Tongkat Ali Extract
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- Helps to support a healthy libido
- May help support a healthy testosterone level
- May reduce the effect of stress
Tongakat Ali is a plant found in Southeast Asia that has been used to increase libido in men and women for over a thousand years. Tongkat Ali effects and benefits may include increased serum testosterone levels and maintaining good ratios of testosterone and cortisol in the body, thus helping to increase libido and diminish the negative effects of stress. Recommended use depends on extract strength, and varies between 100-300mg daily. There have been found to be no negative side effects from Tongkat Ali use, even when using high doses over long periods of time.
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Tongkat Ali extract reviews
“…I first took 30 days straight as was directed, then 2 weeks off and 2 weeks on keeping that cycle. I immediately noticed that my upper body just felt stronger and I had not been working out. I felt lighter when I walked. I thought it was my imagination.” – bmatt (Amazon), Tongkat Ali review
“Tongkat Ali is fantastic. If you've been burning the candle at both ends, this is the product for you. It will help bring back your energy level and drive.” – Socal man (Amazon), Tongkat Ali review
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- Tongakat ali is a plant found in Southeast Asia that has been used to increase libido in men and women for over a thousand years
- Tongkat ali effects and benefits include increased serum testosterone levels and maintaining good ratios of testosterone and cortisol in the body, thus increasing libido and diminishing stress
- Recommended use depends on extract strength, and varies between 100-300mg daily
What is Tongkat Ali extract?
Tongkat Ali is an evergreen shrub-tree that is found predominantly in Indonesia, Malaysia and in Southeast Asia. The bark and roots are used commonly for aphrodisiac effects as well as energy enhancement and to support healthy erectile function in men. In Malaysia, the roots are often used as an anti-aging tonic and to boost libido. It has a very long history of use – over a thousand years at least, and the Malaysian government has sponsored a lot of research into growing Tongkat Ali for modern day dietary supplements.
Tongkat Ali effects/benefits
The primary effect of Tongkat Ali is helping to increase libido and sexual desire. It is for this purpose that it was used so commonly throughout Southeast Asia for such a long period of time. Its other “anti-aging” properties may include energy enhancement, stress-relief and healthy weight management. One of the key features of the functioning of Tongkat Ali extract is in its ability to support healthy testosterone levels naturally, and maintain healthy levels with respect to other body hormones.
A recent month-long study in elderly men (average age of 51 years) with late-onset hypogonadism (low testosterone levels) found that dietary supplementation with Tongkat Ali extract increased serum testosterone levels and improved general life-parameters:
“While before treatment only 10.5% of the patients did not show any complaint according to the AMS scale and 35.5% had normal testosterone levels, after the completed treatment 71.7% and 90.8% of the patients showed normal values, respectively. Thus, Tongkat Ali extract appears to be useful as a supplement in overcoming the symptoms of LOH for the management of hypogonadism.” (Henkel et al, 2012)
Another study in middle-aged women with a high BMI found that over a 12-week period, women combining strength-training with Tongkat Ali extract supplements had better enhanced their “fat-free mass” compared to women doing the same training program without supplementation.
An important use of Tongkat Ali is to support a healthy hormone balance. This applies not only to persons suffering from low libido due to stress or old-age, but also to dieters and performance athletes. Cortisol and testosterone levels are important to monitor in both dieters and performance athletes because both of these activities can cause bodily stress, thereby disrupting the hormone ratio. Cortisol is known commonly as the “stress-hormone” and is responsible for many bodily functions. A high cortisol blood content is often due to stress and can have negative effects on the body and mind. An unbalanced cortisol/testosterone ratio can cause low libido, stress, high blood pressure and even depression.
Dieting and “over-training” can cause a rise in cortisol levels and a drop in testosterone.
In a recent test study with endurance cyclists who were supplementing with Tongkat Ali extract, their cortisol levels were found to be 32% lower and testosterone levels 10% higher than in the control.
“Additional studies in dieters and athletes have shown 50-100 mg/day of Tongkat Ali extract to help restore normal testosterone levels in supplemented dieters (compared to a typical drop in testosterone among non-supplemented dieters) and supplemented athletes (compared to a typical drop in non-supplemented athletes). In one trial of endurance cyclists cortisol levels were 32% lower and testosterone levels were 16% higher in supplemented subjects compared to placebo, indicating a more favourable biochemical profile for promoting an “anabolic” hormone state.” (George et al, 2000)
Tongkat Ali extract recommended dosage
As with all extracts, Tongkat Ali extract dosage is dependent on the strength and potency of the extract. Different levels of purity require different doses for the same desired effects.
Common online Tongkat Ali GNC extracts are at around 100:1 strength. Recommended doses at this strength are around 200-300mg daily.
LiftMode Tongkat Ali extract is 200:1 strength (200 grams natural Tongkat Ali root is used to produce 1 gram of extract) and comes with a 1/8th teaspoon measuring scoop which measures around 250mg, a strong serving size. Moderate serving sizes for 200:1 extract are around 100-150mg daily.
Tongkat Ali side effects and warnings
An animal study was recently conducted by researchers at various medical centres and universities in Taiwan, and it was found that Tongkat Ali had no negative side-effects or toxicity over a 4 week study period:
“After 4-week subacute and 13-week subchronic exposure paradigms (0, 0.6, 1.2, and 2 g/kg b.w./day), adverse effects attributable to test compound were not observed with respect to body weight, hematology, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, macropathology, or histopathology. However, the treatment significantly reduced prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine phosphate kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and cholesterol levels, especially in males. These changes were judged as pharmacological effects, and they are beneficial to health.”
It should be noted that throughout the thousand year history of use of Tongkat Ali in Southeast Asia there have been no recorded cases of human toxicity linked directly to Tongkat Ali use.
Another recent human study found that in 28 males, a high daily dose of Tongkat Ali for 2-months had no effect on blood profiles nor any negative effects on liver or renal function.
Since Tongkat Ali is commonly used as a male reproductive enhancement for increased fertility, it is important that it be tested for possible detrimental effects on sperm. A recent study found that sperm washed with Tongkat Ali extract did not exhibit any negative consequences - the conclusion was as follows:
“Results indicate that the TA extract has no deleterious effects on sperm functions at therapeutically used concentrations (<2.5 μg ml(-1) ). However, at very high concentrations, TA may have harmful effects in vitro.”
 “Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat Ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?” Tambi MI, Imran MK, Henkel RR, Andrologia. 2012 May;44 Suppl 1:226-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2011.01168.x. Epub 2011 Jun 15
 “Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects” Shawn M Talbott, Julie A Talbott, Annie George and Mike Pugh, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:28
 “Evaluation of Acute 13-Week Subchronic Toxicity and Genotoxicity of the Powdered Root of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack)” Yu-Wen Cheng et al., Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 102987, 11 pages
 “Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) extract on human spermatozoa in vitro.” Erasmus N1, Solomon MC, Fortuin KA, Henkel RR, Andrologia. 2012 Oct;44(5):308-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2012.01282.x. Epub 2012 Feb 15.