Yohimbe can interact with several drugs and medications, so it’s not safe for everybody to use. Don’t take yohimbe bark if you’re currently taking any ACE inhibitor drug, beta blocker, SSRI drug, MAOI, stimulants or caffeine-containing drugs, or tricyclic antidepressant drugs. Those who have any of the conditions listed below should not take herbal treatments like yohimbe without speaking with a doctor first. This is because it may affect things like blood pressure, heart health, kidney function and neurotransmitter functions:
3. Testosterone replacement. Before oral medications like Viagra, testosterone was routinely used to treat erectile dysfunction as it is central in the male sexual response, including the desire for sex and the process of getting an erection. Testosterone can be administered in a number of ways, for example orally, by means of an injection, skin patch, or subcutaneous (under the skin) pellet.
The response to yohimbine did not vary with patient age; the responders were 60.3 y of age vs 60.0 for the nonresponders (Table 4; P=0.106). The number of medical risk factors was slightly higher in the nonresponders (2.3 per person) compared with the responders (1.8 per person), but this difference was not significant (P=0.346). Documenting the quality of the men's erections in the office with a simple grading system showed a significant difference at the end of the study between responders and nonresponders. For the responders, the value was 3.0 compared with 1.9 for the nonresponders (P<0.001). This result correlated with the overall sexual satisfaction of patients who stated whether or not they were able to engage in regular sexual intercourse.
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Because cholesterol is a building block for testosterone, drugs that interfere with cholesterol production can lower levels of this hormone (Journal of Sexual Medicine, April, 2010). French and Dutch researchers have reported that decreased libido and erectile dysfunction may be associated with statin-type drugs (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Sept. 2004; Drug Safety, July, 2009).
The men started with a daily dose of 500 mg, to make sure they had no adverse side effects, then increased to 1,000 mg and then 1,500 mg. However, Men's Health warns that according to the US's Baylor College of Medicine urologist Larry Lipschultz, not only do niacin supplements often contain less of what the bottle says, "but ED can also be a precursor to heart disease -- a condition you should treat with your doctor's advice."
Talk with your doctor about going to a counselor if psychological or emotional issues are affecting your ED. A counselor can teach you how to lower your anxiety or stress related to sex. Your counselor may suggest that you bring your partner to counseling sessions to learn how to support you. As you work on relieving your anxiety or stress, a doctor can focus on treating the physical causes of ED.
L-arginine, or arginine, is an amino acid found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products that helps expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. “The body uses this semi-essential amino acid as the primary building block for nitric oxide,” explains Harry Fisch, M.D., clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital.
A conflicting study of 22 subjects found that a 100mg daily dose of yohimbine for 30 days did not significantly improve penile rigidity. Three subjects experienced a notable increase in penile rigidity and twelve subject experience a partial increase in rigidity.  These findings do not completely discount the use of yohimbine to treat erectile dysfunction, but do suggest the compound's effects, even at very high dosages, will cause varying responses across a similar population.
If you have symptoms of ED, it’s important to check with your doctor before trying any treatments on your own. This is because ED can be a sign of other health problems. For instance, heart disease or high cholesterol could cause ED symptoms. With a diagnosis, your doctor could recommend a number of steps that would likely improve both your heart health and your ED. These steps include lowering your cholesterol, reducing your weight, or taking medications to unclog your blood vessels.
Participants in this study gradually increased their daily intake of niacin from 250 mg to 3,000 mg over 36 weeks. Nine of the 23 people who were taking immediate-release niacin withdrew from the study early because of facial flushing, fatigue, or skin discoloration. Eighteen of the 23 who were taking 3,000 mg daily of sustained-release niacin dropped out due to upset stomachs, fatigue, or abnormal liver function tests. All of these side effects disappeared once the participants stopped taking the vitamin. Additional cause for concern comes from other reports suggesting that high doses of sustained-release niacin can cause jaundice and liver failure.
Even at the higher doses of yohimbine, no changes in blood pressure or pulse were noted. This agent would appear to be safe in men with medically controlled hypertension. There was an increase in the morning cortisol levels in all men; the value was higher but not significantly so in responders. Telöken et al18 reported a high percentage (80%) of adverse events, but these authors administered a large dose (100 mg) of yohimbine. A toxic overdose of 200 mg produced only tachycardia, elevated blood pressure and anxiety of brief duration.33 Even direct intravenous dosing of yohimbine raised the mean arterial blood pressure by 12%,34 Goldstein et al35 systematically administered yohimbine and noted large hemodynamic and norepinephrine responses in both normal and hypertensive men; only the men who had a history of anxiety, depression, or other psychopathologic factors had symptoms. Oral administration of yohimbine at standard doses or even four tablets (21.6 mg) at a time has had no effect on blood pressure.4 Elevated blood pressure and heart rate were recorded when eight tablets (43.2 mg) were given at one time.3
Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is an herb that is used in Chinese medicine that’s thought to improve blood flow. "Any ED treatment that improves blood flow may help," explains Dr. Harris. "An erection is just blood in and blood out." However, the evidence that ginkgo can improve blood flow in ED is limited, and most experts say the jury is still out. In addition, ginkgo can increase the risk for bleeding problems if combined with certain medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin).
