T Nation

Is Tribulus Dangerous?

Tribulus terrestris is a prostrate, matforming plant. Although it has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years, little was scientifically known about it until recently. Tribulus is said to increase testosterone levels by as much as 30%, especially when taken in conjunction with sopharma.

The primary mechanism of action to explain this phenomenon is that tribulus stimulates the secretion of lutenizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary gland. This in turn stimulates testosterone production, as well as growth hormone and estradiol. Therefore, tribulus can easily stimulate gynecomastia (gyno) and insulin resistance. This is very negative for bodybuilders.

In women, tribulus stimulates follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol, but not testosterone. 750-1200 mg/day dosages are not uncommon and is usually stacked with 100 mg/day of DHEA (discussed later) and 100 mg/day of androstenedione. Although the rise in testosterone levels may sound attractive to many athletes, the side effects are much more dire than gynecomastia and insulin resistance.

Tribulus Terrestris has been shown to dilate the coronary arteries (Wang, 1990) and has a diuretic effect (Arcasoy, 1998). In both cases, this can put the athlete in a dangerous state. Bourke (1995) found that severe nervous and muscular locomotor disorders are directly associated with tribulus terrestris ingestion. The production of bile stones is also greatly enhanced (Miles, 1994) due to hyperplasia of the bile ducts and diffuse swelling of hepatocytes (Tapia, 1994).

Gauthaman et al. (2005) suggests that tribulus stimulates androgen production, an effect similar to that of prohormones and prosteroids. For more on prohormones, read The Truth About Prohormones. As noted above, tribulus increases the risk of developing gynecomastia. Jameel et al. (2004) confirms this by stating that the increased incidence of gynecomastia in young male athletes is a direct result of the increased use of steroids and tribulus terrestris. Other evidence suggests that the heavy diuretic effect of tribulus can cause kidney damage.

Tribulus also contains a compound called saponin, which is a class of glucosides. Saponin derived from tribulus has been shown by Li et al. (2002) to elicit a hypoglycemic effect. Serum glucose is significantly lowered with tribulus supplementation, which has negative effects on insulin sensitivity and central nervous system function (the CNS runs solely on blood glucose).

A result of prolonged tribulus supplementation may be diabetes. Further investigations by the same researchers found that tribulus lowers plasma HDL (?good? cholesterol) levels and severely restricts gluconeogenesis activity in the liver. Antonio et al. (2000) assessed the effect of tribulus supplementation (in high doses) on trained male athletes.

Over the course of the investigation, there were no changes in body weight, percentage fat, total body water, dietary intake, or mood states in either group. Slight increases in muscle strength were found in the tribulus group compared to the placebo, but the results were not significant. Antonio and his associates concluded: ?Supplementation with tribulus does not enhance body composition or exercise performance in resistance-trained males.?

Based on the available evidence, tribulus terrestris is an extremely dangerous supplement and cannot be used in a safe manner. Its supplementation should be avoided by all athletes at all times."

If you really wanted to get discussion going, post the articles used. Excerpts are nice, but do not provide enough information.

Google scholar is a good source for this.

The first paragraph sounds like what happens when tribulus is stacked with androgens. So if you don’t stack, you’ll be fine?

Sounds like you cut and pasted from an article. Post the references in the end so your new friends can do further research and draw their own conclusions.

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
The first paragraph sounds like what happens when tribulus is stacked with androgens. So if you don’t stack, you’ll be fine?

Sounds like you cut and pasted from an article. Post the references in the end so your new friends can do further research and draw their own conclusions.[/quote]

Sorry dude, I saw this on another forum, so I don’t have the article, I was just wondering what you guys thought…

Sounds like one of those “supplements and steroids are the devil” types of articles… a bit of fact, a bit of hyperbole and some wildly under detailed conclusions.

I tried tribulus once but after my penis fell off I decided to discontinue use.

[quote]and1bball4mk wrote:
Sorry dude, I saw this on another forum, so I don’t have the article, I was just wondering what you guys thought…
[/quote]

And “another forum” is a reliable source of research? I don’t mind sharing my thoughts, but I would rather have the information that I want first beofre I do so.

For example… something like this is a bit skewed:

[quote]
Jameel et al. (2004) confirms this by stating that the increased incidence of gynecomastia in young male athletes is a direct result of the increased use of steroids and tribulus terrestris[/quote]

No shit, youths taking steroids without a clue can lead to issues? Wow, who would have thought that!

A lot of statements in your post are similar to that.

However, I’m all in favor of taking an aromatase inhibitor when taking endogenous testosterone boosting supplements.

