What Is Tribulus Terrestris (Bulgarian 50:1)?
Tribulus terrestris is an herb used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries by men to enhance libido, establish hormone balance, and keep the urinary tract healthy.*
Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris (50:1) boosts libido by 79% and increases testosterone by stimulating luteinizing hormone, prompting the testes to produce testosterone.* It inhibits the enzymes responsible for the unwanted conversion of hormones to estrogen and DHT, increasing testosterone and lowering estrogen. And Tribulus increases the effectiveness of testosterone in target tissues by enhancing androgen receptor density.*
Tribulus is also a known aphrodisiac, and numerous studies have confirmed its pro-libido use. One study, in particular, found that taking the herb daily for two months led to a 79% increase in male libido.*
Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris (Bulgarian 50:1)
- Increases natural testosterone production*
- Boosts libido*
- Prevents unwanted hormone conversion to estrogen*
- Enhances androgen receptor activity*
What You Need to Know About Tribulus Terrestris (Bulgarian 50:1)
Tribulus terrestris is a leafy plant commonly known as puncture vine. It grows in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but the best is Bulgarian-grown Tribulus.
Traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurveda medicine have used Tribulus to enhance libido, establish hormonal balance, and keep the urinary tract healthy.
Japanese Research on Boxers
Japanese researchers (Ma et al. 2015) studied the positive effects of Tribulus on male boxers. They suggest Tribulus's active compounds vary depending on geographical region, climate, and herb parts. The study wanted to see how Tribulus affected muscle mass, muscle damage, and anaerobic performance and whether IGF-1, GH, or testosterone changes had any effect.
The researchers split 15 boxers into two groups. All athletes received similar 3-week high-intensity and 3-week high-volume training separated by a 4-week rest period. The high-intensity training consisted of maximum strength workouts (twice a week) and speed workouts (twice a week) done on different days. One group received 1250 mg daily of a standardized Tribulus extract.
After concluding the training program, the boxers in the Tribulus group showed increased muscle power, less muscle damage, and decreased IGF binding protein.
Polish Study on Middle-aged Men
In a Polish study, scientists tested 14 men between the ages of 45 and 60 for 12 weeks. All men, including the controls, used a well-designed resistance-training program. The men in the treatment group took 900 mg of Tribulus daily in divided doses for weeks 1-6. Then that group took 1800 mg daily in divided doses for weeks 7-12.
At the end of 12 weeks, the men in the Tribulus group showed the following changes:
- 12% testosterone increase
- 11% GH increase
- 20% IGF-1 increase
- 7% body fat loss
- 4% LDL decrease
- 7% HD increase
What To Make Of This Data
Tribulus certainly boosts testosterone and IGF-1, but how?
There are several theories:
- Tribulus Boosts LH: Historically, the thinking is Tribulus works because of its high levels of protodioscin, a steroidal saponin. And protodioscin stimulates the pituitary to boost luteinizing hormone (LH). This surge of LH then prompts the testes to produce more testosterone.
- Tribulus Blocks Aromatase/Reductase: Some now believe the boosted testosterone has more to do with inhibiting key enzymes responsible for its unwanted conversion to estrogen and DHT. That would automatically ensure higher levels of testosterone.
- Tribulus Increases Androgen Receptor Activity: Others think Tribulus increases androgen receptor density and activity in the brain and muscle tissue. That would increase testosterone's effective potency and explain how a modest testosterone increase in the boxers had a profound effect on increased power and less muscle damage than controls.
- Tribulus Increases IGF1 Activity: Scientists speculate that Tribulus decreasing IGF binding protein increases IGF-1 activity, stimulating muscle growth, preventing training-induced muscle damage, and speeding recovery.
What About Sex?
Studies confirm Tribulus's pro-sexual use. One finds taking 750 to 1500 mg of Tribulus daily for two months increases male sex drive by 79%. Another finds that 67% of women taking 500 to 1500 mg of Tribulus daily for 90 days experience increased sexual desire (Neychev 2016).
There's emerging evidence from animal studies pointing to endothelium and nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms underlying Tribulus's pro-sexual effects.
If you relax the endothelium of blood vessels and increase the production of nitric oxide, you get a more functional erection. Females respond in much the same way to an increase in nitric oxide. Increased blood flow and subsequent engorgement enhance sensitivity.
