Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.
Andro400 claims to “boost your testosterone the safe and natural way”.
Lots of men want to do this, especially as they get older.
The supplement has also been reported to improve sexual function, reduce belly fat, fight fatigue and lower stress.
But does science support these claims? Let’s take a look at the evidence behind Andro400.
What is Andro400?
Andro400 is a dietary supplement that claims to naturally boost testosterone levels.
It contains one active ingredient: eurycoma longifolia. This shrub plant is native to Southeast Asia and also goes by many other names, including:
- Tongkat Baginda
- Tongkat Ali
- Ali’s Umbrella (or Ali’s Walking Stick)
- Malaysian Ginseng
- Natural Viagra
- Tung Saw
Eurycoma longifolia has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to promote reproductive health and treat infections and parasites.
Most medicinal preparations use the plant root, which requires that the plants be dug from the ground. It’s become so common that the plant is considered a “protected” species in certain countries.
Despite this, eurycoma longifolia has become a popular over-the-counter supplement. This is due, in part, to claims that it boosts energy, improves sex drive and burns belly fat.
Andro400 is marketed as a sports energy supplement for men and women, and especially anyone with low testosterone.
Each gelatin capsule contains 150 mg of eurycoma longifolia root extract at a concentration of 100:1, as well as rice flour. The suggested dose is 2 capsules per day, though the manufacturers claim that higher doses are safe.
Andro400 Max is even more potent, containing 250 mg of eurycoma longifolia per capsule at a concentration of 100:1, plus 250 mg each of the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline.
Arginine is used in the formation of nitric oxide, a compound that’s reported to increase blood flow.
It’s also used to make creatine, an amino acid that’s been shown to increase muscle size and improve stamina.
One of citrulline’s greatest benefits is its ability to be converted into arginine by the kidneys.
Small studies have found that citrulline may improve blood flow in middle-aged men with arterial stiffness, and it improves erectile hardness in men with minor erectile dysfunction.
However, the men in these studies took citrulline at much higher doses than the 500 mg per day provided by two Andro400 Max capsules. Much larger human studies are needed to confirm citrulline’s effectiveness and in what doses (5, 6).
In short, there’s no strong evidence that the amino acids in Andro400 Max boost blood flow through the arteries, as its sellers claim. There’s also not enough evidence to say if it might improve erectile hardness in those with erectile dysfunction.
Despite this, Andro400 Max is marketed toward men with fatigue, stress, chronic pain, low libido and excess belly fat.
Summary: Both Andro400 and Andro400 Max contain an Asian plant called eurycoma longifolia. The manufacturers claim that it naturally boosts testosterone levels, improves sexual function, burns belly fat, increases energy and lowers stress and chronic pain. Compared to Andro400, Andro400 Max contains a higher dose of eurycoma longifolia plus the amino acids citrulline and arginine.
What is Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone (“low T”) becomes increasingly more common with age.
In one long-term study, 20% of men in their 60s, 30% of men in their 70s, and 50% of men over 80 had low serum testosterone. The prevalence ranged from 6-12% among men ages 30-70 in two other large studies (7).
Experts haven’t always agreed on the level at which testosterone would be considered low. Recent studies suggest a normal range of about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) to 1000 ng/dl.
Hypogonadism (another word for low testosterone) is typically diagnosed only after two blood tests confirm low testosterone ( 8).
Men with low testosterone experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Muscle loss
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
Notably, many of these symptoms can also be caused by other problems, like stress or a poor diet.
Men with low serum testosterone may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). However, TRT may cause undesirable side effects, like increased heart disease risk, breast tissue growth, shrinkage of the testicles, acne and low sperm count. It may also not be safe long-term.
Moreover, many men receiving TRT may not even need it. Recently, the FDA has warned several drug manufacturers about aggressive marketing tactics for TRT drugs.
One study found that up to 26% of men receiving TRT hadn’t had their testosterone levels tested in the previous year (9).
To be clear, Andro400 isn’t the same as TRT. However, ad campaigns for testosterone may mislead men with normal testosterone levels to seek out unnecessary alternative therapies.
Indeed, Andro400 manufacturers claim it “ activates your body to produce more of its own natural testosterone and also increases your body’s ‘free’ testosterone – which is testosterone that is bio-available for your body’s use . ”
But is this even possible? Let’s take a look at how testosterone works in men.
