With male testosterone levels dropping globally, there’s an increasing demand for libido and sexual performance enhancing supplements. Libido Max Red is a sexual support supplement targeting men, sold by a company called Applied Nutrition, which claims “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”
But does Libido Max Red contain ingredients proven to increase libido or is this just a marketing claim? Does it contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe its effects?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Libido Max Red based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not the supplement is likely to be effective.
We'll also share our concerns about missing ingredients on the official brand's website, and highlight real, unsponsored user reviews of the supplement.
Libido Max Red contains five active ingredients: calcium, l-citrulline, l-arginine, beet powder, and black tea extract.
Calcium is a mineral found in whole foods like cheese and sardines. We can't find any medical evidence that this ingredient improves libido in men.
The rest of the active ingredients are included in a proprietary blend totalling 1,620 milligrams (mg), which equals 420 mg per ingredient.
L-citrulline is an amino acid which is effective for improving erectile function, but we consider it to be underdosed in Libido Max Red. A clinical trial published in the Urology journal found that this ingredient could improve erection quality at a dose of 1,500 mg per day, or 357% higher than the average ingredient dose in Libido Max Red.
We can't find any clinical evidence that l-citrulline improves libido.
L-arginine is another amino acid. It's a less efficient nitric oxide precursor than l-citrulline, meaning both ingredients can improve blood flow but l-arginine is less effective.
We can't find any clinical evidence that l-arginine improves libido.
Beet powder may have positive effects on cardiovascular health, as we documented in our review of the Super Beets supplement, but we can't find any clinical evidence that it has an impact on libido.
Black tea extract was shown in a 2008 clinical trial to increase libido in rats, but we can't find any studies with human trial participants showing this ingredient to be effective.
Overall we consider this to be one of the worst-formulated libido supplements we've reviewed on Illuminate Health.
We cannot identify one single active ingredient that we consider likely to be effective for improving libido in men, and even the ingredients with other functional effects like citrulline for blood flow may be underdosed.
Missing Ingredients on Manufacturer Website
The inactive ingredients shown above are found on the GNC product listing for Libido Max Red, but are not included on the Supplement Facts label on the Applied Nutrition website.
This is a consumer safety issue and is extremely concerning in our opinion. Supplement manufacturers are required by the FDA to clearly publish all of the ingredients on the Supplement Facts label, and failing to do so prevents consumers from making an informed decision about what they're putting in their body.
We urge Applied Nutrition to publish the full ingredient list on the Supplement Facts label for Libido Max Red on their website.
There are a number of questionable inactive ingredients in this product that health-conscious consumers may wish to avoid.
Titanium dioxide is banned for use as a food additive in the European Union (E.U.) over genotoxicity concerns. This refers to the ability of a compound to damage genes.
Red 40 and Blue 2 are artificial food dyes. As we documented in our ExtenZe reviews article, there are toxicity concerns regarding artificial dyes, and since they have zero nutritive value it seems logical to avoid them.
Talc is a filler ingredient shown to be associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer in a 2019 medical review.
Can Ginseng Naturally Improve Sex Drive?
Panax ginseng, which is a plant native to Asia, has been studied in various clinical trials for its ability to improve sex drive and erections in men.
A clinical trial published in The Journal of Urology found that after eight weeks of treatment, erectile function scores were "significantly higher" in the ginseng group than the group taking placebo pills.
A 2013 medical review found that libido and sexual performance were significantly improved with ginseng supplementation.
Illuminate Labs sells a Panax Ginseng Extract Supplement which is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy, potency and purity, and which contains no questionable additive ingredients.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the product page on our website, where the supplement can be purchased for only $15 on a subscription basis.
For consumers who prefer food products to supplements, Apothékary sells a ginseng powder that can be added to drinks or used as a culinary spice.
Interested consumers can check out Apothékary Ginseng Powder at this link to its product page on the official brand website.
Will Libido Max Red Cause Side Effects?
Libido Max Red does not appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, so it's impossible to say for certain whether or not the supplement will cause side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on its ingredients.
All of the active ingredients in this formulation are safe, well-studied, and we do not consider them a risk to cause side effects.
Artificial food dyes are inactive ingredients containing neurotoxic chemicals which may aggravate mental health issues, according to a meta-study published in the Advances in Neurobiology journal.
Overall we do not consider Libido Max Red likely to cause side effects, but individuals with mental health conditions may wish to avoid the supplement due to the inclusion of artificial food dyes.
Real Customers Rate Libido Max Red
The customer reviews of Libido Max Red are relatively unimpressive.
Here are the average review ratings of this supplement on different online retailers:
A verified purchaser on Amazon named "FLY NAVY" claims that the pills had no effect at all:
"First of, they were not softgels as advertised but hard tablets. Secondly, hard tablets don't always digest completely so a lot of product gets wasted. I suspect that may be the case here as these have no effect. Either that or the product doesn't produce the intended results."