▷ Are There Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris?

We earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Are There Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris?

Written by Sabrina Wilson and updated on May 5, 2018
The Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris

When it comes to the world of supplements, there tends to be two key areas that dominate the entire industry: those supplements that enhance body composition changes (by promoting weight loss and muscle growth), and those that enhance health.

With this in mind, there are also a select few options that have been suggested to do both – but unfortunately – many of these are nowhere near as effective as they claim to be.

Which is why, when one such supplement starts receiving a heap of positive attention within the health and fitness industry, we tend to take notice.

Which is exactly what has happened in the case of Tribulus Terrestris.

But does it really work, or is it just more hype?

What Is Tribulus Terrestris?

Tribulus Terrestris is a small leafy plant that grows extremely well within the Mediterranean, where it is is often recognized by its bright yellow flowers and small hard fruits. Both the fruits and the roots of this plant have been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicinal practices for centuries.

Within these medicinal practices, the Tribulus Terrestris was long suggested to enhance eyesight and detoxify the body, while also increasing libido and sexual function – amazingly, there are even reference to this interesting plant in the Kama sutra.

In modern day, the supplementation of Tribulus Terrestris has been suggested to promote fat loss and enhance muscle growth, while also conjunction with having a positive impact on libido, metabolic health, and even helping treat issues that occur after menopause.

These effects are though to come down the many potent antioxidant and steroidal compounds this unique plant has been shown to contain – some of which are thought to interact with the body at a cellular level to cause some serious improvement in health and function.

But is this really the case?

How Does Tribulus Terrestris Work?

While the exact mechanism remains somewhat unclear, the increased consumption of Tribulus Terrestris has been shown to increase the number of androgen receptors found within the brain. This has further been suggested to enhance the normal libido enhancing properties of androgenic compounds and hormones that are found within the body.

Additionally, a specific component found within the Tribulus Terrestris plant, known as Tribulosin, has been shown to exhibit a protective effect on the cells of cardiovascular system, indicating some capacity to reduce markers of inflammation, reduce blood sugar levels, and reduce blood cholesterol levels, thus improving metabolic and heart health.

And finally, there are some other key compounds that it contains that have been shown to act as Adaptogens. Adaptogens are a group of compounds that enhance the body’s ability to deal with stress, increasing its function and efficiency. Taking this into consideration, Tribulus Terrestris has also been suggested to enhance health through the action of these adaptogenic compounds.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Tribulus Terrestris?

Given the unique array of potent compounds that the Tribulus Terrestris contains, its suggested effects are early quite broad, where it is described to enhance health and function across a number of different health systems within the body.

As a result, we wanted to take an objective look at the research to determine where exactly Tribulus Terrestris offers us the most benefit, and where it does not.

Does Tribulus Terrestris Increase Strength?

Due to the interaction of Tribulus Terrestris on androgen receptors within the brain, it has been suggested that it may also act on those same receptors within the muscle tissue, causing an increase in strength and power development while also impacting athletic performance in a positive manner.

Interestingly, there is research demonstrating that supplementing with Tribulus Terrestris while undertaking a solid strength training routine will not increase strength and power any more than exercise alone. This suggest that it does not enhance strength or power development in any manner [1].

Does Tribulus Terrestris Promote Muscle Growth?

Through the same mechanisms suggested in the previous point, supplementing with Tribulus Terrestris has also been thought to enhance the rate of muscle growth normally observed during weight training.

Again, this does not appear to be the case, with two high level intervention studies showing that combining weight training with Tribulus Terrestris will not enhance muscle growth any more than weight training without its supplementation [1, 2].

Does Tribulus Terrestris Reduce Body Fat and Help with Weight Loss?

One of the key bioactive compounds found within Tribulus Terrestris is called protodioscin, which has actually been shown to act on specific cells fond within the testes, where it has the potential to improve the management of key hormones.

Interestingly, when men who have pre-diagnosed erectile dysfunction have taken Tribulus Terrestris, they have seen both a small increase in sperm quality, and a reduction in fat mass [3].

This suggests that Tribulus Terrestris may have the potential to promote weight loss by correcting hormone levels and cell function in males who have some limitations in reproductive health. Unfortunately, we do not know whether these effects will be observed in healthy men or females.

Does Tribulus Terrestris Increase Libido or Sexual Function?

While the interaction that Tribulus Terrestris has on the androgen receptors within the brain does not appear to enhance muscle growth or strength development, it does appear to have a very positive impact on sex drive and libido.

