Tribulus Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Tribulus is a flowering species of weed commonly referred to as yellow vine, bindii and puncturevine. The plant is often included in supplements for weight loss because some manufacturers claim Tribulus increases natural testosterone levels in the body and libido. Testosterone aids in the formation of muscles which could mean more testosterone would lead to bigger and thicker muscles. There is no evidence that this is how Tribulus works in the body, but that does not stop supplement manufacturers from marketing products with Tribulus as a main or secondary ingredient.

List of Ingredients

Tribulus Terrestris.

Product Features

Different cultures use Tribulus for different reasons. In India, it is used as a diuretic to reduce water retention. The same medicinal culture claims it has aphrodisiac qualities. In Chinese medicine, Tribulus was used to tonify the body. The United States is one (or the) only culture that supports muscle building properties of Tribulus.

Animal studies have been performed on the flowering plant, but with no much success. Mice did show increased mounting aggression which would support the claim of increased libido, but these effects have not been repeated in a human trial. In one human trial, Tribulus did not affect hormone levels (including testosterone) in young men. Another study compared the effects of an androstenedione with Tribulus to one without. Androstenedione is a steroid hormone found in humans. The study revealed that adding Tribulus did not impact the effect of the steroid hormone for the better or worse.

While many testosterone boosting supplements will claim to naturally boost testosterone for quicker muscle growth, none have been proven to do anything of the sort. There are no human trials that we could find proving any supplement created with natural herbs could boost testosterone and increase muscle growth.

There are some side effects that have been reported when dieters and bodybuilders have used Tribulus. Mild stomach upset is the most commonly reported side effect and may be treated by taking Tribulus with food. Another side effect could be gynocomastia or enlargement of the male breast. This symptom in men can be associated with higher than normal testosterone levels, such as those achieved when steroids are taken. The testosterone is transformed to estrogen and male breasts form. This side effect would mean Tribulus increases testosterone and that has not been proven, so it is likely that this claim was false.

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Advantages

  • None.

Disadvantages

  • Will not increase testosterone.
  • May cause stomach discomfort.

Conclusion

Tribulus is a weight loss or bodybuilding ingredient that does not have the scientific support needed to prove it will work. Natural testosterone supplements typically include ingredients that claim to boost muscle growth without any support from human (or even animal) studies to the same effect.

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