No man likes to admit it, but most men above the age of 35 experience it at some point. Suddenly, ones erection function is not as effective as it used to be – worse, it always happens when it counts.
You will learn about:
– the best natural erectile dysfunction treatments,
– the various types of alternative impotence treatments,
– which type is supported by sound clinical research (only one!),
– which micro nutrients nutrients are beneficial for healthy, happy male potency.
Improving Male Potency Naturally: 8 Combination Supplements Evaluated
You can variously call it potency, impotence, erectile function or erectile dysfunction, but it is all the same thing:
Several research studies have now established that every 2nd man over 40 has experienced erection problems to some degree.
Natural Benefits to Potency and More
Over the last 10 years or so natural food supplements based on the amino acid Arginine have become a popular method to boost potency enhancing for a variety of reasons:
These health benefits in men are caused by a number of micro nutrients (nutraceuticals) with the principal one being the amino acid L-arginine, which improves the body’s ability to control blood circulation. Arginine therefore also helps to get and hold an erection.
In fact, the research team, which discovered and demonstrated its importance to the human body was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998.
Which Products have we evaluated?
The on- and offline market offers a large and diverse range of products to improve male erectile function.
The aminoacidguru.org team had a thorough look at the available clinical research and decided to evaluate erectile function products based on the amino acid Arginine. This is a clinically proven, natural and sustainable method for improving male potency.
Significantly, this approach is based on the research, which led to the on “Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology” in 1998.
The Arginine supplements are often combined with additional micronutrients such as pine bark extract and zinc. The seven products chosen for this evaluation in their final order of placement are:
- 4th: DAILYWELLNESS Arginmax
- 5th: Pharma Nord Prelox
- 6th: The Health Guardian’s cardioforlife (US product)
- 7th: Nature’s Sunshine Products L-Arginine Plus (US product)
- 8th: Orthoexpert ProMan
- 9th: SanimaMed Eurivil
The five European products are directly aimed at customers with erectile function problems. The North American products L-Arginine Plus and cardioforlife are marketed to promote general circulation by supplying a large daily dose of Arginine. This is the same key feature causing an improved erectile function. The two products were therefore included in the comparison.
Amitamin M forte, albeit priced just above mean and median prices was found to be the only product which ticks all boxes. It benefits from
- a dedicated multi-language online shop
- free, pan-European shipping
- both the vitamin B complex for Homocysteine reduction
- and Pine Bark Extract for extra Nitric Oxide boost and blood vessel preservation.
M forte is also the only product with an official German pharmaceutical registration.
VIGARIN came in a close second.
It does not include the vitamin B complex, but it scored high on its low cost, free delivery, Pine Bark Extract and extra Cartinine formula. Vigarin and M forte are the only products in the comparison to offer individually blister-sealed capsules for better longevity and hygiene.
Aminoexpert VIGARIN and amitamin M forte were the only two products to include the powerful Pine Bark Extract. Vigarin does not include the important vitamin B complex, but instead has Carnitine for improved fat metabolism and energy release.
Finally, both M forte and VIGARIN come delivered by tracked DHL and UPS respectively.
Dr Jenson’s formula-X Men placed 3rd only due to Arginine and pine bark extract combination. It is the most expensive product and has a somewhat incomplete nutraceutical stack lacking vitamin D and Beatine. No English language online store is available, it is manufactured outside of the EU and therefore non-compliant with EU regulation.
Arginmax scored well on its low price and relatively complete nutrient stack. However, it does not include pine bar extract and delivery must be paid extra.
Both L-Arginine Plus and cardioforlife score well on high Arginine dosages of 5,000mg ger day, include Citrulline and plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Unfortunately, these products are more expensive due to the transatlantic shipping of approximately $50 per order. This was found to increase the cost per 90 day supply by about 30%.
Also, neither product includes Pine Bark Extract, which has been shown to be the most powerful NO Booster14, whilst protecting the inner arterial walls15. Their nutrient stacks are therefore found inferior to the other products.
Eurivil and Orthoexpert® ProMan must be ordered from online pharmacies via google translate. Both products were also the two most expensive and do not include any NO Boosters in addition to the standard Arginine formula.
The Male Nutrient-Stack
Several micro nutrients (nutraceuticals) have been clinically shown to support strong male health. The challenge for the above natural erectile dysfunction products was to provide the nutrients at a fair price and in good – research-backed – quantities.
