With so many products purporting to elevate testosterone (we covered many in our review on testosterone boosting supplements), a common refrain from individuals is that these products lack any supporting evidence for their marketing claims. Supplement manufacturers will commonly retort that often evidence of effect can lead to regulation and increased costs making the testing of formulations (as opposed to individual compounds) prohibitive.
As a consequence of this most testosterone boosters have not been tested clinically, only the individual compounds included in the formulas having been researched in most cases. A recent clinical case (1) changes this though.
A 19 year old male which a history of low libido, and what he categorised as fluid retention submitted himself to his GP and said he was taking Driven Sports’ testosterone booster, Activate Xtreme. It is important to note this was the old version of this supplement which has since been reformulated, a point we will touch on later.
The doctors were unaware of this supplement so ran a blood test on the man which showed his testosterone levels were massively elevated as were his levels of luteinizing hormone, the hormone that triggers males to release more testosterone. The doctors tested for the presence of steroids of which there were none, Activate Xtreme being a testosterone booster not a steroid.
The values below show his testosterone levels when taking Activate Xtreme. As we can see testosterone at 41 nmol/L was far above even the highest end of the reference range for normal testosterone levels. If we assume an average testosterone level of around 16.5 nmol/L his testosterone levels would have more than doubled.
After discontinuing the use of the Activate Xtreme his levels dropped back to 16.5nmol/L (the basis of our estimate for the increase above).
On the face of it this shows that the old Activate Xtreme was a notable booster of testosterone but also estradiol which may account for the fact this individual also failed to report the positive effects associated with high testosterone levels. The fatter the individual, the greater the propensity for excess testosterone to convert to estrogen so this case study shows that keeping body fat levels down is a good idea to avoid a potential side effect of elevated estrogen.
This version included the same core ingredient found in the current Activate Xtreme, a compound called Divanil. Divanil can bind to sex hormone binding globule which then allows for free testosterone levels to increase. This formula also included some ingredients no longer included in the current Activate Xtreme which has replaced them with nutrients designed to stop the conversion of testosterone to estrogen such as an extract of brassaiopsis glumerulata, which acts as an aromatase inhibitor, as well as compounds shown to elevate growth hormone.
Real world reports suggested that some users of the old Activate Xtreme experienced symptoms associated with estrogen levels rising such as an initial increase in libido followed by an ensuing drop in libido. Since Activate Xtreme was reformulated to counteract the potential for an estrogenic rise, feedback as well as bloodwork conducted by Driven Sports on this supplement suggests that the product now will elevate testosterone but without the problematic rise in estrogen since the inclusion of an aromatase inhibitor specifically included to drive estrogen down.
Author: Reggie Johal
1. McDonald TJ, Perry MH, Jones AG, Donohoe M, Salzmann MB, O’Connor J – Clinical Chemistry, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK.
© 2012, Reggie Johal. All rights reserved.