What you will learn...
Yohimbe is a popular dietary supplement made from the bark of an African evergreen tree and is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction.
It has also become increasingly popular among bodybuilders to help with fat loss.
However, despite its popularity, there are some risks that you may want to be aware of before taking this supplement.
More recently, Yohimbe has been sold as a dietary supplement with a wide variety of common uses that range from treating medical conditions like erectile dysfunction to aiding in weight loss.
The Yohimbe supplement is derived from the bark of an evergreen tree found in western and central Africa called the Pausinystalia Johimbe.
Yohimbe is often sold in capsule or tablet form and marketed as Yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine.
Yohimbine is the active ingredient in Yohimbe bark, and many believe that yohimbine works by blocking receptors in the body called alpha-2 adrenergic receptors.
These receptors play a crucial role in preventing erections.
Thus, yohimbine is thought to help alleviate erectile dysfunction by blocking the receptors responsible for preventing erections.
Yohimbine Health Risks
Yohimbine produces a vasoconstricting effect (just like Indole alkaloids) similar to an endothelin, resulting in an increase in blood pressure.
Yohimbine also increases the production of nitric oxide in renal circulation and triggers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to create an anxiogenic effect on human physiology.
The ability of yohimbine to treat impotency in men is supported by inhibiting alpha-2-adrenoreceptors.
This stimulates blood flow to cavernous tissues and raises levels of noradrenaline in the bloodstream.
The safety of yohimbine prescribed by physicians is high, with only a few instances of serious illness.
However, using this supplement without any medical supervision is linked to a greater risk of side effects.
Sometimes, adverse events may be the result of combining Yohimbine pills with other drugs or medications or using this supplement at excess dosages.
Some serious side effects of yohimbine HCL include:
Two deaths unexplained by existing medical conditions and unrelated to each;
A bodybuilder suffered “acute neurotoxic effects such as vomiting, malaise, repeated seizures and loss of consciousness” after ingesting a large dose of yohimbine.
A man in his forties suffered kidney failure, lupus-like syndrome, and skin eruptions after taking yohimbine for impotence.
Potential Dangers of Taking Yohimbe
Yohimbine is available as a prescription drug called yohimbine hydrochloride (yohimbine HCL) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
However, you may find supplements sold as Yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine hydrochloride, readily available over the counter.
The main concerns with Yohimbe as a dietary supplement are inaccurate labeling of the product and potentially serious side effects when misused.
For these reasons, Yohimbe supplements are banned in many countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, etc…
Researchers from Harvard Medical School examined forty-nine different Yohimbe supplements and discovered that 78% of them did not clearly label the quantity of yohimbine was in the product.
Furthermore, the supplements that did label yohimbine content, gave inaccurate figures.
The actual amounts of yohimbine found in the supplements ranged from 28% to 147% of what was listed on the label.
This is alarming, because it puts you at an increased risk of taking a higher dose of this supplement than you intended, and that could lead to harmful side effects.
Adverse Effects of Yohimbine HCL
Research suggests that yohimbine is generally well tolerated at low doses when taken under the direction of a medical professional.
It is still worth noting that some people experience side effects even when using this recommended dosage range.
Taking these supplements comes with the risk of some possible dangerous side effects.
The most commonly reported side effects included gastrointestinal distress, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
A handful of individuals even experienced life-threatening events, like heart attack, seizure, and acute kidney injury.
Yohimbine hydrochloride may cause the following side effects:
- Elevated blood pressure
- anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness
- Heart palpitations
- Chest and/or abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness, and fainting
- Flushing, warm skin, sweating
- Muscle tremors
- A headache
To avoid the negative yohimbine side effects, ensure to inform your physician of any allergies you may have, since certain inactive ingredients included in making yohimbine HCL may cause allergic reactions.
You should not operate machinery, drive a vehicle, or perform activities requiring alertness and stability when taking the supplement.
Also, avoid drinking alcohol with yohimbine, as this may worsen anxiety.
Children and pregnant women should not take yohimbine HCL due to a lack of research regarding how this drug affects this group of people.
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