Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis: Are They Better Together?

Roots and powder from Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis plants

Combining Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis is a promising natural approach for supporting healthy testosterone levels in men based on their proposed mechanisms of action. Anecdotal reports suggest this combination may enhance libido, energy, mood, and muscle mass. However, the lack of human clinical trials specifically on this combination means more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and long-term safety. 

Are you a man looking to naturally boost your testosterone levels? Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are two herbs that have gained popularity among men seeking to enhance their masculinity. Influencers and online forums are buzzing with anecdotal reports of guys stacking these plants to maximize their manly benefits.

As a man, you know how important healthy testosterone is for your energy, libido, muscle mass, and overall vitality. Maybe you’ve heard the hype about combining Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis and are curious to learn more. Can these herbs really take your T levels to new heights?

In this article, we’ll take a close look at these two herbal supplements, and their potential when combining them together. You’ll discover the potential benefits, risks, and best practices for supplementing with this dynamic duo. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to decide if this combo is right for your unique goals and lifestyle.

Tongkat Ali Overview

Tongkat Ali, scientifically known as Eurycoma longifolia, is a medicinal plant native to Southeast Asia. The roots of this shrub-like tree have been used for centuries as a natural remedy to boost male virility and libido. In recent years, Tongkat Ali has gained popularity as a “testosterone booster” due to growing research on its effects on male hormones.

Traditional Uses

Traditionally, Tongkat Ali root has been brewed as a tea or decoction and consumed to:

  • Enhance sexual performance and treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Increase energy and reduce fatigue.
  • Improve overall well-being and quality of life.
  • Treat fever, malaria, and bacterial infections.

Active Compounds

The roots of Tongkat Ali contain several bioactive compounds believed to be responsible for its effects:

  • Quassinoids like eurycomanone, the major active compound
  • Alkaloids like canthin-6-one and β-carboline
  • Squalene derivatives
  • Eurypeptides
  • Glycoproteins and polysaccharides

Mechanisms of Action

Studies suggest Tongkat Ali may increase testosterone levels by:

  • Stimulating the release of free testosterone from its binding proteins (e.g. SHBG).
  • Increasing the production of testosterone precursors like DHEA.
  • Activating the CYP17 enzyme involved in testosterone synthesis.
  • Reducing the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress testosterone.

Research on Testosterone Effects

Multiple human studies have investigated the effects of Tongkat Ali supplementation on testosterone levels:

  • A 2022 meta-analysis found Tongkat Ali significantly increased total testosterone compared to placebo, with a large effect size. The benefits were most pronounced in men with low testosterone levels (hypogonadism).
  • Doses of 200-400 mg/day of Tongkat Ali extract for 1-3 months have increased total and free testosterone by 10-30% in men with low to normal baseline levels.
  • In a study of older men with low testosterone, 200 mg/day of Tongkat Ali for 1 month elevated total testosterone from an average of 5.66 to 8.31 nmol/L.
  • Another trial found 200 mg/day of Tongkat Ali for 12 weeks increased total testosterone from 359 to 396 ng/dL in men with hypogonadism.

However, some studies using lower doses or testing men with normal testosterone levels have not found significant changes. The testosterone-boosting effects of Tongkat Ali appear most reliable in men with low baseline levels.

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Fadogia Agrestis Overview

Fadogia agrestis is a shrub native to parts of Africa that has recently gained attention as a potential natural testosterone booster. Despite its growing popularity among supplement companies and fitness influencers, there is limited scientific research on this herb’s effects in humans.

Traditional Uses

Traditionally, the roots of Fadogia agrestis have been used in African folk medicine to:

  • Boost libido and treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Enhance physical performance and endurance.
  • Increase overall vitality and well-being.

Active Compounds

The roots of Fadogia agrestis contain several compounds that may contribute to its purported effects:

  • Saponins: Steroid-like compounds that can influence hormone levels.
  • Alkaloids: Nitrogen-containing compounds with potential physiological effects.
  • Flavonoids: Plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

However, the specific active ingredients responsible for Fadogia’s potential testosterone-boosting effects have not been definitively identified.

