Testosterone: Market and Demand

If you wonder why testosterone-increasing products and services are all the rage these days, it probably has something to do with the fact that more and more men want their testosterone boost. 

With greater access to healthcare and health information compared to generations past, the inevitability of testosterone loss becomes unavoidable. Research has shown that testosterone levels in adult men typically decline by at an average rate of 1% per year, usually after age 40. Of course, some men may even experience the loss earlier if they have health conditions that call for it. 

So it’s not surprising that the interest in boosting one’s testosterone level has risen over the years.

For one, supplements containing the testosterone-stimulating Tongkat Ali are steadily becoming the go-to answer for those looking for a holistic solution to healthy aging. According to a report published in 2019 by Technavio, the future of the herb looks bright. The anti-ageing ingredients market (to which Tongkat Ali is considered a contributor) is set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 5% until 2023. The growing interests in anti-ageing products for men will likely create opportunities for ingredients that can address issues such as prostate problems and erectile dysfunction.

Meanwhile, Market Watch has revealed that the worldwide market value for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved testosterone replacement therapy will reach an estimated USD 1.41 billion by 2024. The projection is a significant increase from its value of USD 910 million back in 2019. 

So the testosterone rage is undeniably real. But to understand why the hormone is in demand, let’s first ascertain why testosterone is vital for male health and wellbeing.

Why testosterone is important

Testosterone’s association with masculinity are readily accepted. It helps power libido, produce high-quality sperm cells, and promote male fertility. And that’s not the only role that it plays. Produced in the testicles and adrenal glands, the hormone also helps ensure muscle mass, production of facial and body hair, and bone strength.

But did you know that testosterone is not exclusive to men? Women’s bodies also produce it, but in smaller amounts and in their ovaries, adrenal glands, fat cells, and even skin cells. This goes to show that the hormone is very much a human occurrence, rather than assigned by gender.

So, what happens when the testosterone level is low?

What low testosterone level looks like

Medically referred to as ‘hypogonadism,’ low testosterone (low T) is, as we know it, a common phenomenon among adult men above age 40. As a result, people often turn to Tongkat Ali supplements, and in more serious cases, testosterone replacement therapy, when they experience low testosterone (low T) levels. 

But a decline in the hormone’s production can also occur much earlier in life. When this happens, it is usually due to genetic disposition or underlying medical conditions such as testicular cancer, disruption of the pituitary gland (which helps form the hormone), and even injury to the testicles.

The common symptoms of low testosterone levels are erectile dysfunction, reduction in testicle size and semen production, increased breast size, loss of sexual drive, and infertility. Other subtler symptoms include hair loss, noticeable fatigue or lack of energy, and weight gain.

Low T happens when a person’s testosterone levels generally fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). According to the FDA, the normal range should be around 300 to 1,000 ng/dL. In order to officially diagnose it, medical practitioners will use a blood test called serum testosterone test, which can measure one’s level of circulating testosterone at a given time.

Now, let’s look at how severe the situation is globally and in Malaysia.

But who truly needs more testosterone?

The fact that demands for natural Tongkat Ali supplements and testosterone replacement therapy are skyrocketing shows that more and more men are in need of testosterone boost.

Now, diagnosing low testosterone is a controversial subject. This is because no one can truly define and agree on a universal marking range of low testosterone level. Some practitioners would stick to a ‘below 300 ng/dL’ indicator, while others across the world rely on the ‘200 to 400 ng/dL’ range. Also, there is the fact that different physicians emphasize different clinical symptoms as foundational or supporting cases for their diagnoses.

Still, no matter what we make of the discrepancies, it doesn’t change the fact that the global prevalence of testosterone deficiency has been sitting somewhere between 10% and 40%. This, therefore, translates into a wider pool of demands for testosterone-boosting products and services.

In Malaysia specifically, the situation has not looked too different. A book published by the Malaysian Men’s Health Initiative (MMHI) in 2011 found that a significant 19.1% of the 1,046 men aged above 40 that they studied had testosterone levels below 11 nmol/L (or approximately 317.3 ng/dL). 

There is also the possibility that low T can be an offset of an even larger common disease in the country. A Malaysian study exploring the intersection between low T and diabetes type 2 revealed that the prevalence of low serum testosterone (LST) among diabetics is high, with 36.5% of studied patients registering testosterone levels lower than 3 ng/ml (or 300 ng/dL). The correlation should be grounds for concern, considering that Malaysia has the highest rate of diabetes in Asia.

But before we sound off all bells, consider that the hope for collective recourse is very well alive. With greater awareness of low T in recent years, coupled with the increased availability of testosterone-boosting products and services in the market, more men can stand the chance to bump up their testosterone level and restore their overall virility.

Other reasons for testosterone demand

Of course, sexual empowerment and fertility are key reasons why many men are seeking to boost their testosterone via Tongkat Ali supplements and testosterone replacement therapy. But other benefits of having a healthy testosterone level are also the driving factors for why these testosterone-boosting products and services are now in demand.

Besides improving sexual performance and endowing progeny, having healthy testosterone levels also translates into a healthier heart and improved quality of blood, increased energy reserve, optimised fitness or athletic performance, as well as mental focus and clarity. A healthy testosterone level also contributes to an improved mood and emotional wellbeing.

With so many health benefits that go beyond the bedroom, it’s no wonder why testosterone care is a normalised way of life, more than ever before.

Where Tongkat Ali exclusively stands

Over the years, more people are looking to boost their testosterone levels holistically, which is why demands for Tongkat Ali supplements have increased. Tongkat Ali is, after all, a natural product. And supplementation using this herb has been shown to help avoid the possible side effects of medical testosterone replacement therapy such as prostate cancer and liver damage.

Compared to testosterone replacement therapy, these supplements are easier to access and manage through. And while Tongkat Ali products are not completely inexpensive, they are still the more affordable option. (Of course, some extreme cases of testosterone deficiency may require both.) At the same time, people’s general spending capability has also increased, which allows them to purchase herbal supplements.

Other factors that play into the growth of the Tongkat Ali market include more people becoming health-conscious, the rising demand for dietary supplements, and an increasing prevalence of obesity (which can result in low T). Combined, all these factors culminate in more opportunities available for the market in the coming future.

All in all, the demand for testosterone will not decline anytime soon.

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