What is Tribestan?

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Q. I have a cousin who lives in Eastern Europe. He swears by a product called Tribestan, and has been using it for years. Is it a drug or a supplement?

A. Tribestan is a patented extract of the Tribulus Terrestris plant. It’s not a drug, and is sold as a supplement by a Bulgarian company called Sopharma. Tribestan is used to boost testosterone levels without the side effects of anabolic drugs.

For men, the normal level of testosterone in the bloodstream is 350-1230 nanograms per deciliter. A guy with testosterone levels in the range of 500-600 nanograms is on the low side of normal, and will probably suffer from some of the symptoms of low testosterone - such as a hard time building new muscle, low sex drive, constant tiredness, depression, or a loss of strength.

If he were to inject testosterone, his testosterone levels would shoot way beyond the normal upper limit. With Tribestan, he might expect a 40-50% rise in testosterone. This isn’t going to be enough to win the next Mr. Olympia contest. But it will make a big difference to the way he looks and feels. Most people using Tribestan for the first time notice that muscle growth gets faster and easier. They’re stronger in the gym. Performance in the bedroom is “lifted.” They have more energy and zest for life. In short, they feel more like a “man” again.

How does it work? Tribulus terrestris raises testosterone levels by stimulating the release of luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone stimulates the testes to “turn on” the natural production of testosterone. This is not the same as injecting testosterone, where your body responds by shutting down its own testosterone production. Tribestan works in a completely different way by stimulating the natural production of testosterone.

In other words, you get the benefits of higher testosterone levels - more muscle, better sex and extra energy - without the downsides of testosterone drugs. Unfortunately, many companies have tried to jump on the Tribestan bandwagon by mass-producing Tribulus terrestris supplements that contain virtually none of the active ingredients.

Tribulus terrestris contains a number of different substances known as steroidal saponins. The saponin in Tribulus terrestris responsible for its effect on testosterone levels and libido is called protodioscin. It takes around 2000 pounds of Tribulus Terrestris to make just 40 pounds of Tribestan with enough of the active ingredients for it to work. The protodioscin content of Tribulus terrestris varies widely depending on the way the herb is grown (temperature, soil conditions, and the amount of rain) processed, packaged, and stored [1, 2].

That’s why one study has shown that Tribulus terrestris (but not Tribestan) has only a small effect on muscle growth and testosterone levels. In contrast, all the studies of Tribestan show a rise in testosterone and faster muscle growth. If you want to try Tribestan for yourself, you’ll probably need to import it. Although the supplement is perfectly legal, customs may seize it, as they’re not very educated about what is a supplement and what is a drug! Make sure to order only one packet at a time, so you don’t lose money.

Alternatively, you can get Tribulus Complex here in the UK from Maximuscle. Tribulus Complex actually contains slightly higher levels of protodioscin levels than Tribestan, plus you get Horny Goat Weed and Beta-Ecdysterone thrown in. It’s not the cheapest Tribulus-based supplement on the market (for the quality reasons mentioned earlier) but we believe it’s one of the best.

1. Adimoelja, A. (2000). Phytochemicals and the breakthrough of traditional herbs in the management of sexual dysfunctions. International Journal of Andrology, 23, 82-84
2. Ganzera, M., Bedir, E., & Khan, I.A. (2001). Determination of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and evaporative light scattering detection. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 90, 1752-8

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simon culley   |.
Tribestan sounds like an extremely good product.I suffer from low
testosterone levelsand want to try an alternative to TRT.Does this product carry
the risk of prostate cancer andhow long does it take to have an effect?
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