tongkat ali side effects liver

Tongkat Ali Side Effects Liver - Cautions And Notable Dosage

Tongkat Ali has been gaining attention due to its use in the field of fitness and bodybuilding.

As with any new supplement that you decide to try out, it is important to always consider potential side effects before beginning to use it.

Tongkat Ali is no exception, so here we'll look at the potential for Tongkat Ali side effects liver and what precautionary steps can be taken when taking this herbal extract.

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Tongkat Ali Side Effects Liver

Understanding the symptoms of liver damage is crucial before we delve into the Tongkat Ali side effects liver. This knowledge provides a baseline to discern normal function from potential harm.

Let's first explore the key indicators of liver damage and the overview of this poor situation before we examine the relationship between Tongkat Ali and liver health.

Read more: Why Does Tongkat Ali Taste So Bitter?

About Liver Damages: Symptoms, Causes And Effects

The liver, often referred to as the body's chemical factory, plays a critical role in maintaining our health. It helps in the process of digestion, metabolizes drugs, detoxifies chemicals, and synthesizes proteins essential for blood clotting.

Numerous factors may contribute to liver damage. Historically, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and viral hepatitis (including the most common hepatitis B) are some of the most prevalent causes. Additionally, certain medications, if taken inappropriately, can also lead to liver damage.

Liver damage can have detrimental effects on the body, leading to conditions like jaundice, which is characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

It can also result in chronic fatigue and severe abdominal pain. If untreated, liver damage can also lead to life-threatening complications such as liver cirrhosis and liver failure.

So, what are common symptoms of liver damage that you need to know to recognize and prevent?

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Dark urine color
  • Itchy skin
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, or loss of appetite.

Understanding the role and function of the liver, as well as the signs of liver damage, is paramount for those who are wondering, "Does Tongkat Ali affect the liver?" before deciding to use this natural supplement.

Studies About Tongkat Ali Toxicity On Liver

tongkat ali side effects liver

While the question of whether Tongkat Ali affects the liver or not remains unclear, opinions on this matter are divided.

Some believe that Tongkat Ali has a negative impact on liver function; however, many others consider this herbal to be safe. These viewpoints are reported based on users' perceptions and personal opinions. So, Is Tongkat Ali hard on liver? and What does the scientific community have to say about this?

In this section, we will provide you with the studies we have researched to address the aforementioned question.

Study (1) focused on acute toxicity testing of Tongkat Ali. The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population) of oral alcohol extract in mice was found to be between 1500 - 2000 mg/kg, while the LD50 of oral water extract was over 3000 mg/kg.

However, this study did not identify any negative impact on liver or kidney function at normal daily doses or with prolonged use.

Secondary sources caution against Tongkat Ali usage for individuals with conditions such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart and kidney diseases, immune disorders, or sleep apnea.

Another study (2) conducted by Chen et al. concluded that a dosage of 400 mg/day for 6 weeks did not have adverse effects on liver and kidney function.

Furthermore, Ching-Hao-Li et al. (study 4) examined the toxicity and genotoxicity of Tongkat Ali root powder over 13 weeks. The study found dose-related changes in serum biochemical parameters, suggesting that E. longifolia may have cytoprotective potential for the liver and kidneys due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This study also indicated that highly toxic quassinoids had reduced toxicity when taken orally compared to intraperitoneal administration. The recommended daily consumption for adults was 1.2g.

In a study titled "Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali" (study 5) by Shawn M. Talbott, recent supplementation trials (200 mg/day for 4 weeks) showed no changes in liver enzymes (ALT/AST).

Typical dosage recommendations, considering traditional use and scientific evidence, suggest 50-200 mg/day of water-extracted Tongkat Ali root standardized to 22% eurypeptides for dieters and athletes.

Another study in 2015 (study 3), titled "Effect of Long-Term Use of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack on Histopathological Changes in the Liver in Rats," discovered that long-term use of Tongkat Ali can have effects on the liver.

The study observed mild to moderate bleeding, cellular degeneration, and fatty infiltration. However, it emphasized that low doses of the herb did not cause harm to liver tissue and could be considered safe.

This research involved 32 male mice administered three different dosages: a low dose of 250 mg/kg body weight, a medium dose of 500 mg/kg, and a high dose of 1000 mg/kg.

Scientific studies have provided insights into the potential effects of Tongkat Ali on the liver. Here is a summary of the key findings:

  • The impact of Tongkat Ali on the liver remains unclear, with divided opinions.
  • Most studies suppose no negative impact on liver or kidney function is found at normal daily doses or with prolonged use.
  • Usage caution is advised for individuals with certain conditions, including liver problems.
  • A dosage of 400 mg/day for 6 weeks did not have adverse effects on liver and kidney function.
  • Cytoprotective potential for the liver and kidneys is suggested due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • No significant changes in liver enzymes (ALT/AST) were observed with recent supplementation trials.
  • Long-term use of Tongkat Ali can have effects on the liver, but low doses were considered safe.

How To Prevent Liver Side Effects From Tongkat Ali?

Though there are studies that suppose that using Tongkat Ali doesn't affect the liver, it is important to understand that using Tongkat Ali for any purpose requires caution and moderation.

As with any supplement, it is best to consult your doctor before taking it and discuss the potential benefits or side effects of this herbal extract.

Here are some tips on how to avoid any negative impacts of Tongkat Ali on the liver in particular and other side effects in general:

  • Stick with the recommended dosages. The suggested amount of Tongkat Ali for adults is 1.2g per day and 50-200 mg/day for dieters and athletes.
  • Choose high-quality extracts that are natural, organic, and free from unnecessary fillers or other additives.
  • Do not take Tongkat Ali if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a liver condition, or have any other medical issues.
  • Avoid taking Tongkat Ali in combination with other medications, including some supplements like vitamin C and iron that can interact negatively with the herb.
  • It is best to take Tongkat Ali for short durations of time only (6-8 weeks). After this period, it is advisable to take a break and then evaluate if you need to continue taking it or not.
  • Drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet to reduce the strain on your liver.
  • Monitor yourself for signs of fatigue, nausea, headache or any other unusual symptoms that could indicate an adverse reaction.

