Tongkat Ali is an herbal supplement used as an aphrodisiac and a testosterone booster. Not only can it improve sexual health and performance, but it can also be beneficial for male osteoporosis, diabetes, and anxiety. Read more below to learn Tongkat Ali health benefits, dosage, reviews and side effects.
What is Tongkat Ali?
Eurycoma longifolia, commonly known as Tongkat Ali, long cat, or GMalay ginseng, is a plant found in the tropical rainforest of Malaysia.
It is best known for its ability to improve libido, testosterone levels, erectile function, sexual performance, and fertility in men, giving it the name “Malaysian Homegrown Viagra”.
The stem and root extracts of the Eurycoma longifolia plant contain:
Quasinoids (eg, eurycomaoside, eurycomanone and pasakbumin-B): These compounds have anticancer, antiparasitic, and antiulcer effects.
Alkaloids, which have anticancer and antibacterial properties
Mechanism of action
Tongkat Ali increases testosterone levels in:
- Stimulate testosterone production from pregnenolone and 17-OH-pregnenolone
- Blocking aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen
Tongkat Ali helps with male osteoporosis by:
- Stimulate the growth of bone cells (via testosterone)
- Increase the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme that plays a role in the development of bones and teeth.
- Improves the deposition and mineralization of collagen
Tongkat Ali helps with cancer by:
Inhibit tumor growth and progression (by inhibiting NF-κB)
Promoting cancer cell death
Tongkat Ali improves gut health by:
- Reduce excess stomach acid, which helps prevent ulcers.
- Health Benefits of Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali May Increase Testosterone
A 5-week pilot study with 25 older adults found that best Tongkat Ali supplement increased testosterone levels and muscle strength in both men and women.
Tongkat Ali supplementation also increased testosterone levels in a 4-week study of 76 men with hypogonadism (an impaired function of the testes).
However, in a 15-week study (DB-RCT) of 13 recreational athletes, Tongkat Ali did not increase urinary testosterone levels, leading researchers to conclude that it does not violate the International Olympic Committee’s doping policies.
Tongkat Ali significantly increased testosterone levels in rats.
Tongkat Ali Improves Male Fertility
A 12-week study (DB-RCT) of 109 men (ages 30 to 55) found that Tongkat Ali increased sperm motility and semen volume compared to placebo.
In another 9-month study of 75 men with infertility, Tongkat Ali supplementation improved semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm quality, thereby improving fertility.
Studies in rats also showed that Tongkat Ali reversed the inhibitory effects of estrogen on testosterone production and increased sperm production, count, concentration, motility, and vitality.
Tongkat Ali Improves Male Sexual Health
A 12-week study (DB-RCT) in 109 men found that Tongkat Ali increased libido and improved erectile function compared to placebo.
Similarly, a 12-week study (DB-RCT) of 26 men found that a supplement of Tongkat Ali in freeze-dried water improved sexual performance and increased erection hardness and duration.
Tongkat Ali also improved libido, sexual arousal, and performance in healthy, impotent, castrated, old male rats, and middle-aged mice.
Tongkat Ali May Improve Muscle Strength
Tongkat Ali supplementation increased muscle strength in both men and women in a 5-week pilot study involving 25 older adults.
Similarly, in a 5-week pilot study of 14 healthy men, Tongkat Ali increased muscle strength and size and improved athletic performance.
Tongkat Ali May Promote Weight Loss
Tongkat Ali reduced fat mass, waist circumference, and hip size compared to placebo in a 12-week study (DB-RCT) of 109 men.
Another (pilot) study in 14 healthy men showed that Tongkat Ali supplementation increased muscle strength and size while decreasing body fat after 5 weeks.
Tongkat Ali also reduced body weight and abdominal fat in mice. However, it did not affect the weight of internal organs.
Tongkat Ali Can Treat Male Osteoporosis
Tongkat Ali strengthens the bones by:
- Increased testosterone levels.
- Stimulate the production of osteoblasts, or bone-forming cells.
- Trigger death of cells that destroy bone tissue (osteoclasts)
- Decreased bone loss and preservation of bone mass.
- Therefore, it can be used for the treatment of male osteoporosis.
- In the laboratory, Tongkat Ali activated the production of bone-forming proteins (such as BMP-2, RUNX-2, and OCN), thereby increasing bone formation.
- Tongkat Ali also prevented calcium loss in the bones of castrated male rats with osteoporosis.
However, in another study, Tongkat Ali did not restore testosterone levels and bone volume in castrated rats with osteoporosis.