Where to Get Potent Tribulus
Tribulus's effectiveness comes down to strength and purity. The best Tribulus terrestris comes from Bulgarian soil and climate. The Bulgarians also know precisely when to harvest their Tribulus plants and which parts to use. For instance, they've discovered that levels of saponins and other potent compounds increase before and during the flowering stage and decrease after bearing fruit. Likewise, they know the leaves and roots have the highest concentration of saponins, followed by the fruits and stems.
Look for a highly purified Bulgarian 50:1 extract. That means it takes 50 kilograms of raw herb to make 1 kilogram of finished extract.
An effective daily dose of Bulgarian Tribulus 50:1 extract is 500 mg.
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Research on Tribulus Terrestris (Bulgarian 50:1)
- Gamal El Din SF et al. Tribulus terrestris versus placebo in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with late-onset hypogonadism: A placebo-controlled study. Urologia. 2019 May;86(2):74-78. doi: 10.1177/0391560318802160. Epub 2018 Sep 25. ABSTRACT: Aging is associated with a series of morphological and functional modifications that leads to reduced physiological efficiency and atrophy of various organs and systems. Tribulus terrestris induces its effect in fertility and sexual functions through the steroidal saponins, particularly the dominant saponins protodioscin. We aimed in this study to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of Tribulus terrestris in aging males with partial androgen deficiency who suffered from erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms. A total of 70 randomized aging patients with erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms were recruited from June 2017 to March 2018 from our andrology outpatient clinic. Thirty-five patients (group A) received Tribulus terrestris three times daily for 3 months and the other 35 patients (group B) received placebo. The mean of aspartate transaminase was elevated in group A after 3 months of receiving Tribulus terrestris (26.5 (before), 27.8 (after), respectively, p = 0.03). Moreover, there were significant elevations in the means of both total testosterone together with the score of the validated Arabic index of erectile function (5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function) (2.2, 10.7 (before), 2.7, 16.1 (after), p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). Finally, the mean of the total prostate-specific antigen was elevated in this group (1.4 (before), 1.7 (before), p = 0.007, respectively). Interestingly, there were no worsening of the lower urinary tract symptoms in group A as there was no change in the mean score of the international prostate symptom score, which was used to assess these symptoms before and after treatment (mean 14.4 (before), 14.6 (after), p = 0.67, respectively). In sum, this study replicates the findings of previous reports about the robust effect of this herbal medicine in elevating the testosterone level and improving the sexual function of patients who suffered from erectile dysfunction with partial androgen deficiency.
- Salgado RM et al. Effect of oral administration of Tribulus terrestris extract on semen quality and body fat index of infertile men. Andrologia. 2017 Jun;49(5). doi: 10.1111/and.12655. Epub 2016 Jul 12. ABSTRACT: Male fertility can be evaluated through complete semen analysis. Plants belonging to the Tribulus genus are known for their role in enhancing sex hormone levels and semen quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of T. terrestris on semen quality and physiological parameters. Sixty-five men with abnormal semen evaluation were included in this study, in which they were prescribed with oral administration of Androsten® (250 mg of Tribulus terrestris dried extract per capsule). Body fat percentage, lean muscle mass gain, fluctuation in steroid hormone levels and all semen parameters were analysed during the period of treatment. The results demonstrated that decrease in the percentage of body fat and increase in lean mass were significant, as well as increase in dihydrotestosterone levels. Complete semen analysis evaluated at the end of treatment showed significant enhancement in sperm concentration, motility and liquefaction time. Protodioscin, the main phytochemical agent of the Tribulus genus, acts on sertoli cells, germ cell proliferation and growth of seminiferous tubules. This component is known to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which plays important roles in male attributes. Our results indicate the therapeutic use of Tribulus terrestris by men presenting altered semen parameters, and/or undergoing infertility treatment.
