Long Jack (also known as Eurycoma longifolia, longifolia, Jack, tongkat ali, and Malaysian Ginseng) is a very bitter tasting small tree with medicinal properties. It has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac, but may also have applications to bodybuilding by boosting testosterone levels.
Long Jack is found commonly in Malaysia and Indonesia, but also in parts of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.
The benefits of Long Jack are all related to its effect on increasing testosterone in men. This is due to the presence of a group of bitter organic compounds present in the root of Long Jack, known as quassinoids. Ten different quassinoids can be found in Long Jack, of which were first discovered in this plant (Miyake et al, 2009).
Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for male characteristics such as strength and muscle mass. It is well known that increases in testosterone results in increases in lean mass and strength, and decreases in fat (Bhasin et al, 1996). Although this is easy to do with steroids, the use of such pharmaceutics may result in some seriously adverse health effects. Consequently, these substances are not readily available to the public in Australia. Herbal supplements such as Long Jack have been shown to be effective in naturally increasing the body's testosterone without the associated side effects of steroids, and may therefore be a viable and valuable alternative for bodybuilders.
In a study, it was shown that men experienced a 47% increase in serum testosterone after a month of treatment with 200 mg Long Jack extract/day (Tambi et al, 2011). It is therefore no surprise that when test subjects were given 100mg/day Long Jack while weight training, they experienced significant improvements in gains compared to those receiving a placebo. In five weeks, lean mass increased by over 2 kg, while fat mass decreased by almost 3%. Furthermore, supplemented individuals saw an increase in one rep max (1RM) strength of 134% greater than those receiving the placebo (Hamzah & Yusof, 2003).
As men age, testosterone levels decrease and they experience a drop in libido and fertility. This also sometimes happens among younger men. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that Long Jack helps to increase sexual arousal and extending the duration of erections (Cyranoski, 2005).
There is also evidence to show that Long Jack increases male fertility by improving markers of sperm quality (increases in semen volume, sperm concentration, and percentage of well-formed and mobile sperm) in men, and resulting in increased incidences of pregnancy (Tambi & Imran, 2010). Studies such as these show the potential for Long Jack to be used by couples struggling with infertility.
It has been reported that some people experience light headache, mild fevers, and rash after the first few days of taking Long Jack (Cyranoski, 2005). It may therefore be wise to slowly introduce Long Jack into your diet to increase tolerance.
There have been many incidences of fake Long Jack products available in the market place for sale. At the best, these will not work, but fake products may also be harmful. It is therefore important that you purchase Long Jack from a reputable manufacturer and supplier.
Long Jack extract is extremely bitter due to its quassinoid content. This means that consuming it may not be particularly pleasant to your taste-buds, but it is also a good way to tell whether your Long Jack is genuine or not. However, it is important to know that some supplement mixtures that contain Long Jack may not be bitter because the taste could be masked by added favours and sweeteners.
As stated above, Long Jack is effective when given at doses of 100 to 200 mg extract per day. Larger doses can be split up and taken throughout the day with food. Much like other testosterone booster supplements, Long Jack can be cycled.
Long Jack can be stacked with other testosterone booster ingredients such as tribulus. In fact, Long Jack and tribulus are two popular ingredients that are often found together in commercial testosterone boosters. You can also stack Long Jack with oestrogen blockers/aromatase inhibitors such as resveratrol, and growth hormone boosters. This stack will help to optimise your anabolic hormone profile to maximise your muscle building potential.
Bhasin et al (1996). The effects of supraphysiologic doses of testosterone on muscle size and strength in men. N Engl J Med 1996;335:1–7.
Cyranoski (2005), Malaysian researchers bet big on home-grown Viagra. Nature Medicine, 11, doi: 10.1038/nm0905-912a
Hamzah & Yusof (2003), The ergogenic effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack: A pilot study IN Joint Conference of BASEM and BASES. Br J Sports Med, 37: 464-470
Miyake et al (2009), Quassinoids from Eurycoma longifolia. J. Nat. Prod., 72: 2135–2140
Tambi & Imran (2009), Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility. Asian Journal of Andrology, 12: 376–380
Tambi et al (2011), Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism? Andrologia, S1: 226-230