When it comes to testosterone enhancement, the bulk of T supplements are nothing more than over-hyped snake oil. These are often made from ingredients that purportedly boost androgen but have never been subjected to a peer-reviewed study.
While 90% of your testosterone gains will come from natural lifestyle changes (e.g. exercise, getting more sleep), there are a few legitimate products worth giving a shot.
If you’re looking for a testosterone booster, shilajit is one supplement with claims that are backed by legitimate studies (i.e. independent studies not funded by the product maker).
What Is Shilajit?
Shilajit is relatively unknown in modern medicine, though it has been used as a holistic remedy in India and most of central Asia going back thousands of years. So what is it? Is it a herb, a mineral, a plant extract?
It’s none of the above. It’s actually a tar-like substance found in rocks in the high elevation of the Himalaya Mountains.
More importantly, shilajit has been used for eons as a natural remedy for healing a number of ailments. It’s a main staple in Ayurvedic medicine and has been in use way before the onset of the western model of medicine.
The substance is nutrient-dense and is known to contain as many as 85 trace minerals and amino acids. Locals of the Altai and Caucasus Mountains refer to shilajit as “rock sweat” or “blood of the mountain.”
Shilajit and Testosterone Enhancement
Does shilajit increase testosterone?
Among its many benefits, shilajit is also a potent testosterone enhancer and may increase free testosterone by reducing harmful free radicals.
Shilajit is also a rich source of zinc and selenium, both of which are proven T boosters.
In one study, a shilajit supplement was administered to 60 infertile and oligospermic (low sperm count) men for 90 days. Twenty-eight of the subjects who completed the study not only exhibited higher sperm count, but also a 23.5% increase in testosterone serum.
Aside from the beneficial T boost, the raised sperm levels also means:
- Better sex (or masturbation)
- Improved erections
- Improved fertility
- Balanced sex hormones (i.e. testosterone to estrogen ratios)
Shilajit Contains Fulvic Acid
Fulvic acid is produced naturally in all organic matter. It is an element vital for aiding in digestion, nutrient assimilation, and fighting bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. In essence, fulvic acid is a type of probiotic similar to those found in fermented foods like yogurt.
Probiotics are extremely beneficial in keeping cortisol levels at bay. Any health nut is well aware of the damaging effects of too much cortisol. Cortisol is a testosterone killer; as the former increases, expect the latter to take a drastic dip.
In addition, shilajit is also taken as a tonic for fighting stress. Feeling the blues or anxiety is a precursor that sends cortisol production into overdrive. While stressful situations aren’t always avoidable, a remedy like shilajit may help you deal with the situation without letting it steering your emotions in the wrong direction.
Aside from ramping up your man hormone, shilajit may also improve other areas of health. Multiple studies suggest that shilajit may improve overall well-being in the following ways:
In a study published under the January 2014 issue of Cardiovascular Toxicity, shilajit was administered to lab mice.
After one week, the mice were injected with a compound designed to produce injury to their heart. When the organs were examined, they showed no signs of significant damage and were almost just as healthy as a normal heart.
Improved Learning and Memory
Studies have also suggested that shilajit may improve mental alertness, memory retention, and offset the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Shilajit is widely used as a holistic alternative for treating diabetes.
Used as a medicine, it helps carries sugar and glucose to its final destination, thus preventing them from collecting in the bloodstream. It also improves pancreas health and aids in the gland’s ability to secrete insulin.
While it won’t give you instant six-pack abs, shilajit is used to combat obesity by breaking down the body’s fat stores. This also increases testosterone indirectly as weight gain is correlated with low T levels.
Boosts Respiratory Problems
Have allergies or feeling a cold coming? Shilajit also treats chest-related ailments, such as pneumonia, emphysema, chronic cough, and bronchitis.
Okay, so it’s a given by now that shilajit is beneficial in every sense of the word. Before you head to your local GNC to pick up a bottle, though, you need to know a thing or two about shilajit in supplement form.
Never forget that the supplement industry is a multi-million dollar business. Its goal is to sell as much products at the highest prices possible while keeping production costs to a minimum.
As a result, many shilajit supplements may have a very low purity content and be full of filler ingredients containing zero health benefits. Look at the ingredients; the less it has the better. Ideally, nothing other than shilajit should be listed.
Here’s a rule of thumb: never buy shilajit in pill, capsule, or powder form. Only purchase the brands that offer the substance in its natural resin form. This means it should appear in a thick-liquid or sap-like substance.
Though it looks like an ointment, the resin can be consumed by mixing it in with a beverage. Due to its strong and not-so-agreeable taste, it’s recommended that you use juice or milk. A serving size is about the size of a pea. Since it’s really thick, you’ll have to stir for several minutes for it to completely dissolve. Consume immediately.
Give It a Try
Shilajit alone isn’t going to send your androgen levels through the roof. Raising testosterone naturally is a gradual process involving multiple lifestyle changes. Using a product like shilajit is one part of the bigger equation that will bring your T count to the desired levels.
By all means, add it to your supplementation; just don’t expect fountain-of-youth-like effects. Use it in tandem with exercise, dieting, and other modifications for the best results.