Tribulus terrestris is an herbaceous plant in the Zygophyllaceae family. It has many common names, including bullhead, caltrop, devil's thorn, devil's weed and goathead.
Tribulus is found in many regions of the world including South Africa, Australia, Europe, and India. This plant typically grows in flat patches, with a crown that can exceed three feet in diameter. The fruits are surrounded by nutlets with sharp points that can be very painful to step on.
Tribulus has a long history of use in various systems of traditional medicine throughout the world, especially for sexual health.
The steroidal saponins of Tribulus are considered to be the compounds responsible for the extract's biological activity. The activity of Tribulus supplements depends on the concentration and the composition of steroidal saponins, which varies greatly depending on the geographical origin of plant material, soil conditions and time of harvest. The steroidal saponin called protodioscin is the primary active component that supports enhanced sexual function in those taking Tribulus.
Xtend-Life uses two gold standard Tribulus terrestris extracts to ensure maximum potency and consistency. One extract is from Tribulus fruit and is standardised to 38% protodioscin. This form is also known as Bulgarian Tribulus, not commonly used because of the high cost Xtend-Life's formulations includes another standardised Tribulus terrestris extract from the whole plant. This ingredient is standardised to 40% saponins.
Extracts from Tribulus standardised for protodioscin content have been shown to produce proerectile effects, improved sperm motility, libido and increased levels of testosterone and related hormones in multiple animal studies. Results from human clinical trials have shown those taking Tribulus extract have significant improvements in erection, libido, orgasmic function and testosterone levels. These effects have been demonstrated in both young adults and elderly men.
The mechanisms by which Tribulus exerts its hormonal and sexual enhancement benefits are still being worked out.
Most uses of Tribulus relate to its ability to increase testosterone production and improve erectile function, sperm quality and libido. Due to Tribulus's effect on testosterone, those looking to increase body mass (e.g. body builders), also use Tribulus supplements.
Although people often take Tribulusfor its effects on sexual function and testosterone, it has also been studied for other important effects. For example, Tribulus is taken by those who need support regulating their blood glucose levels.
The most significant signs that you may need Tribulus are generally the result of low testosterone levels, especially in men. These signs primarily include a low libido and difficulty in achieving an erection. Poor male fertility is also a sign that Tribulus could benefit you. Physically active men who need to gain weight may also want to use Tribulus. Additional signs that you may need Tribulus supplements include unhealthy blood pressure.
Ștefănescu, R. et al. A Comprehensive Review of the Phytochemical, Pharmacological, and Toxicological Properties of Tribulus terrestris L. Biomolecules. 2020 May; 10(5): 752.
Chhatre, S. et al. Phytopharmacological overview of Tribulus terrestris. Pharmaconosy Reviews. 2014 Jan;8(15):45-51.
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