Treatment with a combination of the natural supplements Pycnogenol and the amino acid L-Arginine may have significant benefits for individuals suffering from erectile dysfunction, according to a 2003 study.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection.
Erectile dysfunction is an extremely common health complaint and can have a number of causes from psychological to organic causes such as poor blood flow and cardiovascular insufficiency.
Penile erection requires the relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle, which is triggered by nitric oxide (NO).
There are a number of natural supplements which can increase production of nitric oxide, one of these is Pycnogenol, which is an extract from the bark of French Maritime Pine(Pinus pinaster).
The active ingredients in pycnogenol can also be extracted from other sources, including peanut skin, grape seed, and witch hazel bark.
P. pinaster bark extract (PBE) contains polyphenolic compounds (these compounds consist of catechin, taxifolin, procyanidins of various chain lengths formed by catechin and epicatechin units, and phenolic acids) capable of producing diverse potentially protective effects against chronic and degenerative diseases.
Pycnogenol has shown a number of health benefits in studies such as it’s potent free-radical scavenging properties, restoring antioxidant status(increasing glutathione), supporting cardiovascular health and increases blood circulation, lower cholesterol, accelerates wound healing processes, improves erectile dysfunction, reduces scar formation, decreases histamine release from mast cells, and inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine actions.
Here is some of the latest scientific research on the emerging evidence-based benefits for Pycnogenol in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine.
A study from 2003 published in the Journal of sex and marital therapy investigated the possibility of overcoming erectile dysfunction (ED) by increasing the amounts of endogenous NO(nitric oxide).
For this purpose, we orally administered Pycnogenol, because it is known to increase production of NO by nitric oxide syntase together with L-arginine as substrate for this enzyme.
The study included 40 men, aged 25-45 years, without confirmed organic erectile dysfunction. Throughout the 3-month trial period, patients received 3 ampoules Sargenor a day, a drinkable solution of the dipeptide arginyl aspartate (equivalent to 1.7 g L-arginine per day).
During the second month, patients were additionally supplemented with 40 mg Pycnogenol two times per day; during the third month, the daily dosage was increased to three 40-mg Pycnogenol tablets.
We obtained a sexual function questionnaire and a sexual activity diary from each patient.
After 1 month of treatment with L-arginine, a statistically nonsignificant number of 2 patients (5%) experienced a normal erection.
Treatment with a combination of L-arginine and Pycnogenol for the following month increased the number of men with restored sexual ability to 80%.
Finally, after the third month of treatment, 92.5% of the men experienced a normal erection.
We conclude that oral administration of L-arginine in combination with Pycnogenol causes a significant improvement in sexual function in men with ED without any side effects.
Lipid metabolism and erectile function improvement by pycnogenol®, extract from the bark of pinus pinaster in patients suffering from erectile dysfunction-a pilot study.
Another study published in 2003 investigated the effect of Pycnogenol® (PYC) (extract from the bark of the French maritime pine, Pinus pinaster) and placebo on lipid metabolism, antioxidant status and erectile function in 21 patients suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED).
The patients were treated with PYC (120 mg/day) or placebo for three months in a double-blind study.
After three months of administration, PYC significantly improved ED (p < 0.05) from moderate to mild stage determined with International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5).
Simultaneously, a significant increase of plasma antioxidant activity (p < 0.01) was observed.
Three months after PYC administration, the level of total cholesterol decreased from 5.41 to 4.98 mmol/L and LDL-cholesterol from 3.44 to 2.78 mmol/L. Placebo had no effect. The levels of HDL-cholesterol and TAGs were not changed.
Pycnogenol® seems to have a beneficial effect on treatment of erectile dysfunction.
 Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine.
 Lipid metabolism and erectile function improvement by pycnogenol®, extract from the bark of pinus pinaster in patients suffering from erectile dysfunction-a pilot study
 Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical effects of Pinus pinaster bark extract
Images courtesy of pycnogenol.com
The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.