Eurycoma longifolia, also known as Tongkat ali is an herbal plant native to Southeast Asia. Traditionally, its root extracts have been used in increasing testosterone levels in men. Tonka Ali might have potential benefits in reducing blood pressure, fever, and fatigue. However, it’s important to note that there is limited evidence supporting these effects.
In Tongkat ali, the quassinoid compounds, such as eurycomanone and eurycomanol, are believed to contribute to the plant’s purported effects, including its traditional use to enhance testosterone levels in men. Quassinoid compounds are a class of natural bioactive substances found in certain plants, particularly in the family Simaroubaceae. Quassinoids have drawn significant attention due to their potential medicinal properties. They exhibit a wide range of biological activities and have been studied for their antimalarial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, among others. While some of its claimed benefits are supported by limited scientific evidence, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully validate its effects. Let’s focus on of the potential benefits of Tongkat ali.
Tongkat ali has been traditionally used as a natural remedy to boost testosterone levels in men. Some studies have suggested that it may help increase testosterone production, which could potentially improve muscle mass, strength, and sexual function in men with low testosterone levels. One study in young men reported an increase conversion of cholesterol to biologically active steroid hormones. Consequently, subjects experienced an increase in testosterone. Another study examined the effects of supplementation in combination with a strength training program. Similarly, subjects experienced an increase in total testosterone levels and even reported improvement in erectile function. Tongkat ali is often promoted as an aphrodisiac. It is believed to improve libido and sexual performance Some studies suggest that it may help reduce cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, which could potentially lead to improved mood and relaxation. Tongkat ali contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, and some research indicates that it may help reduce inflammation in the body. The quassinoids and other compounds present in Tongkat ali have antioxidant properties, which means they can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress.
Both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mechanisms play crucial roles in sports performance and recovery. Thus, some athletes are reported to use Tongkat ali as a sports supplement. One study used Tongkat ali in a exercise supplement. Subjects followed a 4 week training plan and were assessed for strength, body composition, and hormones. Although no difference in hormone levels were reported, the Tongkat ali containing supplement enhanced resistance training adaptations.
It’s important to note that research on the specific effects and mechanisms of these compounds is still ongoing, and their full therapeutic potential and safety profile are yet to be fully understood. The research appears to support the use of Tongkat ali as a helpful herbal supplement when it comes to naturally boosting testosterone in men. As with any herbal supplement or natural product, it’s essential to approach their use with caution and consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into one’s routine.
Editorial By Cassie Evans
Cassie Evans is a registered dietitian and a published researcher. She has studied sports nutrition and completed an internship with the University of Miami Sports Nutrition Team and Nova Southeastern University’s sports performance team. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science and received her CISSN in 2018. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Human and Sports Performance from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
- Chan KQ, Stewart C, Chester N, Hamzah SH, Yusof A. The effect of Eurycoma Longifolia on the regulation of reproductive hormones in young males. Andrologia. 2021 May;53(4):e14001. doi: 10.1111/and.14001. Epub 2021 Feb 9. PMID: 33559971.
- Leitão AE, Vieira MCS, Pelegrini A, da Silva EL, Guimarães ACA. A 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial to evaluate the effect of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) and concurrent training on erectile function and testosterone levels in androgen deficiency of aging males (ADAM). Maturitas. 2021 Mar;145:78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.12.002. Epub 2020 Dec 10. PMID: 33541567.