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
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.