Update 10/18/21. Tesofen is an ingredient found in supplements touted to boost testosterone levels. As such, it's one of the popular supplements for men over 40. The ingredient may be found in supplements touted to raise testosterone, improve gym workouts – and help workouts in the bedroom too. So, does it really work? In this testofen review, you will learn about the clinical research on this compound and potential side effects. Is this the best testosterone booster formula? Here's the evidence. You decide.
What Is Testofen?
Testofen is the name given to an herbal extract of fenugreek. Fenugreek is an herb found all over the world. The testofen compound is said to naturally boost testosterone levels. The extract is derived from the seeds of fenugreek.
The scientific name for fenugreek is Trigonella foenum-graecum.
The Hong Kong nutraceutical company, Gencor Pacific holds the trademark on Testofen and supports much of the research on this dietary ingredient. The company also has an office in Austin Texas. Another name for the company is GE Nutrients, Inc. The company website is GencorPacific.com.
Here is a video on the extract by the Chief Scientific Advisor of the company:
Testofen Clinical Research
One company-sponsored study involved 111 men ages 40-70. The men were given either a placebo or 600 mg of testofen for 12 weeks. The researchers had the men fill out questionnaires and also measured their testosterone levels. In the words of the researchers, testofen caused a “small but statistically significant increase in total and free testosterone”
For reference, normal testosterone levels for men range from about 270 ng/dl to 1070 ng/dl.
So how did these men respond?
Their total testosterone raised from 354 ng/dl to 398 ng/dl. So, while the levels did increase, it was not a giant spike. Remember, normal free T levels are 270-1070 ng/ml.
What about free testosterone? According to Quest Diagnostics:
- men 18-69 years: 35 – 155 pg/ml
- men 70-89 years: 30-135 pg/ml
In this study, the free testosterone of the men increased from 65 pg/ml to 71 pg/ml. So, they were in the normal range before and after supplementation.
Before and after questionnaires also indicated the men experienced improvements in libido and erections.
An earlier investigation noted testofen produced an overall positive effect on physiological aspects of libido. This study involved 60 healthy men aged 25-52. They were given either 600 mg of the herb or a placebo. In this clinical study, the men reported – on surveys – that their libidos had improved. There was no change in testosterone, prolactin, mood or sleep.
Researchers in India recruited 60 healthy men (18-35) to receive either 600 mg of testofen or a placebo for 8 weeks. All the men performed the same type of strength training program 4 days per week. Compared to placebo, men taking the fenugreek seed extract had higher testosterone levels, lower body fat, lower creatinine levels and they could lift more weight on the leg press (but not the bench press).
- total testosterone increased from 405 ng/dl to 452 ng/dl
- free T levels increased from 170 pg/ml to 350 pg/ml
So, free T doubled from 170 pg/ml to 350 pg/dl. This was a significant change. The change in total T was not significant. One problem with this study was the average age of the men was 23 – that's young. Remember testosterone booster supplements are usually marketed to men over 40 with low T levels. So, are the results relevant to older men?
Investigators, looking at a fenugreek supplement called Furosap noted that up to 46% improvement in free testosterone when 500 mg/day was given to 50 men aged 35-65. This study did not have a placebo group. The study was supported by Cepham Inc. Furosap is not the same product as Testofen.
Any Negative Studies?
Some investigators have noted fenugreek extract does not raise testosterone such as:
In this investigation, 45 healthy men, who were used to working out were given either a placebo or 500 mg of fenugreek extract. They lifted weights 4 days per week. Results showed no improvement in testosterone levels or estrogen levels.
Likewise, there was no change in cortisol, insulin or leptin. Fenugreek did decrease DHT levels, however. It is not known if the study involved testofen. The study was not supported by Gencor but rather by another nutraceutical company, Indus Biotech.
Does It Improve Exercise?
Keep in mind that boosting testosterone may not translate into improved exercise performance. According to one study after 8 weeks of fenugreek supplementation (600 mg/day), 1RM bench press weight did not increase, even though testosterone levels improved significantly compared to the placebo group. On the plus side, those taking the herb could perform more bench press repetitions before muscle failure occurred.
What does this mean? Exercise performance can vary by what you are looking to achieve. From this study, fenugreek may not improve strength, but it may improve muscular endurance.
How Much Do You Take?
Studies showing the supplement effects on testosterone, libido, and exercise have used 600 mg per day. Dietary supplements will tell you the dosage of testofen it contains. Make sure to take note of the dosage required to achieve this dosage. This information is found on the Supplement Facts Lable which all dietary supplements have.
How Does Tesofen Work?
Some research suggests the herb may reduce the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which lowers testosterone. Inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme helps boost testosterone levels.
The company which makes this nutraceutical has said the power of the supplement lies with phytonutrients called Saponins. Saponins look –a little bit – like testosterone. So, the idea of how saponins work goes like this:
- Most testosterone is bound to a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which prevents testosterone from being used by the cells of the body.
- Saponins attach to sex hormone-binding globulin.
- When saponins bind to SHBG, they cause the protein to release testosterone into the circulation where it can be used.
- This results in an increase in free testosterone.
The GenCor Pacific company calls the family of saponins which can release free testosterone, fenusides. They were issued a trademark for this name.
Testofen Q and A
1 Do You Take It With Food?
Some studies do not indicate whether testofen was taken with food or on an empty stomach. Taking the supplement with food may reduce stomach upset. This is true for many other supplements too.