Proposed Mechanisms of Action

Based on its traditional use and preliminary research, Fadogia agrestis is believed to increase testosterone levels by:

  • Stimulating the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, which signals the testes to produce more testosterone.
  • Increasing the activity of enzymes involved in testosterone synthesis.
  • Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation that can impair testosterone production.

However, these mechanisms have not been conclusively proven in human studies.

Animal Research on Testosterone Effects

A few animal studies have investigated the effects of Fadogia agrestis on testosterone levels:

  • In a study of male rats, oral administration of Fadogia agrestis extract for 28 days significantly increased testosterone levels compared to a control group.
  • Another rat study found that Fadogia agrestis extract increased testicular weight and sperm count, which may indirectly suggest a testosterone-boosting effect.
  • A study in male mice reported that Fadogia agrestis extract enhanced sexual behavior and increased testosterone levels.

While these preliminary findings are intriguing, it’s important to note that animal research does not always translate to humans. There is a lack of clinical trials evaluating the testosterone-boosting effects of Fadogia agrestis in men.

Potential Benefits of Combining Tongkat Ali and Fadogia

Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are two herbs that have gained popularity as natural testosterone boosters. While research on each herb individually is limited, especially for Fadogia, there is a rationale and theory for why taking them together may provide synergistic benefits.

Rationale and Theory

Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are thought to work through different mechanisms to potentially increase testosterone levels:

  • Tongkat Ali may stimulate the release of free testosterone from its binding proteins like sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). It may also stimulate the CYP17 enzyme involved in testosterone synthesis.
  • Fadogia Agrestis is believed to stimulate the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, signaling the testes to produce more testosterone.

By combining herbs with different mechanisms, the theory is that they may work together synergistically to enhance testosterone production better than either herb alone. The herbs may target the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis at different points to support healthy testosterone levels.

Anecdotal Reports

While scientific evidence is lacking, there are anecdotal reports from men who have experimented with combining Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis. Some of the commonly reported benefits include:

  • Enhanced libido and sexual function.
  • Increased energy and reduced fatigue.
  • Improved mood and sense of well-being.
  • Increased muscle mass and strength.

These anecdotal benefits align with the effects of higher testosterone levels in men. However, it’s important to note that individual results can vary and these reports are not a substitute for clinical research.

Lack of Human Studies

Despite the theoretical rationale and anecdotal reports, there is currently a lack of human clinical trials specifically evaluating the combination of Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis. Most of the available research has looked at each herb in isolation.

While animal studies on Fadogia Agrestis have shown potential testosterone-boosting effects, these results don’t always translate to humans. More clinical trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of this herbal combination in men.

Safety and Side Effects

When considering taking any new supplement, it’s crucial to evaluate its safety profile and potential side effects. While Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are natural herbs, they can still cause adverse reactions, especially when taken in high doses or combined with other substances.

Tongkat Ali Safety

Tongkat Ali has been studied more extensively than Fadogia Agrestis, with several human trials evaluating its safety:

  • A 2021 review of 25 clinical trials found that Tongkat Ali was generally well-tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported. The most common side effects were mild and included stomach discomfort, headache, and insomnia.
  • In a 12-week study of 109 men, a 300 mg daily dose of Tongkat Ali extract was found to be safe, with no significant changes in blood tests or self-reported adverse effects compared to placebo.
  • A 9-month study in 32 men given 200 mg of Tongkat Ali daily reported no significant side effects or changes in liver or kidney function tests.

While these studies suggest Tongkat Ali is safe for most men when taken in typical doses, some potential side effects to be aware of include:

  • Insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety, especially in high doses.
  • Increased body temperature and sweating.
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Headache and dizziness.
  • Stomach discomfort and nausea.

Fadogia Agrestis Safety

In contrast to Tongkat Ali, there is a concerning lack of human safety data on Fadogia Agrestis. No clinical trials have evaluated the side effects or long-term safety of this herb in humans.