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
and1bball4mk wrote:
Sorry dude, I saw this on another forum, so I don’t have the article, I was just wondering what you guys thought…

And “another forum” is a reliable source of research? I don’t mind sharing my thoughts, but I would rather have the information that I want first beofre I do so.[/quote]

I think it was an article from abcbodubuilding.com

Tribulus mugged me in a dark alley.

BangBus

Propaganda!

Tribulus is my baby’s daddy.

[quote]vroom wrote:
For example… something like this is a bit skewed:

Jameel et al. (2004) confirms this by stating that the increased incidence of gynecomastia in young male athletes is a direct result of the increased use of steroids and tribulus terrestris

No shit, youths taking steroids without a clue can lead to issues? Wow, who would have thought that!

A lot of statements in your post are similar to that.

However, I’m all in favor of taking an aromatase inhibitor when taking endogenous testosterone boosting supplements.[/quote]

A 1999 study showed that people who eat oatmeal and do meth and cocaine for 4 day binges are great risk of heart attack and death. Oatmeal is bad for you.

Well, if you take what you posted as gospel then you surely don’t have to use it. However, this site is filled with people who have been using this product for at least ten years with great results and none of the negative reactions the article states. I am one of them.

Take care,

D

[quote]Professor X wrote:

A 1999 study showed that people who eat oatmeal and do meth and cocaine for 4 day binges are great risk of heart attack and death. Oatmeal is bad for you.[/quote]

Careful, a newbie will think you are joking.

[b][quote]The guy who wrote that article wrote:

Gauthaman et al. (2005) suggests that tribulus stimulates androgen production, an effect similar to that of prohormones and prosteroids.[/quote][/b]

I believe he meant this one:

Conversely:

[quote]
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):319-23.

The aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men.

    * Neychev VK,
    * Mitev VI.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Medical University, 2 Zdrave str., Sofia-1431, Bulgaria. 

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current study is to investigate the influence of Tribulus terrestris extract on androgen metabolism in young males. DESIGN AND METHODS: Twenty-one healthy young 20-36 years old men with body weight ranging from 60 to 125 kg were randomly separated into three groups-two experimental (each n=7) and a control (placebo) one (n=7). The experimental groups were named TT1 and TT2 and the subjects were assigned to consume 20 and 10 mg/kg body weight per day of Tribulus terrestris extract, respectively, separated into three daily intakes for 4 weeks. Testosterone, androstenedione and luteinizing hormone levels in the serum were measured 24 h before supplementation (clear probe), and at 24, 72, 240, 408 and 576 h from the beginning of the supplementation. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between Tribulus terrestris supplemented groups and controls in the serum testosterone (TT1 (mean+/-S.D.: 15.75+/-1.75 nmol/l); TT2 (mean+/-S.D.: 16.32+/-1.57 nmol/l); controls (mean+/-S.D.: 17.74+/-1.09 nmol/l) (p>0.05)), androstenedione (TT1 (mean+/-S.D.: 1.927+/-0.126 ng/ml); TT2 (mean+/-S.D.: 2.026+/-0.256 ng/ml); controls (mean+/-S.D.: 1.952+/-0.236 ng/ml) (p>0.05)) or luteinizing hormone (TT1 (mean+/-S.D.: 4.662+/-0.274U/l); TT2 (mean+/-S.D.: 4.103+/-0.869U/l); controls (mean+/-S.D.: 4.170+/-0.406U/l) (p>0.05)) levels. All results were within the normal range. The findings in the current study anticipate that Tribulus terrestris steroid saponins possess neither direct nor indirect androgen-increasing properties. The study will be extended in the clarifying the probable mode of action of Tribulus terrestris steroid saponins.[/quote]

Damn, why can’t someone just tell me if it’s good or bad…

i hear vitamins are bad also. so i guess i should stop taking vitamins and oatmeal. i also heard beign obese is good for you. you have to realize statistics can be skewed in any direction they want to skew them. The control on all these studies isn’t much of a control because their regimnes for eating, lifting, and so on arent controlled.

I recently took 2 weeks off from TRIBEX, as is recommended. Shortly after I resumed, my energy went up and so did my overall well-being. It does work and works well, at least for me.

It may work better for us old guys.

HH

Here is a link to the Jameel et al. refference about Gyno

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=883263

Sounds like bs to me, why would a chemical known to enhance production of LH and androgens cause someone to score so low on those tests?

And as to the sheep paralysis, you can find the abstract on PubMed. The sheep were fed a diet of 80% tribulus which the OP’s article neglects to mention. It also fails to mention that sheep grazing on oats (the whole plant, not processed kind) also experience photosensitization due to liver damage.

In light of this, I honestly think the article posted is trash.