Buy effective supplements for erectile dysfunction

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It is not difficult to find advertisements for supplements for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) . Some even say that these products work better than prescription erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra (sildenafil) .

But this and many other claims about erectile dysfunction supplements have little to no supporting research. This is not uncommon. Supplements are not regulated in the United States, which means that the products you buy may or may not be effective or safe.

This article examines what herbal supplements do and lack scientific support for erectile dysfunction, as well as typical dosages and possible side effects.

6 lifestyle changes to treat erectile dysfunction

What Erectile Dysfunction Supplements May Work

According to research, erectile dysfunction supplements that appear to be safe and effective include:

  • Ginseng and vitamin E
  • L-arginine
  • Pycnogenol
  • Yohimbe / Yohimbine
  • Tribulus terrestris
  • Long leaf eurycoma (Tongkat Ali)

Below is an overview of some of the most notable studies for each of these.

Ginseng and vitamin E

beemore / Getty Images

Panax ginseng is one of the most studied supplements for erectile dysfunction.

A 2018 meta-analysis looking at 24 clinical trials found this type of ginseng to be "encouraging."

In a 2021 review in the Arab Journal of Urology , it was named first among the "promising herbal remedies" for erectile dysfunction.

The combination of Panax ginseng and vitamin E has also been shown to be effective. Both supplements are antioxidants that have been shown to improve blood flow and erectile function.

A small clinical study from 2021 examined the effectiveness of the combination for erectile dysfunction. Participants were randomly assigned to a supplemental or sham (placebo) treatment group, and neither they nor the researchers knew who received what until the study was completed.

The researchers said the supplements improved erectile function significantly more than the sham treatment (placebo) after six weeks of use. Side effects were similar in both treatment groups.

The way the research was organized is considered the "gold standard" for conducting research because it produces bias-free results. However, the study authors called for larger and longer trials.

Placebo effect

In placebo-controlled clinical trials of Viagra, 30% of participants taking the sham treatment reported better erections. People taking herbal supplements for erectile dysfunction may experience a similar effect, making them think they are working.

Dose

The following daily doses have been used in clinical trials:

  • 107 milligrams (mg) of ginseng
  • 100 international units (IU) of vitamin E

Safe and effective doses of ginseng have not been precisely established.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin E for adults is 15 mg, which is significantly less than the dose used in erectile dysfunction studies.

Talk to your doctor before taking these or any supplements. Do not take more than directed by your doctor or the product label.

Side effects

Common side effects of ginseng include:

  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Threw up
  • Diarrhea
  • Mania

More serious but rare side effects include:

  • Inflammation of the arteries of the brain.
  • Inflammation of the liver
  • Severe skin reactions
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.

Side effects of vitamin E, especially in high doses:

  • Nausea
  • Threw up
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

L-arginine

L-arginine, also simply called arginine, is a vasodilator . This means that it opens up the blood vessels, just like prescription erectile dysfunction drugs do.

A review from the Arab Journal said that L-arginine shows promise for treating erectile dysfunction and requires further study.

A 2019 meta-analysis of L-arginine for ED in 2019 went even further, finding enough evidence to recommend it for mild to moderate ED.

The researchers said this has significantly improved:

  • Erectile function
  • Orgasmic function
  • Satisfaction with sexual relationships
  • Overall satisfaction

L-arginine is also an antioxidant that can be beneficial for male fertility.

They said that side effects were rare and experienced only by 8.3% of the participants. None of them were serious.

Dose

Safe and effective doses of L-arginine have not been established. The doses used in the studies ranged from 1500 to 5000 mg. This is lower than what has been studied for other conditions, including high blood pressure (hypertension).

You can get L-arginine from food. This is in:

  • Red meat
  • Domestic bird
  • A fish
  • Dairy products

Talk to your doctor about whether L-arginine supplements are right for you and in what doses. Do not take more than is recommended on the product label or recommended by your healthcare professional.

Side effects

Side effects of L-arginine include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Drop
  • Allergies
  • Asthma exacerbation
  • Low blood pressure

Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a trademark of a patented form of French maritime pine bark extract. It is also called pygnogenol, beach pine, and pine bark extract.

This product is an antioxidant. It is believed to improve blood circulation and sports performance.

Pycnogenol is another supplement called "promising" in an Arab Journal review.

A clinical study published in 2003 showed that a three-month course of pycnogenol plus L-arginine restored sexual function.

However, in a 2020 meta-analysis, the researchers concluded that there was not enough evidence to say whether it improves erectile function.

Dose

Pycnogelol is considered "Possibly Safe" in daily doses of 50 to 450 mg for up to one year. Less is known about the effective dose for erectile dysfunction.

You can get similar compounds from food. They are found naturally in:

  • Grape
  • Red wine
  • Blueberries, blueberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • red cabbage
  • apple peel

Side effects

Possible side effects of Pycnogenol include:

  • Dizziness
  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Bad breath

Pycnogenol can make autoimmune diseases worse by stimulating the immune system . It can also slow blood clotting and lower blood sugar levels to dangerous levels.

Yohimbe / Yohimbine

Yohimbe (also known as yohimbe) is an African tree. Its bark contains the chemical yohimbine, which is used medicinally. It is one of the most common supplements for treating erectile dysfunction. You can see that it is sold under any of these names.

When cell structures called alpha-2 adrenergic receptors are activated, they prevent an erection from occurring. Yohimbe blocks the action of these receptors.

It can increase blood flow to the penis by dilating the blood vessels. It is also considered an aphrodisiac, which means that it increases sexual desire .

In research, it has had a persistent but limited effect on erectile dysfunction.

