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- Rated 3 stars
- NOW Tribulus
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- OverallEditor: 63%
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- Sustaining ResultsEditor: 63%
- SafetyEditor: 64%
- ValueEditor: 63%
What Is NOW Tribulus?
NOW Tribulus is a dietary supplement which purportedly boosts levels of testosterone and/or enhances the effect of existing testosterone on body tissues and, therefore, increases lean muscle mass, stamina and athletic performance. It is sold in bottles of 90 or 180 count 1,000 mg strength tablets and 100 count 500 mg strength capsules, respectively. According to the manufacturer, the Tribulus Terrestris standardized extract found in this supplement contains at least 45% saponins, or plant and fruit parts. Although this supplement does not contain wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish or tree nut ingredients, it is manufactured in a factory which processes these items.
This product is designed for adult use only and, therefore, should never be given to children or teenagers, as its safety and efficacy have not been proven in these populations. Moreover, since it influences hormones, it should not be taken by anyone who has a hormone imbalance or a condition which is adversely affected by hormones. Although it is primarily marketed to adult males, Tribulus Terrestris can also be safely taken by adult females.
NOW Foods, the family business which manufactures NOW Tribulus, was founded in 1968 by Elwood Richard and has been a leading commercial supplier of nutritional supplements and other health related products for nearly 50 years. Prior to founding NOW Foods, the Richards family owned Fearn Soya Foods, which Paul Richard bought in 1948. Although they manufactured grain and legume-based products from its inception, the first Fearn Soya Foods retail store did not open until 1962 in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Eventually, the business expanded and came to be exclusively known as its own company, rather than as a product line of the Fearn Soya Foods retail operation. Throughout the years, the NOW Foods company has expanded its product offerings to include personal care and pet items. It has also changed facilities a total of six times, moving from its initial 4,500 square foot retail store to its most recent 130,000 square foot factory in Sparks, Nevada. Currently, NOW Foods has three main locations; they are the Western Operations Office in Sparks, the Western Operations Office in Bloomington, Illinois, and the Corporate Office, which is also in Bloomington.
How NOW Tribulus Works?
NOW Tribulus is primarily marketed as a testosterone booster or a product which can increase the actual level of testosterone in the body and/or improve the effect of the already existing testosterone on the body. Testosterone is secreted in much greater quantities in males than in females and is the primary reason men have higher muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage than women. Rather than directly adding to the testosterone level in the body or directly stimulating its production, Tribulus Terrestris increases the level of luteinizing hormone in the body which, in turn increases testosterone production, as well as enhancing the effect of testosterone on the body. An enhanced testosterone supply can improve athletic performance by increasing stamina and promoting lean muscle growth, while reducing stores of abdominal fat.
While testosterone production can also be increased in women, testosterone in women is always at a much lower level than in men, so any change resulting from altering testosterone would be negligible. The main effect of the increased luteinizing hormone in women is raising levels of estrogen. While estrogen is better known for its role in reproductive health, it also increases levels of aerobic conditioning, metabolism and HDL or “good” cholesterol. All of these factors can help improve energy levels because they promote both cardiovascular health and physical fitness.
Ingredients of NOW Tribulus
The active ingredients of NOW Tribulus are Tribulus Terrestris standardized extract and Calcium Carbonate. Tribulus Terrestris standardized extract, the key ingredient in this supplement, is manufactured from the Tribulus Terrestris plant which grows in tropical regions throughout the world. The 1,000 mg tablets also contain 13% of the Daily Value for Calcium Carbonate. Since Calcium Carbonate helps the body to more efficiently manufacture testosterone, it is odd that the 500 mg capsules do not contain it. For more details about this, please see the section on, “How NOW Tribulus Works?”
NOW Tribulus tablets also contain the inactive ingredients Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Silica and Vegetable Coating. The inactive ingredients in the capsules include Gelatin, Rice Flour, Silica and Magnesium Stearate. Due to their Gelatin content, the capsules are non-Kosher. These inactive ingredients are used to bind the active ingredients together into capsule or tablet form. These inactive ingredients do not affect the potency of the supplement. They only make it possible to form the active ingredients into a convenient to store and consume tablet or capsule, respectively.
Theoretically, since NOW Tribulus can increase testosterone production, it can lead to changes associated with increased testosterone levels. As testosterone levels decrease with age, older men may notice more changes when supplementing with Tribulus Terrestris. Since men tend to gain fat in the mid-section as a result of the waning testosterone levels which accompany aging, it stands to reason that increasing testosterone levels can make it easier to shed fat, particularly in the abdomen or belly.