These are the key nutrients required:
The Arginine Effect
L-arginine is a powerful vasodilator and a precursor to Nitric Oxide (NO) production in the body. Nitric Oxide is the neurotransmitter, which regulates the rate of blood flow anywhere in the body. The team of researchers, who discovered this important mechanism in the 1980s, were rewarded with the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998.
Regular Arginine supplementation will significantly improve health and by extension the quality of life in the following ways:
- Oxygen-rich blood helps promote cell growth and organ function. This preserves health with increasing age.
- The skin and immune system is stronger in fighting off bacteria and infections.
- A strong heart, which pumps efficiently at full force lowers the heart rate causing your blood pressure to flow more evenly and smoothly.
- Reduced risk of diabetes and artherosclerosis, which causes Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), strokes and heart-attacks increase life expectancy.
- An active body, which is supported by stronger joint and muscle tissue has a better overall hormone (testosterone) balance, which causes an overall favourable and attractive body composition.
- All of this will increase the chance that you will be able to achieve a strong erection, perform in bed and therefore have a healthy sex life. This is an important element for a successful relationship and a high quality of life.
Over the years, a large body of research has paved the way for a class of food supplements called NO-Boosters. These are almost always based on Arginine and have been used with notable results by strength and endurance athletes.
Arginine directly boosts Nitric Oxide, relaxing the arterial walls and directly promoting circulation throughout the system, including in the penile tissue. It promotes a well-functioning cardiovascular system, which consists of a strong heart and elastic blood vessels ensuring that our body can perform at its best.
Cirtulline is what is known as a precursor to the production of nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator; that is, it helps to expand the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the body increasing the rate of blood flow.
So, it should only stand to reason that Citrulline may play an important role in curbing the effects of erectile dysfunction. It is particularly abundant in watermelon rinds[ “Journal of Chromatography A, 17 June 2005, 1078(1-2):196-200, “Determination of citrulline in watermelon rind”] and fish such as salmon.
Pine Bark Extract contains has been shown to simultaneously help with the absorption of nitrogen into the bloodstream whilst exhibiting have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These characteristics can help with heart health as blood pressure is lowered and which aids the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
General inflammation can deplete the body’s store of L-arginine. Blood pressure is directly affected as L-arginine relaxes artery walls, which boosts blood flow throughout. Over 300 successful studies have been carried out on the effects of pine bark extract on osteoarthritis, diabetes, cancer and many more illnesses.
One key study showed that after men supplementing a mix of Arginine and pine bark extract for just two months, a full 80 per cent of the men regained their ability to have erections, a figure which increased to 92.5 per cent after the third month. There were no reported side effects at all16.
In a similar study in Japan at Hiroshima University, researchers found that 180 milligrams of pine bark extract in combination with L-arginine, boosted vasodilation by 42 per cent17.
Pine Bark Extract is therefore a key nutrient for holistic heart health and significantly contributes to the effective treatment of vascular erectile dysfunction.
Adding Arginine and Pine bark Extract to your diet makes it more complete nutritionally and causes increased vascularity, which you will feel physically in your muscles and by way of a stronger erection18.
This effect will be enhanced by the addition of the “male” specific mineral and vitamin matrix – explained below. This of course will support your partnership, sex life and psychology by contributing to an overall positive mindset.
In addition you need to consciously live a healthy heart-lifestyle. We all know the basics of what you need to do: exercise regularly, eat and sleep well, which have all been shown to improve and proactively protect your cardiovascular system.
Zinc is very important especially for men. Research shows that having ample zinc available in the body allows for a more robust release of the three most important anabolic hormones, testosterone19, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
Without these, you’ll miss out on muscle and strength development from your exercise. Zinc
Thirdly, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients are needed to support anti-ageing and the immune system. Most vitamins fall in this category, especially several of the B vitamins, vitamin E as well as Betaine, Co-enzyme Q10.
Specifically in the context of Erectile Dysfunction, the combination of vitamin B6, 9 (Folic Acid), 12 and Betaine is important. This combination of nutrients reduces Homocysteine, which benefits circulation and lowers risk of heart disease24.
Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood are believed to cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). The blood vessel narrowing in turn leads to reduced blood flow through the affected arteries. Elevated homocysteine may also increase the tendency to excessive blood clotting in the arteries, which will further diminish the flow of blood. The resultant lack of blood supply to the heart muscles can cause heart attacks, and the lack of blood supply to the brain causes strokes.
Some studies have shown even moderate levels of homocysteine levels causing higher rates of repeated incidence of blood clot formation25.