In fact, men with decreased sex drive and inhibited erectile function who supplement with Tribulus Terrestris have been shown to see large improvements in libido, while also observing a subsequent increase in sexual desire and erectile function [4].

Interestingly, these effects don’t appear to be limited to just males, with women who supplement with Tribulus Terrestris also reporting large and measurable improvements in sexual desire, arousal, and even sexual satisfaction [5].

Does Tribulus Terrestris Increase Sperm Count?

While there has been shown evidence to suggest that Tribulus Terrestris may have the ability to slightly enhance the quality of sperm in individuals with diagnosed erectile dysfunction, it does not appear to have an impact on sperm count.

In the single study looking at this measure, Tribulus Terrestris supplementation did not increase sperm count to any degree, suggesting that it does not have the capacity to have a positive impact on the body in this manner [6].

Does Tribulus Terrestris Help Women with Menopause?

While Tribulus Terrestris may not have the potential to improve upon the negative signs and symptoms that many women experience during menopause, it does appear to assist in the treatment of sexual dysfunction in post-menopausal women.

With this in mind, its supplementation in women who had already gone through menopause has been shown to cause large improvements in both sexual desire and orgasm strength [7].

Does Tribulus Terrestris Help or Hurt those with Diabetes?

While there is no thorough human research looking into the effects of Tribulus Terrestris on diabetes, there is evidence to suggest that one of its key compounds Saponin does have the potential to help regulate blood sugar levels and lower levels of blood cholesterol [8].

While more research in this area needs to be performed before a definitive answer can be given, early signs are quite positive, in which they suggest that Tribulus Terrestris may provide a quality addition to traditional diabetes treatment plans.

Does Tribulus Terrestris Treat Herpes or Other Viral Infections?

Some individuals have claimed that Tribulus Terrestris has the potential to help treat herpes and other viral infections. Unfortunately, there is currently no evidence to suggest that this is the case. As a result, we cannot recommend its use in this manner.

Does Tribulus Terrestris Help Kidney Health?

One of the more unique applications of Tribulus Terrestris surrounds its suggested impact on kidney health, with many within the health industry indicating that it may have some potential to reduce kidney stress and enhance kidney function.

Interestingly, Tribulus Terrestris supplementation in rats has been shown to cause large improvements in kidney health and function after acute kidney damage. This also came with a decline in oxidative stress and improvements in specific markers of kidney cell damage [9].

While there is no human evidence to further support these claims, early signs are indeed promising.

Does Tribulus Terrestris Protect Against Prostate Cancer?

There is currently an abundance of lab based cellular research demonstrating that Tribulus Terrestris may have the capacity to reduce the growth and replication of prostate cancer cells, while simultaneously boosting prostate cell health [10].

With this in mind, it appears that Tribulus Terrestris does have potential to protect against the onset of prostate cancer, while also aiding in its treatment – although we would like to see some more thorough human research before this can be said with any real certainty.

What Are the Best Supplements to Combine with Tribulus Terrestris?

When it comes to enhancing reproductive health and boosting sexual function, Tribulus Terrestris appears to have some real benefit. With that in mind, it is often stacked with other compounds as a way to enhance its effectiveness and make it even more powerful.

Tribulus Terrestris and Maca

Maca is a plant found growing naturally in Peru, where it has been used for centuries to boost sexual function and increase libido. With this in mind, there is reason to suggest that stacking Tribulus Terrestris with Maca will have real benefit, as they both boost libido through completely different pathways.

Additionally, Maca has also been shown to have a positive impact on prostate health, suggesting that it may also enhance the effectiveness of Tribulus Terrestris when it comes to reducing prostate cancer risk.

Tribulus Terrestris and ZMA

ZMA is a patented supplement that consists of a specific combination of Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. It has been shown to cause some improvements in sperm health, while also increasing testosterone levels in men with zinc deficiencies.

With this in mind, it may make a good addition to Tribulus Terrestris for those looking to boost libido and reproductive health.

Tribulus Terrestris and D-Aspartic Acid (DAA)

DAA is a specific type of amino acid that interacts with brain to case an increase in the secretion of the hormones luteinizing hormone (LH), growth hormone (HGH), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) – all of which are known to play a key role in testosterone production and libido enhancement.

As a result, the combination of Tribulus Terrestris and DAA is very likely to cause large improvements in sex drive and reproductive function, as they both work through completely different mechanisms.

Best Tribulus Terrestris Product Reviews

Given that some of the research around the supplementation of Tribulus Terrestris is so positive, we thought we would give you some options that you can implement into your lives immediately. Each of these provide you with an excellent option, making up what we believe to be the best three Tribulus Terrestris supplements available on the market.