It might look like it’s been designed by the same guys that do the graphics on fairground rides and pinball machines, but we had high hopes for Apex Male by Blackstone Labs when we started to look into it.
Were these hopes justified we hear you ask?
We won’t give the game away too soon, but it was certainly an interesting journey – hopefully it makes for an interesting read.
We look through the ingredients in detail later, first though … the scores
There are some good test boosting ingredients in the product. DAA, vitamin D3, fenugreek. However only the fenugreek is adequately dosed, the DAA is 60% of what we’d like to see and the D3 only 25%.
They have combined DAA with NMDA, which is quite unusual. Too unusual for our liking, there’s not really enough research on this for us to be comfortable with it. There are two anti-estrogens in DIM and Prunella Vulgaris, L-Tyrosine is there for the feel good factor.
The rest are herbal libido boosters with various pedigrees and resounding dud Tribulus Terrestris.
It’s not a cheap product. The list price is high on the main website – $69.99 is around the price mark for the best test boosters on the market. Even when the whole package is 5* across the board we couldn’t rate that price at more than an 8.
Shop around though, and you can get a deal on it.
BlackStone Labs Site: $69.99
Strong Supplement Shop: $54.99
Predator Nutrition: £44.99
Strong Supplement Shop UK: £41.13
Sport Asylum: £38
Spartan Suppz -: Reduced from AU$99.95 to AU$29.95
Reviews for this are pretty thin on the ground, the resellers sites have mostly got ‘Be the first to leave a review’ on them. The ones that do have reviews have very limited information. A sentence or two , no detail about the person making the claim. So no photos, before and afters etc. No genuine user videos to go on.
My favourite 5* testimonial on the Blackstone website has to be this one;
It doesn’t explicitly state anywhere on the Blackstone Labs website that they manufacture in the USA, but we’d assume so. It does state they are cGMP compliant.
However you don’t have to be Jessica Fletcher to dig up some skeletons on the company. In 2015 they involved in a court case relating to illegal, synthetic off-label ingredients in products marketed as ‘natural’;
The ingredient in question being a drug which had not completed clinical trials and was not passed for human consumption.
Or this one, also from 2015, relating to a dieting product they did called ‘Angel Dust’ which prompted this Cease and Desist warning letter from the FDA;
This is not the kind of thing that gets you a high score on Testosterone Resource I’m afraid.
However … they have not gone for a proprietary blend, which counts in their favor.
Blackstone Labs is run by Aaron Singerman and P.J. Braun. They certainly know how to blow their own trumpet on their ‘About Us’ page;
You ever been cornered at a party, having to listen to some guy talking about himself in the third person? …
Quite how they’ve managed to generate this army of fanatical devoted fans is something of a mystery when you look at the customer services policies on their site. They do say they might make an exception for you if you are co-operative, patient and kind ….. but ultimately these Ts and Cs are pretty shocking;
I’m not impressed by this at all. Basically what they are saying is that once the package has left their warehouse they’ve washed their hands of it, it’s nothing to do with them whether it arrives or not. Brutal! I wouldn’t order anything from them directly, if you really want the product then you should order it through one of the resellers. They are unlikely to have such draconian policies.
Given their rating on trust above, we cannot possibly give them a good rating for their company. However, there is no suggestion they are running any kind of scam, so they stay off the bottom rung on the scoresheet.
Based on the ingredients and the dosages involved we wouldn’t expect Apex Male to cause side effects in users. However the jury is very much out on NMDA and DAA in combination – there is just not enough human research on that for us to be comfortable telling you it’s likely to be safe.
Four capsules twice a day with food. We like spreading the intake across the day with four evenly spaced servings.
Vitamin D3 is naturally stimulated by exposure to sunlight and is an extremely effective T booster. In this case the 1500IUs is only half the dose clinically proven to be effective, and well under the dose we’d ideally like to see. The top of the line boosters go with 5000IUs but new research released in early 2018 shows that even that should be increased substantially.
Fenugreek is a potent libido enhancer but it also serves to regulate blood sugars in the body, reducing insulin resistance which can inhibit testosterone. It has been shown to deplete production of the SHBG allowing more testosterone to be freely available. 125mg is a good dose.
D-AA is a potent amino acid which stimulates the brain encouraging a supply of the same key hormones as zinc (luteinizing hormone, growth hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone). We would have like to have seen more than 1500mg in the formula, but as noted below, they have added in NMDA to make up for this.
NMDA is a water-soluble synthetic amino acid which affects glutamate levels, toxins which can damage cells in the neuro system and affect ATP production. ATP is the fuel your muscles use for energy, in short NMA in the correct dosage would help improve the efficiency of your anabolic process. It would also have a beneficial effect on protein kinase – and therefore testosterone, in the same way that luteinizing hormone affects testosterone.
However … as pointed out already there is very VERY little in the way of human studies (or any studies for that matter), or even information on NMDA supplementation. Given the trust rating we’ve given these guys and the lack of times we’ve seen NMDA used in a t booster, this is not something I would be comfortable taking myself.
‘Back in the day’ Tribulus was widely touted as an effective T booster. Clinical trials have long since debunked the idea that Trib has any effect on testosterone. Sadly even today many boosters still include it. Lord knows why.
It may raise libido, but as we’ll see we don’t need that here. Any amount is too much of this really.
More usually found in fat burners, this ingredient promotes the production of feel good chemicals such as dopamine which can reduce stress and sharpen focus.
Sometimes called Longjack, you’ll often see this paired with Maca in a formula. Studies have shown it might play a role in raising testosterone back to normal levels for those with clinically low testosterone. It may also assist in improving libido.
Another herb, again derived from ancient traditional medicine. This has been included for its anti-estogenic properties.
Another ingredient derived from traditional medicine. Again, not effective at boosting testosterone, but included as a libido enhancer.
Another libido booster from traditional medicine. It is an African herb , it has been shown to raise in T in rats but at very high levels (~50mg/kg of bodyweight). There have been reports that long term use has been seen to cause organ damage, but at much higher doses that are available in this product.
DIM is a nutrient found in green leafy veg which shows promise as an effective estrogen modulator in some studies.
Horny Goat Weed doesn’t bring anything to the table really, unless you’re planning to have sex on the table. Another aphrodisiac with some limited function in relation to erectile strength but no help for T.
I can’t help feeling Apex Male has a bit of a confused identity. The packaging looks like it’s aimed at muscle builders, the Blackstone website says it’s for ‘Hardcore Bodybuilders’.
But the ingredients are dominated by the kind of libido boosting herbs you find in low test boosters aimed at older guys.
Ultimately the good ingredients are under-dosed, the poor/unproven ingredients are there in large numbers and there’s an overall lack of credible user feedback to convince you it’s a winner.