Core Nutritionals Core Alpha Review

Core Alpha is a test-booster made by Core Nutritionals, a brand that we have come to expect transparency and effective from…

Core Nutritionals Core Alpha

Core Alpha Ingredients

Core Alpha contains several ingredients that can help maintain consistently healthy Testosterone levels…


N-methyl-D-Aspartic Acid (NMDA) is the end-product of supplemental D-Aspartic Acid (DAA), so it is generally alleged to be much more potent on a gram for gram basis. Core Nutritionals claims NMDA is approximately 100 times more potent than standard DAA, meaning only 30mg are needed to achieve the same effects as 3000mg of DAA (the standard supplemental dose). Unfortunately, at this time no studies have been conducted comparing these two compounds directly, so the notion that NMDA is 100 times more potent than DAA is a bit of an inference. That being said, NMDA should just carry out the same effects as a higher dose of DAA.

Out of the three human studies done specifically to test the effect of D-Aspartic Acid on Testosterone, two have shown a significant increase in Testosterone levels and one has failed to do so.

A 2012 study from “Advances in Sexual Medicine”, the subjects of which were infertile men (initially low Testosterone) found that 2.66g of D-Aspartic Acid was able to significantly increase Testosterone levels when measured after 90 days of supplementation. These results were in-line with those of an earlier (2009) study in which D-Aspartic Acid supplementation raised Testosterone by 42% after 12 days in healthy men (initially normal Testosterone).

However, a 2013 study published in “Nutrition Research” found that athletes who supplemented with D-Aspartic Acid for 28 days showed no difference in testosterone levels.

The researchers in the failed study noted abnormally high levels of D-aspartate oxidase, the enzyme which degrades D-Aspartic Acid, indicating that prolonged supplementation in individuals with healthy Testosterone levels may cause “negative feedback” which reduces the effects.

Due to a lack of research, it is currently unknown whether NMDA triggers the same sort of negative feedback that DAA does.


3-desoxy, 7-keto-DHEA is a metabolite of the more well-known 7-Keto DHEA which appears to possess some distinct anti-aromatase properties.

A 1994 study from the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry” found that 3-desoxy, 7-keto-DHEA acted as a potent aromatase inhibitor in vitro. Although this particular metabolite has not been tested in humans for the purpose of aromatase inhibition, the potency noted in the in vitro study indicates that oral consumption may be effective. Core Alpha contains 75mg 3-desoxy, 7-Keto DHEA per serving, although it


Brassaiopsis glomerulata is a South Asian tree which, despite having anti-estrogenic implications, remains very under-researched. A 2009 study from “Phytochemistry Letters” found that certain compounds found in Brassaiopsis glomerulata showed aromatase inhibiting properties, in vitro. Since then, no studies have been conducted to further investigate these findings. Core Alpha contains 200mg of Brassaiopsis glomerulata leaf extract, though given that no human studies have ever been conducted, it’s difficult to interpret the efficacy of the dose.


Coleus Forskohlii is generally standardized for the active component, Forskolin (sometimes spelled Forskohlin), which has implications for both weight-loss and increasing Testosterone. Forskohlin works by increasing Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP), a signaling molecule which, when elevated, can induce a wide variety of physiological changes including increased Tesetosterone, increased lean body mass, and decreased fat mass.

A 2005 study, published in “Obesity Research”, found that Forskohlin (25mg/day for 12 weeks) increased Testosterone (total test increased 16%, free test increased 3.4%) and favorably influenced body composition in obese men. Though the effects of Forskohlin on Testosterone levels in humans have not been studied extensively, Forskohlin is quite reliable at increasing cAMP, and cAMP is quite reliable at increasing Testosterone. So ultimately, Forskohlin possesses a sound mechanism by which it can positively influence Testosterone levels in humans.

Core Alpha contains a clinically validated 50mg dose of Forskolin per serving, meaning just one serving a day would be needed to increase Testosterone.


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. Core Alpha does contain a significant 500mg dose of Mucuna Pruriens, yielding 250mg of L-Dopa per serving.


Studies investigating the relationship of Vitamin D to Testosterone have found a strong correlation between adequate levels of Vitamin D and normal Testosterone levels, indicating that Vitamin D plays a role in normalizing Testosterone. However, when looking at the research as a whole, nowhere is there an indication that excess Vitamin D supplementation may result in above normal Testosterone levels. Individuals who receive the proper amount of Vitamin D, either from direct sunlight or through supplementation, will not experience increases in Testosterone as a result of excess Vitamin D consumption.

