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Tongkat Ali Explained: Scientific Evidence on Testosterone Booster

Tongkat Ali is reported as the ultimate natural testosterone booster supplement. It is increasingly popular as an alternative to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) as testosterone is known to decline as we age.

Modern men in the US are reported to have less testosterone compared to men born in the 60s or 70s and many are using Tongkat Ali to boost their testosterone.

Studies have concluded Tongkat Ali is a better choice to boost testosterone next to Panax Ginseng due to its scientifically proven clinical trials in recent years.

However, there are many other testosterone booster supplements that will not work.

Comprehensive research by the University of Southern California on 50 “T-boosting” supplements showed that 90 percent of supplements claimed to boost testosterone but only 24.8% had data to support that this claim.

Only 24.8% of testosterone boosters had data to support these claims

Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, USA (2019)

Another separate study by the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University in 2021 showed that testosterone supplements with ingredients such as L-arginine; L-carnitine; magnesium; Mucuna pruriens; pantothenic acid; and selenium failed to prove the efficacy to increase testosterone levels.

Let’s find out more scientific evidence if Tongkat Ali can actually increase your testosterone levels.

Can Tongkat Ali boost testosterone?

Tongkat Ali contains a bioactive ingredient known as eurycomanone that works by increasing the release of Free Testosterone (FT) from its binding hormone, the Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG).

There are at least 300+ research studies on Tongkat Ali since the early 80s. Most studies reported an increase in free testosterone between 15% to 122% based on age, lifestyle, and other conditions.

The latest study in 2021 shows that Tongkat Ali demonstrates steroidogenic effects on young men. Results showing an increase in free testosterone levels may be due to greater hormone production via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

The unattached, i.e free testosterone is considered the most usable, that control most of our body functions which include libido, our mood, muscle growth and others.

🌐 Is Tongkat Ali clinically tested to boost testosterone?
  • Most clinically tested Tongkat Ali products have undergone clinical trials verified by medical professionals and certified scientists to validate their effect on testosterone.
  • Depending on potency, extraction protocols and dosage, very few Tongkat Ali products are clinically tested on humans to validate their efficacy to release Free Testosterone (FT).
  • Capital-intensive clinical trials are not required by USFDA and many popular Tongkat Ali brands on Amazon are not investing in clinical trials to validate their Tongkat Ali’s formulation and effect on testosterone.
  • Cheap Tongkat Ali brands sourced from China are not clinically-tested and may not increase testosterone due to quality extract and other factors.
Testosterone hormone composition

With more than 300+ research studies and clinical trials, Tongkat Ali is reported to have substantial scientific evidence compared to Maca, Turkesterone and other herbs.

Tongkat Ali were amongst substances with the strongest evidence

Eduard Bezuglov, First Moscow State Medical University (2021)

The first human clinical study on testosterone was published in 2012 and subsequently more research studies were performed in recent years involving hundreds of test subjects to reaffirm its finding.

This rapid development has sparked discussions amongst medical experts about Tongkat Ali as the best natural testosterone booster, next to TRT.

Tongkat Ali is natural alternative to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and shown to restore serum testosterone levels

R Henkel, A George (2014)

As evidence of cancer-inducing side effects from TRT has deterred many consumers, Tongkat Ali may potentially be a natural alternative to Testosterone Replacement Therapy.

However, does Tongkat Ali work to boost testosterone if you are 25, 50 or even 70?

Let’s investigate how well Tongkat Ali performs across a wide range of age groups.

Testosterone: Young Adults

Common question amongst young adults – “I’m young and healthy. Can Tongkat Ali boost my testosterone if I am below 25 years?”

If you are in your 20s and active, consuming Tongkat Ali may increase your testosterone that will benefit your muscle growth and strength.

A recent study by Chan et al in 2021 with 32 males with an average age of 24 years showed that 600mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali over a two-week period resulted in 15% higher levels of testosterone and 34% increase in free testosterone. The level of estrogen (estradiol) was reported to increase by 30% too.

For active young adults, Tongkat Ali is used in sports to enhance anaerobic performance, and also as a steroid replacement.

