Polyphenols in Pycnogenol Improve Erectile Function and Lipid Profile

New research shows promising results for those dealing with erectile function and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, erectile dysfunction (ED) affects up to 30 million men in the U.S.[1], and approximately 1 in 4 new cases of ED occur in men under the age of 40. A peer-reviewed study, published in the Bratislava Medical Journal, shows that daily supplementation with Pycnogenol®, the French maritime pine bark extract, may improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED). This study builds on previous research showing how Pycnogenol® improves circulation and blood flow, and strengthens the vascular system and helps to manage cholesterol.  

Steven Lamm, pycnogenol and erectile function

“Erectile dysfunction often correlates to other health issues, including stress and lack of sleep, and may be an indicator of a serious underlying condition[2] such as hypertension and diabetes. This study shows the benefits of Pycnogenol® for addressing erectile function as well as underlying conditions,” said Dr. Steven Lamm, medical director of the NYU Langone Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health, a leading expert on sexual health, and author of The Hardness Factor. “Patients frequently seek non-pharmaceutical options for managing these conditions, and to reduce their dependence on prescription medications.”

Research shows that men with diabetes have a three-times higher risk of developing ED1 than average and more than half of all men with diabetes will experience symptoms of ED[3] at some point in their lives.

Pycnogenol® is shown in numerous studies to support vascular function, a key organ system responsible for circulating blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. The standardized form of French maritime pine bark extract promotes nitric oxide production for vascular health and blood circulation.

Erectile Function Study Results

The new double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 53 patients with ED. Participants were divided into two groups to examine the effects of Pycnogenol® for individuals with erectile dysfunction alone, and for patients with ED combined with type-2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed participant improvement using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire and blood samples to measure biochemical markers for diabetes. Following the three-month study period, results showed that supplementation with 120mg of Pycnogenol® daily significantly improved erectile function in both test groups, including:

  • 45% improvement of erectile function in the diabetes participant group (vs -20% decrease in the placebo group)
  • 22% improvement of erectile function in the ED-only participant group (vs -16% decrease in the placebo group)

Participants reported additional cardiovascular benefits, including:

  • 20% reduction of LDL cholesterol in the diabetes participant group (vs >1% increase in the placebo group)
  • 14% improvement of LDL cholesterol in the ED-only participant group (vs 4% in the placebo group)
  • 22% improvement of serum glucose in the diabetes participant group (vs >1% in the placebo group)

These are significant findings for men with ED and type 2 diabetes and represent important research for men managing these health conditions. Having a scientifically-supported, effective, natural way to manage erectile quality can give men another option to consider for their overall health and wellness,” says Dr. Lamm.

“Nearly 60 %[4] of men avoid regular visits to the doctor’s office, but perhaps the greatest male motivator for better living is when an issue hits below the belt. Men should always consult with their physician if they are experiencing ED symptoms to make sure it is not a sign of a greater health issue,” says Dr. Lamm. “Blood sugar fluctuations from type 2 diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels required to achieve an erection. Cardiovascular conditions that affect blood circulation also increase the risk of ED. Addressing it sooner reduces the risk of longer-term damage or effects.”

Conclusion/ Administration of Pycnogenol leads in improvement of erectile function in patients with ED and diabetes (DM group) by 45 %, in NDM group by 22 %, in lowering of total-, LDL-cholesterol by 20 % and 21 % and glycaemia by 22 % in DM (Tab. 2, Fig. 2, Ref. 19).

Source: B. Trebaticky, J. Muchova, S. Ziaran, P. Bujdak, J. Breza, Z. Durackova, Natural polyphenols improve erectile function and lipid profile in patients suffering from erectile dysfunction. Bratislava Medical Journal, 2019; Vol.120, No.12, p.941–944. doi:10.4149/BLL_2019_158