As men go through the aging process, production of hormones such as testosterone will begin to decrease, this phenomena is termed as Andropause. This is due to the programmed nature of cells to incrementally decrease in function as we age. Andropause can be manifested clinically by decreased response to sexual stimulus, increased levels of body fat and increased frequencies of fatigue. This can be quite a frustration for men as their bodies could not function as well as they wanted them to.
There are therapeutic methods, like taking Tongkat Ali, to replenish testosterone levels in the body such as Testosterone Replacement Therapy but may have very detrimental side effects. Men have instead turned to methods such as herbal therapies to tend to andropausal problems.
Tongkat Ali: An Herbal Option for Testosterone Problems
Eurycoma longifolia, popularly known as Tongkat Ali, is an herb of Malaysian origin that has made its way into traditional medicine. Mainly in males, it serves to balance out decreased testosterone levels and support healthy libido.
How Does Tongkat Ali Affect Testosterone Levels?
Our body has a system programmed into it that prevents certain levels from getting too high or too low. For example, if your body starts to get too cold, your muscles tend to shiver. This produces friction and leads to the production of heat. So, from too cold, your body responded by helping it to become warmer. This is called the Negative Feedback System.
This is also how it goes with testosterone. Normally, when the body senses that testosterone levels are getting low, it would stimulate the production of more testosterone by the Pituitary Gland, being able to counteract effects of having low testosterone. However, as a man ages, either the Negative Feedback System of the body becomes impaired or the cells producing testosterone in the body fail to comply with the body’s requirements and eventually producing less than what the body needs. This ultimately leads to low testosterone levels and of course, Andropause.
Tongkat Ali works by intervening with this feedback system by blocking signals sent to the brain that would cause the decline in testosterone production. Through this, normal production of testosterone can now proceed and the required amount of testosterone can now be produced. The effects of this herbal therapy may be evidently observed in men who naturally have low testosterone levels as their libido levels are increased to the normal degree and symptoms of andropause are reduced to minimal levels.
Benefits of Using Tongkat Ali
Studies have repetitively shown that the use of Tongkat Ali has evidently increases levels of testosterone in various reports of men who have used the herb. An increase in sexual performance, semen production and muscle growth were reported to be observed as well.
Evidence also suggests that other than increasing testosterone levels, this herb is also successful in increasing sperm quality and hence, aid in issues concerning male infertility. Of course, one of the most famous effects of this herb is promoting an increased libido. An animal study published in 2003 has concluded that due to exposure to the plant extract, subjects have manifested increased levels of sex drive and libido.
Because of the increase in hormone levels, Tongkat Ali also helps in metabolic processes. In relation to this, fat loss and gaining of lean body mass is also a benefit experienced by Tongkat Ali users. Usage of this herb alongside regular exercise and proper diet would increase chances of gaining muscle mass even more. A study conducted in 2002 proves this by having 7 men using 100 milligrams of Tongkat Ali daily and 7 other men given placebos daily. In the 5 week period that the experiment took place, a 5% increase in muscle mass and body fat reduction was observed with the men that have taken Tongkat Ali.
Risks Involved with Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali has been said to have minimal to rare side effects. These include slightly raised levels of aggression. This is not to mean that uncontrollable bursts of anger spontaneously occur. It is just that there is a mild increase in a person’s aggression. Restlessness can also be a side effect since Tongkat Ali raises energy levels. If taken in very high doses, you might have trouble in falling asleep. Any side effects such as male pattern baldness have never been yet reported by Tongkat Ali users and should not be of concern.