Carnitine supports energy supply throughout the body by promoting the conversion of fat into energy. It occurs naturally in red meat and has no side effects.
Importantly, these nutrients represent a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction and a real alternative to experimenting with alternative substances, which are not backed up by scientific research.
Alternative Herbs, Extracts and Prescription Products
There is a large number of well-known treatments, which will work in the short-term short-term (the famous blue pill), or claim to fix ED by improving testosterone alone (zinc). None of these treatments, however, do not address the most common cause systemically – poor circulation, which leads to cardiovascular problems.
Let us take a brief look at a handful of the most popular ones, many of which you will be familiar with:
There are a number of pharmaceutical and homeopathic supplements, which claim to work as short-term ED treatments.
The famous “blue pill” or its cousins, so-called PDE-5 inhibitors can provide a temporary fix when you are planning to have sexual intercourse. This means you cannot have spontaneous sex. However, once ingested they
- work fast, albeit temporarily and
- are effective.
However, these “event-based” drugs are comparatively expensive and do not actually treat the poor circulation, which is the most common underlying cause of the erectile dysfunction.
- excessive blushing,
- swollen mucus membranes.
At approximately £10 per dose they are relatively expensive and require a prescription to control their consumption. The prescription, however, is extremely important, because a high pharmaceutical quality and correct dosage of the product must be guaranteed.
This amino acid derivative is an all-natural ingredient that can be found in many meat products. Studies have shown that taking two grams of carnitine per day led to improved erectile function in men who experienced little results with prescription products2728. It was also shown effective in the treatment of male ageing symptoms29. Carnintine also improves mood and energy levels.
While there are small amounts in meat and dairy products, natural supplementation will provide the levels that are deemed necessary to produce viable results. It should be noted that those with thyroid problems or who are currently suffering from heart disease should consult with a physician.
This vitamin has what is known as a synergistic effect. It has been shown that vitamin C is a mild vasodilator in itself while some studies have shown that it will simultaneously help prevent the premature breakdown of nitric oxide within the body.
Thus, by extension it can be concluded that it will also help in the treatment of erectile dysfunction or impotence.
However, it should be known that vitamin C has been shown to possibly contribute to a hardening of the arteries and even cause some forms of cancer. It is best to take this vitamin in an easily digestible form such as “chelated” vitamin C and consult with a doctor before use.
This enzyme has been popular in fitness and bodybuilding communities for some time as a powerful antioxidant and an energy booster.
Coenzyme Q-10 (also known as CoQ10) has also been shown to improve cardiovascular function, decrease the breakdown of nitric oxide and supply more blood to the penis.
This may also help lessen the instances of erectile dysfunction.
Folic Acid will substantially improve blood flow and help arterial dilation rates.
Found naturally in citrus fruits and leafy vegetables such as spinach, folic acid can be taken either in a pill form or through consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
So, it is wise to consult with a nutritionist or a physician if one has a history of cancer in the family.
Finally, this herbal remedy is backed up by rather robust evidence as having dilating properties. This is caused by its unique ability to increase the activity of nitric oxide within the bloodstream.
The result is increased blood flow to the extremities including the penis. Gingko also helps with mood disorders, which may be of particular interest to men who may have a psychological component behind their erectile dysfunction.
These are a few of the most reliable alternatives to clinical treatments and medication. However, it must not be forgotten that the efficacy of these supplements will vary from person to person.
As you have likely seen, the most effective way to combat erectile dysfunction is to increase blood flow to the penis and surrounding tissues. However, this may also have an impact on those who are hypertensive or who have a history of heart arrhthymia.
Therefore, a doctor should always be consulted prior to using these or any other supplements.
Clinically Unproven Impotence Treatments
Maca is a plant found in the Andes mountains in South America. Maca does not specifically target the ED, but rather the libido as a whole, which is why it is taken by both men and women. It is also therefore perhaps incorrectly referred to as the “natural blue pill”.
The primary active libido-enhancing ingredient in the Maca root is called Glycosides. Maca is available over-the-counter in pharmacies or via mail order and has been shown to improve libido. It will, however, not treat the underlying cardiovascular issues causing ED.
When taken on its own, you might therefore find yourself in the most frustrating situation of being aroused, but not being able to achieve an erection.
A combination of Maca with another vasodilator such as L-Arginine is recommended for this reason.
According to the legend, it’s sexual enhancement property was discovered by a goatherder in China who noticed sexual activity in his flock after they ate the weed.
