“Refind your prime” and “Take back what time has taken.” These are two statements made for Mdrive, the supplement for men that’s touted to “naturally increase free testosterone.” Does Mdrive work? More importantly, does Mdrive increase testosterone levels —naturally? That’s one of the questions I want to try to address in this Mdrive Review.
Who Makes Mdrive?
On the Mdrive website (MdriveForMen.com), I see that Mdrive is made by a company called Dream Brands.
Another company name that showed up in my research is Dreamspan Product Innovation. I will assume that both names refer to the same company since they are both listed on the company Facebook page.
The address of Dream Brands is 11645 N Cave Creek Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85020. The link to this address shows shows a house. I found this confusing until Brian Kehoe – the son of Mdrive's creator – commented on this review, telling me that the house has been converted to an office and production facility. Scroll down to see Brian's full comment.
I searched the Better Business Bureau website for “DreamBrands”and “DreamSpan Product Innovation” but no listing showed up. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Not all businesses are listed with the BBB.
Update. The Better Business Bureau file gives DreamBrands a rating of “A +” when this review was created. DreamBrands has been a BBB accredited business since 7/18/13. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Mdrive vs Mdrive Plus
2. Mdrive Plus
What's the difference? Well, both Mdrive Classic and Mdrive Plus contain the same main proprietary blend of ingredients that I'll review below. Mdrive classic has 1325 mg of the blend while Mdrive Plus has 1130 mg. Another difference is that that Mdrive Classic only has vitamin B12 in addition to the proprietary blend.
Mdrive Plus on the other hand has several other vitamins and minerals. Other than that, I don't see any difference.
If you saw the Mdrive TV commercial, you might notice that the commercial actually refers to Mdrive Plus, so this will be the product that I review.
Update. Mdrive Plus may be discontinued. Its no longer listed on the products website.
According to the Mdrive TV commercial (you can see it on Mdrive4Men.com), Mdrive is composed of something called ” Cordydrive” plus “5 clinically tested ingredients.”
These are the 5 clinically tested ingredients
|Ingredient||Function of ingredient (according to Mdrive TV commercial)|
|1. Testofen||For free testosterone support|
|2. Setria||For detox|
|3. L optizinc||For cell support|
|4. Selenium Select||For immune support|
|5. Chrome||For glucose support|
Mdrive Plus contains 1150 mg of a proprietary blend of these ingredients.
Let's now look at the research for Cordydrive and the 5 clinically tested ingredients in Mdrive and see what we can discover.
This is said to be the primary ingredient in Mdrive. Cordydrive is actually a made-up word for Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis). Cordyceps is a type of fungus that lives on caterpillars, hence one of its other names, “caterpillar fungus.”
I say that the name ” Cordydrive ” is made up /invented because when I Goggled ” Cordydrive ” everything I saw was related to Mdrive.
I searched the National Library of Medicine for “Cordyceps and testosterone” but could not locate any studies showing that cordyceps raises testosterone in humans.
Similarly, I could not locate any proof —in mice or humans —that Cordyceps is an aphrodisiac either.
I did locate some test tube studies showing that cordyceps stimulated testosterone in mice. This is ironic because a LOT of websites advocate cordyceps for raising testosterone levels in people.
Here is Cordyceps on Amazon for those who are interested.
Tip. Get your testosterone levels measured before using cordyceps—and a month later—to see if it actually raises testosterone levels.
Cordyceps and Exercise
Human research does not seem to show that cordyceps helps exercise. For example, in a small study published in 2008 in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, cordyceps failed to improve muscle endurance, muscle strength or muscle power in healthy men.
The men in this study received 350.8 mg of cordyceps, which was used in conjunction with other herbs.
Similarly, in a study from 2004, cordyceps did not improve aerobic exercise endurance when it was given to 22 male cyclists for 5 weeks. People in this study received 3 grams (3000 milligrams) of cordyceps per day (this is more than is in Mdrive). This study was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Another 2004 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise also noted that a supplement containing cordyceps (1000 mg/day) as well as other herbs, did not improve cycling performance in 17 male armature cyclists.
In another small study from 2005 cordyceps failed to improve VO2max (aerobic capacity), time until exhaustion set in, or other aerobic parameters (compared to placebo) when it was given to 8 men.