Some animal research has raised potential red flags about the safety of Fadogia Agrestis:

  • A study in rats found that high doses of Fadogia Agrestis extract (1000-1500 mg/kg body weight) caused liver and kidney toxicity, with signs of organ damage and increased liver enzymes.
  • Another rat study reported that a high dose of Fadogia Agrestis (1000 mg/kg) resulted in decreased sperm count and motility, suggesting potential reproductive toxicity.

While these studies used much higher doses than typically found in supplements, they underscore the need for more safety research on Fadogia Agrestis, especially for long-term use.

Importance of Consulting a Doctor

Given the lack of safety data on Fadogia Agrestis and the potential for side effects with Tongkat Ali, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting this herbal combination. This is especially important for men who:

  • Have pre-existing health conditions like heart disease, liver disease, or kidney disease.
  • Are taking medications that may interact with these herbs, such as blood thinners or hormonal drugs.
  • Have a history of anxiety, insomnia, or other mental health concerns.

A doctor can help assess whether this supplement is safe and appropriate for an individual’s unique health situation.

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Dosage Recommendations

When it comes to taking Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis for their potential testosterone-boosting effects, finding the right dosage is crucial. Taking too little may not provide noticeable benefits, while taking too much increases the risk of side effects.

Tongkat Ali Dosage

Tongkat Ali supplements are typically standardized to contain a specific percentage of eurycomanone, the primary active compound. Most studies have used extracts standardized to 1-2% eurycomanone.

Common dosages of Tongkat Ali used in human studies include:

  • 200-400 mg per day of a root extract standardized to 1-2% eurycomanone.
  • Divided into 1-2 doses per day, taken with meals.
  • Dosing periods of 1-3 months.

Based on the available research, a daily dosage of 200-400 mg of a high-quality Tongkat Ali extract appears to be safe and potentially effective for supporting testosterone levels in men.

Fadogia Agrestis Dosage

Unfortunately, there is no established optimal dosage for Fadogia Agrestis due to the lack of human clinical trials. Most supplements contain Fadogia Agrestis as part of a blend, making it difficult to determine the specific dosage.

Some animal studies have used the following dosages:

  • 18-50 mg/kg body weight of Fadogia Agrestis extract in rats.
  • 100-200 mg/kg of dried Fadogia Agrestis stem in mice.

However, these dosages can’t be directly translated to human equivalents and may not reflect the amounts found in commercial supplements.

Typical Combination Dosages

Supplements that combine Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis often contain a proprietary blend of these herbs, along with other ingredients like zinc, vitamin D, or herbal extracts. The specific amounts of each herb are not always disclosed.

Common dosages seen in testosterone-boosting supplements include:

  • 100-300 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per serving.
  • 25-100 mg of Fadogia Agrestis extract per serving.
  • Taken 1-2 times daily.

However, without standardization and clinical research on taking these products together, it’s difficult to determine their ideal dosage and effectiveness.

Cycling Recommendations

Some men choose to cycle their use of testosterone-boosting supplements to minimize the potential for side effects and maintain responsiveness. A typical cycle might involve:

  • Taking the supplements daily for 8-12 weeks.
  • Taking a break for 2-4 weeks before starting another cycle.

This cycling approach may help prevent the body from adapting to the herbs and potentially downregulating its own testosterone production. However, more research is needed to determine the optimal cycling schedule for Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis.

When taking Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis in combination, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and not exceed it without consulting a healthcare professional. Cycling these supplements may help reduce the risk of side effects and maintain their effectiveness over time.

As with any supplement, starting with a lower dosage and assessing individual tolerance is a smart approach. Consulting with a doctor can help determine an appropriate dosage based on individual health factors and goals.

Alternatives & Lifestyle Factors

In addition to herbal supplements, there are several evidence-based lifestyle changes men can make to naturally optimize their testosterone levels. In many cases, these habits can be as effective, if not more so, than relying on unproven supplements.

