Cocoa-pomegranate extract blend may boost T levels for healthy men: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

The combination of extracts of pomegranate and cocoa led to increases in testosterone levels and mid-upper arm circumference in young men.   Image © macroworld / Getty Images
The combination of extracts of pomegranate and cocoa led to increases in testosterone levels and mid-upper arm circumference in young men. Image © macroworld / Getty Images

Related tags Testosterone Sports nutrition Pomegranate Cocoa Theobromine

A proprietary blend of extracts of pomegranate and cocoa may increase total and free testosterone levels and increase strength measures in healthy young men, says a new study from India and the US.

Supplementation with 400 mg per day doses of LN18178 (Tesnor), a proprietary composition manufactured by India-based Laila Nutraceuticals, led to increases in total and free testosterone levels in the LN18178-400 participants were 25.29% and 18.86%, respectively, from baseline

Significant improvements in the hand grip strength and mid-upper arm circumference were also recorded for herbal combination after 56 days of supplementation, according to findings published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements​.

“The outcome effects of herbal supplementation on testosterone levels were not comparable to results from testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) recommended for hypogonadic males,” ​stated the researchers. “In contrast, our observation is comparable to the outcome of a recently reported clinical study that demonstrated the effect of an herbal ingredient (fenugreek extract) in increasing testosterone and significant improvements in muscle strength and body composition of the young male participants.”

The study indicates that the herbal blend may offer a new alternative to formulators of dietary supplements and sports nutrition products for men to safely increase their testosterone levels and enhance the effects of aerobic exercise.

The study was funded by India-based Laila Nutraceuticals

Study details

The researchers recruited 120 young men aged between 21 and 35 to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The men were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 200 mg or 400 mg per day of LN18178 or placebo for 56 days. The herbal blend is standardized for punicalagin (from pomegranate) and theobromine (from cocoa). All participants were instructed to perform 40 minutes of aerobic exercise four days per week for the eight-week study.

The results showed that both herbal blend groups experienced statistically significant increases in free testosterone levels, compared to baseline and placebo values, while the high dose group also displayed significantly higher total testosterone levels, compared to baseline and placebo.

No significant changes were observed for other hormones, said the researchers.

The high-dose group also showed significant improvements in the hand grip strength and mid-upper arm circumference, they added.

The researchers also stressed that the supplement was found to be safe and well tolerated.

“Further, the safety profile LN18178 has also been tested in a ninety-day repeated dose oral toxicity study in rats along with in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicity studies (data will be published separately). These safety data also support that LN18178 is safe for human consumption,” ​they wrote.

To conclude, the researchers wrote: “Supplementation of a proprietary herbal composition LN18178 (Tesnor) increased free and total testosterone in healthy young male volunteers. Also, the enhanced muscle strength and mid-upper arm circumferences of the LN18178 supplemented participants suggest that this herbal blend has potential promise as an ergogenic aid for young males for a better quality of life and improved physical performance.”

Sports & healthy aging

Commenting on the study, Chase Shryoc, Vice President of Sales & Business Development for Gencor, which distributed the ingredient in the US, said: “We are thrilled to report that Tesnor is a tolerable, safe, and effective natural herbal blend that boosts testosterone levels in young, healthy males. While this particular study is specific to young males, other studies have shown that daily doses of Tesnor have improved testosterone levels as well as reducing aging male symptoms scores.

“With the results of this new Tesnor study, we are opening new doors in the worlds of sports nutrition and healthy aging,”​ added Shryoc.

Source: Journal of Dietary Supplements
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/19390211.2022.2035037
“A Proprietary Herbal Blend Containing Extracts of ​Punica granatum Fruit Rind and ​Theobroma cocoa Seeds Increases Serum Testosterone Level in Healthy Young Males: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study”
Authors: P.G.A. Sreeramaneni et al.