The thorny Tribulus terrestris plant has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries as an aphrodisiac and vitality enhancer. Modern marketing touts Tribulus supplements as an natural way to build muscle and raise testosterone. But what does the current science actually say about Tribulus and testosterone levels? Let’s analyze the evidence surrounding this popular herbal supplement.
The Background on Tribulus
Tribulus terrestris, also called puncture vine or Gokshura, is an annual plant growing prolifically across southern Europe, the Middle East, India, China, and Africa. Its spiky seed pods have traditionally been dried and prepared as teas, tinctures, and powders for supporting libido and fertility in both men and women.
The active ingredients hypothesized to account for Tribulus’ sexual effects include unique furostanol saponins along with additional flavonoids and phytosterols. But do these herbal compounds really increase testosterone as commonly claimed?
The Research Evidence on Tribulus and Testosterone
A trio of promising rodent studies published between 2001 to 2004 showed that doses of isolated Tribulus extract did significantly increase measures like testosterone, luteinizing hormone levels, libido, and sexual activity in rats. However, subsequent human clinical studies failed to replicate these dramatic effects.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in men aged 30-60 taking standard Tribulus terrestris extract doses for durations between 4 to 12 weeks found no statistically significant differences in serum total or free testosterone levels, muscle strength, body composition, or sex drive compared to non-supplementing control groups.
A Later analysis pooling data from multiple human studies confirmed unequivocally that Tribulus supplementation unambiguously does NOT increase circulating testosterone or improve related attributes like athletic performance in men. This definitive evidence debunks marketing claims to the contrary.
So in summary, while animal models suggested significant testosterone-elevating and sexual effects from Tribulus earlier on, follow-up human clinical studies employing doses up to 3 grams per day have unanimously failed to substantiate these outcomes in men.
Practical Recommendations on Tribulus
Despite the stark lack of hormone and performance benefits in men, prudent recommendations for potentially benefiting from Tribulus include:
Standardize by purity – Seek supplements standardized to provide consistent percentages of active furostanol saponins.
Dose according to body weight – Clinical studies showing libido benefits have typically used intakes around 3-5 mg per kg of body mass per day.
Cycle Tribulus – Taking for 8 weeks on, 1 week off may prevent nervous system habituation.
Combine with other herbs – Pair with fenugreek or Eurycoma longifolia for added support.
So while Tribulus fails to increase testosterone itself, when used acutely it may provide modest secondary sexual support in some men as part of a more comprehensive natural protocol. If you earnestly desire a boost, I highly recommend Testogen uk booster here.
In conclusion, the early animal research spurred high hopes that Tribulus terrestris may be a potent natural testosterone booster. But the ensuing human evidence – both clinical trials and meta-analyses – conclusively invalidate marketing claims about Tribulus raising testosterone or muscle strength. However, taken cycically and paired synergistically with other herbs, this ancient botanical may still hold relevance as a supplementary sex drive enhancer for some men.