Male Sexual Health: The Search for Natural Products to Support Sexual HealthPrint
By Steven Andrews, Preamble by William Faloon
We were excited when we recently learned about a ginger-like root that has a long tradition of use in South Asia.1-3 Published studies show that in contrast to the rapid effects of PDE5 inhibitors on local penile blood flow, taking this natural ingredient over time can result in improvements in erectile function, response time, and intercourse satisfaction in a modest, sustainable, and most importantly, safe fashion.1,4
Preclinical studies reveal how this plant extract gently supports local blood flow while enhancing brain responses to sexual stimuli.3,5-9 In other words, this ginger-like root works on both the brain and the body to enhance the sexual experience. Human studies demonstrate noticeable results after about 30 days.1,4
Due to controversies surrounding sex enhancement products, Life Extension also conducted a small study of the effects of this ginger-like extract in men with age-associated decreases in sexual satisfaction. We wanted to further assess safety and efficacy for this interesting ingredient.
In contrast to rapid vascular effects and potential safety risks associated with potent, prescription erectile-dysfunction drugs, this article reports on data supporting sustainable, modest improvements in age-related changes in sexual satisfaction with use of a ginger-like root extract over time.
It’s a mistake to limit discussion of male sexual dysfunction to localized erectile dysfunction.
Male sexual health is about more than the mechanical aspects of erection. Sexual health includes interest, response, desire, and satisfaction.
Regarding these multiple factors, a ginger-like root extract called Kaempferia parviflora has attracted considerable interest.
Unlike other approaches to erectile dysfunction that focus exclusively upon rapid effects related to localized penile blood flow, this botanical compound appears to stimulate and support sensory and physical responses to erotic stimulation for increased satisfaction.
Human clinical trials in aging men show that this ginger-like extract improved parameters that indicate enhancement in the overall male sexual experience, thus enhancing male sexual health.1,4
In one study, 45 men (average age 65 years) were divided into three groups that received either a placebo, a 25 mg dose of Kaempferia extract, or 90 mg of Kaempferia extract daily for eight weeks.1
Men taking the 90 mg/day dose had a quicker erectile response time to visual erotic stimuli compared to placebo. The time from stimulus to full erection was cut in half (from about 10 to about 5 minutes).1
Men in the 25 mg group also had improvements in response time, but these did not achieve statistical significance, indicating that the dose was not high enough.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Erectile dysfunction affects millions of men, and not all of them are elderly. Naturally Enhance Male Sexual Health:
- Erectile dysfunction has many causes, including diminished brain processing of erotic stimuli and reduced blood flow to the penis.
- Powerful prescription erectile dysfunction drugs improve erectile function by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme, allowing an erection to persist, but worrisome safety risks like blindness and permanent vision loss continue to plague this drug class despite the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to downplay the risks.
- Extracts of Kaempferia parviflora have a centuries-old safety record, and gently support vascular health as well as emotional and psychological aspects of the sexual experience.
- Kaempferia extracts appear to enhance the brain’s perceptions of the sensory inputs required for sexual arousal and increase production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels to allow an erection to begin.
- Human studies now demonstrate that Kaempferia extract taken over time helps support male sexual function, supports penis size, improves erectile response time, and enhances overall sexual satisfaction.
Increased Sexual Satisfaction
These findings indicate that Kaempferia extract (standardized to 5% 5,7-DMF) can improve not only erectile dysfunction specifically, but also other important parameters of the male sexual experience and male sexual health.
- Wannanon P, Wattanathorn J, Tong-Un T, et al. Efficacy assessment of Kaempferia parviflora for the management of erectile dysfunction. OnLine J. of Biological Sciences.2012;12(4):149-55.
- Saokaew S, Wilairat P, Raktanyakan P, et al. Clinical Effects of Krachaidum (Kaempferia parviflora): A Systematic Review. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med.
- Wattanathorn J, Pangphukiew P, Muchimapura S, et al. Aphrodisiac Activity of Kaempferia parviflora. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences.2012;7(2):114-20.
- Hirsh S, Huber L, Stein R, et al. An open label study to evaluate the effect of Kaempferia parviflora in support of erectile function and male sexual health among overall healthy males 50–70. The FASEB Journal.2017;31(1 Supplement):636.1.
- Chaturapanich G, Chaiyakul S, Verawatnapakul V, et al. Effects of Kaempferia parviflora extracts on reproductive parameters and spermatic blood flow in male rats. 2008;136(4):515-22.
- Temkitthawon P, Hinds TR, Beavo JA, et al. Kaempferia parviflora, a plant used in traditional medicine to enhance sexual performance contains large amounts of low affinity PDE5 inhibitors. J Ethnopharmacol.2011;137(3):1437-41.
- Tep-Areenan P, Sawasdee P, Randall M. Possible mechanisms of vasorelaxation for 5,7-dimethoxyflavone from Kaempferia parviflora in the rat aorta. Phytother Res.2010;24(10):1520-5.
- Wattanapitayakul SK, Suwatronnakorn M, Chularojmontri L, et al. Kaempferia parviflora ethanolic extract promoted nitric oxide production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. J Ethnopharmacol.2007;110(3):559-62.
- Weerateerangkul P, Palee S, Chinda K, et al. Effects of Kaempferia parviflora Wall. Ex. Baker and sildenafil citrate on cGMP level, cardiac function, and intracellular Ca2+ regulation in rat hearts. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol.2012;60(3):299-309.