How Testosterone Works in Men
When testosterone levels are low, the hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
This causes the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which trigger testosterone production in the testes.
These three hormones—GnRH, FSH and LH—are secreted in smaller amounts as testosterone levels rise. This helps keep testosterone levels in balance.
For this reason, testosterone treatment may not yield much benefit in men with already normal testosterone levels.
Many conditions can disrupt this system and cause low testosterone. These include metabolic and hormonal conditions, medications, chronic illness and injury to the testicles.
Can Women Have Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is not the most dominant sex hormone in women, but it’s still important for reproductive health, body composition and red blood cell production.
Diagnostic standards for low testosterone aren’t as clear for women as they are in men.
In one study of women of reproductive age, the mean serum testosterone level was 14.1 ng/dl among those with no menstrual dysfunction. Levels were higher among women with menstrual dysfunction or symptoms of hormone imbalance, such as excessive body hair (10).
Testosterone levels tend to fall with age, and especially after menopause. Certain conditions that affect ovarian or adrenal gland function may also result in testosterone deficiencies earlier in life.
Symptoms that have been reported include (11):
By and large, though, studies have failed to link testosterone with specific symptoms in women. The same experts note that there’s no treatment specifically designed to treat low T in women in many countries, including the United States (12, 13).
Given the lack of information about low testosterone in women, this article will address Andro400 use in men.
Summary: Most common in older men, low testosterone may cause sexual dysfunction, muscle loss, increase body fat and low mood and energy, among other symptoms. Aggressive marketing has led many men to seek treatment for low testosterone when they don’t actually need it. Treatments that claim to boost testosterone, including natural therapies, may not have many benefits in men with normal testosterone levels.
Does Andro400 Work?
The Andro400 website promises that the supplement will reduce belly fat, boost energy and increase sex drive.
It’s difficult to know for sure if this is the case. Not a single study has been conducted on Andro400 or Andro400 Max, specifically, though quite a few have looked at eurycoma longifolia.
However, it’s sometimes difficult to compare these studies due to differences in product concentration and quality. Furthermore, most studies on the plant have only tested its effectiveness on animals.
For now, we’ll take a look at the research to see if there may be any truth to Andro400’s claims.
Does Andro400 Boost Testosterone?
Most of the health claims on the Andro400 website are based on the premise that the supplement can increase testosterone.
The site lists a number of references, many of which focus on the benefits of testosterone therapy rather than eurycoma longifolia. This is a problem, because there’s no strong evidence that eurycoma longifolia boosts testosterone.
Few studies have even looked at the relationship between eurycoma longifolia and testosterone levels.
In one study of healthy rats, testosterone levels remained fairly stable after six weeks of treatment with eurycoma longifolia. The dose in this study would equal 100 mg per day in humans (14).
That said, eurycoma longifolia supplements have shown to boost testosterone levels in humans and rodents with low testosterone. The dose in the human study was 200 mg of a water-soluble extract, with an average serum testosterone increase of 46% noted after one month of treatment (15, 16).
Here’s where it gets tricky, though. Much of the testosterone in the body is bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Testosterone that’s attached to SHBG is fairly useless.
This means, a man may have enough testosterone in the blood, but a lot of it is inactive. In theory, it’s possible to have low T symptoms even when your total testosterone is normal (17).
Andro400 claims to liberate testosterone from SHBG, increasing the amount of usable testosterone in the body.
The only recent study on eurycoma longifolia and SHBG saw slightly lower levels of SHBG in those taking the supplement compared to placebo. However, the study should be interpreted with caution because it was funded by the supplement manufacturer (18).
Overall, there’s not enough evidence to back up the suggestion that eurycoma longifolia can directly or indirectly boost testosterone.
Can Andro400 Improve Mood?
Low testosterone has been known to cause chronic low mood, which can negatively impact quality of life.
Low mood can also lead to symptoms commonly attributed to low testosterone, like fatigue and erectile dysfunction.
The Andro400 website claims that daily use can lower stress and improve mood. In one small human study, volunteers given water extract of eurycoma longifolia for four weeks saw significant improvements in salivary cortisol levels and in mood (17).
While promising, this study doesn’t provide enough data to conclude that eurycoma longifolia improves mood.
