T Nation

T Boosters vs Pharma AIs


Many of us here have probably seen supplements marketed as aromatase ihibitors / testosterone boosters. They claim to help build muscle by virtue of their ability to lower estrogen and raise testosterone.

For those who have not, an example would be a product called Freetest. It's made by a company called applied neutraceuticals. I've pasted the ingredients of this product below:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size:4 capsules
Servings per Container: 25

Proprietary Blend:

Free Testosterone Activation Synergists (FTAS) 2722mg
-Acetyl L-Carnitine
-N-Acetyl Cysteine
-Forslean 20%
-Quercetin Dihydrate
-3,7 Keto DHEA

Thiamin 1.5mg
Riboflavin 1.7mg
Vitamin B-6 2mg
Folic Acid 400mcg
Niacin 20mg
Pantothenic Acid 5mg
Magnesium 28mg
Zinc 19.6mg
Selenium 110mcg

I've read many forum posts about "stand alone letrozole, arimidex" etc. Many replies from knowledgeable members say that there is no real value to taking these substances as a standalone with respect to growing muscle. I can accept this, but would really like to see an explanation that clarifies how products like freetest can work at growing muscle by lowering estrogen and raising test while taking a much more potent product like arimidex that lowers estrogen and raising test does not.

For the sake of not sounding like a total noob, I'm aware that letro and freetest most likely operates through different chemical mechanisms in the body. What I'm asking for are details in their differences if somebody in this forum is kind and knowledgeable enough to explain.



Zinc, if one was deficient, would see a modest improvement in their androgen profile (total and free T and estradiol levels) from the dosage provided in the product. If deficiency existed (due to malabsorption issues), perhaps a slightly higher dosage would be required to fix the problem (if you are taking normal dosages and not seeing an improvement, then obviously you would have to up the dose).

Now if you are talking about jacking t levels to the realm required to develop the musculature of the guy in your avatar, then no, this product would not be likely to have a significant impact.


What I'd really like to know is the difference in the mechanisms used by the two different types of products:
1. otc test boosters (..like freetest)
2. pharmaceuticals like letrozole or arimidex

The results of marketed otc test boosters seem straight forward: higher test and lower estrogen... just like letrozole or arimidex. But of course we can assume that letrozole and arimidex are much more potent.

Now... what other differences are there in how they work that makes freetest "good" at muscle protein synthesis whereas letro and adex "have no value" as many knowledgeable members have claimed.


Why is the more potent product less effective at growing muscle?
Is it that estrogen gets too low?
Is it the additional micronutrients included with otc test boosters like zinc as you say? (which then begs the question... what if you supplemented letro or adex with additional micronutrients?)
Is it all of the above?
Or is it another variable that I'm not seeing?
What is it?

Dart Bayder had/has high-normal T levels. He just happen to eat impeccably clean food and lived in the gym provided by the empire.


Why are you assuming these OTC AI products actually work? Some OTC "test boosters" work because they are actually designer steroids. Any OTC product trying to mimic an AI probably does not work, and even if it does inhibit aromatization it's not going to do much for muscle gain.


I think most people who have tried the anti-aromatase method of boosting testosterone don't really get the experience they were hoping for. Does it raise natural test? Yes. Does it raise it enough to really notice a difference? STrictly depends on whether you were starting out already low on test, or have too high of an estrogen level.

So, the over the counter test boosters are mostly spouting a bunch of crap. Unless they contain some other "unlisted" element in them.


I've tried them. They do work. I've tried "drive" by applied neutraceuticals and it worked. No doubt. Was my test low? I suppose its possible but unlikely. At the time, I was built pretty good. When I started taking the "drive" ... I remember being amazed at how it felt like I put the turbo boost on.. cause I got even thicker... and fast. Pumps were outrageous. I was hard. Agression was pronounced-I didn't lift weights-I attacked them.

Steroid in drive? I'm sorry, but with all due respect... this just sounds silly.

Id like to clarify.

I'm not so much asking about aromatization inhibition per se. Its just that most test boosters employ some kind of ai feature that in turn raise test.

Test boosters like drive or freetest do work. I've used them. They're not amazing or anything; you're probably not gonna get on a mr olympia stage with them, but there's no doubt in my mind that they do in fact work and their effects are noticable. What they claim to do that makes them good at putting on a little extra muscle and lessening fat is they lower estrogen and raise test -basically the same as letro and adex... they rasie test and lower estrogen. And again, its been said so many times on so many forums that taking adex or letro will not do anything we muscle heads want.

What I wanna know is why the difference in result? Somebody help.


How about this...why don't you take some real arimidex and make the comparison. There is no way some over the counter "supplement" is going to do a better job at preventing test to estrodiol conversion better than the pharmaceutical AI's. Try some and compare.

And you are dreaming if you don't think supplement companies wouldn't put something "extra" in their "formula".


how "close" to Arimidex do you think the OTC suicide aromatase inhibitor 'Androst-3,5-dien-7,17-dione' is?

for a natty who has never taken steroids or a prohormone, just has a naturally high estrogen level, do you think Arimidex is useable for long term use?


