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Tribulus Terrestris: Benefits of Furostanol Saponins

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 3, 2023

Tribulus Terratis, a plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine, has been gaining attention in the scientific community for its health benefits, particularly those associated with its content of Furostanol saponins.

This article aims to provide an in-depth guide to understanding these benefits backed by scientific research.

What is Tribulus Terratis?

Tribulus Terratis, also known as puncture vine, is a plant widely distributed worldwide.

It has been used in traditional medicine in various cultures, particularly in China and India, for its potential health benefits.

The plant is known for its fruit-producing spiny nature, but its roots and fruits are often used in health supplements due to their high content of active compounds, including Furostanol saponins.

Detailed Description of the Plant, Its Geographical Origin, and Its Components

Tribulus Terrestris is a plant most commonly found in the warm temperate and tropical regions of Europe, southern Asia, Africa, and Australia.

It is a flowering plant that is covered with spines.

The plant is known for its fruit, which is covered with spines and leaflets, usually in pairs of five or six.

The main components of Tribulus Terrestris are the steroidal saponins, which are found primarily in the leaf.

The plant also contains flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, and other compounds.

The most notable steroidal saponin in Tribulus Terrestris is protodioscin, which is believed responsible for the plant's medicinal properties.

Research behind Tribulus

Tribulus Terrestris has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits.

However, modern scientific research on the plant is somewhat limited.

One of the most common claims about Tribulus Terrestris is that it can increase testosterone levels.

However, a study conducted on 21 healthy men found no significant difference in testosterone levels between the group that was given Tribulus Terrestris extract and the group that was given a placebo.

Another common claim is that Tribulus Terrestris can increase strength and lean muscle mass.

However, a study conducted on 22 male elite rugby league players found no significant difference in strength or fat-free mass between the group that was given Tribulus Terrestris and the group that was given a placebo.

Despite these findings, some studies have found potential benefits of Tribulus Terrestris.

For example, some studies in women have found that Tribulus Terrestris can normalize ovulation, improve fertility, and reduce peri- and postmenopausal symptoms.

Tribulus Terrestris and Furostanol Saponins

Tribulus Terrestris, a plant commonly known as the "puncture vine," is renowned for its health benefits, particularly in enhancing athletic performance and sexual health.

These benefits are largely attributed to its rich content of active compounds called saponins, specifically a type known as Furostanol saponins.

However, like with Tribulus Terrestris as a whole, the research on furostanol saponins is somewhat limited.

More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of these compounds.

Furostanol saponins are believed to be the primary active compounds in Tribulus Terrestris.

They have been the subject of numerous studies investigating their potential health benefits.

For instance, Furostanol saponins have been linked to improved athletic performance.

Some research suggests that these compounds may help maintain lean muscle mass during intensive training periods, although they may not directly enhance body composition.

Furostanol saponins are a chemical compound found in various plants, including Tribulus Terratis.

They are part of a larger class of compounds known as saponins, known for their ability to form soapy lathers when shaken in water.

The Furostanol saponins found in Tribulus Terratis are believed to be largely responsible for their potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties.

Regarding sexual health, Furostanol saponins have shown promise in enhancing libido and treating erectile dysfunction.

Some studies indicate that supplementation with Tribulus Terrestris, rich in Furostanol saponins, may improve sexual function and satisfaction in both men and women.

However, while these findings are promising, more comprehensive research is needed to fully understand the effects of Furostanol saponins and to determine the optimal dosages for these benefits.

How Does Tribulus Terrestris Work?

The main components of Tribulus Terrestris are the steroidal saponins, which are found primarily in the leaf.

The most notable steroidal saponin in Tribulus Terrestris is protodioscin, which is believed to be responsible for the plant's medicinal properties.

Protodioscin is thought to increase the levels of several hormones, including testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

However, the exact mechanisms by which Tribulus Terrestris may improve erectile function and other health outcomes are not fully understood.

Some researchers believe that the plant's potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may also play a role in its health benefits.

For example, a study found that Tribulus Terrestris extract had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in rats with induced arthritis.

Tribulus Terrestris and Testosterone Levels

One of the most common claims about Tribulus Terrestris is that it can increase testosterone levels.

However, the research on this topic is not conclusive.

A study conducted on 21 healthy men found no significant difference in testosterone levels between the group that was given Tribulus Terrestris extract and the group that was given a placebo.