It is important to understand that this herbal extract has potential risks as well, though not much on the liver. By following the instructions above, you can not only reduce any possible negative impacts of Tongkat Ali on the liver but also enjoy its potential health benefits.

Natural Alternative Methods For Liver Health

If you have concerns about using Tongkat Ali because of liver issues or if you want additional ways to enhance your liver health while taking Tongkat Ali, there are numerous natural methods to maintain a healthy liver. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Avoid alcohol and excess consumption of fatty or sugary foods.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially those high in antioxidants like cranberries, nuts, and turmeric.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Take the appropriate supplements like Vitamin C, E, and B12 to support liver function.
  • Limit your exposure to environmental toxins, such as herbicides and other chemicals.
  • Practice stress relief techniques like yoga or meditation to manage fatigue and stress levels, which can affect the health of your liver.

By following these natural methods, you can help maintain a healthy liver and reduce the risk of any negative side effects from taking Tongkat Ali.

Other Sides Effects Of Tongkat Ali

Though Tongkat Ali has many potential health benefits, there are some side effects associated with it.

Common side effects include headache, nausea, and fatigue. Some users may experience an increased heart rate or insomnia, so be sure to consult your doctor before taking it.

Most of the Tongkat Ali toxicity are a result of exceeding the recommended dosage. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of the dosage in order to prevent these adverse effects from occurring.

Finally, bear in mind that it is always recommended to include a balanced diet and regular exercise as part of your health regimen. This will help support the effects of Tongkat Ali and promote overall well-being.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the potential health benefits of this herbal extract while avoiding its side effects.

Effective Tongkat Ali Usage With Suitable Dosage To Avoid Side Effects

Establishing a suitable dosage for Tongkat Ali is crucial to avoid potential side effects.

Recommended dosage ranges from 50-200 mg/day of water-extracted Tongkat Ali root standardized to 22% neuropeptides, as per credible studies.

High dosages can be damaging to gastrointestinal DNA. Adhering to manufacturers' instructions and considering Tongkat Ali extract content in products is essential to avoid tongkat toxicity.

Studies also have shown that Tongkat Ali can have positive effects on testosterone levels in both genders.

It is particularly beneficial for individuals with low testosterone levels, those who are dieting for weight loss, middle-aged individuals experiencing fatigue or depression, and athletes at risk of overtraining.

You may also like: Is Tongkat Ali a Good Aromatase Inhibitor?

FAQs

Who Should Avoid Taking Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with liver conditions or other serious health issues, and those on certain medications that might interact negatively with this herb.

What Steps Can Be Taken To Safeguard Your Liver While Using Tongkat Ali?

To safeguard your liver while using Tongkat Ali, adhere to the recommended dosage, avoid combining it with other medications that could strain the liver, and maintain a healthy diet coupled with adequate hydration. Regularly monitor for any unusual symptoms and consult your healthcare provider if and when they occur.

What Are The Primary Liver-Related Side Effects Of Eurycomanone?

Eurycomanone, a key compound in Tongkat Ali, may potentially cause liver damage if consumed in high quantities. The primary liver-related side effects include elevated liver enzymes, fatigue, and abdominal discomfort. These effects are often reversible with cessation of use and are less likely if the supplements are used responsibly.

Conclusion

In light of recent scientific studies, it is evident that correct and responsible usage of Tongkat Ali does not lead to adverse effects on the liver among healthy adults. The potential health benefits of this herb can be fully harnessed, provided it is consumed responsibly at the recommended dosage. In addition, natural methods like a balanced diet and exercise can help improve overall liver health and further reduce the risk of any negative side effects.

References:

1. Shaheed Ur Rehman, Kevin Kyungsik Choe, & Hye Hyun Yoo. (2016). Review on a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): Its Traditional Uses, Chemistry, Evidence-Based Pharmacology and Toxicology. Molecules, 21(3), 331–331. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21030331
2. Chen, C. K., Mohamad, W. M. Z. W., Ooi, F. K., Ismail, S. B., Abdullah, M. R., & George, A. (2014). Supplementation of Eurycoma longifolia Jack Extract for 6 Weeks Does Not Affect Urinary Testosterone: Epitestosterone Ratio, Liver and Renal Functions in Male Recreational Athletes. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5(6), 728–733. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4085925/
3. Alfaqeh, H., & Hussein, H. (2014). Pages: 15-19 To Cite This Article: Hamoud Hussein Alfaqeh-PhD., Long-Term Consumption Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on Histopathological Changes in the Vital Organs in Rats. Advances in Environmental Biology, 8(18), 15–19. https://www.aensiweb.com/old/aeb/Special%2010/15-19.pdf
4. Ching Hao Li, Jiunn Wang Liao, Po Lin Liao, Huang, W., Ling Shan Tse, Cheng Hui Lin, Jaw Jou Kang, & Yu Wen Cheng. (2013). Evaluation of Acute 13-Week Subchronic Toxicity and Genotoxicity of the Powdered Root of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifoliaJack). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/102987
5. Talbott, S. (2013). Human Performance and Sports Applications of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia). https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-396454-0.00053-9
This article synthesizes information from studies conducted by experts and researchers worldwide. The studies from the researchers below have contributed significantly to the article's content, aiming to provide reliable information to readers.
Shaheed Ur Rehman
Expert Shawn Talbott Nutrition Expert Shawn Talbott
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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