It’s also worth noting that this study was funded by a company that produces eurycoma longifolia extract, and that all four authors were employed by companies with financial interest in eurycoma longifolia supplements.
Can Andro400 Help with Erectile Dysfunction and Libido?
Erectile dysfunction refers to an ongoing inability to achieve or sustain an erection.
It’s sometimes caused by low testosterone, but many other health conditions can also cause erectile dysfunction, including:
The makers of Andro400 say it can “relieve many of the mental and physical causes of ED,” but there’s not enough data to back up this claim.
In one small clinical trial, healthy adult men taking 300 mg of a water-extract of eurycoma longifolia per day reported significant improvements in erectile function compared to men taking a placebo.
In the same study, men taking eurycoma longifolia reported increased libido between weeks 6 and 12. But that was after their sex drive declined during the first six weeks of the study.
However, once again, the study was funded by the supplement manufacturer, which also employed two of the authors (18).
At this time, no high-quality human studies have looked at the relationship between eurycoma longifolia and erectile function. Therefore, we can’t say for sure if it’s a safe or effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Can Andro400 Fight Belly Fat?
Low testosterone is one cause of abdominal obesity.
The Andro400 website claims that, by boosting testosterone, the supplement “ attacks fats cells causing them to gradually melt away and disappear.” Again, the science is underwhelming.
In one of the same studies mentioned above, overweight men saw slight improvements in abdominal fat after taking a water extract of eurycoma longifolia for 12 weeks. Again, this study was funded by the manufacturers of the supplement used in the trial (18).
Much stronger evidence suggests that weight loss can boost testosterone. It’s sometimes even recommended as a treatment for low testosterone in men with obesity.
Can Andro400 Help with Sports Performance?
Some people seek out Andro400 in hopes that it will improve athletic performance.
Only small studies have looked at the links between eurycoma longifolia and athleticism.
One study saw no improvements in exercise endurance among 12 recreational endurance athletes taking 300 mg of eurycoma longifolia per day for one week (21).
In another small study, endurance cyclists taking a sports drink with eurycoma longifolia performed only slightly better than a placebo group (22).
Overall, there’s no strong evidence that taking Andro400 will boost sports performance.
Summary: Most of the reported benefits of Andro400 are based on the idea that the supplement boosts testosterone. However, there’s no strong evidence that eurycoma longifolia boosts testosterone, improves erectile dysfunction, increases sex drive, improves mood, enhances athletic performance or burns belly fat. Some of the studies that have found eurycoma longifolia to be beneficial were funded by supplement manufacturers, so they should be interpreted with caution.
Andro400 Safety and Side Effects
The Andro400 website claims that the supplement has no side effects, “ because the ingredients are 100% natural.”
Another part of the website says: “You can continue to take Andro400 / Andro400MAX safely for as long as you want the benefits of increasing your testosterone levels. You can take it just as you can take any natural supplement (such as a multi-vitamin or fish oil) for your entire life since Andro400 is not a drug but a completely natural substance with many health and anti-aging benefits.”
These quotes are major red flags. It’s misleading to suggest that a product would be free from side effects simply because it’s 100% natural. Consider caffeine—a natural substance that causes jitteriness and may be dangerous for people with heart rhythm disorders.
Claims like these also raise questions about credibility. It would be irresponsible for a doctor, dietitian or pharmacist to recommend even fish oil or multivitamins across the board, without any consideration for a patient’s medical history and product quality.
It’s also not clear from the Andro400 website whether a qualified medical professional is on staff.
But what about eurycoma longifolia specifically? One rodent study linked high-dose supplements with increased risk for liver toxicity over time. The human equivalent dose was estimated at 1,200 mg per day (23).
Another animal study found no harmful effects and suggested an acceptable daily intake of up to 1,200 mg per day for human adults. Of note, that study was funded by a company that makes powdered food and health products (24).
In short, we really don’t know enough to say if Andro400 is safe at the suggested dose of two capsules per day. As is the case with other supplements, the FDA doesn’t regulate Andro400 with the same standards as it regulates food.
However, rodent studies suggest that the product may not be “safe and non-toxic for men and women of all ages, even at higher dosages,” as the website claims.