Increasing testosterone through supplementing with Tribulus Terrestris can also purportedly increase energy levels and stamina. As stamina and strength increase, many men may be more motivated to work out more vigorously and for longer periods of time. Moreover, as body fat reduces, lean muscle mass can take its place. This increase in lean muscle mass can also further enhance stamina, thus creating a potentially upward cycle of strengthening. It is important to note that these advantages have not been substantiated by much research, although anecdotal reports abound.
NOW Tribulus is GMP Quality Assured by the National Products Association (NPA). GMP is an acronym for Good Manufacturing Practices. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now has a set of GMPs, the NPA standards predate the FDA standards by several years. NPA GMP standards are also higher than the FDAs and are followed by a number of major supplement manufacturers. The NPA GMP Quality Assured standard includes annual audits of raw materials and the manufacturing process, as well as the supplements themselves.
Certified Kosher means that this product fulfills established Kosher dietary laws. Kosher dietary laws are those set forth in the Bible and include strict parameters for ingredient sourcing and preparation. In terms of supplements, these include use of alternatives to gelatin as a binder or encapsulation vehicle and avoidance of certain ingredients or combinations of ingredients. It is for this reason that only the NOW Tribulus tablets carry the Certified Kosher designation. The capsules are NOT Kosher due to their inclusion of Gelatin, a non-Kosher food source.
Heard about this [NOW Tribulus] from a friend who had great results. Since starting it a week ago, I’m seeing a bit more definition, especially in the shoulders. So far, no side effects like others have mentioned on the boards, but again it’s only been a week so I can’t say for sure.
– Donald, Wheeling, WV, USA
Once you manage to choke these God-awful tasting, monster pills down, they work great. After two months, I’m feeling better than ever, ready to take on the world. I am stronger, have better energy and a faster recovery. 50 going on 15? Maybe not, but thanks for turning my clock back to 35 – I feel great.
– Dale, Tacoma, WA, USA
Awards & Media Coverage
NOW Foods, the company which manufactures NOW Tribulus, has won a variety of awards for its business practices, industry leadership and product quality. The following are representative examples of the awards the NOW Foods company has won between January to June of 2016:
- Animal Wellness Magazine, Stamp of Approval
- WholeFoods Magazine, 2016 Natural Choice Awards
- Taste for Life, Essentials Awards
NOW Foods has been covered by a wide variety of media outlets. These include appearances on programs such as FOX News and NBC’s Today Show, as well as in many web and print publications. Some of the publications which have featured NOW Foods include:
- Prevention Magazine
- Chicago Tribune
- Men’s Fitness
Although NOW Foods claims freshness is always guaranteed for its products, the manufacturer of NOW Tribulus does not advertise a money-back guarantee anywhere on its website. Several health food stores and websites which carry this product, however, do offer money-back guarantees, which are most commonly for sixty or ninety days after purchase and which typically require the customer to return any unused product, although there are a few examples of so-called “no hassle” return policies which only require the customer to contact the merchant if a refund is desired. Most refund protocols, however, require the customer to repackage the bottle containing any remaining product in the shipping carton, affix a return label and mail the product back to the merchant. The return label is often included with the original shipment or it is easily printed from the merchant’s website.
Historically, NOW Foods has offered customers a choice of refund or replacement in cases of voluntary product recall. Such recalls are rare and are due to a variety of errors which can range from simple mislabeling or miscounted pills to possible contamination with Salmonella or other biohazardous agents. Since these recalls are announced through multiple venues, such as major news media outlets, the FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals & Safety Alerts page and the NOW Foods news page, the company places the onus on individual customers to stay informed of product news and, therefore, does not contact individual customers who have purchased defective supplements. Since Tribulus Terrestris influences hormone levels and function, such product errors can have adverse effects on multiple organ systems and, possibly, the entire body.
NOW Foods offers a range of shipping options for this supplement which do not appear until after the item has been added to the “Shopping Cart” and the country, state/province and zip/postal code where the product will be shipped has been entered under the “Estimate Shipping and Taxes” section located at the bottom of the shopping cart page. This page is the only method of estimating shipping costs, as NOW Foods does not offer a standard reference chart of shipping charges based upon order total order cost or weight. The three shipping options available are “standard shipping” which takes 4 to 7 business days, “faster shipping” which occurs over 4 to 5 business days and “express shipping” which will have your package on your porch in 3 to 4 business days. Later in the checkout process, the shopping cart also provides the option of shipping to a delivery address which is different from the billing address, such as when a gift is being shipped to a recipient’s home or a product is being sent to the workplace.
