Tribulus terrestris and testosterone levels

What is tribulus terrestris ?

Tribulus terrestris is a herbal remedy that is said to help at increasing your levels of testosterone, strength, and size. Here we will go over the effects of tribulus terrestris and testosterone levels, as well as other factors.

Endocrine system

Tribulus terrestris is marketed at helping increase your testosterone levels, but there is no significant evidence that supports this. More research should be done in order to confirm this claim. Tribulus terrestris may or may not effect strength or size, but there may be other factors that it could help. Here we will look both at the effects that it has on strength and athletic performance, as well as sexual satisfaction.

Concerning  the effects that it can have on testosterone it has been found to increase the total number of androgen receptors . Because humans were not the subjects used though, more studies on humans are needed to confirm these findings.(1)

Tribulus terrestris has also been shown to have no significant impact  on the metabolism of androgens when used by human subjects. For one study,  testosterone had no significant changes in the group that took tribulus terrestris supplements. (2)

Strength

The effects of tribulus terrestris on ones’ strength and size seems to be the main focus on the market for its’ use. There have been numerous studies though that have not supported these claims.  Here are some examples of some studies conducted on the effects on strength and body composition. For the first study mentioned, only general population that are at a high level of fitness are used, while the second looks at the athletic population.

One study lasted a total of eight weeks, using the bench press and leg press to measure strength, body weight, and composition changes. At the end of the eighth week, there were no significant differences seen between the control and tribulus terrestris group.  The control group did have a  higher increase in local muscular endurance for the bench press. These results show tribulus terrestris as having no significant effect on ones’ strength or level of body composition. Although, it may be interesting to see what a increase in dosage or amount of time the study lasts may have any different effect on results. (3)

Rugby players were also given the supplement tribulus terrestris for a total of five weeks. Strength and lean mass were both measured prior to, and after the five weeks. Equal amounts of the tribulus terrestris were given to each subject in that group. At the end of the study, a significant increase both in strength and lean body mass for both the tribulus terrestris group, and the control group was seen. This led to the conclusion that it was not the supplement but due to some other factors that effected the results seen. (4)

Libido

There have also been studies (5,6)  looking at its’ effects on the libido of the subjects tested. The findings were an increased sexual activity and parameters that were looked at. This supports the claim of the positive effects of the supplement on sexual performance of men.  The effects on male properties of sexual activity such as erections, tribulus terrestris has also been seen to have a positive effect on performance.(7,8)

Although it is often thought that sexual challenges affect males more, ladies also have sexual dissativfaction. One study tested the effects of tribulus terrestris on the quality of  sexual functions for women. This included orgasms, arousal, and desire with results showing an increase in these areas. (9) This product may have a positive effect for women concerning sexual desires, but more studies should be done to verify these findings.

Concerning sexual functions for men, tribulus terrestris has been shown to increase fertility, as well as assist in erectile disfunction and sperm count. (10,11).

Conclusion

 You see many claims on the market concerning the effects of tribulus terrestris. This mainly being that it can assist in increasing testosterone, strength and size.  No positive effect on size or strength was seen, so I would not advise to use it for increasing athletic or fitness performance. Although tribulus terrestris is not marketed as assisting with sexual factors, it has a great effect on both male and female enhancement. If your considering taking this supplement, you first need to speak with your doctor if you have any medical condition or are taking a medication.

References

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15588660#

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15994038/#

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10861339#

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17530942#

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12804079#

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22368416#

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23526694#

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10748960#

9. Daru. 2014 Apr 28;22:40. doi: 10.1186/2008-2231-22-40.

10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3604572/#

11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566674/#

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