Androbolix 300 is a test-booster made by BioRhythm which contains, as its feature ingredient, Tribulus. Unfortunately, as you’ll soon read, Tribulus is not all it is often cracked up to be…[Skip to the Bottom Line]
In several studies, Tribulus has demonstrated aphrodisiac properties that were originally thought to be the result of increased testosterone. This is mainly due to Tribulus being shown to increase levels of testosterone in animal studies. However, several studies have failed to replicate these effects in humans. So, not only is there no evidence to suggest that Tribulus does not raise testosterone levels in humans, but there is actually plenty of evidence to the contrary. It may, however, increase libido, creating the illusion of increased testosterone levels. BioRhythm claims 300mg of Protodioscin in Androbolix 300 (that is where the 300 comes from). Protodioscin is the active compound in Tribulus that resulted in elevated testosterone levels in the animal studies. However, as stated above, human studies have failed to yield similar results, and our official stance on Tribulus is that it is NOT effective for elevating testosterone levels.
Eurycoma Longifolia, also known as Tongkat Ali has been shown, in various studies, to increase testosterone in male rats, but there are currently not many human studies. 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.
Until just recently though, no study had been done with humans to test the effects this extract has specifically on testosterone. Rat studies would have been all we had to go on, and as we have mentioned in countless analyses, just because it works in rats doesn’t mean it works in humans. However, 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. That being said, there is just one more thing to take into account: the subjects in the study had abnormally low testosterone and were able to return to normal after supplementation.
The present study does not show that males with normal testosterone can achieve abnormally high levels of testosterone via supplementation with Eurycoma longifolia. While a further study will be needed to confirm this effect, the facts certainly point to Eurycoma Longifolia as a possibly herbal testosterone booster. BioRhythm claims a 20:1 ratio for the extract, but unfortunately we don’t know the strength of the extract used in the study so we cannot compare the two, which leaves us unable to interpret this claim.
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. Indeed, 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 scientific evidence is entirely non-existent. It would appear that this is one ingredient that is completely based on hype, and while the concept is enticing, we cannot accept this ingredient as a valid addition to the formula.
Cimicifuga Racemosa has been marketed as a pro-estrogenic supplement (not towards bodybuilders/athletes), but in fact recent studies have revealed that the opposite may be true. A 2002 in vitro study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology” found that CR extract possessed anti-estrogen properties. Furthermore, a 2002 study showed that CR extract further enhanced the anti-estrogenic effects of tamoxifen (Nolvadex) of women with breast cancer. However, the current evidence for CR as an estrogen blocker is solely based on an in vitro study and just one human study that tested it affect when combined with a prescription estrogen blocker. No studies have been done on male humans to test the effect of CR extract (alone) on estrogen so we cannot say for sure if it has this effect or not.
34-divanillyltetrahydrofuran is the “active ingredient” in Stinging Nettle extract, which you may have come across in several other supplements aimed at boosting testosterone levels. The story with Stinging Nettle, and therefore 34-divanillyltetrahydrofuran is essentially the same as Avena Sativa. It is claimed (by supplement companies) that 34-divanillyltetrahydrofuran binds to SHBG, preventing SHBG from binding to the sex hormones. The effect would be increased free testosterone (emphasis on “would be”). As of now, there are only in vitro studies to suggest this effect, and while these studies have shown promise, we simply cannot accept an in vitro study as fact and must view them as a basis for further in vivo studies.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a byproduct created during the digestion of Indole-3-Carbinol (found in vegetables such as Broccoli). Similarly to Cimicifuga Racemosa, Diindolylmethane (DIM) has been shown to inhibit estrogen in women with breast cancer, but DIM 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).
In order to understand how this actually works, we need to back up and clear a few things up. First, the term “estrogen” is actually an umbrella term for a family of compounds. The members of this family are all different, and therefore have different functions and effects in the body. The types bodybuilders and cancer patients alike hate, reffered to as “bad estrogens”, are 16a-hydroxyestrogens and 4-hydroxyestrogens. When we use the term “good estrogen” we are referring to 2-hydroxyestrogens. DIM appears to increase the level of 2-hydroxyestrogens, relative to the other types which results in less of an “estrogen-like” effect, while still technically increasing overall estrogen.
BioPerine is a trademarked name for black pepper extract. In several studies, black pepper extract, when combined with other supplements, has increased the absorption of those supplements (as measured by plasma levels). The active ingredient responsible for this increased bioavailability is known as Peperine. While we can’t say with any certainty that Peperine enhances the bioavailability of ALL other compounds, it does have a well-established track record when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (including BCAAs).
