Tribulus Terrestris Review

This tribulus terrestris review may stand in contrast to some of the other highly enthusiastic reviews of this supplement on the internet. They did have me excited to try it out, though. This supplement in particular seems to cross over between the athletic/body building communities and the sex-enhancement crowd. Somehow, the flowering plant has gotten all around the world, from eastern Europe, to India, Africa and southeast Asia. Tribulus terrestris is known as puncture vine, caltrop, goathead, Bai Ji Li in traditional Chinese medicine and gokshura in Ayurveda.

Tribulus Terrestris Review: Does it work at all?
Tribulus has some serious exposure in the athletic literature. The human studies are reminiscent of the studies on phosphatidylserine : they show some mild, trending-toward-improvements in the testosterone biometrics, yet they probably have more subtle, yet discernible effect that has athletes coming back for more (1). In my mind the difference between tribulus and phosphatidylserine, however, is that one is already in your body, while tribulus is certainly not. Similar mixed-kinda-sorta positive results were observed in trials of tribulus in combination with other herbs (2,3).

Mixed results notwithstanding, animal and anecdotal evidence and positive tribulus terrestris review write-ups abound. Rats, mice, and primates show some greatly improved sexual zeal when supplemented on the stuff (4,5). And reports all over the internet suggest that sustained use can strongly improve sexual performance.

Tribulus terrestris review: How does it work?
So tribulus barely moves the dial on testosterone levels in humans in real clinical studies. But it still has an effect. What's happening? The active compound in tribulus is protodioscin, which is very similar in structure to DHEA. While DHEA ultimately exerts it's effects in the system by producing more testosterone, it can also be used to produce more estrogen. This proximity may have something to do with the (rare) case reports of gynocomastia ("man boobs") associated with use of tribulus.

Like ginseng and maca, I strongly suspect that the steroid-like compounds in the tribulus are acting directly on hormone receptors in the body. This phenomenon is similar to phytoestrogens-- estrogen-like compounds from nature-- acting on the estrogen receptor in the body to cause physiological effects.

Tribulus terrestris review: The experiment
Like all supplements in this review series, I ordered tribulus terrestris from and took two pills per day wednesday through saturday. Like all other supplements in this series, I noticed nothing special in terms of my body physiology. As far as my experience is concerned, I saw no harmful effects in the short term. Note: I wouldn't take anything EXCEPT ginseng over the long term (ginseng has well-established long term medical data, others just have unexamined "history of use").

In this short-term experiment, I observed nothing special in my sexual experience with tribulus terrestris. No extra-strong erections. No super staying power. No wild body sensations. No noticably enhanced desire. Just normal, good sex.

Like other compounds in this report, I would be surprised if this didn't show results with sustained intake. I'm just not up for that kind of experiment on my body right now.

This tribulus terrestris review is not so positive. Check out phytoandrogens that worked better at this page.

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1. Rogerson, S, Riches, CJ, Jennings, C, et al. "The effect of five weeks of Tribulus terrestric supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during preseason training in elite rugby league players." J Strength Cond Res. 21 (2007) 348-53.
2. Brown, GA, Vukovich, MD, Martini, ER, et al. "Effects of androstenedione-herbal supplementation on serum sex hormone concentrations in 30- to 59-year-old men." Int J Vitamin Nutr Res. 71 (2001) 293-301.
3. Brown, GA, Vukovich, MS, Reifenrath, TA, et al. "Effects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young men." Int J Vitamin Nutr Res. 10 (2000) 340-59.
4. Gauthaman, K, Ganesan, AP. "The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction--an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat." Phytomedicine. 15 (2008) 44-54.
5. Gauthaman, K, Adaikan, PG, Prasad, RN. "Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus terrestris extract (protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats." Life Sci. 71 (2002) 1385-96.
6. Jameel, JK, Kneeshaw, PJ, Rao, VS, Drew, PJ. "Gynaecomastia and the plant product 'Tribulus terrestris'." Breast 13 (2004) 428-30.

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