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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Effects of Herbal Supplement Tribulus Terrestris: A Mini Review

Bruno Nascimento Carvalho1,2*, Miguel Angel Condori Mayta1, Oscar Albuquerque de Moraes2, Adriano dos Santos1, Erico Chagas Caperuto1, Katia Bilhar Scapini1, Bruno Nascimento Lopes1, André Rinaldi Fukushima3,4 and Iris Callado Sanches1

1Human Movement Lab, Universidade São Judas Tadeu (USJT), Brazil

2Hypertension Unit, Heart Institute (InCor), University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil

3Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, Brazil

4Department of research and extension, Igesp Health Sciences College, Brazil

*Corresponding author: Bruno Nascimento-Carvalho,Human Movement Lab, Universidade São Judas Tadeu (USJT), Brazil

Submission: August 01, 2019;Published: September 19, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2019.05.000611

ISSN 2578-0271
Volume5 Issue3


Terrestrial Tribulus is an herbaceous plant originally from India. It has been widely used as a natural sexual stimulant by the traditional medicine of China, India and Greece. Tribulus is now widely used mainly by athletes based on the belief that it can increase testosterone concentrations. However, there is no consensus on the real effects of this supplementation, so the aim of this research was to characterize the effects of Tribulus in experimental models. This mini review was performed in the PubMed database on 04/13/2019 with the terms: “Terrestrial Tribulus”, “mice” and their related terms. Only studies in Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French were included. In addition, all in vitro studies, studies that did not demonstrate in the methodology the use of Terrestrial Tribulus supplementation and studies that were not obtained in full were excluded. With this search strategy, 33 articles were identified, from which 18 studies were excluded based on the eligibility criteria. The results showed a protective effect on the male reproductive system, increased antioxidant agents and anti-inflammatory effect induced by supplementation of Terrestrial Tribulus.

Keywords: Tribulus Terrestris, Male reproductive system, Oxidative stress, Inflammation


The evidence of the positive effects of Terrestrial Tribulus supplementation in sexual performance, in decreasing oxidative stress and produce anti-inflammatory effects [1-3]. However. There is no consensus on the real benefits of supplementation, considering all its compounds. The aim of this mini review performed at PubMed was provide evidence in a controlled environment of the real effects, the search was performed in PubMed of on the day 13/04/2019 with Tribulus, Mice and their related terms. With this search strategy 33 articles were identified, from which 18 studies were excluded based on the eligibility criteria (were excluded studies in vitro and that not used Tribulus).


Regarding the methodology proposed in the 15 studies included in this review (Table 1). We identified a consensus on the dose of supplement application (100 or 200mg / kg), of these studies 73.33% performed gavage on animals and almost all studies 86.66% applied the supplement daily, there was no standard for the period of supplement application (Table 2). However, this mini review provided performed interesting results. Only 33,3% of studies identified some positive effect induced by Terrestrial Tribulus supplementation related to male sexual dysfunctions, in all these studies Tribulus supplementation aided the recovery of the reproductive system of the animals or produced a protective effect [4-8].

Although some studies relate benefits in the male reproductive system to increased testosterone production, a recent clinical trial has shown that this supplementation only increases the availability of testosterone associated with other substances, and its positive effects on the male reproductive system would be associated with higher availability of nitric oxide [9]. An antioxidant effect was observed in three studies using different models (model of Parkinson disease, male sexual dysfunction model and chemo preventive model) [5,10,11]. The increased nitric oxide production and reduced oxidative stress may be and the determining mechanisms to reduce the inflammatory profile, it is worth mentioning that in models that induced some kind of inflammation (atopic dermatitis, acute pancreatitis and rheumatism) Tribulus supplementation was effective in reducing these deleterious effects [12-14]. Considering the specificity of sports context, the main benefits of Tribulus (decreased stress oxidative and inflammatory) apply in exercise training of high intensity, where athletes present an imbalance in oxidative stress, increased of agents pro-inflammatory and energy imbalance [15,16]. These contexts, the supplementation with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents it’s a strategy is effective in promotion protection for athletes, because it helps the return to homeostasis and consequently the maintenance of the performance [15,16].

Table 1:Characteristic and effects of the included studies.

NR: Not Reported by the Author

Table 2:Information’s of dosage, via of application, frequency and period of application supplement.

NR: Not reported by the author; i.p: Intraperitoneal


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© 2019 Bruno Nascimento-Carvalho. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.