The same study also reported that:

“The raised testosterone following Eurycoma longifolia supplementations could benefit muscle and strength gain in young adults”

Summary

Age of the test subjects

24 yrs

Total Test subjects

32 males

Daily dosage

600 mg daily

Dosage duration

2 weeks (14 days)

Medical condition of the test subjects

Healthy

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)

Yes

Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)

Yes

Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Kai Quin Chan, Claire Stewart Neil ChesterSareena H HamzahAshril Yusof

Published date

February 2021

 

Testosterone: Middle Aged Men

Does Tongkat Ali boost testosterone in middle-aged men?

If you are in your mid 40s and experiencing some level of androgen deficiency (i.e your body has lower levels of male sex hormones, particularly testosterone), then Tongkat Ali may work for you.

A randomized controlled study conducted in 2020 by a group of researchers from the University of Santarina, Brazil showed that middle-aged men consuming 200mg Tongkat Ali daily with a 3-day exercise per week showed the most increase in testosterone during the 6-month period.

This 6-month observation is the longest study on Tongkat Ali to date.

Group consuming Tongkat Ali with 3 days per week exercise gained the most improvement

University of Santarina, Brazil (2020)

And if you are fast approaching 40s and thinking of maintaining a good shape with regular exercises, then Tongkat Ali is your perfect natural testosterone booster.

Summary

Age of the test subjects

47 years

Total test subjects

45 men

Daily dosage

200 mg

Dosage duration & observation period

6 months (180+ days)

Medical condition of the test subjects

Androgen Deficiency

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)

Yes

Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)

Yes

Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Alice Erwig Leitão 1Melissa Carvalho de Souza Vieira 2Andreia Pelegrini 2Edson Luiz da Silva 3Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães 2

Published date

May 2020

 

Testosterone: Senior Men & Women

We found two independent clinical studies conducted in 2021 and 2014 showing that Tongkat Ali increased testosterone in senior men and women above 50 years.

The first study involved a group of 105 male between 50 to 70 years of age with a placebo- controlled group with results showing significant improvement in testosterone.

A second study with 13 males and 12 females between 57 to 72 years over a 5 week period showed improvement in testosterone between 61% for male, and 122% for females when subjected to 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily.

Summary: Study 1

Age of the test subjects

50 – 70 years

Total test subjects

105 male

Daily dosage

200 mg

Dosage duration

12 weeks

Medical condition of the test subjects

Healthy

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)

Yes

Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)

Yes

Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Pragya Pandey, Annie George, Govinda Narke,  Yogendra Kumar Choudhary, Sasikala M. Chinnappan

Date of study

May 2021

 

Summary: Study 2

Age of the test subjects

57-72 years

Total test subjects

13 males & 12 females

Daily dosage

400 mg

Dosage duration

5 weeks (35 days)

Medical condition of the test subjects

Not reported

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)

No

Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)

Yes

Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Ralf R. Henkel, Ruxiang Wang, Susan H. Bassett, Tao Chen, Na Liu, Ying Zhu and Mohd Ismail Tambi

Date of study

2013

 

Medical Experts Views

With all the scientific evidence, what do experts and scientists say about Tongkat Ali?

Award-winning professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University Dr. Andrew Huberman said that consuming 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily has the effect of increasing testosterone levels between 100 to 200 points.

We believe the amount of testosterone increase that you may gain depends largely on Tongkat Ali’s potency.

A potent Tongkat Ali with smaller dosage works more effectively than a less potent Tongkat Ali with a higher dosage.

Tongkat Ali has the effect of increasing testosterone levels

Dr. Andrew Huberman, University of Stanford, USA (2021)
🌐 Does Tongkat Ali increase DHT?
  • Studies to date have shown that Tongkat Ali extract produces an increase in available free testosterone with a reduction in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) with no increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
  • DHT is an androgen that is primarily responsible for causing enlargement of the prostate gland and causing hair loss by modern medicine. 
  • Most men taking Tongkat Ali have reported more hair growth, with no reported of increase in prostate size.
  • However, the prostate gland in men is sensitive to hormonal changes and it not well understood why more testosterone is converted to DHT in some men.

Urologist at University of Maryland Medical Center Dr. Rena Malik shared further scientific evidence in her video to validate Tongkat Ali’s efficacy in three areas including boosting testosterone.

