Whether you know your way around supplements or just recently started getting the knack of some key terms and ingredients, chances are you’ve heard about testosterone. This much-discussed supplement ingredient plays a significant role in several functions in the male body, from building muscle and libido to losing fat and optimal health.
Unfortunately, as men grow old, testosterone levels take a dive and, thus, affect the functions associated with them. To prevent that and the muscle loss that follows this dive, avid gym-goers resort to testosterone supplements.
However, even if most of them keep track of the best supplements in the industry, it seems that one quite potent testosterone boosting source often flies under their radar. We’re talking about shilajit. Never heard of it? Read on and find out how this underdog can change your muscle building goals for the better.
What is Shilajit?
Even though there is not much research to back up what shilajit actually is, one recent review describes it as a complex mixture of organic substances, usually from decomposing plants, which forms into a nutrient-rich matter.
This pale-brown or blackish-brown substance with the variable consistency also features a tar-like texture and oozes from sedimentary rocks worldwide, especially in the Himalayas. That’s why locals often refer to it as pahar-ki-pasina (sweat of the mountains).
According to one study, shilajit’s main component is the fulvic acid which accounts for roughly 60-80% of the said substance. Fulvic acid is popular not only for its performance boosting properties and antioxidant properties but also of its low molecular weight which means that the human body absorb it fully in a matter of hours.
Even though shilajit’s composition varies widely depending on the region it’s accumulated, other molecules found in it include fatty and amino acids, polyphenols, phenolic lipids, sterols and much more.
Shilajit and Testosterone
Perhaps the most compelling benefit of shilajit is its testosterone boosting potency. Unfortunately, though, only a few scientists attempted to unlock the secrets of this exotic substance over the years. Despite the limited literature, the findings when it comes to testosterone are impressive. Check out other potential testosterone boosters such as Rhodiola Rosea.
The Increase in Spermatogenic Activity
In 2010, 60 infertile men with low sperm count participated in a study during which they were asked to consume processed shilajit capsules twice a day for 90 consecutive days. More than one-third of the participants (in fact, 28 of them) showed a significant increase in the total sperm count as well as its motility.
Along with that, the levels of serum testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which is responsible for testosterone production were increased as well. The results couldn’t lie. Shilajit significantly enhances the production of testosterone in the male body.
Reversing Age-Related Testosterone Decrease
In a more recent study published in 2016, scientists decided to examine the testosterone boosting potential of shilajit even more. So, they evaluated its effect on 75 older healthy volunteers of ages between 45 to 55. The reason for this age-based selection is that men in their 40s and 50s are usually low on testosterone. Rhodiola Rosea was also found to have similar testosterone boosting effects, although there is still not much research on Rhodiola Rosea you may want to give it a read and decide for yourself.
So, the participants were administered with 250mg of the substance daily for 90 consecutive days.The results showed a significant increase in testosterone levels despite the otherwise natural hormone deficiency due to age. The bottom line? Shilajit can boost T levels, no matter the environmental factors.
Other Benefits of Shilajit
Testosterone aside, Ayurvedic physicians describe shilajit as a cure for a variety of diseases. According to this therapeutic approach, Shilajit also serves as a Rasayana (rejuvenator) potent enough to increase longevity.
From preventing Alzheimer’s and serving as a cognitive and memory enhancer to reducing inflammation and helping with high-altitude problems, shilajit can indeed benefit the human body in a variety of ways.
Side Effects of Shilajit
But, much like every supplement out there, shilajit features a few adverse effects when overused. Based on one study, consuming the substance in its raw form is likely to lead to intoxication due to the presence of several toxins such as mycotoxin, heavy metal ions, free radicals and much more.
Lead poisoning is the most common side effect of Ayurvedic medicine products. So, you need to be extra careful when buying shilajit-based products online as one study suggests that some of them may contain high concentrations of harmful substances including lead, mercury, and arsenic.
Shilajit is definitely one of the most under-appreciated testosterone boosters these days. And despite the lack of scientific credits in the research field, the few studies that made the spotlight speak volumes. Shilajit IS indeed a very potent testosterone booster with many side benefits.
The only catch is that you need to pay attention to the lead, mercury and arsenic concentrations in any of the supplements you buy to avoid the risk of poisoning.