Certain people need to be especially cautious when taking it. The Andro400 website advises potential buyers to consult their doctor if they’re taking hormone replacement therapy, anabolic steroids or prescription medications. This is because eurycoma longifolia has been shown to interact with at least one medication.
In one small study, eurycoma longifolia significantly decreased absorption of propranolol, a medication used to treat high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, tremors and other conditions. This could cause the medication to become less effective and lead to high blood pressure (25).
The website also advises people with hormone responsive diseases (EX), breast cancer, prostate cancer, benign prostate hypertrophy and thyroid disease to talk to their doctor before taking Andro400.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are also cautioned not to take Andro400 or Andro400 Max.
Summary: The Andro400 website argues that the supplement is safe and free from side effects because it’s a natural product. This is misleading and may not even be true. Rodent studies raise concerns about liver damage at high doses of eurycoma longifolia, and the plant may decrease absorption of a popular blood pressure medication. We can’t say for sure if it’s safe at the suggested dosage.
Steps to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone—No Pills Needed!
It’s best to visit your doctor if you think you may have low testosterone.
However, a few simple lifestyle changes may help boost your levels and relieve your symptoms. Here are a few you can start today.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Small studies suggest that testosterone production increases during sleep.
Conversely, inadequate sleep may lower testosterone levels. In one small study of healthy young men, daytime testosterone levels decreased by up to 15% when volunteers slept less than 5 hours per night (26).
Adequate sleep is important for many major bodily functions, even if it doesn’t improve testosterone levels. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
2. Manage Your Stress
Chronic stress has been linked with increases in a hormone called cortisol (27).
A small body of research suggests that cortisol and testosterone might have an inverse relationship. This means, high testosterone levels may lower cortisol levels, and vice versa. More research is needed to better understand this relationship (28).
Chronic stress can also cause symptoms similar to those of low testosterone. These symptoms include erectile dysfunction, excessive body fat and fatigue.
3. Exercise Regularly
You may see great body composition changes simply by increasing exercise frequency or intensity.
Resistance training appears to be especially helpful. In one study, serum testosterone levels were higher in both men and women after six and eights weeks of a resistance training program that included heavy squats, knee extensions and leg presses (34).
A few sessions with a personal trainer may be helpful if you’re new to strength training.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
Low testosterone aside, fatigue and belly fat is often caused by a poor diet.
Excessive calorie intake is the biggest contributor to obesity, which has been linked to low testosterone.
In one study of adolescent males, those with obesity had testosterone levels that were 40-50% lower than those with normal body weight (35).
Other studies have found that testosterone levels decrease as body mass index (BMI) increases. In fact, some experts recommend weight loss as a first line of treatment for men with obesity and low testosterone (36, 37).
It’s best to achieve a healthy body weight for your testosterone levels and overall health. You can calculate your calorie needs for weight gain, loss and maintenance here.
A good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat is important as well. Consider meeting with a registered dietitian if you need help planning a healthy diet.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol use has been linked with many health problems.
Small studies suggest that it may also lower testosterone levels, at least in men. It can also increase belly fat and depression—both symptoms of low testosterone (40).
Even if cutting back on drinking doesn’t affect your levels, it makes sense for your overall health. It’s best to drink no more than two alcoholic drinks per day if you’re a man, and one if you’re a woman.
Summary: It may be possible to improve testosterone levels with simple lifestyle changes, including weight loss, adequate sleep, exercise, stress reduction and low alcohol intake.
Is Andro400 a Scam?
The Andro400 website makes some pretty bold claims, many based on the suggestion that eurycoma longifolia—the active ingredient in Andro400—can increase testosterone.
However, there’s not enough human evidence to say if the herb boosts testosterone concentration or activity.
On top of that, much of the research on the subject involves studies that have been funded by a manufacturer of eurycoma longifolia supplements.
In some cases, these studies have been conducted by employees of the same manufacturer. On top of that, their results are fairly underwhelming.
There’s also not enough evidence to show that it’s safe. Rodent studies have linked high doses of eurycoma longifolia with increased risk for liver toxicity. However, human data are lacking.
In other words, save your money!
If you suspect you might have low testosterone levels, it’s best to first consult your doctor.
You may also be able to boost testosterone from simply following a healthy diet, exercising, reducing stress and getting an adequate amount of sleep—no pricey pills necessary.
Previously published on dietvsdisease.org
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