When it comes to exercise, cordyceps seems to suffer from small studies that don't last very long. I'm looking forward to better studies being done.
Cordyceps is also found in the weight loss shake, Shakeology so see that review for additional information.
Cordyceps And The Immune System
There are several studies showing that cordyceps appears to stimulate the immune system in mice as well as in test tubes.
Human cordyceps research on immunity appears to be limited to test tube research for the most part. It might stimulate the immune system or might not. I just don't know.
The 5 clinically tested ingredients
This is an invented word used to refer to the herb, fenugreek. Research generally uses 600 mg per day (they don't tell us how much fenugreek is in Mdrive).
The Mdrive TV commercial says this Testofen is for “free testosterone support.” This is then followed by these words “based on Gencor Testofen clinical.”
Gencor Pacific Group, is the company that makes the Testofen brand of fenugreek.
The US headquarters of Gencor is located at 920, E.Orangethorpe Avenue Suite B Anaheim CA – 92081. The link provided appears to show what looks like a strip mall containing various businesses.
I went to Testofen.com to see what clinical proof Mdrive was referencing in their TV commercial. I found 3 studies listed on the Testofen website.
Here they are:
1. A rat study called “Effect of furostanol glycosides from Trigonella foenum-graecum on the reproductive system of male albino rats. Since men are not rats (well, most of us aren't…), I'll discount this study.
2. A study that Gencor calls “Human Clinical Study for Exercise Performance.” The study title is “Effect of TESTOFEN on safety, anabolic activity and factors affecting Exercise Physiology” by Wankhede et. al.
This study is listed on the Testofen website as “ To be published”. In other words, so far, it's not published in any medical journal. This is a problem.
That said, here is a summary of the study findings:
Study was a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled human clinical study of 60 subjects.
- The TESTOFEN group demonstrated significant anabolic activity compared to placebo.
- The TESTOFEN group showed significant increase in Free Testosterone compared to Placebo.
- The TESTOFEN group showed increased immunity.
- The TESTOFEN group had a reduction in Serum Creatinine levels
- The TESTOFEN group had a significant increase in Prolactin, however the increase was within Physiological limits for men.
- The TESTOFEN group showed a significant decrease in body fat.
- The TESTOFEN group maintained muscle size despite maintaining weight and reducing fat.
This all sounds good but there is a lot they don't tell us about this study. If anyone finds this study when its published, please let me know so I can update my review.
3. A study called Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation. This study basically had men report how they felt —on questionnaires. It's important to note that this study saw no changes in testosterone levels.
So, the evidence for Testofen appears to be :
1. a rat study.
2. an unpublished study that says Testofen works.
3. a study that shows Testofen does not raise testosterone levels, but yet appears to work when men self report how they feel on questionnaires.
See my review of Prolongz for more information.
This is an invented name for glutathione, a natural antioxidant. Glutathione is in fruits and vegetables and exercise increases glutathione naturally.
Setria is a reference to a proprietary type of glutathione made by a company called Kyowa. Mdrive says Setria (glutathione) is for “dexox.” Detox is a vague word. What is glutathione detoxing? They don't tell us.
Glutathione is important and does many things in the body, but one thing that is controversial is whether humans can absorb it when it's taken as a supplement.
This is important. If we can't absorb glutathione orally, then supplements might not work.
This is a name for a proprietary form of zinc. It’s the mineral zinc bound to the amino acid methionine. This is likely done so as to increase zinc absorption.
Trivia. The “L” in the name is chemistry talk, meaning the molecule is left handed. If you ever see the letter “D” it means a molecule is right handed.
Mdrive contains 100% of the daily allowance of zinc. I'm guessing that Mdrive has this mineral because a lack of zinc can reduce testosterone levels.
But, do zinc supplements raise testosterone? Right now I'm on the fence about this. One study noted that 30 mg of zinc given to male cyclist for 4 weeks did raise free testosterone levels. The amount given was more than the RDA for zinc.
I couldn’t find much zinc-testosterone research on humans so I am not sure what degree zinc raises testosterone – or even if it really does – if you are already getting enough. It's not hard to get zinc in the diet (even easier if you take a multivitamin) so I don't think most men are lacking in this mineral.
