Summary: Ginseng can be effective in increase testosterone levels, used alongside other supplements. It’s not one of my ‘must have’ ingredients and is not particualry strong but is definitely useful.
To find out which supplements I currently recommend to boost testosterone levels then go here.
Full Analysis: Siberian Ginseng Testosterone
Siberian Ginseng (botanical name: Eleutherococcus senticosus) also known as eleuthero is a small shrubby plant with medicinal properties and has been used since ages in traditional Chinese medicine. The tap root of the plant is main source of extract and in also used as dried cut root for preparing herbal tea. The main active ingredients of Siberian Ginseng extract are Eleutheroside B and Eleutheroside E. Interestingly, Russian scientists classified Siberian Ginseng extract under a special category called as “adaptogens”. An adaptogen is a substance that helps body to adapt to different kinds and levels of stresses like colds, heat, traumas and psychological disturbances. In current scenario this extract is used as an immunobooster, anti diabetic and performance enhancing supplement. Scientific studies involving animal models and human trials indicate towards a positive beneficial effect of Ginseng extract on testosterone levels and male sexual behavior.
The Difference Between Siberian and Panax Ginseng
Root extract of Eleutherococcus senticosus used as Siberian ginseng is chemically distinct from American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian (Panax ginseng) ginseng. Siberian ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of auto immune disorders like diabetes, enhance natural immunity to combat routine illness and infections, improving physical performance and general well being. Majority of bioefficacy studies on Siberian ginseng are on animal systems like rats and rabbits. The positive effect of the ethanolic extract has been observed in animal models and human clinical study involving oligospermic males. The invitro studies and human clinical study findings also suggest that this extract helps in maintaining the hormonal values within the physiological limits. In addition to improving the performance in physically active athletes the root extract can also help in improving the action of few drugs as it inhibits enzymes that metabolize the drugs within the body and lower the effect.
Siberian Ginseng can enhance the toxicity of drugs
Study: An invitro study was conducted to understand the effect of Siberian Ginseng active ingredients on microsomes from the liver cells of rats. Microsomes are generally used to study the effects on enzymes related to important physiological functions like respiration. Microsomes were incubated with drugs like tolbutamide, testosterone and Siberian Ginseng active ingredients (Eleutheroside B and Eleutheroside E). Post incubation the metabolized products were detected using a specialized separation technique called high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Result: The Siberian Ginseng active ingredients inhibit activity of certain enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing the drugs.
Conclusion: Siberian Ginseng active ingredients inhibit the enzymes that cause the degradation of drugs in the cells hence in presence of this extract the toxicity / efficacy of drugs may be improved.
Ginseng extract ingredients increase the testosterone levels in male mice
Study: Wang and co workers took up this study on male mice to study the effect of purified Ginsenoside, an ingredient from Siberian Ginseng extract. Mice were intraperitoneally injected with the purified extract at a concentration of 10mg per Kg body weight for 20 days. The main objective of the study was to assess the effect of ginseng extract on the copulatory behavior in male mice and testosterone levels were evaluated before and after the study.
Results: Ginseng purified ingredient improved the parameters determining the male copulatory behavior in mice like mounting, intromission and pelvic thrust. Testosterone levels increased significantly after treatment with ginseng injections.
Conclusion: Active Ingredients in the Ginseng extract help elevate testosterone levels.
Panax Ginseng increases testosterone levels in oligospermic males
Study: This human clinical study involving sixty six young oligospermic patients was initiated to record the effect of Panax Ginseng extract on sperm morphology and count. At the end of treatment levels of reproductive hormones like luteinizing hormone, testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone and prolactin were quantified.
Results: Panax Ginseng extracts improved semen quality like sperm count, motility and morphology. Administration of Ginseng extract enhanced the levels of important reproductive hormones except prolactin.
Conclusion: Panax Ginseng extract elevates testosterone levels in males.
Panax Ginseng extract ( 5%) enhances testosterone levels and prostate weight in rats
Study: Adult male rats were administered with 1% and 5% Panax Ginseng extract for sixty days. All through the study the rats were monitored for change in appetite, physical activity and weight gain. At the end of the study period testosterone levels were quantified and body weight was determined followed by prostate weight after sacrificing the rats.
Results: Male rats on 5% extract exhibited significantly high testosterone levels and higher prostate weight. Investigators observed a higher feed intake but no weight gain.
Conclusion: Panax ginseng extract is effective in improving the testosterone levels.
Siberian Ginseng does not improve the endurance performance
Study: Authors have taken up an exhaustive review of all the reported studies on positive influence of Siberian Ginseng extract on endurance performance.
Results: Three studies reported that Siberian Ginseng extract significantly improved cardiorespiratory fitness and fat metabolism that ultimately improves endurance performance. However, authors found severe technical flaws in the experimental designs of these studies and the conclusions of these studies might hence be erroneous. However, there were five reports that show 1000-1200 mg Siberian extract / days for 1 to 6 weeks did not improve any of the above parameters. These studies followed a very rigorous experimental design and the results did not show any positive effect on endurance performance.
Conclusion: Siberian Ginseng extract did not have any significant positive impact on cardiorespiratory fitness, fat metabolism and performance endurance.
Siberian Ginseng extract maintains levels of stress hormones under physiological threshold limits
Study: Gaffney and co workers took up a 6 week human clinical trial using 33% of 8 ml Siberian ginseng extract administered per day. Endurance athletes undergoing in season training were selected as subjects and the hormone levels were estimated pre and post study.
Results: At the end of study the levels of cortisol increased by 31% and the levels of testosterone dropped by 7% in the study subjects.
Conclusion: Siberian Ginseng extract either increases or decreases the levels of hormones to maintain the values between physiologically important limit.
An important note of caution with ginseng is like any other plant extracts it can have many chemical reactions with other drugs and consuming these supplements along with other medications requires physician’s approval.