Tribulus terrestris is a vine-like plant growing in subtropical climates. Bulgarian tribulus terrestris is the type that is typically used in dietary supplements. Typical uses of Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris are to promote energy, a healthy libido, and increased and muscle mass.
One of the lesser known benefits of Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris is its ability to increase the production and activity of certain antioxidants in the body. Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris use has been shown to decrease lipid peroxidation levels. Lipid peroxidation is the oxidative degradation of lipids in cell membranes, which results in oxidative damage to the cell. A decrease in lipid peroxidation levels is a sign of increased antioxidant activity in the body. Bulgarian tribulus terrestris has also been shown to increase the activity of superoxide-dismutases (SOD), a class of enzymes that play an important role in anti-oxidant protection. In addition, Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris has been shown to increase the reduced glutathione content in the liver. Reduced glutathione is an important antioxidant produced in the body. Not only does reduced glutathione act as an antioxidant, but it also helps keep certain other antioxidants in their active forms.
The decrease in lipid peroxidation levels seen with Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris supplementation definitely signals that there is some kind of antioxidant benefits of the herb, and the increased levels of glutathione and increased activity of SOD may be the the cause of this increased antioxidant activity. Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris is not commonly used for these antioxidant benefits as more powerful antioxidant supplements are available, but it is still an extra benefit associated with the use of Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris.
For more information on Bulgarian Tribulus terrestris, click here.
1. Amin A, Lotfy M, Shafiullah M, & Adeghate E. (2006). The protective effect of Tribulus terrestris in diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1084, 391-401.
2. Kumar M, Soni AK, Shukla S, & Kumar A. (2006). Chemopreventive potential of Tribulus terrestris against 7,12- dimethylbenz (a) anthracene induced skin papillomagenesis in mice. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention : APJCP. 7(2), 289-94.
3. Chu S, Qu W, Pang X, Sun B, & Huang X. (2003). [Effect of saponin from Tribulus terrestris on hyperlipidemia]. Zhong Yao Cai = Zhongyaocai = Journal of Chinese Medicinal Materials. 26(5), 341-4.
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