Here’s an overview of alternative approaches and lifestyle factors that may help naturally increase testosterone levels:

Other Evidence-Based Supplements

A few other supplements have shown promise for supporting healthy testosterone levels in certain populations:

  • Ashwagandha: Several studies have shown the positive effects that ashwagandha supplementation has on testosterone levels in men.
  • Fenugreek: Research has shown that fenugreek supplementation can significantly increase levels of free testosterone.
  • Tribulus Terrestris: With a long history of traditional use, tribulus shows promise for enhancing libido and sexual function, although current research is inconclusive.
  • Ginger Root: Current evidence suggests ginger may help support healthy testosterone levels, likely through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and LH-promoting effects.
  • Vitamin D: Correcting vitamin D deficiency may increase testosterone, especially in older men or those with low levels.
  • Zinc: Supplementing with zinc can boost testosterone in men with low levels and those who exercise.
  • Magnesium: Like zinc, magnesium supplements may increase testosterone in men with low levels or deficiency.

However, it’s possible these supplements might only help if the person is already deficient. More research is needed to confirm benefits in healthy men with normal testosterone levels.

Resistance Training

Engaging in regular resistance training or weightlifting is one of the most effective lifestyle strategies for increasing testosterone.

  • Lifting weights increases testosterone in the short-term and may lead to long-term increases with consistent training.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has also been shown to boost testosterone compared to steady-state cardio.
  • Aim for at least 2-3 strength training sessions per week, with exercises that target all major muscle groups.

Lose Excess Body Fat

Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for optimizing testosterone levels, as obesity and excess belly fat are strongly linked to low testosterone:

  • Losing weight through diet and exercise can significantly increase testosterone in overweight and obese men.
  • Excess body fat promotes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, creating a vicious cycle.
  • Aim for a waist circumference under 40 inches and a body fat percentage in the 10-20% range for optimal testosterone.

Minimize Stress

Chronic stress elevates cortisol, which can reduce testosterone production over time. Engaging in stress management techniques is important for hormonal balance:

  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga
  • Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as sleep deprivation lowers testosterone
  • Avoid overtraining and allow for adequate recovery between workouts

Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet

While no single food is a magic bullet for boosting testosterone, an overall healthy eating pattern may support optimal levels:

  • Focus on whole, minimally processed foods rich in nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D
  • Incorporate healthy fats from sources like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fatty fish
  • Ensure adequate protein intake from lean meats, fish, eggs, and plant sources
  • Minimize refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and excessive alcohol intake

Front view of 3 bottles of CrazyBulk Testo-Max on black background.

Conclusion

Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis are two herbs that have gained popularity as natural testosterone boosters. While there is some evidence to suggest Tongkat Ali may help increase testosterone levels, especially in men with low levels, research on Fadogia Agrestis is much more limited and relies mainly on animal studies.

The potential benefits of combining these herbs, such as increased libido, energy, and muscle mass, are largely based on anecdotal reports and theoretical mechanisms of action. There is currently a lack of human clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness and safety of this herbal combination.

When considering taking Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis together, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks and side effects. While Tongkat Ali appears to be generally well-tolerated, it can cause mild adverse effects like digestive upset, insomnia, and anxiety in some individuals. The safety profile of Fadogia Agrestis is less established, with some animal research suggesting possible liver and kidney toxicity at high doses.

Dosage is another important consideration when taking these herbs. Based on available research, 200-400 mg per day of a high-quality Tongkat Ali extract standardized to 1-2% eurycomanone appears to be a safe and potentially effective range. However, there is no established optimal dosage for Fadogia Agrestis due to the lack of human studies.

Cycling these supplements, with breaks between “on” periods, may help reduce the risk of side effects and maintain their effectiveness over time. However, more research is needed to determine the ideal cycling protocol.

Whether using testosterone supplements or not, living an overall healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, stress management, quality sleep, and a nutrient-dense diet is a sensible approach for men to naturally optimize testosterone levels. While certain supplements may provide benefits, relying on proven lifestyle habits should be the foundation for supporting hormonal health.

Before starting any new supplement regimen, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. They can help you weigh the potential benefits and risks based on your individual circumstances.

References
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