Posted on Feb 13, 2020, 5 p.m.
Those struggling with erectile dysfunction may be happy to hear about recent research published in the Bratislava Medical Journal suggesting that French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) may help to ameliorate ED and address some of the common conditions related to type 2 diabetes.
French maritime pine bark extract has been the subject of at least 450 published studies and review articles that have found the antioxidant and multiple biomodulating effects help to improve circulation and blood flow as well as strengthen the vascular system and manage cholesterol.
"Nearly 60 percent 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. Steven Lamm, medical director of the NYU Langone Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men's Health, and a leading expert on sexual health. "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."
According to the US CDC erectile dysfunction affects up to 30 million American men, and approximately 1 in 4 new cases occur in men under the age of 40; men with diabetes have three times the risk of developing ED, and over half of men with diabetes will experience symptoms of ED at some point in their lives.
This peer reviewed, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of 53 patients with erectile dysfunction were split into two groups to examine the effects of Pycnogenol on those only with ED, and those with ED along with type 2 diabetes. Improvements were analyzed using the IIEF-5 questionnaire and blood samples to measure biochemical markers of diabetes.
After 3 months findings showed that 120mg of pycnogenol helped to improve ED in both groups including 45% improvement of ED in the diabetes group and 22% improvement of function in the ED only group, as compared to decreases of 20% and 16%, respectively, in the placebo groups. Additionally cardiovascular benefits included a 20% reduction of LDL cholesterol levels in the diabetes group, a 14% improvement of LDL cholesterol in the ED only group, and a 22% improvement in serum glucose in the diabetes group compared to decreases of 1%, 4%, and 1% respectively in the placebo groups.
“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.
“Patients frequently seek non-pharmaceutical options for managing these conditions, and to reduce their dependence on prescription medication. Erectile dysfunction often correlates to other health issues, including stress and lack of sleep, and may be an indicator of a serious underlying condition such as hypertension and diabetes. This study shows the benefits of Pycnogenol for addressing erectile function as well as underlying conditions,” said Dr. Lamm.
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