This suggests that Tribulus Terrestris may not significantly affect testosterone levels in healthy men.

Tribulus Terrestris and Muscle Mass

Another common claim about Tribulus Terrestris is that it can increase strength and lean muscle mass.

However, the research on this topic is also not conclusive.

A study conducted on 22 male elite rugby league players found no significant difference in strength or fat-free mass between the group that was given Tribulus Terrestris and the group that was given a placebo.

This suggests that Tribulus Terrestris may not have a significant effect on strength or lean muscle mass in elite athletes.

Scientific Studies Supporting the Benefits of Furostanol Saponins in Tribulus Terratis

While research into the health benefits of Furostanol saponins in Tribulus Terratis is ongoing, several scientific studies have provided promising results.

For example, a study titled "Enterococcus faecalis-Induced Biochemical Transformation during Fermentation of Underutilized Solenostemon monostachyus Leaves" found that saponins, including Furostanol saponins, may have a variety of health benefits, including potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

Health Benefits of Furostanol Saponins in Tribulus Terratis

  • Improved Sexual Health: Tribulus Terratis has long been used in traditional medicine to enhance libido and sexual function. This is believed to be due to the Furostanol saponins it contains, which may help increase testosterone production.
  • Reduced Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels: Some research suggests that Tribulus Terratis may help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, potentially offering benefits for heart health.
  • Potential Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Properties: The Furostanol saponins in Tribulus Terratis may have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, potentially offering benefits for immune health and wound healing.
  • Potential Antioxidant Properties: Furostanol saponins may also have antioxidant properties, which could help protect the body's cells from damage by free radicals.

Dosage Information

The dosage of Tribulus Terrestris can vary depending on the specific product and the reason for use.

However, a common dosage is 200-450 mg per day.

It's important to note that more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage for different health outcomes.

Tribulus Terrestris in Traditional Medicine

Tribulus Terrestris has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.

In these traditions, the plant is often used to treat a variety of conditions, including erectile dysfunction, infertility, and various urinary disorders.

Tribulus Terrestris in Modern Supplements

Today, Tribulus Terrestris is often included in nutritional supplements marketed for various health benefits.

These include increasing testosterone levels, improving sexual function, and increasing strength and lean muscle mass.

However, it's important to note that the research on these claims is inconclusive.

More research is needed to confirm the potential benefits of Tribulus Terrestris and understand its mechanisms of action.

For a supplement that has a mix of natural anabolic compounds, check out our review on Enhance by Huge Nutrition.

FAQ

What are furostanol saponins?

Furostanol saponins are a chemical compound found in several plant species, including Tribulus Terrestris. They are part of a larger group of chemicals known as saponins.

What are the potential health benefits of furostanol saponins?

Furostanol saponins have been linked to various potential health benefits, including improved sexual health, enhanced athletic performance, and potential cardiovascular benefits.

What dosages of furostanol saponins are used in studies?

The dosages used in studies vary widely, depending on the specific research goals. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Are there any side effects of taking furostanol saponins?

As with any supplement, there may be potential side effects. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Can I take furostanol saponins if I have a medical condition?

If you have a medical condition, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Bottom Line

Tribulus Terrestris, rich in Furostanol saponins, is known for its potential benefits in enhancing athletic performance and sexual health. These compounds may help maintain lean muscle mass and improve sexual function. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits and establish optimal dosages.

While Tribulus Terrestris has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and is often included in modern nutritional supplements, the research on the plant is not conclusive.

References

  1. Furostanol and Spirostanol Saponins from Tribulus terrestris by Zhen-fang Wang, Bing-bing Wang, Yang Zhao, Fang-Xu Wang, Yan Sun, Rui Guo, Xin-bo Song, Hai-Li Xin, Xin-guang Sun
  2. Two New Sulfated Furostanol Saponins from Tribulus terrestris by I. Kostova, D. Dinchev, G. Rentsch, V. Dimitrov, A. Ivanova
  3. A Comprehensive Review of the Phytochemical, Pharmacological, and Toxicological Properties of Tribulus terrestris L. by Ruxandra \u0218tef\u0103nescu, A. Tero-Vescan, Ancu\u021ba Negroiu, Elena Auric\u0103, C. Vari
  4. The occurrence of puncture vine (Tribulus terrestris) and its metabolic characteristics in Slovakia by I. Salamon, M. Hab\u00e1n, T. Baranec, M. Hab\u00e1nov\u00e1, Milan Knoll

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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