Yohimbe Extract vs. Yohimbine Effects
What you will learn...
Yohimbine is gotten from the bark of an African tree. It has a false reputation as a testosterone enhancer but in reality, it is a naturally occurring alpha-2 receptor antagonist.
Alpha-antagonism tends to increase blood which in turn will stimulate fat breakdown, and yohimbine is a potent solution for this. So yohimbine can actually help with stubborn fat mobilization.
Unfortunately, insulin will deactivate any positive effect that yohimbine can offer you.
So that you don’t get confused by the name, you should know that Yohimbe is the herbal version and yohimbine HCL is the synthetic version.
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Yohimbe and Yohimbine
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Yohimbe bark has been used historically to increase sexual desire, and more recently, it has been used to treat male erectile dysfunction.
It is generally consumed as a tea, although it can also be ingested in tablet or capsule form.
Yohimbine, on the other hand, is a chemical that can be found naturally in the bark of the Yohimbe tree, according to the NCCAM.
It is an alkaloid, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound that has a variety of physiological effects, and include well-known varieties such as morphine and nicotine.
In clinical studies, done by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, yohimbine was shown to treat sexual dysfunction.
Yohimbine hydrochloride is sold under the generic name “yohimbine”, and is a prescription medication that uses yohimbine as its active ingredient. This information is according to the Mayo Clinic.
It is often marketed to treat impotence, increases peripheral blood flow and can also be used to dilate the pupils.
Yohimbe Extract Benefits
Yohimbe extract has been validated as a treatment for psychogenic erectile dysfunction in men.
Before the invention of Viagara, yohimbine HCL was used as a first-line therapy for Erectile and sexual dysfunction but has largely been replaced by Viagara and other PDE-5 inhibitors as a medical treatment.
However, Yohimbe remains popular as a dietary supplement in the US.
Yohimbe extract may also help women suffering sexual issues that are associated with taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
By increasing production of nitric oxide in such women, through inhibition of alpha-adrenergic effects, Yohimbe extract seems to improve libido and sexual response.
A study involving postmenopausal women found that one hour after taking a combination of arginine glutamate and Yohimbe, the control group showed a “significant increases in vaginal pulse amplitude and subjective responses to erotic stimuli”.
In addition, other Yohimbe bark extract uses include:
- Aiding Bodybuilding, weight training and improving athletic performance.
- Expediting fat loss by increasing muscle mass, consuming adipose tissue and elevating metabolism.
- Relieving mild to moderate depression when used in combination with antidepressants
- Reducing dry mouth syndrome by Increasing the production of saliva
- Improving drop in blood pressure upon standing(orthostatic hypotension).
Yohimbe Extract vs. Yohimbine
Yohimbe bark extract is not the same as the prescription medication yohimbine hydrochloride.
Yohimbine hydrochloride is recognized as a mydriatic (a substance that dilates pupils) and a sympatholytic (an inhibitor of adrenergic nerve activity) and is available through doctor’s prescription only.
Herbal supplements that contain yohimbine are derived from the bark of the Yohimbe tree and can be purchased without a prescription in the United State.
Yohimbe supplements come in a number of different forms, including pill capsules, tablets, liquid Yohimbe extract and bulk powder form.
All of these different forms exert the same health effects when taken as recommended.
However, while some liquid Yohimbe extract may contain water and natural vegetable glycerin, other supplements are made with deionized water, coloring, and fructose.
All bottles of liquid Yohimbe supplements are supposed to come with droppers to facilitate placing drops of the liquid on or under the tongue.
Yohimbe powder extract can be sprinkled on food or drank as a tea.
But the taste is bitter and unpleasant, and some bodybuilders will prefer to mix the powder into their pre or post-workout protein shakes.
No studies exist comparing the effectiveness of different forms of Yohimbe extract, but in theory, all forms should block alpha-2 adrenergic activity and elicit identical responses from applicable physiological systems.
Possible Yohimbe Extract Side Effects
Yohimbe supplements are typically well tolerated by individuals who follow dosage instructions and are under medical supervision, but commonly reported side effects include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Reduced appetite
- Sleep disturbances, and
- A headache
Yohimbe extract also has mild, anti-diuretic properties, and researchers think this arises from stimulation of the hypothalamus which, in turn, causes the release of the posterior pituitary hormone.
This effect minimally reduces urination and does not pose a health risk, however, those with kidney problems should discuss the potential for Yohimbe extract to retain water, interfere with normal urination and promote kidney malfunctioning before using it.
Finally, while extremely rare, seek emergency medical attention if seizures, paralysis or difficulty in breathing occur.
Signs of an impending allergic reaction are shown by skin rash, swelling of the tongue, throat, and face and severe dizziness.
According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, those with depression, schizophrenia, high blood pressure, or diseases of the kidney, liver or heart should avoid taking Yohimbe.
The same applies to women who are pregnant because Yohimbe interacts with many common medication pathways.
Make sure to consult a doctor before taking Yohimbe or yohimbine.