By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Mon 24 September 2018
Medical Review by Gerardo Sison, PharmD
One of the common ingredients in many popular multi-ingredient testosterone supplements is a herb by the name of Fadogia Agrestis.
It’s among the primary ingredients in some of the Amazon.com’s most popular test boosters like HCGenerate and Sheer Testosterone (don’t trust the ratings on either one, they’re mostly fake), which means that plenty of guys have emailed me about the effect of the ingredients (including Fadogia).
In fact, the other one of the above companies even emailed me and asked for us to promote their products on our website.
I have chosen not to, with the biggest reason being that their formulations suck, with a big emphasis on ineffective and possibly harmful stuff like fenugreek, DAA, Tribulus, and Fadogia Agrestis (which I do not recommend, even though I’m aware it has significantly increased testosterone on rodents).
This is the real truth about fadogia agrestis.
Fadogia and Testosterone Production
Fadogia Agrestis is a plant that cultivates in tropical Africa.
It has a limited amount of research, and even the active ingredients remain unknown (although it’s known to contain saponins and alkaloids).
Fadogia has been researched on three different occasions by the same group of researchers in Nigeria (Yakubu et al.) for the plants purported testosterone boosting effects.
But even in these studies, all the evidence comes from animal model, as in the form of male rats.
The first study was conducted in 2005 and the results were published in the Asian Journal of Andrology1. In their trial, Yakubu et al. administered varying dosages (18mg/kg, 50mg/kg, and 100mg/kg) of water extracted fadogia to male albino rats. What they found was that dose-dependently Fadogia increased mounting frequency, ejaculation latency, and serum testosterone levels. The researchers theorized this to be due to the herbs saponin content.
You can expect that results like this cause hype in the supplement industry, and they certainly did with Fadogia too. Even till this day, you will see this study generously cited on the bottles or websites of the companies that sell T-boosters with Fadogia Agrestis as an ingredient. However, these following two studies will be hard pressed to be found anywhere…
…In 2008, Yakubu et al. ran another study with fadogia2, and found that it was highly toxic to the testicles and liver at the above dosages 50mg/kg and 100mg/kg, the only dose that showed only “transient toxicity” was the 18mg/kg dosage, but as you can see from the graph above, that’s also the dosage that slightly increased T on day three of the initial study, but then caused serum testosterone levels to actually dip below the baseline on day five.
In 2009, Yakubu et al. ran the third study with rodents administered with Fadogia (again using the same three dosages), this time they found that Fadogia administration dose-dependently increased lipid peroxidation in various bodily glands3. As you might already know, lipid peroxidation is the process where polyunsaturated fatty-acids in the tissue become rancid and create free-radicals, aka. the stuff that we need antioxidants for.
This suggests that over-time not only is fadogia directly toxic to the testicular cells, it also negatively impacts testicle, liver, and kidney function via peroxidation of unsaturated fats in the target organs.
Conclusion on Fadogia Agrestis
Does Fadogia increase testosterone? Unlikely, although the initial rodent study seemed to indicate that.
It must be noted that it was a) rodent study b) short-term study
Since Fadogia increases testicular toxicity and lipid peroxidation, I’m skeptical of it having any hormonal benefits. In fact, I believe that in humans (and rodents) long-term effect of Fadogia would be reduced – not increased – testosterone production.
This is good example of why I despise the majority of supplement companies formulating these flashy multi-ingredient T-boosters. They often have no clue of the actual research behind the ingredients they use and hype up.
Yakubu M, Akanji M, Oladiji A. Aphrodisiac potentials of the aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem in male albino rats. Asian J Androl. 2005;7(4):399-404.
Yakubu M, Akanji M, Oladiji A. Effects of oral administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem on some testicular function indices of male rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;115(2):288-292.
Yakubu M, Oladiji A, Akanji M. Mode of cellular toxicity of aqueous extract of Fadogia agrestis (Schweinf. Ex Hiern) stem in male rat liver and kidney. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2009;28(8):469-478.