If you have an interest in the topic of superfoods and natural health supplements, then you must be familiar with the name moringa. This is the name of a fast growing tree of Asian and African origin with a long history of use as food and medicine.
What is Moringa
Moringa, whose scientific name is moringa oleifera is also known by other names including horseradish tree, drumstick tree, benzoil tree and miracle tree. The fast growing tree is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These properties are probably the reason why moringa has traditionally been used as food and medicine for diseases and conditions like anemia, diabetes, high cholesterol, inflammation, low libido and low testosterone.
The same properties are the starting point for many supplement companies to make products containing moringa.
And with the renewed interest in natural supplements and treatment products, moringa oleifera has gained immense popularity as a superfood. It is also promoted as an energy and testosterone boosting supplement.
But are there scientific studies to back these claims? And more specifically, does moringa boost testosterone production?
These are the questions that we will explore in this discussion.
Why it is recommended as a testosterone boosting supplement
The market is awash with all manner of moringa products made from different parts of the tree including the leaves, pods, the seeds and the rest of the tree. These products are marketed as supplements to help improve health in general, boost energy and other aspects of health including improving libido and increasing testosterone production.
The recommendations for use of moringa as a testosterone boosting supplement are based on its splendid array of nutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. And there is no denying that the miracle tree is rich in proteins, minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and B3. These, combined with the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties make moringa oleifera one of the plants with the highest nutritional value. It is, therefore no wonder that, in parts of Asia and Africa, moringa is an important source of food.
But, are these properties sufficient to consider moringa a testosterone boosting supplement?
No! Not unless studies have been carried out to support this claim. And being aware of this, moringa supplement manufacturers and marketers have put together some literature referring to scanty studies.
Why moringa shouldn’t be recommended as a T boosting supplement
The literature supporting the use of moringa as a T boosting supplement are based on studies done on animals, mainly rats. And as we know, while research findings on animals can give an idea on the possible action of an item in the human body, animal studies cannot be the basis of determining its effectiveness or safety.
But it is still good to consider what these studies show.
One study conducted on rats found that when forcefully immobilized male rats were given moringa leaf extract, their cortisol levels dropped, while their testosterone levels and libido increased slightly. It is worth noting that the rats were immobilized for 12 hours daily. In the same study, when unrestrained rats were given the similar moringa extract, there was no change in their cortisol and testosterone levels; nor did their libido change.
Now, if you were restrained such that you could neither move nor turn for half a day, you would be stressed. Probably highly stressed. And if this is true of a man, we can deduce that rats put in similar circumstances would get oxidative stress. In addition, their cortisol levels would be elevated while their testosterone levels would drop.
We know that moringa contains antioxidants. And because the increase in testosterone is not significant, we can assume that antioxidant activity would reduce the cortisol level and increase testosterone levels slightly.
In another study, oral and intraperitoneal admisnistration of moringa extract on Wistar albino mice of amounts ranging from 250 mg to 6400mg per kilogram of body weight, daily for 60 days did not lead to any significant rise in sperm quality.
While moringa oleifera has been used for hundreds of years for various purposes, minimal studies have been conducted to prove that moringa in supplement form is effective and safe. Besides, available studies relate to animals. And while we can assume that similar results would be obtained from human studies, these are only assumptions. In addition, even the findings from available studies do not prove that moringa has significant effects on boosting testosterone production. It is, therefore reasonable to conclude that moringa oleifera does not boost testosterone production.