She also cautioned her viewer on Tongkat Ali.

If you want the best Tongkat Ali, watch out for hot water root extract

Dr. Rena Malik, University of Maryland, USA (2021)

There are other reputable research studies by scientists and medical experts on the effect of Tongkat Ali on testosterone.

For instance, MIT-formulated Physta® Tongkat Ali extract has undergone more than 26 clinical trials to observe the impact of testosterone and other health benefits on human tests subjects since 2003.

It is worth reading if you want to know more.

Closing Thoughts

Patients and consumers should be aware of the scientific evidence behind Testosterone Boosters, TRT, or other natural supplements claiming to boost testosterone.

Despite decades of scientific evidence on various health benefits and real-world performance gains, Tongkat Ali is still the preferred choice to boost testosterone.

As a reminder, the efficacy of Tongkat Ali to boost testosterone depends on key factors such as:

  1. Age
  2. Daily dosage
  3. Lifestyle – exercises, diet
  4. Medical history

But it does not mean Tongkat Ali works on everyone.

If Tongkat Ali did not work for you –  perhaps you should consider how you can gain more from a potent or stronger Tongkat Ali

Do your research as there are six golden rules to follow before picking the best Tongkat Ali in the market.

If you may have more specific questions, kindly refer to our FAQ on Tongkat Ali for a comprehensive list of questions and answers.

References

 

  1. Testosterone Boosting’ Supplements Composition and Claims Are not Supported by the Academic LiteratureChase G. Clemesha, Hatim Thaker, Mary K. Samplask – Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA – The World Journal of Men’s Health (January 2019)
  1. Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions – Artemii Lazarev, and Eduard Bezuglov, High Performance Sports Laboratory, Moscow Witte University, Moscow, Russia, Department of Sports Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Moscow, Russia (May 2021)
  1. Exercise Associated Or Not To The Intake Of Eurycoma Longifolia Improves Strength And Cardiorespiratory Fitness In Men With Androgen DeficiencyAlice Erwig Leitão , Melissa de Carvalho Souza Vieira, Diogo Almeida Gomes, Leonessa Boing , Andreia Pelegrini, Edson Luiz, Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (February 2021)
  2. The Effect Of Eurycoma Longifolia On The Regulation Of Reproductive Hormones In Young Males – Kai Quin Chan, C. Stewart – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (February 2021)
  1. 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) – Alice Erwig Leitão, Melissa Carvalho de Souza Vieira, Andreia Pelegrini, Edson Luiz da Silva, Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães, International Journal of Midlife Health, Maturitas (March 2021)
  1. Effect Of Eurycoma Longifolia Standardised Aqueous Root Extract– Physta® On Testosterone Levels And Quality Of Life In Ageing Male Subjects: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Multicentre Study – Sasikala M. Chinnappan, Annie George, Pragya Pandey, Govinda Narke, Yogendra Kumar Choudhary (April 2021)
  1. Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniors-A Pilot Study – Ralf Henkel, Susan Bassett, Ruxiang Wang, Tao Chen, Mohd Tambi, Ying Zhu, Na Liu – Journal of Phyotherapy Research (April 2014)
  1. Phytoandrogenic Properties Of Eurycoma Longifolia As Natural Alternative To Testosterone Replacement Therapy – A George, R Henkel – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (January 2014)
  1. Standardised Water-Soluble Extract Of Eurycoma Longifolia, Tongkat Ali, As Testosterone Booster For Managing Men With Late-Onset Hypogonadism? – M I B M Tambi, M K Imran, R R Henkel – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (Dec 2012)

Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meaningful content through words and facts. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness in Malaysia .

Disclaimer: Content published in this article is not intended to promote any brands nor to provide any form of recommendations to purchase or consume medication, drugs or herbal supplement brands directly or indirectly. By reading this, the sole responsibility and decision lies on the reader to perform their own assessment and / or to arrive at an informed decision based on publicly available information. By reading the content published on this website means you are aware on the risks involved in purchasing any of the products or brands mentioned in this article. We highly recommend you and the readers to consult your nearest doctor before making any purchase from this website or any other websites or social platforms after reading this article.

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