- Wilk M et al. Endocrine Responses to Physical Training and Tribulus Terrestris Supplementation in Middle-Age Men. Central European Journal of Sports Sciences and Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 1/2016: 65-71. ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of steroidal saponin supplementation on blood concentration of T, GH and IGF-1. The research involved 14 men between the age of 45 and 60 years. The duration of the experiment was 12 weeks. There were two series of laboratory tests. Independent tests were conducted at the beginning and after 12 weeks of the inter vention. A t wo-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed a statistically significant effect of the intervention on the following variables: T-Ch (η2 = 0.542), HDL-Ch (η2 = 0.522), LDL-Ch (η2 = 0.587), T (η2 = 0.603), IGF-1 (η2 = 0.512) and GH (η2 = 0.621). Thus, FFM significantly increased while TBF and BM decreased in comparison to pre-intervention levels. The analyzed results indicate that treatment or supplementation of individual hormone deficiencies can be a successful form of counteracting the aging process. Nevertheless, the effects of TT supplementation on the concentration of T as well as GH and IGF-1, requires further studies, especially in middle-aged and older subjects, along with different exercise programs. The analyzed results indicate that treatment or supplementation of individual hormone deficiencies can be a major form of counteracting the aging process
- Haghmorad D et al. Improvement of fertility parameters with Tribulus Terrestris and Anacyclus Pyrethrum treatment in male rats. Int Braz J Urol. Sep-Oct 2019;45(5):1043-1054. doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2018.0843. ABSTRACT: Objective: Anacyclus Pyrethrum (AP) and Tribulus Terrestris (TT) have been reported as male infertility treatment in several studies; however, in Iranian traditional medicine these two plants are prescribed simultaneously. In this study, we aimed to determine the effects of AP and TT extracts both separately and simultaneously on the male Wistar rat fertility parameters. Materials and methods: 32 male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: Control, TT, AP, and AT treated groups. Treatment continued for 25 days and rats were weighed daily. Their testes were dissected for histological studies. Sperm analysis including sperm count, viability and motility were performed. Serum was obtained to evaluate testosterone, LH and FSH levels. Histological studies were conducted to study Leydig, and Sertoli cells, spermatogonia and spermatid cell numbers, and to measure seminiferous diameter and epithelium thickness. Results: Sperm count increased in all the treatment groups. Sperm viability and motility in AT and AP groups were elevated. TT and AT groups showed signifi cantly increased testosterone level compared to control group (P=004, P=0.000, respectively) and TT, AP and AT treatment groups showed increased LH level (P=0.002, P=0.03 and P=0.000, respectively) compared to control, while only AT group showed increased FSH (p=0.006) compared to control. Histological studies showed signifi cant increase of spermatogonia, Leydig and Sertoli cell numbers and epithelial thickness in AT group compared to other groups. All the treatment groups had higher number of Leydig, spermatogonia and spermatid cells. Conclusion: TT and AP improved sexual parameters; however, their simultaneous administration had higher improving effects on studied parameters.
- Adaikan G et al. History of herbal medicines with an insight on the pharmacological properties of Tribulus terrestris September 2001. The Aging Male 4(3):163-169. DOI:10.1080/tam.126.96.36.199. ABSTRACT: Phytochemicals have played a vital role in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Although synthetic drugs can produce dramatic results in most cases, the side-effects associated with them are a major concern. The source of many compounds used in modern medicine today can be traced down to plant origin. Whether or not scientific justification is available for the use of most plant products, the continued use of these compounds is due to their safety profile, ease of availability and also economic reasons. Each medicinal plant that has been used in the traditional system of medicine must be scientifically tested in order to bring forth its active principle that might be effectively used as a phytomedicine. In this vast resource of phytoproducts there are various plants that are claimed to improve the sexual deficiency in man. Tribulus terrestris Linn. (TT) is one such plant that has been used for a long time in both the Indian and Chinese systems of medicine. The plant is also said to possess various other pharmacological properties. The extract obtained from the air-dried aerial parts of this plant contains mainly steroidal glycosides, the major saponin being protodioscin (PTN). In our study on this plant product it was observed that PTN produced a moderate increase in testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in primates following bolus intravenous administration of the TT extract at doses of 7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg body weight. It also improved libido, sexual activity and intracavernous pressure in rats following TT extract administration orally (for 8 weeks at doses of 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg body weight) and had a proerectile effect on the corpus cavernosum smooth muscle of rabbits (orally for 8 weeks at doses of 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg body weight). In this article, the various pharmacological effects of TT have been reviewed and our studies based on TT extract in relation to male erectile dysfunction have been summarized.