You got me all wrong here bro. I'm not arguing that otc supps can compare to arimidex or letro as far how well they work at raising test and lower estrogen.

What I thought silly was supplement companies ... big ones... putting steroids in test boosters. This just seems really off. I guess its possible that you could be right... but... i dunno bro... this just seems like a really crazy, overly paranoid kind of thing to say.

Anyway... I'm staring to think nobody on here is understands what my question is.


  1. I dont know.
  2. I dont know.

I dont see where either of these questions are going as per my original question... which nobody seems to understand.

  1. I know letro or adex is more potent at raising test and lowering estrogen than otc supps
  2. I know over the counter supps for raising test can sometimes be crap.


My original statement was ...

  1. many have asked if a person can take adex or letro as a stand alone supplement to raise
    test and lower estrogen to hopefully BUILD EXTRA MUSCLE.

  2. many have answered: "No. You cannot take adex or letro for their estrogen lowering and test raising properties to put on extra muscle"

  3. I'm assuming many people ask because supplement companies claim their test booster products work at helping a person put on more muscle by LOWERING ESTROGEN AND RAISING TEST.

  4. People have probably put two and two together and say ... "hey... supplement companies put out these products that raise test and lower estrogen, is there anything more potent than these otc? why yes! there's letro and adex... why dont I take that?! its more potent... it should work better!

  5. but obviously, this isnt the case... just cause adex and letro is more potent at raising test and lowering estrogen, it doesnt mean that it works better at putting on more muscle...


  1. Why is it that this is so? Why is a more potent product like letro or adex NOT more effective at putting on more muscle when it is in fact more potent? What mechanism in how it works makes it not effective at putting on more muscle vs otc supps (I make this statement, because I myself know that otc supps that raise test and lower estrogen do work.... Ive tried them... they do help... theyre not mind blowing or anything but they do work. ...and please... lets remember that lots of people on lots of forums make the statement that ... "No... you cant take adex or letro to make more muscle"

PLEASE... try to understand the question... then answer.


my question was directed at buffd samurai.


oh i see. my bad.


Strictly from a performance standpoint (health issue/zinc deficiency aside) it's very hard to say. Maybe AIs would have a small effect to free up a little bound test.

If a person had high estradiol from zinc deficiency but was otherwise healthy, then obviously zinc would be superior as AIs wouldn't address the heart of the issue. Zinc deficiency would definatly (negatively) affect muscle gains dramatically -- recovery would be very bad, immune system would be very bad, muscle/tendon repair would be an issue, skin health... etc. IF any of the aforementioned were an issue, or the person thought they might have a zinc issue (due to digestion issues or some other disease) then try supplementing with chelated zinc.


I simply don't know...I've never tried the compound you've mentioned. But I DO know that arimidex (competitive inhibitor) or aromasin (REAL suicide aromatase inhibitor) work REALLy well. So well in fact, that one has to be REALLY careful with their use....low estrogen levels are NOT good.


I AM understanding your question.

Let's see, let me try again: raising testosterone by lowering test conversion to estrodiol won't really be significantly "noticed" by guys who have normal to high test levels. If your normal test levels are low, then raising it the amount aromatase inhibitors could MAY be noticeable.

Same thing with guys with high estrogen levels via the conversion. Controlling this with the inhibitors will definitely be noticeable, mostly in your mental demeanor though.

If an over the counter "test booster" claims you will gain a lot of muscle via the sole mechanism of inhibiting aromatase, and the individual does, then it is NOT due to ONLY whatever aromatase inhibition that supplement is doing. There is SOMETHING ELSE in that OTC supplement. Supplement companies do this quite often by the way...especially the ones playing around with anything remotely associated with hormones.


My bad then...it was my own misinterpretation...sorry man!


It's definitely not crazy. But its not fair to lump all companies together, not that anyone has, but yea.

ALRI is well known for spiking quite a few of their supplements with hormones or pro hormones.

I think it's naive to think that some companies WOULDNT spike their products. At the least, they do it to generate buzz and then take the illegal ingredient out before theyre caught.


I think arimidex is not an ideal drug for long term use because of the effect it has on the lipid profile.

Aromasin is a better choice.

A man with elevated E2 is very likely to see nice improvements by bringing E2 into the low end of the normal range.

Obviously a few blood tests are needed to figure out the right dose.


see that's the problem, here in canada there is no ultra sensitive E2 test. they (or my lab anyway) uses the standard E2 test that ive read is a female only test. my E2 came back at 23pg/ml which im told is the ideal range. yet i still have high estrogen symptoms.

"The standard estradiol (E2) tests available worldwide are effectively "female-only" E2 tests which are designed to be accurate when measuring a normal menstruating female's optimum E2 levels. A normal menstruating female's optimum E2 levels are between 10 and 50 times greater than a normal healthy males' E2 levels. We see the effect of this lack-of-sensitivity of the female-only E2 test, when measuring a male's E2."


Do you know which is the mildest in terms of estrogen rebound?