that zinc increases testosterone in individuals with healthy testosterone levels.
People who eat a diet with plenty of meats and seafood (especially shellfish) receive enough dietary zinc to fulfill all physiological needs, including testosterone production, so if you consume these types of foods and still have low testosterone, it has nothing to do with zinc intake. The only individuals who would likely experience increase testosterone levels from supplementing with zinc are those with low testosterone caused solely by low zinc intake.
Trigonella Foenum Greacum (also known as Fenugreek) is an herbal extract that has gained traction in the supplement industry as a libido enhancer. However, a 2009 study, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, found that males who supplemented with Fenugreek extract showed no increase in anabolic hormones (i.e. testosterone). A 2011 double-blind, placebo controlled study found that 6 weeks of supplementation with a Fenugreek derived supplement (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.
So if these studies have concluded that Fenugreek does not increase testosterone, then how has this supplement gained traction? Well, 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. Ultimately, the results are mixed, with two studies indicating no increase in Testosterone and one indicating increased Testosterone. More research is needed to clear up this discrepancy, but for now it appears Fenugreek is only reliable as a libido enhancer, not a Testosterone booster.
Neon Sport does not disclose the precise dose of Fenugreek in the Surge formula but, given a 1417mg proprietary blend, 500mg is certainly a possibility.
STINGING NETTLE ROOT EXTRACT:
Stinging Nettle, like most herbal compounds that find their way into supplements, has a long history of use, dating back many centuries. Currently, stinging nettle 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 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 the cells. No studies have actually confirmed increased testosterone levels as a result of supplementation with SN. Furthermore, SHBG binds both testosterone (androgen) AND estradiol (estrogen). Therefore, lowering SHBG should theoretically increase levels of both free testosterone and free estradiol.
ROSEMARY LEAF EXTRACT:
The active compound pertaining to testosterone levels in Rosemary Leaf Extract is Ursolic Acid. Ursolic Acid has shown some promise as an aromatase inhibitor in animal studies. For those not familiar with the subject matter, aromatase is an enzyme that is directly responsible for the conversion of hormones (namely testosterone) into estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors stop this conversion from occurring and therefore lower levels of estrogen in the body. While most research regarding AIs is aimed at treating/preventing certain types of cancer, bodybuilders looking to boost testosterone may also use aromatase inhibitors in order to increase the ratio of free testosterone to estrogen. While earlier studies on Ursolic Acid found possible AI properties, a recent 2012 study using rats found different. The study sought to determine if Ursolic Acid could be used as a treatment for testosterone induced Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The results showed that Ursolic Acid lowered both prostate and serum levels of testosterone. While these results need to be recreating using humans, this more recent study certainly muddies up the playing field for supplement companies touting Ursolic Acid as an indirect testosterone booster.
Milk Thistle has become quite popular in the bodybuilding community as a liver protectant. Indeed, Milk Thistles active ingredient, Silymarin, has been shown to protect liver cells from oxidative damage. For this reason, it is recommended as a liver support supplement for those taking pro-hormones (which tend to damage the liver). We have a feeling Neon Sport (Cellucor) included Milk Thistle in the Intercept formula to subtly imply that Intercept is as potent as certain pro-hormones. However, this is NOT the case. Of course, the addition of Milk Thistle isn’t a bad thing, just unnecessary.
Saw Palmetto is a widely used supplement for treating BPH (discussed above) as well as overall prostate health. One cause of BPH is thought to be excess dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a byproduct of testosterone itself. Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone by the enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase. Several studies have demonstrated the ability of Saw Palmetto Extract to inhibit this enzyme, thus blocking the conversion of Testosterone to DHT. The theory here (it is only a theory), is that by stopping the conversion, more testosterone remains in the body but currently this is only a theory.
HORNY GOAT WEED:
Studies to determine whether Horny Goat Weed increases testosterone are riddled with inconsistencies. Some studies have come to the conclusion that the supplement raises testosterone levels, while some have found no such evidence. HGW has been used for hundreds of years in ancient Chinese medicine as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and to increase libido. However, there just is not enough clear evidence to suggest that the end result is due to increased tesosterone. It is certainly possible that Neon Sport includes Horny Goat Weed in the blend in the hopes that it will give the illusion of a T-boost due to the enhanced libido that normally accompanies increased testosterone levels in men.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, is certainly not a testosterone boosting ingredient. No studies have confirmed any sort increase (or decrease for that matter) in testosterone levels in vitro OR in vivo. A 2011 study noted that “testosterone, when combined with curcumin, may have suppressive effects on the progression of prostate cancer.” Overall, our feeling is that this a useless ingredient with regards to increasing testosterone.
Rhodiola Rosea has a long history of use as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a plant (or extract) that decreases the body’s sensitivity to stress. The herb has been shown to increase endurance and thus exercise performance. 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.
Tribulus is generally used because of it’s aphrodisiac properties, which were originally thought to be the result of increased testosterone. However, several studies have tested this theory and all have come up short. Tribulus does NOT raise testosterone levels. It may, however, increase libido, creating the illusion of increased testosterone levels. We feel that Neon included Tribulus in order to create this illusion, and perhaps because Tribulus is a somewhat well-known test booster (despite not actually boosting testosterone).
THE BOTTOM LINE:
There are several ingyredients in the Surge formula with some preliminary support for increasing Testosterone. However, many of these ingredients have not been evaluated in humans. For that reason, we cannot say with any certainty that Surge will result in a noticeable increase in Testosterone. As with most test-boosters, those individuals with low Testosterone will likely derive the most benefit.
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