Yohimbe goes by many names depending on how it’s sold. These include Yohimbehe, Yocon, Yohimex, Johime, Aphrodien and Corynine. Do any yohimbe supplements actually work to help treat sexual problems like impotence, or other conditions? Study results have been somewhat mixed. But there’s some evidence that they may help these conditions. It’s especially helpful when combined with other substances that promote better flow and higher energy levels, such as L-arginine. (3)
Obesity is a state of chronic oxidative stress and inflammation (38). The increased oxidative stress associated with obesity may increase free radical formation, which could quench and deactivate nitric oxide, reducing its availability for target cells. Weight loss programs with dietary modifications and increased physical activity may lead to reduced oxidative stress associated with improved nitric oxide availability (39). As impaired nitric oxide activity appears to play an important role in the pathogenesis of erectile dysfunction (40), improved nitric oxide availability associated with weight loss may be implicated in the amelioration of erectile function in our series of obese men. A reduced CRP level due to sustained lifestyle changes may have contributed to amelioration of erectile function after treatment. Levels of CRP correlate significantly with reduced nitric oxide availability (41) and increasing severity of penile vascular disease as measured by penile Doppler (42). Moreover, consistent findings support a predictive role of CRP and IL-6 for cardiovascular events in different populations (43), while IL-8 is a potent chemoattractant (44).
Besides, niacin’s beneficial effects became more evident when the Hong Kong study researchers excluded those already using statin therapy. If there is an overlapping effect of these two groups of lipid-lowering agents on endothelial function, this would make sense. Also, chronic statin use could lessen the effect of niacin on endothelial function and hence affect improvement in erectile function.
Male erectile dysfunction (ED) has been defined as the persistent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual performance (1). ED is very common, and its prevalence as well as severity increases with age (2). It has been recognized that the major cause of ED is atherosclerosis affecting the pelvic vasculature (3). The presence of ED has been known to predict future cardiovascular disease, and early detection may allow timely modification of remediable risk factors, or lead to the diagnosis of occult cardiovascular disease (4, 5).
There’s some concern that supplements labeled as yohimbe contain different amounts of the active ingredient than the amount that’s listed. The FDA strictly regulates prescriptions containing yohimbine but not supplements. It can be difficult to determine exactly how much active yohimbine is in supplements due to how different growing and distributing variables affect the concentration. These variables can include: the exact type of yohimbe tree bark that is used, what part of the tree the bark is taken from, the maturity of the tree, how fresh the bark is, the processing techniques used to create supplements, and how the supplements are shipped/exported and stored. (16)
Yohimbine may have certain fat-burning abilities and work even better while someone is fasting. (11) Given that yohimbine can act as a mild stimulant, researchers have looked at whether it can help increase energy levels in those looking to become more active, or whether it has positive effects on reducing appetite, regulating blood sugar levels, or promoting growth of muscle mass that can then help with weight loss.
We studied the involvement of zinc in the sexual behavioral response of male rats. The study design employed a rat model to predict the human sexual response to elemental zinc supplementation. Rats were used because they are very social and copulate under a variety of circumstances, regardless of the presence of a human experimenter. They are practical (small and easy to handle) and certain tissues and neuroendocrine systems are strikingly similar to humans.
It’s best to take yohimbe when fasting, first thing in the morning, or between meals. Because it has stimulating effects, don’t combine yohimbe with other stimulants like caffeine or weight loss pills. These may cause reactions like faster heart rate, anxiety, high blood pressure or even cardiovascular complications. If you are planning on having caffeine along wth yohimbe (such as coffee or tea in the morning), start with a half-dose in order to test your reaction.
Associated risks/scrutiny: “A dose of yohimbine that’s too big could drop your blood pressure, cause dizziness, facial flushing and nausea,” warns Fratellone. Yohimbine and yohimbe bark may also increase heart rate and raise blood pressure. “No one should experiment with herbs without talking to their doctor,” reminds Fratellone. “If you’re taking Flomax and you start taking yohimbe, you’re going to dilate your penal vessels and you’ll pee more.” Other potential interactions between yohimbe and other drugs and herbs should be considered. Some of these combinations may be dangerous.
Andrew McCullough, MD, associate professor of clinical urology and director, male sexual health program, New York University Langone Medical Center. Lecturer: Auxillium. Research grant: Pfizer. Data safety monitoring board: Pfizer. Consultant: Slate Pharmaceuticals. Clinical trials: Warner Chilcott, Vivus, Lilly, Bayer-GSK, ICOS, Timm, Schering Plough, Aeterna.
Yohimbine has had questionable effects in men with organic erectile dysfunction. We conducted this study to better define the population of men responsive to yohimbine, because tobacco was thought to affect a regimen of yohimbine more than other risk factors. We measured nocturnal penile tumescence with the RigiScan™ monitor, hormone profiles, answers to the Florida Sexual Health Questionnaire, and clinical responses at baseline and after two different doses of yohimbine in 18 nonsmoking men with erectile dysfunction. Of the 18 men, nine (50%) were successful in completing intercourse in more than 75% of attempts. The yohimbine responders were men with less severe erectile dysfunction as manifested by improved increased rigidity on RigiScan™ testing, higher Florida Sexual Health Questionnaire scores, and slightly higher levels of serum testosterone. Yohimbine is an effective therapy to treat organic erectile dysfunction in some men with erectile dysfunction.
Niacin -- with or without the addition of drugs to treat impotence -- poses serious health risks, including stomach ulcers and liver damage. If you have Type 2 diabetes, taking niacin could cause drastic elevations in your blood sugar levels. Less serious side effects include stomach upset and skin flushes -- your face and chest turn red and your skin itches, tingles or burns. You can purchase niacin without a prescription, but some over-the-counter formulas -- no-flush varieties that contain niacinamide -- will unlikely help lower your cholesterol.
Taking zinc in supplement form is just one of many treatments for those looking for help with ED. Many men use supplements either to replace prescription medications like Viagra and Cialis, or to enhance the effectiveness of these medications. Some other natural supplements aimed at relieving ED symptoms include Korean red ginseng, L-Arginine, carnitine, and DHEA.