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So, what is the difference between Testosterone Boosters (test boosters or t boosters) and Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?

Well first lets look at what each involve and more importantly why there may be confusion between which is which.

Test Boosters (T boosters)


Testosterone boosters are advertised as remedies/herbs/supplements that can “boost” testosterone.  Their very well marketed adverts often quickly transition from describing the supplement to describing the benefits of why having optimal levels of testosterone can improve health and quality of life. What they don’t separate is how the product they initially describe isn’t actually able to effectively increase testosterone. As mentioned this is very clever marketing that convinces millions of men (and likely some women) to spend large amounts of money on products that don’t work. The adverts do have some truth about them however.

t boosters

The truthful parts are that having optimal testosterone (not too high or low) does in fact improve quality of life including improved mood, libido, erections, energy and improve things like insulin sensitivity and inflammatory markers that can protect against co-morbidities like Diabetes and Heart disease.  What they fail to mention is that the product they are actually selling (that they initially mention alongside this) does not improve testosterone levels significantly, if at all.  They occasionally mention evidence that in isolated individual blood work has shown a slight increase in levels after taking certain products.  When you actually look closely the increases are either so small they could just be natural fluctuations and not significant enough to provide any therapeutic benefit.

Now there have been anecdotal reports of people taking supplements on the list below and “feeling like they have better levels of testosterone”.  These reports are actually described as improvements in libido or energy.  Now libido and energy does often improve with optimal testosterone levels but there are a multitude of factors that actually can affect libido and energy and through mechanisms of actions of some of these supplements it is more likely that they have improved libido by other means.  Some of the mechanisms can be improving dopamine production which can lower prolactin (prolactin can reduce libido if too high), improving mood and can act as a stimulant like caffeine, or reduce anxiety.  They may have this effect is some people BUT they are not improving testosterone levels.

Some of the common supposed Test Boosters you will see advertised are:

  • D-Aspartic Acid
  • Fenugreek Extract
  • Maca
  • B-Complex Vitamins
  • Types of Ginseng
  • Mucuna Pruriens
  • Oyster Extract
  • Tribulus Terrestris
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D3


Lots of supplement will be actually have names like “TESTO…..” Or end in …BOLIC” implying that they are related to testosterone of have an anabolic effect.  One other thing to note is the supplement industry does not have strict regulations on manufacturing processes and quality control so you are highly likely to not actually be ingesting what you think you have purchased.

Recent review on supplement quality:

Testosterone Replacement Therapy


Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a medical therapy prescribed and managed by a Doctor that uses Bio-Identical Testosterone to optimise ones levels to achieve therapeutic benefits (in both men and women).


Achieving removal/reduction of symptoms associated with low levels of testosterone such as libido issues, erect dysfunction, anxiety, low mood, low energy, and poor sleep (there are many more).  Testosterone Replacement Therapy is proven to increase levels of testosterone in the blood consistently and with stability (if done correctly) to provide a better quality of life.  Of course balancing of other hormones alongside TRT is part of the process.

TRT does actually bring the benefits that supplement adverts do describe when mentioning benefits of testosterone as you are actually increasing levels of the hormone.  If you are concerned you may have low testosterone levels, or already now you do, and are symptomatic contact us (hyperlink) today for a discussion or to order a blood test.

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If you are looking to optimise your testosterone through Testosterone Replacement Therapy, get in touch and speak to a member of the team today.

Evidence Based Research

This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject.

We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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About the Author: Mike Kocsis

Mike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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Last update: March 4th, 2021

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