Core Alpha contains a whopping 3000IU of Vitamin D, or roughly 750% of the Recommend Daily Intake (RDI).


Zinc is required for the conversion of cholesterol (and other lipids) into sex hormones, as well as the existence of androgen receptors, as evidenced in a 1996 study, in which rats fed a zinc deficient diet experienced a decrease in androgen receptor sites and an increase in estrogen receptor sites. So while Zinc deficiency can certainly result in low testosterone, there is no evidence indicating that supplemental Zinc can increase Testosterone above normal. In fact, there is ample evidence to the contrary.

A 2009 study, published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, concluded that zinc (ZMA) supplementation had no influence on serum testosterone levels in non-zinc deficient men. A similar failure to influence testosterone via zinc supplementation was seen in a 2011 study, the subjects of which were trained cyclists who consumed sufficient dietary zinc.

However, a 2005 study, the subjects of which were wrestlers, demonstrated that zinc supplementation was able to attenuate exercise-induced declines in testosterone levels. So, while Zinc supplementation won’t boost Testosterone above normal, it can be effective for maintaining optimal levels. Core Alpha contains 30mg, about 200% of the Recommend Daily Intake (RDI) for men.


Core Alpha contains some lesser-known, but potentially potent, Test-boosting/Estrogen-blocking ingredients. Although some of these ingredients are currently under-researched and therefore speculative, Core Alpha may very well increase Testosterone and reduce conversion into Estrogen to some degree. At just under $2 per serving, Core Alpha may be considered somewhat expensive compared to similar products.

Supplement Facts

  1. Topo, Enza, et al. “The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats.” Reprod Biol Endocrinol 7.120 (2009): 6.
  2. D’Aniello, Autimo, Anna Di Cosmo, Carlo Di Cristo, Lucio Annunziato, Leonard Petrucelli, and George Fisher. “Involvement of D-Aspartic Acid in the Synthesis of Testosterone in Rat Testes.” Life Sciences 59.2 (1996): 97-104.
  3. D’Aniello, Gemma, et al. “d-Aspartate, a key element for the improvement of sperm quality.” Advances in Sexual Medicine 2 (2012): 45.
  4. Willoughby, Darryn S., and Brian Leutholtz. “d-Aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men.” Nutrition Research 33.10 (2013): 803-810.
  5. Kaiman, Douglas S., et al. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone in healthy overweight adults.”Current therapeutic research 61.7 (2000): 435-442.
  6. Mo, Qianxing, Shi-fang Lu, and Neal G. Simon. “Dehydroepiandrosterone and its metabolites: differential effects on androgen receptor trafficking and transcriptional activity.” The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 99.1 (2006): 50-58.
  7. Balunas, Marcy J., et al. “Isolation and characterization of aromatase inhibitors from< i> Brassaiopsis glomerulata(Araliaceae).” Phytochemistry letters 2.1 (2009): 29-33.
  8. Godard, Michael P., Brad A. Johnson, and Scott R. Richmond. “Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men.” Obesity Research 13.8 (2005): 1335-1343.
  9. Shukla, Kamla Kant, et al. “< i> Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis.” Fertility and sterility92.6 (2009): 1934-1940.
  10. 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 (2009): 65-70.
  11. Neek, Leila Shafiei, Abas Ali Gaeini, and Siroos Choobineh. “Effect of zinc and selenium supplementation on serum testosterone and plasma lactate in cyclist after an exhaustive exercise bout.” Biological trace element research 144.1-3 (2011): 454-462.
  12. Kilic, Mehmet, et al. “The effect of exhaustion exercise on thyroid hormones and testosterone levels of elite athletes receiving oral zinc.” Neuro endocrinology letters 27.1-2 (2005): 247-252.
  13. Om AS, Chung KW. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. J Nutr. (1996)
  14. Sharma Haberny, Kathleen A., et al. “Ontogeny of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor system and susceptibility to neurotoxicity.” Toxicological Sciences68.1 (2002): 9-17.
  15. Numazawa, Mitsuteru, et al. “Synthesis of androst-5-en-7-ones and androsta-3, 5-dien-7-ones and their related 7-deoxy analogs as conformational and catalytic probes for the active site of aromatase.” Journal of medicinal chemistry 37.14 (1994): 2198-2205. exists to educate the supplement community and seperate the science from the hype.

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