Tribulus (puncture vine) is a vine that has been used as a general tonic (energy) and herbal treatment for impotence, but is found primarily in dietary supplements marketed for increasing Testosterone levels in bodybuilders and power athletes.
- Increased testosterone production
- Increased muscle mass/strength
The idea behind tribulus is that it may increase testosterone levels indirectly by raising blood levels of another hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and plays a role in regulating natural testosterone production and serum levels.
The active ingredient in tribulus is unknown, but is though to be a component known as furostanol saponins. There has been very little research conducted on the effectiveness of tribulus in elevating testosterone levels – the main claim made by body building products which contain the herb. In some cultures, the tribulus terrestris plant has been used as a "tonic" to in crease energy levels and treat sexual dysfunction (usually in males). In animals, tribulus may stimulate "mounting" behavior. Some European studies suggest that tribulus extract can increase testosterone levels 30-50% above baseline levels – but still well within the normal range. Unfortunately, however, these same studies also suggest a similar increase in estradiol levels – not exactly what the hardcore muscle builders should be interested in boosting
If tribulus extract does indeed elevate testosterone levels somewhat, but keeps them within normal ranges, it may be an effective supplement for individuals with reduced testosterone levels such as athletes at risk for overtraining syndrome and in those individuals on a prolonged low-calorie diet. It will not, however, cause you to start sprouting muscles from all parts of your body, as many body building mags would have you believe.
In one of the few well-controlled studies to examine the effects of tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance looked at 15 resistance-trained males. Subjects received either a placebo or a large dose of tribulus (1.5mg per pound of body weight per day for 2 months). Results showed no changes in body weight, percentage fat, total muscle mass or muscle strength related to tribulus supplementation.
Although no significant side effects should be expected at doses of tribulus contained in commercial dietary supplements, animal studies have suggested the possibility of locomotor (muscle coordination) disturbances following ingestion of tribulus in high quantities. In sheep consuming tribulus plant for several months, neurological disease was characterized by an irreversible, asymmetrical, weakness of the hindlimbs.
Products containing tribulus are typically marketed to bodybuilders and athletes concerned with increasing muscle mass and strength. Although such products are typically combinations of ingredients which include tribulus, rather than tribulus alone, the scientific evidence for product effectiveness is typically lacking. At this time, Supplement Watch does not view tribulus extract (on its own) as a valuable dietary supplement for muscle building. As a support ingredient contained in a wider supplement blend, tribulus may provide some benefits to those individuals interested in maintaining testosterone levels in the normal range (overtrained athletes and dieters).
A typical dosage of 250-1500 mg of tribulus per day is fairly common. Be sure to choose an extract standardized for at least 30-45% steroidal saponins (furostanol).
1. Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest C. The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Jun;10(2):208-15.
2. Arcasoy HB, Erenmemisoglu A, Tekol Y, Kurucu S, Kartal M. Effect of Tribulus terrestris L. saponin mixture on some smooth muscle preparations: a preliminary study. Boll Chim Farm. 1998 Dec;137(11):473-5.
3. Bourke CA. Hepatopathy in sheep associated with Tribulus terrestris. Aust Vet J. 1983 Jun;60(6):189.
4. Bourke CA. Staggers in sheep associated with the ingestion of Tribulus terrestris. Aust Vet J. 1984 Nov;61(11):360-3.
5. Duhan A, Chauhan BM, Punia D. Nutritional value of some non-conventional plant foods of India. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1992 Jul;42(3):193-200.
6. Wu G, Jiang S, Jiang F, Zhu D, Wu H, Jiang S. Steroidal glycosides from Tribulus terrestris. Phytochemistry. 1996 Aug;42(6):1677-81.
7. Xu YX, Chen HS, Liang HQ, Gu ZB, Liu WY, Leung WN, Li TJ. Three new saponins from Tribulus terrestris. Planta Med. 2000 Aug;66(6):545-50.
8. Yan W, Ohtani K, Kasai R, Yamasaki K. Steroidal saponins from fruits of Tribulus terrestris. Phytochemistry. 1996 Jul;42(5):1417-22.
Copyright 2001, SupplementWatch, Inc. - www.supplementwatch.com
Does Tribulus only work with Testacles? or would it work for a female through the adrenal glands?
good question Ripped-babe. I personally don't think it would affect the adrenal glands of a female any more than it would (if at all) a males. If tribulus at all increases a males natural output of testerone by way of the LH, then I would have to say no. A female would need a natural source of testosterone production by way of LH to have tribulus work for them.
Women produce testosterone. Men produce it in the testes. Women produce it in the ovaries and the adrenal glands. To answer ripped_babe's question, yes.
so it looks like its not that great for building muscle, but good at maintaining test levels.....so it leans more towards sexual performance then??? What about the TRIBEX supplement? i was about to purchase it and thats why im reading all these posts on tribulus.....
For me it is great in my pct. I love the stuff.
It could be good for sexual performance if low testosterone is to blame. If high estrogen or progesterone is the problem, then raising test won't help much until the estrogen and progesterone are controlled. For PCT it would be good to include anti-estrogen as well.
There are days on a cycle when I just feel dry... taking some Trib with ZMA boosts me up to normal male-constant-hardon mode within hours.
okay.....so can someone take TRIBEX just as a supplement year round? or is it better to take it in a pct way? im trying to figure out which way would be best for me.
i wouldnt take it year round but take it in cycles a few months at a time
I don't take it with a cycle. I think it would be a great aid to you if you used it in a pct. I noticed a jump in my strength
In answer to your question ripped_babe I've put menopausal gals suffering with all the usual probalems that go along with menopause on trib and over the course of a month all those issues that they have had to deal with subsided and as long as said gals stayed on the trib they have not had a return of menopausal problems (mind you they did get their periods back).
As far as AAS using guys go add it into your cycle as it does help quite a bit in keeping the "boys" full, and makes PCT so much easier to accomplish.
i know we are talking about TRIBULUS....but what product specifically......TRIBEX?