From showcasing organically sourced raw ingredients to implementing energy saving business practices throughout its facilities, NOW Foods has a fair amount of information online regarding its committed to greener living. This sustainability mandate extends to shipping practices, as evidenced by the exclusive use of 100% recycled content shipping boxes. Moreover, the NOW Foods company encourages customers to recycle shipping containers, supplement bottles and other product packaging during its annual Christmas and holiday light recycling drives.
NOW Foods has lasted for almost 50 years in the supplements business by building a solid customer base grounded in a high level of customer service and support. Customer Service is now available any time of the day or night via an online Contact Us form which is accessible by clicking on the words “Contact Us,” which are located in the About Us column, the second column at the bottom of every NOW Foods web page. For the vast majority of customer support concerns, one should use the drop down menu to specify Customer Service as the reason for the message. If customer support is desired to complain about a product, click on the orange button labeled, “To Report a Product Complaint,” and complete the specialty form found on the linked page.
Although it is not publicized as much as the online Contact Us or the To Report a Product Complaint forms, one could telephone or write one of the NOW Foods locations listed at the top of the aforementioned Contact Us page. A dedicated medical complaints hotline, listed at the top of the To Report a Product Complaint page, is the only way to report any health-related issues possibly stemming from use of a NOW Foods product, such as hormonal-related conditions related to Tribulus Terrestris use. When writing, one should realize that written, posted correspondence will not be answered as quickly as an email or telephone call, as it must first travel through the mail and interoffice communications before it is received, so it should not be used in the case of supplement-related health issues. If one does decide to write or call, the Contact Us page lists addresses and telephone numbers for the Midwest Operations, Western Operations and Corporate Offices. All telephone numbers listed are toll free.
Safe & Secure Checkout
The online checkout process is safe and secure. The website is secured through Entrust SSL. SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a method of “scrambling the signals” sent between your computer and the SSL protected website you are viewing. SSL ensures that any information you send to or receive from a website remains private. The Entrust SSL company uses SSL to protect any information you send through online forms, as well as any email communication, from unauthorized viewers.
The NOW Foods website is an Authorize.net Verified Merchant for Online Payments. This simply means that the website you are viewing is able to securely accept and process credit card and electronic check payments through the Authorize.net service. Using an outside company to handle payment results in more secure and efficient processing of your financial information.
There is quite a large range of prices for the NOW Tribulus line across different sites. So, one needs to be especially careful when choosing a reputable and reasonably priced supplier. Due to the nature of the raw materials used in its manufacture, if a price seems too good to be true for this product, it probably is. Since the research is far from conclusive for Tribulus Terrestris, some retailers may be selling overstock supplements which are nearing the expiration date and which would not be as useful for the vast majority of consumers.
A careful search of various retailers revealed that reliably authentic and fresh stock of this supplement can be found under $20. For example, a reasonable price for 100 capsules, which are 500 mg strength, can be found on one site for $7.82 before shipping, handling and taxes. The same site carries the 1,000 mg tablets in the 90 count and 180 count bottles for $10.99 and $19.99, respectively, before shipping, handling and taxes are added.
- NOW Tribulus supplements do not require refrigeration.
- Once or twice daily dosing eliminates the need to carry a pill case for multiple administrations throughout the day.
- Commonly reported side effects of NOW Tribulus, such as acne, restlessness and fatigue, tend to be dose dependent and reverse relatively soon after the supplement is discontinued.
- Many users find NOW Tribulus tablets are rather large and, therefore, uncomfortable to swallow, so they may need to be split or crushed to be safely taken.
- Many find the taste of the supplement rather unpleasant and may wish to take it with juice or another flavored beverage to mask its flavor.
- Weight loss and lean muscle mass building effects of Tribulus Terrestris have been debunked through research.
Summary: NOW Tribulus is a dietary supplement which comes in tablet and capsule form. Tribulus Terrestris, the main ingredient in this supplement, purportedly raises levels of luteinizing hormone which increases testosterone levels and/or helps the body more readily use existing stores of testosterone. Increased testosterone can improve athletic performance by increasing energy, lean muscle mass and stamina. The vast majority of research has not found that Tribulus Terrestris increases testosterone levels or appreciably enhances testosterone’s effect on body tissues.
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