Today we examine the herbal supplement called Tribulus terrestris.
What is it supposedly for?
To promote large gains in strength and lean muscle mass in as little as 5 to 28 days. The mechanism is meant be based on androgenic hormones such as testosterone.
Why the popularity?
It achieved status when many Bulgarian Olympic athletes claimed it enabled them great success. It was also largely explored by the body building community in the 1970`s.
You may have heard of it but never realised here are some of its other names: goat’s-head, bindii, bullhead, burra gokharu, Bhakhdi, caltrop, small caltrops, cat’s-head, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s-thorn, devil’s-weed, puncture vine, puncturevine, and tackweed.
Does it work?
Functionally when tested in strict conditions it has been proven to have of no significant effect on androgenic hormone levels. It failed to increase testosterone level in control group studies.It failed to show any strength improving properties what so ever. Here are the relevant studies.
- Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Reifenrath TA, Uhl NL, Parsons KA, Sharp RL, King DS (2000). “Effects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young men”. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 10 (3): 340–59. PMID10997957.
- · Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Martini ER, Kohut ML, Franke WD, Jackson DA, King DS (2001). “Endocrine and lipid responses to chronic androstenediol-herbal supplementation in 30 to 58 year old men”. J Am Coll Nutr. 20 (5): 520–8. doi:10.1080/07315724.2001.10719061. PMID 11601567.
- Neychev VK, Mitev VI (2005). “The aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men”. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 101 (1–3): 319–23. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.05.017. PMID15994038.
Like many products, you have to be careful with the selection of any supplement you choose to take. Don`t just accept whatever the media creates a buzz for and any sensational news reports showing miraculous transformations. Look for scientific publications that are not endorsed by a brand or a large pharmaceutical company, as the latter have had a history of tampering studies to achieve sales. Look for information on websites from Medical Association, Sports Journals or nutrition books and even consult specialists.
Till next time,
Ben – Founder Spartan’s Lane – http://www.spartanslane.com