Tribulus Terrestris Testosterone Facts

Tribulus terrestris information

Tribulus terrestris is a widespread weed in warm regions.

The proposed active ingredient is the steroidal saponin protodioscin.

It is commonly stated that Tribulus:

– Increases Testosterone Levels

– Increases Libido (sexual drive)

– Increases muscle mass and strength

Now let’s examine each of these claims in detail with the published research – this article will focus on the first claim regarding it’s effects on testosterone. The other claims will be evaluated in future articles.

Tribulus increases Testosterone – the research is scarce!

Study #1 – FAILED to show increase

2005 – Tribulus does not influence the androgen production in young men

Studied 21 men, aged 20-36

Bulgarian Tribulus used – supposedly was 60% saponin content

The formula was NOT standardized for protodioscin

Study #2 – Tribulus increased Total Testosterone and Free Testosterone

2012 – Sexual Libido study: Tribulus and algae versus Tadalafil (like Viagra) 5mg daily

Studied 70 men, average age 67

~400mg Tribulus

Was a combo pill with an algae extract and glucosamine

Total Testosterone level almost tripled

Free Testosterone level doubled

*it is important to note that this was a mature group (average age 67)

Study #3 – increased Testosterone for 10 days

2009 – Influence of Tribulus on athlete homeostasis

Study from Lithuania, I could only get my hands on the abstract not the full paper. States Tribulus increased Testosterone for the first 10 days only.

Study #4 – increased Testosterone in Animal Study**

**Please note this was an animal study – I am including it because of an interesting takeaway point

2008 – Tribulus terrestris and its hormonal effects on primates, rabbits, and rats

Tribulus terrestris given to primates (by injection) increased

Testosterone by 52%

Dihydrotestosterone by 31%

DHEA-sulfate by 29%

Now for the interesting part:

When it was given to castrated rats, it increased:

Testosterone by 51%

Dihydrotestosterone by 25%

Why is that interesting?

If you read a lot of the online junk science on most bodybuilding and workout sites, they tell you that Tribulus works by increasing your production of testosterone by acting like LH or FSH – hormones that make your testes produce more testosterone. Castrated rats have no testes.

Tribulus terrestris must be working to increase testosterone in a different way – possibly by metabolism into steroid precursors like DHEA or Androstenedione.

Summary – Does Tribulus terrestris increase Testosterone? Maybe.

The smaller human study said no, but the larger one said yes, so did the animal study.

I have used a specific standardized brand of Tribulus terrestris myself, and actually had blood tests done that showed higher testosterone (both total and free testosterone roughly doubled). I am 34 years old.