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There are lots of men wondering whether they should try over-the-counter (non-prescription) testosterone supplements and many already taking them not knowing that it may be taking a toll on their health. In today’s market, advertisements for testosterone supplements are all over the internet and late-night TV.  Often times, they depict older men lifting weights, playing vigorous sports, drinking cocktails with beautiful women, acting “young” again, or of younger men with the intention of building muscle mass.

Are Over-the-Counter Supplements the Answer?
Over-the-counter testosterone supplements are widely advertised, but there are a lot of unknowns that can pose a detriment to a man’s health.

  • Controlled substance- Testosterone is a controlled substance in the United States.  This means it can only be obtained by prescription.  It’s illegal for over-the-counter supplements to contain testosterone.
  • Other unknown ingredients- It’s not always clear what supplements are made of.  Male enhancement products, although they may claim to be ‘all natural’ or ‘herbal’ still include prescription drugs or similar substances which aren’t specified on the label.  Drugs and herbs can interact with medications a man is already taking, sometimes with dangerous consequences.

Additionally, because many supplements have not been widely studied in clinical trials, it’s unclear how effective they are or what side effects they may have. Marketers often advertise that the supplements ‘boost testosterone,’ but these claims are not always proven to be true.

For men who are diagnosed with low testosterone, a condition called hypogonadism, testosterone replacement therapy is often a great option.  This may occur if the testes cannot produce the necessary amounts of testosterone or a problem in the brain may interfere with testosterone production.  Before starting therapy, an evaluation with a physician to rule out any underlying medical conditions is important.  In other words, testosterone replacement may be the answer, but it’s recommended to avoid over-the-counter supplements.

For an appointment or consultation with Dr. Gary Bellman, please contact the office or call 818-912-1899