The typical American man wants better sex and more intimacy. Yet, a 1995 study done by researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that 25 percent of men 40 to 49 years of age were already worried about their sexual performance. The report also found that as men age their sexual concerns increase, with 47 percent of men in their seventies anxious about sexual function.1
An estimated 30 million men suffer at one time or another from some degree of male erectile dysfunction, yet only 2.76 million visited doctors in 1997 with the complaint. Sexual dysfunction refers to a variety of ailments including "lack of sexual desire, difficulty becoming aroused, inability to achieve orgasm, erection problems in men, lubrication problems in women and pain during intercourse." 2 Untreated, sexual dysfunction can have devastating effects on one's self-esteem, health, marriage, career and friendships. It may be a sign of a physical or emotional problem that requires attention … or it may just be a matter of boosting hormone levels.
Andropause … the male "menopause"
According to Jonathan Wright, M.D. author of Maximize Your Vitality and Potency — For Men Over 40, almost all men over 40 need a little more testosterone in order to maintain everything from heart health to an optimistic attitude and deep, quality sleep … because men experience declining levels of hormones, just as women going through menopause.3
Low testosterone can result in a host of symptoms, including:
- Feeling weak
- Inner unrest
- Loss of ability to concentrate
- Memory failure
- Reduced intellectual agility
- Passive attitudes
- Low energy
- Muscle atrophy
- High cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels
- High blood pressure
- Increase in abdominal fat
- Poor sleep
A proven, natural testosterone booster for men
Tribulus terrestris, the Latin name for puncture vine, has gained popularity in the past decade among male athletes who attempt to build muscle by increasing testosterone production. And although studies show the herb does not enhance body composition or exercise performance,4 studies do show that Tribulus enhances male sexual function and satisfaction.
Tribulus terrestris grows naturally in North and South America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is considered a noxious weed that grows along roadsides and in vacant lots. In fact, its seeds are sharp and painful to step on, and its fresh leaves are toxic to livestock, especially sheep, when consumed in large quantities. The berries and aerial parts of Tribulus are the parts most often used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments including colic, headache, nervous disorders, constipation, and sexual dysfunction.
Research on laboratory animals has shown that, in addition to enhancing male sexual function, Tribulus also benefits a number of other health concerns, including:
- reduces cholesterol levels 5,6
- reduces triglycerides 5
- has antioxidant properties 5,6
- reduces serum glucose levels 6
- helps treat hypertension 7
How does it work?
Although the study is out of print, in the mid-70s, scientists at the Chemical Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria demonstrated that Tribulus may increase testosterone levels indirectly by raising blood levels of another hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is produced by the pituitary gland and plays a role in regulating natural testosterone production and serum levels by "turning on" natural testosterone production in humans. 8
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Panser LA, Rhodes T, Girman CJ, Guess HA, Chute CG, Oesterling JE, Lieber MM, Jacobsen SJ. Sexual function of men ages 40 to 79 years: the Olmsted County Study of Urinary Symptoms and Health Status Among Men. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Oct;43(10):1107-11.
Morrow D. "New means to make men feel younger". The New York Times, March 31, 1998; B1-B2.
Jonathan Wright, M.D. and Lane Lenard, Ph.D. Maximize Your Vitality and Potency - For Men Over 40. Smart Publications, 1999.
Sexual dysfunction common in men, women. Onhealth.webmd.com/conditions/briefs/item2C36836.asp.
February 10, 1999.
Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest C. The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Jun;10(2):208-15.
Chu S, Qu W, Pang X, Sun B, Huang X. [Effect of saponin from Tribulus terrestris on hyperlipidemia] [Article in Chinese] Zhong Yao Cai. 2003 May;26(5):341-4.
Li M, Qu W, Wang Y, Wan H, Tian C. [Hypoglycemic effect of saponin from Tribulus terrestris] [Article in Chinese] Zhong Yao Cai. 2002 Jun;25(6):420-2.
Sharifi AM, Darabi R, Akbarloo N. Study of antihypertensive mechanism of Tribulus terrestris in 2K1C hypertensive rats: role of tissue ACE activity. Life Sci. 2003 Oct 24;73(23):2963-71.
Burke, Edmund R. "Fad or Fact? A look at Tribulus terrestris."Nutrition Science News, March 1999, Vol. 4, No.3.
Adaikan PG, Gauthaman K, Prasad RN, Ng SC. Proerectile pharmacological effects of Tribulus terrestris extract on the rabbit corpus cavernosum. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2000 Jan;29(1):22-6.
Gauthaman K, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN. Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus Terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats.Life Sci. 2002 Aug 9;71(12):1385-96.
L. Setiawan. Tribulus terrestris L. extract improves spermatozoa motility and increases the efficiency of acrosome reaction in subjects diagnosed with oligoastheno-teratozoospermia. Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia (1996)
De Combarieu E, Fuzzati N, Lovati M, Mercalli E. Furostanol saponins from Tribulus terrestris. Fitoterapia. 2003 Sep;74(6):583-91.
Cohen, P.G. Aromatase, adiposity, aging and disease. The hypogonadal-metabolic-atherogenic-dissease and aging connection.Medical Hypotheses, 2001-56(6): 702-708.
Adimoelja A. Phytochemicals and the breakthrough of traditional herbs in the management of sexual dysfunctions. Int J Androl. 2000;23 Suppl 2:82-4.
McKay D. Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: examining the evidence. Altern Med Rev. 2004 Mar;9(1):4-16.