In the United States, a form of yohimbine (yohimbine hydrochloride) is used in prescription drugs. It is sold as Aphrodine and Yokon and is sold for impotence and as an aphrodisiac. However, this product is believed to work differently than yohimbe supplements.

Dose

Safe and effective doses of yohimine have not been established. The usual recommended dose of yohimbine is 5 to 10 mg three times a day.

Some foods labeled yohimbe contain very little yohimbine, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health. Many also do not indicate the amount on the label. This can make it difficult to understand the amount you receive.

Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking yohimbe supplements. Do not take more than what is offered.

Side effects

Research has documented several adverse reactions to yohimbe. Possible side effects include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Perspiration
  • Blurry vision
  • High blood pressure

Possible yohimbe overdose. This can cause:

  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Eat
  • Death

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus is an herb from the subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and southern Europe.

It contains saponins, an antioxidant that strengthens the small blood vessels ( capillaries ) in the skin. This is believed to be how it works in erectile dysfunction.

A 2020 review published in the International Journal of Impotence Research (IJIR) looked at the evidence behind popular over-the-counter supplements for treating erectile dysfunction and increasing testosterone levels . He rated them from A (strongest supporting evidence) to D (weakest supporting evidence). Tribulus terrestris received an A.

An Arab Journal review said it has promising evidence and it was one of the most studied options (along with ginseng, L-arginine, and pycnogenol).

A small clinical trial in 2018 focused on older men with partial androgen (male hormone) deficiency. The researchers said that tribulus it had a "strong effect" on increasing testosterone levels and improving sexual function in erectile dysfunction.

A larger clinical trial from 2017 found that the supplement significantly improved:

  • Erections
  • Satisfaction with intercourse
  • Orgasmic function
  • Sexual desire
  • Overall satisfaction

The researchers said it was generally well tolerated.

Dose

The standard form of Tribulus terrestris is sold under the name Tribestan. It comes in 250 mg tablets. It is not known if this dose is safe and effective in treating erectile dysfunction.

In the package, it is recommended to take one or two tablets three times a day for at least 90 days. Never take more than the recommended amount.

Check with your doctor if this product is safe for you and in what dosage.

Side effects

The most common side effect is stomach irritation. In rare cases, Tribulus terrestris can cause:

  • Severe liver and kidney problems
  • Altered nervous system activity (neurological toxicity)
  • Prolonged and painful erections ( priapism )

Eurycoma longifolia

Eurycoma longifolia , sometimes called tongkat ali or longjack, also received an A in the IJIR study. It comes from the roots of a Southeast Asian shrub and contains several antioxidants.

This plant has long been used in traditional medicine to enhance virility. Research shows that it has the same mechanism of action as the erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra, Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil). as well as other possible beneficial effects for erectile dysfunction.

Dose

Some studies have reported success with 200 mg or more. and 300 mg the day of Eurycoma longifolia. One review points to recommendations up to 400 mg.

However, safe and effective doses have not been established. Little is known about long-term safety. Follow the directions on the package or ask your doctor for the best dose for you.

Side effects

So far, studies have not identified any side effects of Eurycoma longifolia . However, because it can increase testosterone levels, it may not be safe for people with:

  • Heart disease
  • Hormone sensitive cancer
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea

Summary

Supplements that have been shown to be effective for erectile dysfunction include ginseng and vitamin E, L-arginine, pychologenol, yohimbe / yohimbine, Tribulus terrestris , and Eurycoma longifolia. They increase blood flow to the penis in different ways. Safe and effective dosages for erectile dysfunction have not been established. Be aware of the possible side effects of anything you take.

What Erectile Dysfunction Supplements May Work

Several other supplements have been investigated, but overall they have less evidence or mixed results. This includes:

What Erectile Dysfunction Supplements Don't Work

The IJIR review also noted supplements that:

  • There is no evidence to support the use of erectile dysfunction
  • Evidence that they did not work with erectile dysfunction.
  • Studies that contradict

Gave the grade "C":

  • Aspartate
  • Boron
  • Fenugreek
  • L-citrulline
  • Cow root
  • Zinc

They gave it a grade of "D":

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Diindolymethane (DIM)
  • Magnesium
  • Nettle leaf
  • Sarsaparilla extract
  • Vitamin B6

Two popular herbs that have not been shown to be effective for erectile dysfunction and that can be risky to use are:

  • Ginkgo: can increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
  • Horny goat weed ( epimedium ), which can negatively affect your heart or breathing.

Summary

Supplements that can be effective for erectile dysfunction include velvety beans, sea or bush pine, poppy root, and DHEA. Many others have no proof of their use, proof that they didn't work, or conflicting evidence. A week with ginkgo and horny goat can be risky and there is no evidence of their effectiveness in erectile dysfunction.

Search for quality supplements

Additives are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To ensure you are getting a quality product that contains what it says on the label, look for brands that have been tested and approved by independent certification bodies, such as:

  • United States Pharmacopeia (USP)
  • NSF International
  • ConsumerLab

This information should be on the product label.

Summary

Research shows that ginseng plus vitamin E, L-arginine, pycnogenol, yohimbe / yohimbine, Tribulus terrestris, and Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) are generally safe and effective for erectile dysfunction.

Others, like DHEA and velvety beans, look promising. Many others have no studies or studies behind them that have produced negative or mixed results. Some, like ginkgo and horny goat weed, can be dangerous.

You should speak with your doctor before taking any erectile dysfunction supplement. Even if they work, they may not be safe for you, depending on your general health and medication.

Get the word of drug information

Erectile dysfunction can have a huge impact on your life. Supplements can be a good treatment option in place of or with prescription drugs.

But the only way to find out is to consult your doctor. Even if supplements are not recommended for you, they may find other treatment options that can help.

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