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From The Mailbag,
Hi, I have a question,
Can Pycnogenol and Arginine be used to treat Erectile Dysfunction?
Hello DJ, Jason Brick here,
Thanks for your question. You might be surprised how many emails we get asking the same question about these natural supplements.
The short answer is simple: they sure can!
The long answer is a bit more complicated. See below for the full skinny…
Pycnogenol and Arginine Studies
Medical science is only beginning to explore the benefits of traditional or natural remedies for ED. By contrast, the science and research behind pycnogenol and arginine (and both combined) are well established.
Just a few of the most encouraging recent scientific findings include…
- A clinical trial reported successful treatment of ED with a combination of Pycnogenol and arginine in 80% of subjects after just two months, and in 92.5% of patients after three months.
- Investigators found improvement in sperm quality across 100% of 50 men diagnosed with infertility after a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine the impact of Pycnogenol and arginine.
- A treatment of Pycnogenol and arginine significantly increased nitric oxide levels in sperm and testosterone levels in blood in another double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
- Yet another double-blind, placebo-controlled study of men with low semen volume or low sperm health found a steady increase in both as regular dosage of Pycnogenol and arginine continued over a course of several months.
Arginine Effects & Benefits
Arginine is one of the basic amino acids your body uses to build proteins. You need a fair amount of it for normal health, and it has been used to treat a variety of circulatory and heart problems because it’s a fairly potent vasodilator (improves blood flow by widening blood vessels).
That same vasodilation is at the core of how it helps fight ED. Erections rely on blood flow, so any problems you have with blood flow can become a problem with getting an erection.
Although arginine is very safe in normal dosages, a few symptoms of overdosing include hives, hormonal changes, rashes and a range of gastrointestinal complaints ranging from bloating to stomach ache and diarrhea.
Arginine doesn’t always play well with others, so should be avoided by people taking blood pressure medications, suffering from impaired kidney function or with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
As with all other vasodilators, it increases your chances of bleeding from even minor injuries and can cause you to bleed more when you do bleed.
The most effective dosage for arginine is 2 to 3 grams daily, taken on an empty stomach.
Pycnogenol Effects & Benefits
Pycnogenol is the trademark name for an extract of the marine pine (the pinus pinaster) tree, and has chemical and physiological similarities to herbal treatments like peanut skin extract, grape seed and witch hazel treatments.
It has a variety of antioxidant effects as well as its benefits for men with ED. You can get it under the brand name Pycnogenol or a variety of generics which are much more affordable.
The chief benefit of pycnogenol for men with erectile dysfunction is that it stimulates production of nitric oxide, allowing it to act as a vasodilator (like arginine) and it also reduces the body’s production of inflammatory enzymes.
(Inflammatory enzymes are what makes your body swell. Since swelling anywhere except the penis can divert needed blood flow from helping your soldier stand at attention, you want to avoid it when you can.)
For most adults, pycnogenol has no serious side effects. However, it can be dangerous for people with diabetes, autoimmune disorders, bleeding conditions like hemophilia, or people taking medications that decrease immune response.
Since it’s also a vasodilator, Pycnogenol shouldn’t be used by anybody recovering from or about to undergo surgery since it can make the operation more dangerous and slow the healing process.
The recommended dosage for Pycnogenol is 100 mg taken daily. You can take it with food or without, as eating won’t impact absorption or digestion.
Pycnogenol & Arginine – Natural ED Treatment
There’s a reason most clinical studies on these remedies used a combination of the two. Both arginine and Pycnogenol work fine on their own for treating two different causes of erectile disfunction.
When taken together, though, they have a synergistic impact on nitric oxide production. That means your body will produce more NO when you take both together than they would if you took them separately.
Pycnogenol & Arginine – Conclusion:
There’s no silver bullet for erectile dysfunction, and no telling how a particular supplement will work for a particular person. You also can’t account for interactions with every little piece of a person’s diet, medications, other supplements and personal body chemistry.
That said, both arginine and pyconegenol are powerful weapons in the fight against ED – especially when taken in tandem. They’re well-researched, easy to obtain and reasonably safe.
Keep in mind, though, that first study we mentioned up above. Just over 92% of subjects saw improvement after three months. The number who saw it after just one month was only 5%.
This isn’t a short-term fix, so have patience and trust the treatment to do its work over time.