The American Medical Association estimates that over 30 million men suffer from sexual dysfunction in the United States.
They expect that number to double by 2025. If you’re one of those millions, you know that low libido can be a crippling condition.
But, it’s important for you to understand it doesn’t have to be. You can definitely increase your libido and improve your sexual performance with the right approach. You just need to be disciplined and know what to do and how to do it.
In this article, you’ll find a list of ingredients with evidence supporting their efficacy in improving sexual function.
1. MACA ROOT
Maca is a Peruvian root that’s part of the regular diet of many people living around the Andes mountains. Also known as Peruvian ginseng, locals of the region have recognized the power of maca as an aphrodisiac and sexual enhancer.
Moreover, it’s one of the few ingredients that has been researched directly in relation to its effects on libido.
Research published in the journal Andrologia in 2002, showed some interesting results. The effects of maca were studies on men and women aged 21-56.
Starting at eight weeks of treatment with maca, researchers observed an improvement in sexual desire. This is particularly important because the root seemed to impact desire, not just sexual function.
Curiously, there was no link between maca and testosterone levels. Typically, an increase in sexual desire is linked to a similar increase in sex hormones, especially testosterone.
Other research has corroborated the results. Both trials used the species Lepidium meyenii, but there are several species in the genus.
If you want to use maca as a supplement, you’re well-advised to look for one with a maca blend rather than a single species. Red maca, yellow maca, and black maca are all commonly used types.
Another ingredient you should take seriously is L-arginine.
Arginine is a conditionally-essential amino acid with many roles in the body mostly related to protein synthesis.
Most critically, it’s a direct precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in humans that regulates vasodilation.
Now, let’s step back a bit. What all that means is that arginine gets synthesized into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide encourages our veins and arteries to expand.
When your blood vessels expand, they allow for more blood to freely move around. That’s why it’s a crucial component in helping men achieve and sustain erections.
If blood flow is restricted or otherwise impaired, the quality and length of erections suffer.
If you’re looking to supplement with arginine, you should look for L-arginine HCl as an ingredient. That’s the salt form of arginine and the most bioavailable form for humans.
3. HORNY GOAT WEED
Traditional Chinese medicine has hundreds of natural remedies for low libido and erectile dysfunction. But none is more outstanding in the field than Horny Goat Weed.
This aptly-named little shrub is one of the most celebrated sexual enhancers in Chinese medicine.
The Epimedium plant has a reputation of being a potent aphrodisiac. However, the effect it has on actual sex drive is debatable.
What is well-researched is a particular compound present in the plant, called icariin.
Icariin stops the action of a protein called PDE5. This particular protein is present in penile tissue and can interfere with the process of getting an erection.
Drugs such as Viagra work by suppressing the action of PDE5 and icariin mimics that mechanism. However, the effect of icariin is much milder.
It’s also important to note that there aren’t extensive clinical trials looking into the effects of Horny Goat Weed on humans. The evidence for icariin exists through limited studies, but more research is necessary.
Moreover, there’s no direct evidence linking Horny Goat Weed to sexual desire itself, only sexual performance.
If you want to supplement with Horny Goat Weed, you have to look for icariin content. The supplement should be standardized to at least 20% icariin content.
There’s no medically-established dose of Horny Goat Weed for libido, but typically around 1000 milligrams is used in supplements.
4. KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Those are three ingredients you might consider crucial when you’re looking for a natural libido booster. There are others – such as zinc and Yohimbe bark – that could play a role, but these three are non-negotiable.
However, it can’t be overstated that supplementation is just one part of the puzzle. If you want to successfully boost your libido, you’ll need to work on numerous issues at once.
Libido is ultimately about desire, and that’s a function of a multitude of things that you should do and things that you shouldn’t. Therefore, you should consider supplements as a way to round out your already healthy habits.