Life Extension Final Clerance Sale

Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine November 2009
On The Cover

A Natural Approach to Erectile Dysfunction that Improves Vascular Health

By Robert Haas, MS

Icariin: Sustaining Erectile Function

Icariin is a flavonoid compound extracted from plants in the Epimedium family, which are also known as Yin Yang Huo. Chinese medicine practitioners claim that these plants produce aphrodisiac effects and help restore erectile function.

Researchers agree there is good evidence that icariin is the primary active component of Epimedium extracts. Like Viagra®, Cialis®, and Levitra®, icariin blocks the action of PDE5, the enzyme that causes erections to subside.32,39-41

Icariin enhances the production of nitric oxide in human endothelial cell culture and in animal models.42-44 Additionally, scientists have noted that icariin behaves similarly to testosterone—a significant feature, since testosterone is crucial for healthy sexual function.45 Animal research has shown that administration of Epimedium extracts improves erectile function in aged rats.46

Together, these multiple mechanisms of action suggest that icariin can help support healthy erectile function.

The Role of Nitric Oxide in Penile Erection and Vascular Health
The Role of Nitric Oxide in Penile Erection and Vascular Health

Nitric oxide (NO) is a short-lived gas that acts as a signaling molecule in the body. Among its many other functions, NO acts in concert with acetylcholine and prostaglandins as a neuro-transmitter for sexual stimulation and to dilate the small arteries in the penis that support erection.47

In addition to its role in erectile function, scientists now believe that NO deficiency may contribute to numerous degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

The arterial endothelium uses NO to signal surrounding smooth muscle cells to relax, thus dilating arteries, increasing blood flow, and maintaining normal blood pressure. NO, among its many roles, performs the following functions:

  • Relax and widen blood vessels.48
  • Facilitates the development and maintenance of erectile function.49
  • Acts as a neurotransmitter that is involved in long-term memory.50-52
  • Modulates the release of neurotransmitters.53
  • Maintain blood pressure within the normal range.54
  • Promote a healthy immune system.55
  • Play a critical role in blood clotting through its modulation of vascular tone, coagulation, fibrinolysis, and overall endothelial and vascular smooth muscle function.56

Nitric oxide can’t be taken in supplement form because it is a gas. However, nutritional ingredients such as Pycnogenol®, L-arginine aspartate, and icariin can together increase production of nitric oxide in the endothelium, and in doing so, may promote general health as well as improved erections, libido, performance, and male fertility.

Conclusion

Erectile dysfunction not only compromises intimate relationships; it can also be a harbinger of serious and potentially deadly cardiovascular disease.

Erectile Performance
Click Here For Larger Image

Scientists have found that certain nutrients not only restore erectile performance but also improve endothelial function caused by oxidative stress and diminished levels of nitric oxide. Studies and clinical trials have shown that these nutrients can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction.

In addition to their ability to correct erectile dysfunction, these nutrients have been shown to improve libido and boost sperm viability, quantity, and motility, all of which significantly increase male fertility. Drugs prescribed to treat ED have no positive effect on fertility.

Individually and collectively, these nutrients promote systemic endothelial health and provide a consistent supply of compounds that can prevent and reverse erectile dysfunction. An estimated 330 million men worldwide will be facing vascular disease and erectile dysfunction in the near future. These clinically proven nutrients offer welcome benefits of vascular health and improved sexual function to millions of men and their partners.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

1. Int J Impot Res 2008 Dec;20 Suppl 2:S9-14.

2. Alderman L. For common male problem, hope beyond a pill. New York Times. August 29, 2009.

3. Harefuah. 1998 Jul;135(1-2):1-2.

4. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov;22(11):2111-20.

5. Drug Saf. 2009;32(1):1-18.

6. Drugs. 2007;67(1):75-93.

7. Can J Urol. 2006 Oct;13(5):3233-8.

8. J Laryngol Otol. 2007 Apr;121(4):395-7.

9. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Oct;31(10):1981-4.

10. Int J Impot Res. 2003 Apr;15(2):80-6.

11. Brain. 2003 Jan;126(Pt 1):241-7.

12. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2008 Nov;31(6):353-62.

13. Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jul;39(7-8):1362-4.

14. Vasa. 1997 Aug;26(3):180-4.

15. Verh K Acad Geneeskd Belg. 1998;60(3):251-66.

16. World J Urol. 2002 May;20(1):28-35.

17. J Sex Res. 2002 Feb;39(1):73-8.

18. J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61.

19. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000 Jan;53(1):71-8.

20. J Vasc Res. 2002 Jul;39(4):283-303.

21. PR Health Sci J. 1997 Jun;16(2):136-41.

22. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Jun 15;28(12):1806-14.

23. Diabetologia. 2002 Dec;45(12):1609-16.

24. Circulation. 1998 Nov 3;98(18):1842-7.

25. Thromb Haemost. 2006 Jan;95(1):134-41.

26. Curr Opin Urol. 2006 Jan;16(1):11-9.

27. Diabetes. 2006 Feb;55(2):530-7.

28. Clin Cardiol. 1998 May;21(5):331-4.

29. Med Sci Monit. 2001 Sep;7(5):1075-85.

30. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Aug;20(6):295-302.

31. Rohdewald P. Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract. In: Coates P, ed. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. New York; Marcel Dekker; 2004.

32. Urology. 2006 Dec;68(6):1350-4.

33. Int J Impot Res. 2008 Mar;20(2):173-80.

34. Phytother Res. 2009 Mar;23(3):297-302.

35. J Sex Marital Ther. 2003 May;29(3):207-13.

36. European Bulletin of Drug Research. 2005;13(1): 7–13.

37. Akush Ginekol (Sofiia). 2007;46(5):7-12.

38. European Bulletin of Drug Research. 2003;11:29-37.

39. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2006;26(4):460-2.

40. Asian J Androl. 2003 Mar;5(1):15-8.

41. J Nat Prod. 2008 Sep;71(9):1513-7.

42. Vascul Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;47(1):18-24.

43. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2004 Jun 2;84(11):954-7.

44. Asian J Androl. 2005 Dec;7(4):381-8.

45. Asian J Androl. 2006 Sep;8(5):601-5.

46. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Dec 3;114(3):412-6.

47. N Engl J Med. 1992 Jan 9;326(2):90-4.

48. Curr Drug Targets Cardiovasc Haematol Disord. 2005 Feb;5(1):65-74.

49. Pharmacol Ther. 2005 May;106(2):233-66.

50. Science. 1991 Dec 6;254(5037):1503-6.

51. Annu Rev Neurosci. 1994;17:153-83.

52. Prog Brain Res. 1998;118:155-72.

53. Prog Neurobiol. 2001 May;64(1):51-68.

54. Orv Hetil. 1996 Aug 4;137(31):1699-704.

55. J Leukoc Biol. 1993 Aug;54(2):171-8.

56. Mol Med. 2002 Apr;8(4):169-78.