So what causes erectile dysfunction? Sometimes it is a circulation problem. Sometimes it is a low testosterone issue. Sometimes it is not. Testosterone (T) supplementation can help ED and low libido in cases of low T and even if there is a normal T level at baseline, ED can be helped. In cases where thyroid under or overactivity is causing T levels to be less than optimal. Aging is also a problem as T levels drop after mid 20’s and as adipose tissue increases and aromatase enzyme conversion of T to Estrogen correspondingly increases. This causes an unfavorable E:T ratio which equates to low T.
Men, aged 40–80 y, were recruited from new consultations seen for erectile dysfunction at the Lahey Clinic Center for Sexual Function. Patients were screened by history and physical examination and by evaluation of nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity with the RigiScan™ (Timm Medical Technologies, Inc., Minneapolis, USA). Candidates completed a sexual questionnaire and had morning blood tests for luteinizing hormone (LH), free testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and androstenedione. Inclusion criteria included normal initial serum testosterone and prolactin levels and the presence of an organic cause of erectile dysfunction manifested by abnormal nocturnal tumescence and rigidity testing with the RigiScan™ monitor. Active smokers and men with concurrent major psychiatric problems were excluded. No other treatment for erectile dysfunction was permitted during the study. Yohimbine hydrochloride (supplied by Palisades Pharmaceuticals, Palisades, NJ, USA) was started at a dose of 5.4 mg three times a day (tid) for 4 weeks, after which the sex questionnaire was administered again and blood tests, nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing were repeated. The dose of yohimbine then was increased to 10.8 mg tid for 4 additional weeks followed by a third administration of the sex questionnaire and final measurements of hormone levels and nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity monitoring.
Vidal and her team looked at self-reported physical activity among 300 men, and then categorized them into categories: sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, and highly active. These men also reported their levels of sexual function, including their ability to have an erection and orgasm, as well as the quality and frequency of their erections and overall sexual function.
Reduction of the libido index was the major disadvantage that we observed with zinc supplementation. Substances that affect libido usually act centrally and may reduce desire by causing sedation or hormonal disturbances. The role of elevated levels of PRL in serum as an inhibitor of sexual drive and gonadal function is well established. This reduction of sex drive may occur through the modification of activity of dopaminergic neurons in the CNS that are regarded as controlling sexual motivation and function. Our study demonstrated a significant increase of serum PRL level (2.9 to 7.22 ng/dl) within two weeks of supplementation of zinc (5 mg/day). This is a possible explanation for the reduced libido with increasing doses of zinc observed in this study.
The search criteria identified 210 studies from 1972 to 2010; on inserting randomized controlled trials only 26 studies were identified out of which only 5 met the inclusion criteria and 21 studies did not meet the inclusion criteria, hence, were excluded. Five (18, 24–27) randomized controlled trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria; studies involved the use of aerobic exercise in the management of ED, the IIEF was the assessment tool for ED and also involved control groups. A total of 385 subjects were involved: Lamina et al (25), n=43; Lamina et al (26), n=43; Esposito et al (18), n= 110; Kalka et al (27), n= 129; Maio, Saraed and Marchiori (24), n= 60.
Zinc therapy (5 mg/day) improves sexual competence by increasing penile thrusting and prolonging ejaculatory latency without disturbing arousability and motivation of male rats. Increase in the T levels observed with zinc supplementation is beneficial in this regard. However, increase in PRL is responsible for the reduced libido index. Further studies on pigs and monkeys are needed to evaluate the possible therapeutic use of zinc in sexual dysfunction.
A cold slice of watermelon can do more than just satisfy thirst and hunger during the warm summer months; it can help with bedroom satisfaction. Citrulline, the amino acid found in high concentrations of watermelon, is found to improve blood flow to the penis. A 2011 study revealed men who suffered from mild to moderate ED and took L-citrulline supplementation showed an improvement with their erectile function and were very satisfied. Natural watermelon juice, or “nature’s Viagra,” can also be easier on the stomach, since taking pills like Viagra can cause nausea and diarrhea.
Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herbal remedy reputed to act as a mild aphrodisiac, or Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), a good stimulant and sexual energizer. For either, follow the dosage on the package, and give it six or eight weeks to have an effect. Both ashwagandha and Asian ginseng are generally safe (but Asian ginseng can raise blood pressure and cause irritability and insomnia in some people).