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. While these findings certainly cannot be considered conclusive in any way, they do suggest that zinc is linked to testosterone in some way. However, the overall consensus among medical professionals seems to be that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that zinc can increase testosterone in people with healthy testosterone levels, and just because a correlation exists, does not mean that more zinc equals more testosterone. People who eat a diet with plenty of meats and seafood (especially shellfish) receive enough dietary zinc to fulfill all physiological needs. Androbolix 300 contains 1.8mg of zinc which is 12% of the RDA for zinc. While there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this amount of zinc will have any effect on testosterone levels, it is not enough to cause any harm either.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Unfortunately, most of the ingredients in Androbolix 300 are, based on all available scientific evidence, ineffective for elevating testosterone levels. Tribulus, which is clearly the main attraction in the Androbolix 300 formula, has failed to live up to the hype that the supplement industry has created for it. However, Androbolix does contain three compounds (DIM, Cimicifuga Racemosa, and Eurycoma longifolia) that may actually affect testosterone/estrogen. At a price of $100/bottle, some may find Androbolix 300 very pricey (considering the lack of scientific validation) and further studies must be conducted and published before we can determine the true efficacy of this product.
[expand title=”REFERENCES” tag=”h5″]
- Tambi, M. I. B. M., M. K. Imran, and R. R. Henkel. “Standardised water‐soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late‐onset hypogonadism?.” Andrologia 44.s1 (2012): 226-230.
- Bhat, Rajeev, and A. A. Karim. “Tongkat Ali (< i> Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance.”Fitoterapia 81.7 (2010): 669-679.
- Zanoli, P., et al. “Influence of< i> Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 126.2 (2009): 308-313.
- Ang, H. H., S. Ikeda, and E. K. Gan. “Evaluation of the potency activity of aphrodisiac in Eurycoma longifolia Jack.” Phytotherapy Research 15.5 (2001): 435-436.
- Tambi, Mohd Ismail Bin Mohd, and M. Kamarul Imran. “Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility.” Asian journal of andrology 12.3 (2010): 376-380.
- Zierau, Oliver, et al. “Antiestrogenic activities of< i> Cimicifuga racemosa extracts.” The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 80.1 (2002): 125-130.
- Bodinet, Cornelia, and Johannes Freudenstein. “Influence of Cimicifuga racemosa on the proliferation of estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells.” Breast cancer research and treatment 76.1 (2002): 1-10.
- Shanbhag, V. P., and R. Södergård. “The temperature dependence of the binding of 5α-dihydrotestosterone, testosterone and estradiol to the sex hormone globulin (SHBG) of human plasma.” Journal of steroid biochemistry24.2 (1986): 549-555.
- Schöttner, Matthias, Dietmar Ganßer, and Gerhard Spiteller. “Lignans from the roots of Urtica dioica and their metabolites bind to human sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).” Planta medica 63.06 (1997): 529-532.
- Hong, Chibo, Gary L. Firestone, and Leonard F. Bjeldanes. “Bcl-2 family-mediated apoptotic effects of 3, 3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) in human breast cancer cells.” Biochemical pharmacology 63.6 (2002): 1085-1097.
- Rajoria, Shilpi, et al. “3, 3′-Diindolylmethane Modulates Estrogen Metabolism in Patients with Thyroid Proliferative Disease: A Pilot Study.” Thyroid 21.3 (2011): 299-304.
- Sanderson, J. Thomas, et al. “2, 3, 7, 8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and diindolylmethanes differentially induce cytochrome P450 1A1, 1B1, and 19 in H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells.” Toxicological sciences 61.1 (2001): 40-48.
- Bradlow, H. L., et al. “2-hydroxyestrone: the’good’estrogen.” Journal of Endocrinology 150.3 Suppl (1996): S259-S265.
- Gauthaman, Kalamegam, and Adaikan P. Ganesan. “The hormonal effects of< i> Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction–an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat.” Phytomedicine 15.1 (2008): 44-54.
- Gauthaman, K., P. G. Adaikan, and R. N. V. Prasad. “Aphrodisiac properties of< i> Tribulus Terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats.” Life Sciences 71.12 (2002): 1385-1396.
- Martino-Andrade, Anderson J., et al. “Effects of< i> Tribulus terrestris on endocrine sensitive organs in male and female Wistar rats.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 127.1 (2010): 165-170.
- Neychev, Vladimir Kostadinov, and Vanyo Ivano Mitev. “The aphrodisiac herb< i> Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 101.1 (2005): 319-323.
- Brown, G. A., et al. “Effects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young men.”International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 10.3 (2000): 340-359.
- Netter, A., K. Nahoul, and R. Hartoma. “Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count.” Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine 7.1 (1981): 69-73.
- Ali, Hasan, et al. “Relationship of serum and seminal plasma zinc levels and serum testosterone in oligospermic and azoospermic infertile men.” Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons–Pakistan: JCPSP 15.11 (2005): 671-673.
- “Zinc.” — Health Professional Fact Sheet. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2013. .
- Koehler, K., et al. “Serum testosterone and urinary excretion of steroid hormone metabolites after administration of a high-dose zinc supplement.”European journal of clinical nutrition 63.1 (2007): 65-70.
- Prasad, Ananda S., et al. “Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.” Nutrition 12.5 (1996): 344-