Sold as a food supplement, usually in raw herb, tablet, or capsule form it is often blended with other supplements. The primary active nutrient in Horney Goat Weed is believed to be icariin, which is usually found in standardized extracts from 5% up to 60%. Strengths above that tend to be reserved for laboratory use only34
Icariin has been demonstrated to relax rabbit penile tissue35 by nitric oxide and PDE-5 activity making it potentially a primary treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, other research has demonstrated that injections of Epimedium extract directly into the penis of the rat results in an increase in penile blood pressure. Epimedium has been shown to have a weak potency and oral bioavailability is unknown.
From the little research available it is still unclear how much epidemium extract is necessary to have any effect. Most significantly, side effects are unresearched and therefore unknown. To avoid any risk of negative side effects it is therefore strongly advised to avoid experimenting with highly dosed concentrated extracts.
The Spanish Fly is an emerald-green blister beetle in the family Meloidae, Lytta vesicatoria. A substance called Cantharidin, also called “Spanish fly”, which is obtained from these beetles is a powerful irritant and blister-inducing “vesicant”.
As a result of these irritant effects on the body’s genitourinary tract, Cantharidin is thought to have aphrodisiac properties. It can result in poisoning if ingested36
This literature review summarises erectants and aphrodisiacs extracted from the following 15 mainly Asian arthropods37: lobster, Arizona bark scorpion, deathstalker, banana spider, Mediterranean black widow, Burmeister’s triatoma, giant water bug, diving-beetle, Korean bug, diaclina, flannel moth, Spanish fly, migratory locust, red wood ant and honeybee38.
These traditional methods have not been empirically researched in modern Western science and their effects are therefore questionable.
The same issue as with Maca will apply: the aphrodisiacs may cause arousal, but do not fix the most common underlying cause of Erectile Dysfunction in the Western world – problems with blood circulation. Again, you may find yourself greatly frustrated as you are aroused, but not actually being able to sustain an erection at the same time.
There is a very large number of designer products on the market, which are variously called “herbal complex”, “herbal solutions” or “herbal enhancers”. These typically include combinations of the above aphrodisiac herbs, roots or extracts.
However, exercise caution!
Aggressive sales techniques involving flash packaging, suggestive images and videos of passionate moments and time-limited offers will tempt you into buying now.
However, these aphrodisiacs do not sustainably treat the most frequent cause of potency problems – the underlying issue of poor circulation. The patient will, therefore, risk finding himself aroused and not being able to sustainable achieve an erection.
Not a single one of the above treatments is backed up successfully by clinical randomised, double-blinded research. Do not put your health at risk by experimenting with unguided dosing and products of unknown origin and purity.
All of the seven tested products will go some way to helping you improve your erectile dysfunction. amitamin m forte and VIGARIN were found to have the best combination of nutrients at the best price. These two products are likely to help you overcome your potency problem more efficiently and cost-effectively than other natural products.
Generally, we strongly advise to combine an Arginine and pine bark extract supplement with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep and exercise. This will also increase the testosterone levels and improve the effect of the natural treatment in a virtuous cycle.
Discuss taking these supplements with your GP / Doctor before treatment commences. Side effects are not to be expected and interactions need to be ruled out.
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- “Aoki, H., Nagao, J., et al.; “Clinical assessment of a supplement of Pycnogenol and L-Arginine in Japanese patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction”; ePub May 27, 2011; Phytother Res. 20912, Feb; 26(2): 204-7” ↩
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- “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arginine#Biosynthesis” ↩
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- ” Tapiero, H.; et al. (November 2002). “L-Arginine”. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy 56(9): 439–445 REVIEW. PMID 12481980″ ↩
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- “Nishioka, Kenji , et . al, “Pycnogenol French Maritime Pine Bark Extract, Augments Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Humans,” Hypertension Research (2007 ) 30, pp. 775-780” ↩
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- “Gumulec, J., Masarik, M., et al. Molecular Mechanisms of Zinc in Prostate Cancer. Klinical Onkology. 2011. 24(4), 249-255“ ↩
- “Wong, C., Ho, E. Zinc and its Role in Age-Related Inflammation and Immune Dysfunction. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2012. 56, 77-87“ ↩
- “Shinjini, B., Taneja, S. Zinc and Cognitive Development. British Journal of Nutrition. 2001. 85(Suppl 2), 139-145“ ↩
- “Yary, T., Aazami, S. Dietary Intake of Zinc was Inversely Associated with Depression. Biological Trace Element Research. September 2011. Published Ahead of Print“ ↩
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