LJ100 or Physta(R) in Regular Weight Lifters
Physta is a proprietary extract of Eurycoma Longifolia roots. It is one of the few standardized extracts said to contain the bioactive components, which are important to vitality and testosterone production. In the United States it’s often referred to as LJ100. It is produced by a company called Biotropics Malaysia, they also happen to fund most of the research on its ability (or inability) to increase testosterone in men.
Eurycoma longifolia Jack or Tongkat Ali is in virtually hundreds of testosterone boosters and Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) products. So one would assume it works, right? Well that’s debatable. Admittedly I have suggested it to guys looking for a natural testosterone booster. This is largely because there is some research showing it may increase testosterone, but mostly in rats [Ref 1, 2, 3, and so on]. There is one study showing it reduces stress and anxiety in both men and women, which largely could result in an increase in testosterone (adaptogen like perhaps)[Ref 4].
The newest study on LJ100 was an attempt to determine if LJ100 Tongkat Ali altered the testosterone to epitestosterone ratio [Ref 5]. This is important to drug tested athletes, as most organizations use this ratio to determine if the athlete is using any performance enhancing drugs. For us, the benefit of this study is that it might show us how much it does or does not increase testosterone. Some key points about this paper:
- Double blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study
- 13 “recreationally” trained men (recreationally was not defined)
- 6 Week study using 400 mg’s/day of Physta (LJ100)
- The average age of the men was 29 years old, with around 19% body fat
As you can see in the following table the testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was not altered. Unfortunately they do not give the individual testosterone values before and after the 6 weeks of supplementation. But in general, if testosterone was increased, you would expect to see a larger ratio. In this case it was actually a bit lower.
Tongkat Ali for PCT?
So what’s the verdict? This is probably something that doesn’t “hurt” in your post cycle therapy protocol. At the same time it may not do anything other than making your wallet a little lighter. As with any PCT the powerhouse that’s going to bring you back quickly is always going to be a SERM. It’s highly unlikely you will find the guys in the Baylor Urology department recommending Tongkat Ali to anyone suffering from anabolic steroid induced hypogonadism. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with this paragraph from the discussion portion of this new paper:
“Tambi, et al., have shown that ElJ (Physta®) improved the concentration of serum testosterone in hypogonadic men (men with low serum testosterone levels) and hence concluded that ElJ has potential as a natural substitute to testosterone. The ergogenic effect of ElJ in men has been demonstrated by Hamzah and Yusof when they reported that water-soluble extract of ElJ (100 mg/day for 5 weeks) increased fat free mass, muscular strength and size. However, subsequent but limited studies did not seem to substantiate the ergogenic properties of ElJ on sports performance.[26,28]”