There is no evidence that mild or even moderate alcohol consumption is bad for erectile function, says Ira Sharlip, MD, a urology professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. But chronic heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions -- such as interfering with the normal balance of male sex hormone levels -- that can lead to ED.
These medications don’t work for everyone but they are easy to use and work for around 60% of people who try them. They work by making it easier to get an erection by reducing the effect of (inhibiting) the chemical PDE-5. This chemical is used in the body to make sure there isn’t too much blood in the penis during an erection, but if you have erectile dysfunction then this chemical ends up over-compensating.
In the statistical analysis, the difference between the pre-test and post-test values (changed score) for IIEF score was computed. Student t-test was used to compare the mean changed score values of IIEF. All statistical analysis was performed on an IBM compatible micro computer using SPSS for window version 15.0, (Chicago IL, USA). The probability level for all the above tests was set at 0.05 to indicate significance.
Practicing natural health and herbalism for over 18 years, Dalene received her training and herbal certification under the guidance of Lynn Albers at Yarmony Mt. Herbal College in Colorado in 2000. She went on to become a Certified Birth Doula at Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, Oregon in 2007. As a Birth Doula, Dalene has helped to bring many new lives in to this world. Dalene has written 280+ fertility articles and with her vast array of herbal and holistic healing knowledge has helped 1000’s of women on their journey to Motherhood.
Although not direct proof of cause and effect, the positive results that we report in half of the men in the current study may reinforce our clinical observation with objective RigiScan™ data that use of yohimbine might be associated with better effects in nonsmokers. We30 reported that cessation of smoking may rapidly improve nocturnal erectile activity and found that nicotine was not the noxious agent in our study. We postulated that carbon monoxide might create a hypoxic environment in the penis. This effect probably was mediated through restoration of nitric oxide activity.31
In male rats, main olfactory epithelium (MOE) exerts an important role in regulating sexual behavior. Intranasal irrigation with zinc sulphate has been reported to destroy the MOE and completely abolish the sex behavior. In this study supplementation of zinc was done using a feeding tube and precautions were taken to avoid contacting nasal area. Hence the possibility of reducing sexual performance due to MOE disturbance is ruled out. Some humans experience gastrointestinal irritation with supplementation of zinc. If the same is applicable to animals it may be another possible explanation for the reduction of libido index with elevated doses of zinc. One drawback of our study is that we did not compare the weight of animals before and after treatment.
That said, I think that guys like myself who eat a ton of plant foods have to be consider the fact that they may not always be getting all the niacin they could. Men with lower niacin status can probably give their erectile strength and cardiovascular health a nice boost by consuming more niacin-rich plant foods. There are many plant foods, such as broccoli and mushrooms that are quite high in niacin. I actually consume nutritional yeast and BPA-free sardines daily and get a nice amount of niacin this way on top of my regular diet. Therefore, I feel that I am likely maximizing my erectile strength by combining the best of both worlds, i.e. some NO-boosting plant foods and high niacin foods as well. (Both sardines and nutritional yeast also have a decent amount of protein as well, which is important to me since I enjoy lifting weights.)
Aids in fat loss: Yohimbe and other alkaloids in the bark extract are said to block specific receptors that actually inhibit fat loss. A three-week study in 1991 observed 20 obese females on 1,000-calorie diets. They were given 20 mg of yohimbe each day and lost three pounds more than the group receiving placebos. Not a drastic weight loss, but enough to give experts hope that yohimbe can help with weight loss. Other studies have found that yohimbe increases the amount of non-esterified fatty acids, a result of fat breaking down. More research is needed. Most other studies in the field are done using the drug yohimbine. Extracted chemicals are not the same as yohimbe bark. Studies with yohimbine are expected to give different results than studies that used the raw plant.
Latest research studies highlighted that a daily dose of Vitamin B3 or Niacin brings a drastic improvement in the erectile function of men dealing with the problem of high cholesterol. This result reveals that about 80 men, who consumed Niacin and started the study with either moderate or severe level of erectile dysfunction highlighted a significant improvement in the ability of maintaining an erection.
Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto comes from the fruit of a small palm tree. It has been used to treat symptoms in men with an enlarged prostate gland, such as difficulty urinating, and it has been recommended to treat ED caused by an enlarged prostate. However, several recent clinical trials did not show that saw palmetto works any better on an enlarged prostate than a placebo does. "There is no evidence that saw palmetto should be used to treat erectile dysfunction," says Dr. Gilbert. Like ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto can interact with some prescription medications.
Lifestyle changes like getting more exercise and adjusting your diet can help. In a study of obese men with E.D. who restricted calories for two years and were advised to be more active, participants not only lost weight but also experienced decreased severity of their E.D. Research also shows aerobic exercise can significantly lower your risk of erectile dysfunction thanks to its ability to boost blood flow and circulation. Eating certain foods can also reduce incidence of E.D.