4. Selenium Select
This is just a proprietary type of selenium used in supplements. Like zinc, selenium is also needed to make testosterone. In the study of zinc and cyclists mentioned previously, selenium was also given. For what it's worth, Zinc raised testosterone more than selenium.
They also call this “Zychrome” on the Mdrive website. Both names refer to the mineral chromium. Mdrive Plus contains 333% of this trace mineral. Why? Chromium can help us process sugar better and that’s good but, people who are taking Mdrive are probably already health conscience and hence, are not likely deficient in this mineral. For more on this see my Chromium review.
Other Ingredients in Mdrive
One study from 2002 noted that Maca improved sexual desire when used at a dosage of 1500 mg – 3000 mg per day for 12 weeks (this is more than is in Mdrive). This is probably why Maca is in the male sex supplement Triverex that I previously reviewed.
Maca did not raise testosterone levels in this study. Another study from 2003 also noted no change in testosterone or other hormones following Maca use.
Here is a Macca supplement on Amazon that has several positive comments.
Also called Panax quinquefolius. The Mdrive website says ginseng is used for “mental energy and sharper focus” although I can't find any good proof it does either of these. I did locate one ginseng exercise study from 2005 but this study noted that ginseng did not help aerobic exercise ability.
Also called Turnera diffusa. The Mdrive website says damiana is used to “manage stress.” But they don't tell us what kind of stress they are referring to. For example, is it:
- physical stress?
- emotional stress?
- oxidative stress?
So, I searched the National Library of Medicine for these key words:
- “Damiana stress”
- “Turnera diffusa stress”
I could not locate any studies on daminia helping / reducing stress. The only study that looked remotely like it might fit this description was a rat study noting that damina might reduce ulcers.
Vitamin B 12
Mdrive has 2000% of the daily value of vitamin B12. Why? Vegetarians and older adults may be deficient in vitamin B12 as do perhaps those who take certain medications (like Metformin for diabetes, for example) but, if you eat meat or poultry, odds are you are not lacking in this vitamin. We actually store several years worth of vitamin B12!
People often think vitamin B12 gives them energy like caffeine. That's why it's in so many energy drinks like 5 Hour Energy. But this is a myth. It's also a myth that vitamin B12 helps weight loss also.
What extract do they use? They don't tell us. Maitake comes from mushrooms. It's scientific name is Grifola frondosa.
The Mdrive website says Maitake “supports immune health.” In a small 2003 study, maitake extract stimulated natural killer cell activity and slowed tumor progression in 10 cancer patients.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, a maitake extract stimulated the immune system of 34 breast cancer patients. This study noted that maitake extract stimulated some aspects of immunity while depressing other aspects.
If you have cancer, please speak to your oncologist first before experimenting with maitake extracts. Again, you have to ask yourself what maitake extracts help cancer? Buying maitake supplements at health food stores may not be giving you the extracts that cancer research has used.
A lot of weight loss supplements contain Coleus forskohlii and even Dr Oz has talked about it . It's in many other supplements including :
The way it's supposed to work is by stimulating fat burning enzymes. It sounds interesting but there are problems with some of the studies.
For example, some research notes that coleus forskohlii does not increase metabolism or raise testosterone levels. Also, not all research finds that coleus helps weight loss.
For more in depth information on the coleus research, read my coleus forskohlii and weight loss review.
Here is a coleus forskohlii product on Amazon that has several positive comments.
The scientific name for this herb is Withania somnifera. There is some very preliminary research on Ashwagandha and arthritis, noting that it might help protect cartilage (and hence reduce the risk of osteoarthritis). Ashwagandha seems to have anti-inflammatory properties also.
In a study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research, Ashwagandha was shown to improve :
- aerobic ability (VO2max)
- sprint velocity
- lower body power during vertical jumps
in young men (who did not exercise) after 8 weeks of daily use. The amount of Ashwagandha used was 500 mg (I don't know how much Ashwagandha is in Mdrive).
Here is an Ashwagandha product on Amazon with several positive comments.
Note. This study used young men. Mdrive is marketed to men over 40.
This study contained 40 young men. Yet only 10 men received a placebo. The other 30 men received herbal treatments. Why didn’t the researchers randomly assign the herbal treatments? I feel this could be a weakness of the study.
