Protodioscin is the active ingredient in tribulus terrestris. Tribulus terrestris is an annual flowing plant native to warm temp
Protodioscin is the active ingredient in tribulus terrestris. Tribulus terrestris is an annual flowing plant native to warm temperate tropical climates,
Protodioscin is a steriodal saponin extracted from these plants and used as the central component in enhancing sexual performance, and may even prove to be useful in benefiting some sexual disorders, and infertility. Saponins are components of steroids found in plant skins that form the waxy outer layer. Protodioscin's chemical structure is very similar to that of dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a precursor to testosterone. The familiar structure leads to hormonal changes in the body. Protodioscin's effects can be attributed to its ability to increase testosterone levels. This is achieved by amplifying the concentration of Luetenizing hormone (LH) secreted by the pituitray gland. Testosterone levels increase with rising LH concentrations. Testosterone levels are also increased by protodioscin's ability to amplify circulating levels of DHEA. At the molecular level testosterone binds to its substrate causing the subsequent release of nitric oxide
The use of protodioscin also seems to be indicated in infertility, which effects 5-20% of the population. Studies suggest that many men unknowingly have moderate cases of idiopathic oligozoospermia, a disease that effects the potency and viability of the sperm. In a study conducted at the University of Sriwijaya in Indonesia, potent doses of protodioscin were given to the male partners of clinically diagnosed infertile couples for 60 days. The male subjects had also been diagnosed with oligozoospermia. The results were quite striking. After only a two month period 80% of the subjects experienced improved sperm quantity, and quality as well as restored libido, and enhanced erection (Arsyad, 1996).
Protodioscin has also shown an inhibitory effect on the division of cancerous cells. According to Hibasami et. al (2003), protodioscin showed a strong resistance to the growth of human leukemia cells. Induced DNA fragmentation resulted from exposure of cancer cells to quatities of protodioscin. The inhinitory activities of protodioscin in this study provide evidence that it can actually induce apoptosis in leukemia cells. This implies that protodioscin may have some use in combatting the menasticization of cancer in the body