2 Before Or After Exercise?
Unfortunately, studies do not discuss whether the supplement was taken before exercise or after exercise.
3 How Much Is Too Much?
Human clinical studies often use 600 mg per day. Based on this, don't use more than 600 mg per day. Supplements containing this ingredient will always tell you how much they contain. This information is found on the Supplement Facts label.
4 How Long Until It Starts Working?
Some clinical studies have noted results after 3 months of use. The effects and benefits may be different depending on the individual, their goals and their health status.
5 Is It Natural?
It's natural in the sense it's derived from fenugreek, a common spice. That said Testofen concentrates compounds, normally found in low amounts in fenugreek. Whether it's natural or not is up to your interpretation.
6 Do Foods Have Testofen?
Fenugreek seeds will contain saponins, the reputed active ingredient. Testofen is said to be a more concentrated dosage of saponins.
7 Is It The Same Thing As Testosterone?
No. While the saponins in fenugreek may look like testosterone, saponins are NOT the same thing as the testosterone hormone. The ingredient is found in dietary supplements and you do not need a prescription to obtain it.
8 Is it a Banned Substance?
If you are drug tested, discover if the test screens for elevated testosterone levels. If this supplement really works, It may cause you to fail a random drug test if that exam screens for testosterone. If you are an athlete, WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, maintains a list of banned substances. The NCAA also has a list of banned substances.
The Class Action Lawsuit
In 2018 the makers of the product agreed to pay 7 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from people who claimed the ingredient was falsely advertised. The Natural Products Insider website has a nice write-up on the earlier proceedings.
Where Can You Buy Tesofen?
Supplements that contain testofen can be found at GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, and other health food stores. It may also be found at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, and Rite Aid too.
GenCor Pacific is the company that makes Testofen. Their US contact number is 949-502-5760. Their US address is 19700 Fairchild Road, Suite 330 Irvine, California 92612. Another name for the company is GE Nutrients Inc. The company's home office is in Hong Kong, China.
The company also has a branch in India too (Gencor Pacific Organics India Pvt. Ltd.)
Supplement Pro / Con
Here's a quick rundown on what I feel are the pros and cons of this supplement. These are my opinions.
|The supplement has clinical studies||Not all studies show it works|
|Company has been around a long time||Studies only involve healthy people|
|No serious side effects reported||Long term side effects not known|
|Pretty easy to find||Needs more studies on “older” men|
Some may also add that the fenugreek extract has mostly only been studied by the company which makes it. That's not necessarily a bad thing because if they don't support research on their product, who will?
Testofen vs. Fenugreek
What will raise testosterone the most – Testofen or fenugreek? Do they work the same? Sadly, no studies could be located which compare these products to each other. It would be tempting to say testofen would work better since it contains a more concentrated amount of saponins. But, it will take research to know for sure.
One study has noted 500 mg of a fenugreek extract called Torabolic worked better than a placebo at improving both upper and lower body strength. The study lasted 60 days and involved 49 men who were not novices (that's good). Testosterone levels were not measured.
This investigation involved a proprietary extract of fenugreek (Torabolic) which – like Testofen – is different than fenugreek itself. The Torabolic extract is made by Indus Biotech, which supported this investigation.
Testofen vs. Tribulus
Tribulus terrestris is one of the most famous ingredients found in testosterone booster supplements. But, the problem with Tribulus is clinical studies don't seem to show it works.
For more info see:
What About D-Aspartic Acid?
There is no good proof D-aspartic acid boosts testosterone levels in humans. No study has compared Testofen to D-aspartic acid.
How Does It Compare To Tongkat Ali?
There are no head-to-head comparisons with Tongkat Ali (also known as Eurycoma longifolia) to determine which raises testosterone the most.
For more insights on this ingredient see:
TongKat Ali Testosterone Review
Watch on my Youtube Channel if you prefer.
What Supplements Contain Testofen
The two most popular supplements are:
Both of these supplements have been around for many years.
The Swanson brand vitamins also has a supplement with this fenugreek extract.
Also, see these reviews:
Testofen Side Effects
The extract is likely safe in healthy persons, especially when used in small amounts found in food. Supplement studies on the herb often use healthy people. As such, supplement side effects in not “healthy” people need more study. Here is a brief list of things to consider when taking fenugreek/Testofen. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week to see what your side effects might be
- Stop taking the herb at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- If you take blood thinner medicine, ask your doctor and pharmacist first
- Speak to your doctor if you take any medicine
- Do not take this herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Don't use if you are allergic to fenugreek
- Don't combine with hormone replacement therapy you get from your doctor
- Fenugreek supplements are not intended for children
- Fenugreek smells very bad. Supplements containing it may have an unpleasant odor.
In women, the herb may exacerbate migraine headaches and promote acid reflux and indigestion
Testosterone replacement has been associated with blood clots. This warning pertains to prescription hormone replacement drugs. It's not known if testosterone supplements cause blood clots. One report describes blood clots in the lungs of a 51-year-old man soon after he started taking a multi-ingredient testosterone supplement.
There is no evidence testofen promotes cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure or any other side effect associated hormone replacement therapy. Preliminary evidence suggests fenugreek – the spice – may reduce cancer.
Does It Work?
Company-sponsored research appears to show Testofen raises testosterone levels although other research casts doubts on this. Not all studies show testofen raises free T or total T levels. I'm personally not yet convinced it works. I'd like to see a few other studies, especially those involving only men over age 50. If you are concerned about your T levels and really want to know if it works, get your testosterone measured before and after.