who should not take tongkat ali

Who Should Not Take Tongkat Ali?

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Tongkat Ali is an herbal supplement with a long history of use in traditional Asian medicine. The reason people currently use Tongkat Ali includes boosting testosterone and libido, improving male fertility, reducing stress, and improving muscle mass and body composition. While for many people, it’s likely safe at reasonable doses, who should not take Tongkat Ali? There are some people who should avoid it.

What Is Tongkat Ali?

Coming from an Asian plant, Tongkat Ali is somewhat new in terms of mainstream supplement culture in America, but it’s not new in traditional medicine. The herb has a long history of being used for conditions like fatigue, fever, infections, erectile dysfunction, and low libido.

Potential health benefits of supplements with Tongkat Ali include:

  • Tongkat Ali is proven in studies to raise testosterone in men. For example, in one study that ran for a month looking at men with low testosterone, taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract a day significantly increased testosterone levels. They rose to normal levels in more than 90% of participants in the study.
  • Since Tongkat Ali can improve testosterone levels, it also has the potential to improve erectile dysfunction in men and stimulate sexual arousal.
  • The supplement can boost male fertility, with some research showing it improves sperm concentration and motility.
  • In studies, Tongkat Ali reduces stress hormones and decreases anxiety, and helps to improve mood.
  • There are compounds in this herb called quassinoids that may help the body use energy more efficiently, reducing fatigue and improving endurance. As a result of these compounds, Tongkat Ali is thought to improve body composition and physical performance. In a small study of men doing strength training, taking the supplement at 100 mg a day led to significantly greater increases in their lean body mass compared to participants taking a placebo.

Is Tongkat Ali Safe?

Tongkat Ali is considered safe for most people as long as the right doses are used.

At very high doses, it can become toxic, increasing the risk of damaging the kidneys or liver. In studies, doses of 200-400 mg daily are consideredconsidered to be safe, but you shouldn’t take more than the recommended dose for any product.

There’s something important to note when discussing the safety of Tongkat Ali—be careful about using combination products. There are cases of liver toxicity associated with supplements containing Tongkat Ali, but there were a number of other ingredients as well.

If you’re going to use a supplement, in most cases, it’s best to use a single product rather than a combination because combinations are less likely to be safe and more likely to cause side effects. Then, if they cause side effects, it’s hard to know which ingredient was the culprit.

In one study from 2020 on animals, there was research done on beverages infused with caffeine and Tongkat Ali. Those beverages contained around 2.5 grams of the herb, so you have to be careful of exactly how much of any ingredient is in beverages, just like with combination supplements.

The side effects most people experience include headache, nausea, and vomiting, but again, this is usually at high doses.

Is Tongkat Ali Hard on the Liver?

In one study where participants were given 400 mg of Tongkat Ali per day, there was no toxicity to the liver or to kidney function. Again, it’s very important to stay within the safe dosage ranges based on the research that’s available and not go beyond what the manufacturer advises for a dose if you’re going to take this supplement.

Who Should Not Take Tongkat Ali

Based on research that we could find, people who should not take Tongkat Ali include:

  • Anyone with hormone-sensitive cancer like prostate cancer or breast cancer
  • Someone with digestive issues or disorders
  • People with liver or kidney disorders
  • Anyone taking a hypoglycemic medicine
  • People on blood pressure medicines
  • Children
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Individuals with a suppressed immune system
  • Someone with sleep apnea
  • People with heart disease
  • A person with heart disease

Final Thoughts

At doses of around 200 to 400 mg a day, Tongkat Ali is considered a fairly safe supplement and effective for increasing testosterone. You should always use caution with supplements, though. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about any questions you have. Certain people should avoid this supplement, including individuals with hormone-sensitive cancers, liver or kidney disorders, suppressed immune systems, and other disorders.

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