Most Testosterone Booster Reviews on Amazon are Fake

Nelson Vergel

Founder, ExcelMale.com
Testosterone Imposters: An Analysis of Popular Online Testosterone Boosting Supplements


Abstract
Introduction
Testosterone-boosting supplements (T-Boosters) are prominently featured on Amazon.com, with numerous dedicated pages and claims that they “naturally” increase testosterone levels.

Aim
To evaluate the highest rated and frequently reviewed T-Boosters on Amazon.com to facilitate patient counseling regarding marketing myths, T-Booster formulations, and evidence for efficacy and safety.

Methods
The Amazon marketplace was queried using the key words “testosterone” + “booster,” with default search settings and ranking items based on relevance. The top 5 T-Boosters identified on July 22, 2018, were reviewed based on price, ratings, reviews, manufacturer details, and ingredients. Consumer reviews were categorized using core themes in the Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male (ADAM) questionnaire as a proxy to understand T-Booster efficacy and reanalyzed after filtration of untrustworthy comments using ReviewMeta.com, a proprietary Amazon customer review analysis software.

Main Outcome Measures
Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of T-Boosters on Amazon.com was performed.

Results
The top 5 T-Boosters had an average ± SD of 2,761 ± 5,112 reviews and a rating of 4.56 ± 0.25 stars. 19 unique ingredients were identified across these T-Boosters, and literature review revealed 191 studies involving the 10 most common ingredients, of which 19% involved human subjects, 53% animal models, 15% in vitro studies, and 12% case reports or review articles. Among 37 human studies, 30% observed an increase in T levels, 3% a decrease, 46% no effect, and 22% were indeterminate. Analysis of top customer reviews from the first 2 pages of reviews for each supplement revealed differences in the ADAM score before and after ReviewMeta.com filtration. After filtration, there was a 91% decrease in users reporting increased libido, a 59% decrease in reports of increased energy, a 93% decrease in reports of improved strength/endurance, a 60% decrease in reports of improved erections, an elimination of reports of improved work performance, a 67% decrease in reports of improved sleep, and an 89% decrease in reports of improved sports ability.

Clinical Implications
Our study can serve as a guide for providers to counsel patients about the efficacy of popular online T-Boosters as well as the prevalence of disingenuous reviews associated with these products on online marketplaces like Amazon.com.

Strengths & Limitations
Strengths include the novel approach to assess consumers’ perceptions and satisfaction of T-Boosters, as well as summary information that clinicians can provide patients. Limitations include selection bias, a small number of supplements analyzed, and the proprietary nature of the Amazon review analysis software.

Conclusion
T-Boosters are easily available online. Our investigation revealed that limited human studies have evaluated T-Boosters, resulting in no definitive findings of efficacy. In the absence of additional human studies, patients should be cautioned before considering T-Boosters, given the availability of highly effective therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Balasubramanian A, Thirumavalavan N, Srivatsav A, et al. Testosterone Imposters: An Analysis of Popular Online Testosterone Boosting Supplements. J Sex Med 2019;16:203–212.
 

Sean Mosher

Member
I saw that same article yesterday.
It's crazy people know that stuff NEVER has worked and never will.
Yet they still market and sell a product they know is total garbage and somehow sleep at night.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
When you say T booster, I assume you mean Total T. I don't think any would work for that, or it's minimal.

I do think supplements can change Free T, E2 and DHT levels. Like increase FT 30% or bring it down depending on the supplement. Maybe correct a nutritional deficient, act as an aromatase inhibitor or enhancer? Affect SHBG. Not sure exactly how, but I do think supplements can affect those hormones.

Though if you are low Total T, I doubt raising FT by 30% is enough.
 

sammmy

Active Member
Most of the nowadays reviews on Amazon are either planted by the companies or have too high rating because many people do not actually understand the 5-star rating system of Amazon and what each rating means. I've seen reviews "it doesn't work" but still 5 stars!

I always read the negative 1 star reviews first - they spell out the problems. Then I read the middle reviews of 3-4 stars - they tell you positives of the product but still keep it real. I rarely pay attention to 5 stars reviews - either planted, or delusional, or placebo effects, or "review for a free product" etc.
 

madman

Super Moderator
Canadian Urological Association clinical practice guideline on testosterone deficiency in men: Evidence-based Q&A (2021)

Ethan D. Grober, MD; Yonah Krakowsky, MD; Mohit Khera, MD; Daniel T. Holmes, MD; Jay C. Lee, MD; John E. Grantmyre, MD; Premal Patel, MD; Richard A. Bebb, MD; Ryan Fitzpatrick, MD; Jeffrey D. Campbell, MD; Serge Carrier, MD; Abraham Morgentaler, MD


19.What is the evidence for herbal or natural testosterone "boosters" in treating testosterone deficiency?

Current evidence-based reviews of the most common ingredients in testosterone-boosters (T-boosters) on the market have found minimal to no evidence demonstrating their efficacy.40 Many of the ingredients within such compounds have never been tested for safety and/or efficacy in human trials. Among human trials, only 30% demonstrated an improvement in testosterone levels, 2% resulted in a decrease in testosterone and 68% had either an indeterminant effect or no effect at all on testosterone levels.41 Concerningly, several case studies have demonstrated severe adverse events from T-boosters that contain banned/illicit substances including steroids.42,43 Currently, T-boosters cannot be recommended by health practitioners and patients should be cautioned regarding the unknown efficacy and safety of T-boosters along with the possibility for severe adverse events. Regulated, evidence-based treatments should be offered as an alternative in symptomatic hypogonadal men (LE-moderate, strong recommendation).
 

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