I can't locate any good research on Ashwagandha helping sex drive or weight loss.
Ashwagandha is also found in several other supplements I've reviewed before including:
- 1 Db Goddess – a female weight loss supplement
- Avesil – a weight loss supplement
- Shakeology – a weight loss / health drink
Here is a scientific review of Ashwagandha that was published in 2000 in the journal Alternative Medicine Review for those who want to know the chemistry etc. of this herb.
How to Contact Dream Brands
A phone number of 1-888-340-9181 is listed on the website for those who want to contact them and /or want to “Ask our Experts” a question.
Does Mdrive Raise Testosterone?
I could not find any research showing that Mdrive itself actually raises testosterone levels.
Who is Doctor Stephen Morganstern?
The Mdrive testimonials page shows a video endorsement from Stephen Morganstern, MD. He is a urologist in GA and the author of books about the prostate, impotence. His website also notes that Dr Morganstern is a Body by Visalus distributor too.
In his testimonial Dr Morganstern says:
“I have not seen a product like Mdrive on the market…”
Really Dr. Morganstern? While the ingredients are not identical, Mdrive has ingredients that are similar to other products that I've already reviewed.
Dr Morganstern goes on to say:
“The combination is excellent. It takes the science that we have available today and combines all the natural ingredients for an excellent presentation to the patient that is safe and efficacious.”
Efficacious? Efficacious means you are going to get the results you are looking for. As far as I can tell, Mdrive itself has never been proven —through peer reviewed research —to be efficacious at raising testosterone levels.
How Long Until Mdrive Works?
The Mdrive website says “Most people report feeling energized all day long within the first couple days.” But, then they say …
“Each person's biology is different but most gradually start to notice the effects of increased testosterone including, focus, strength, endurance, respiration and healthy libido.”
I want to point out a few things with this statement:
1. I disagree with the claim “each person's biology is different.” We are all human and we all work pretty much the same way.
2. They also say most people “gradually” start to notice the effects of increased testosterone…. How long is “gradually?” Is it a week,? A month? Six months?
3. They say “notice the effects of increased testosterone.” Notice that they never actually say ” it will increase testosterone.”
I recommend people get their testosterone levels tested before starting Mdrive and a month later to see if it really did raise testosterone levels.
How Much Does Mdrive Cost?
On the Mdrive website they list $59.99 for 60 capsules of Mdrive Plus and $44.99 for Mdrive Classic. Since they recommend 2 capsules per day, this is a month's supply. While Mdrive Classic appears to be available at several health food stores, they do say that Mdrive Plus is only available online.
There is a 60 day money back guarantee on Mdrive for those who want to return it. People just have to pay to have it returned to the company. For more information call the Mdrive company at 888 340 9181.
Here is Mdrive on Amazon for those who want to compare prices.
Mdrive Side Effects
I'm not aware of any side effects from Mddrive itself. The Mdrive website also says that there are no reported side effects either. That said here are some possible side effects of some of the ingredients in Mdrive.
Ginseng might lower blood sugar levels. This might not be noticed by healthy people but in diabetics there may be an interaction with diabetes drugs.
Ashwagandha might over stimulate the thyroid gland. This comes from a case report of a woman who developed symptoms of hyperthyroidism after using a supplement that contained Ashwagandha. The symptoms disappeared after she stopped taking it. There is lab animal research hinting that Ashwagandha might elevate thyroid hormone. I can't locate any human research on this though.
If cordyceps stimulates the immune system, in theory it might be inappropriate for people with autoimmune issues like hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's disorder), type I diabetes and arthritis to name a few. This is pure speculation by me. I have no proof of this.
Does Mdrive Work?
I didn't try Mdrive before writing this, so ultimately I don't have any firsthand experience with this product. Remember Mdrive itself doesn’t seem to have any published peer reviewed proof that it raises testosterone. All I saw were testimonials and the research I listed above on some of its ingredients. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work though, so with that in mind, if your going to try Mddrive, I suggest that men first get their testosterone levels checked (the test is only about $50-and is probably covered by insurance), try Mdrive for a month, and then retest the testosterone levels again. That would be the easiest way to know for sure if Mdrive works or not.
What do you think?