Testosterone Boosters: Boron, Diindolylmethane, Vitamin DK
Testosterone Boosters: Part 3
In the first two parts of this series, we looked at the six most popular ingredients found in testosterone boosters: zinc, tongkat ali, fenugreek, tribulus terrestris, magnesium, and ashwagandha extract. Those ingredients proved to be less than effective for most and did not reliably increase testosterone levels. In this article, we’ll look at the next three most popular ingredients in hopes of finding a supplement that increases testosterone.
TL;DR: The conclusion on these three ingredients falls in line with what we’ve previously found; there is very little evidence backing up their claim of increasing testosterone levels for the vast majority of people.
Boron is found in approximately 30% of testosterone boosters. Boron is a trace mineral found in many foods, including prunes, avocados, raisins, and peaches. It has not been classified as an essential nutrient because there is no research on what the body requires it for1.
The research on whether it affects testosterone levels is scant. In two separate studies of male bodybuilders, boron did not affect testosterone levels2,3. In a study of ten 29-50 year old males, boron did result in increased testosterone4.
Verdict on Boron: There’s not much evidence on whether boron affects testosterone. The studies highlighted above were relatively small but cast doubt on boron’s ability to increase levels, especially in young males that workout.
Diindolylmethane is found in a little over 30% of testosterone boosters. Diindolylmethane a substance found in cruciferous vegetables and has the potential to improve cancer treatments5. There is very little research on supplementing this substance. There is one study showing diindolylmethane may inhibit the production of estrogen6. Though the appeal of lowering estrogen levels is probably high among gym-going males, this study was performed on human breast cells. It may not have much relevant application for building muscle. The only study looking at diindolylmethane supplementation deals with metabolism in overweight young men7.
Verdict on Diindolylmethane: There is no information to justify diindolylmethane use to increase testosterone (or any fitness goal).
Vitamin D is also found in about a third of testosterone boosters. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in seafood, mushrooms, dairy, and fortified foods8. There is quite a bit of research on vitamin D’s effects on testosterone. In one review of eight studies, researchers did not find a link between supplementing and increased testosterone9. One study did find a link. Unfortunately, researchers only found the link in individuals with a vitamin D deficiency10. A few other studies did not find a link11,12,13.
Verdict on Vitamin D: The vast majority of evidence does not support using vitamin D to boost testosterone. However, deficient individuals may see some benefits.
The Bottom Line
The conclusion on these three ingredients falls in line with what we’ve previously found; there is very little evidence backing up their claim of increasing testosterone levels for the vast majority of people.
- Office of dietary supplements – boron. (2021, March 29). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Boron-HealthProfessional/
- Ferrando, A. A., & Green, N. R. (1993). The effect of Boron supplementation on lean body Mass, Plasma testosterone levels, and strength in Male Bodybuilders. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 3(2), 140-149. doi:10.1123/ijsn.3.2.140
- Green, N. R., & Ferrando, A. A. (1994). Plasma boron and the effects of Boron supplementation in males. Environmental Health Perspectives, 102, 73. doi:10.2307/3431966
- Naghii, M. R., Mofid, M., Asgari, A. R., Hedayati, M., & Daneshpour, M. (2011). Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on Plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 25(1), 54-58. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2010.10.001
- Elackattu, A. P., Feng, L., & Wang, Z. (2009). A controlled safety study of diindolylmethane in the immature rat model. The Laryngoscope, 119(9), 1803-1808. doi:10.1002/lary.20526
- Licznerska, B. E., Szaefer, H., Murias, M., Bartoszek, A., & Baer-Dubowska, W. (2014). Erratum to: Modulation OF Cyp19 expression by cabbage juices and their Active components: Indole-3-carbinol And 3,3′-diindolylmethene in human Breast epithelial cell lines. European Journal of Nutrition, 53(3), 995-995. doi:10.1007/s00394-014-0663-6
- Bellar, D., Sharp, A., & Judge, L. (2018). Effects of Microencapsulated Diindolylmethane on resting and exercise metabolism in overweight and obese college aged men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(5S), 723. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000538383.93672.5c
- Office of dietary supplements – vitamin d. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- Hosseini Marnani, E., Mollahosseini, M., Gheflati, A., Ghadiri‐Anari, A., & Nadjarzadeh, A. (2019). The effect of vitamin d supplementation on the androgenic profile in men: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of clinical trials. Andrologia, 51(9). doi:10.1111/and.13343
- Jorde, R., Grimnes, G., Hutchinson, M., Kjærgaard, M., Kamycheva, E., & Svartberg, J. (2013). Supplementation with vitamin d does not increase serum testosterone levels in healthy males. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 45(09), 675-681. doi:10.1055/s-0033-1345139
- Lerchbaum, E., Trummer, C., Theiler-Schwetz, V., Kollmann, M., Wölfler, M., Heijboer, A. C., . . . Obermayer-Pietsch, B. (2018). Effects of vitamin d supplementation on androgens in men with low testosterone levels: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 58(8), 3135-3146. doi:10.1007/s00394-018-1858-z
- Saha, S., Goswami, R., Ramakrishnan, L., Vishnubhatla, S., Mahtab, S., Kar, P., . . . Singh, U. (2017). Vitamin d and calcium supplementation, skeletal muscle strength and serum testosterone in young healthy adult males: Randomized control trial. Clinical Endocrinology, 88(2), 217-226. doi:10.1111/cen.13507
- Lerchbaum, E. (3028). Vitamin D and Testosterone in Healthy Men: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 102(11), 4292-4302. doi:10.1210/jc.2017-01428