New research has shown promising results for those dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) and diabetes. A new peer-reviewed study, published in the Bratislava Medical Journal, shows that daily supplementation with the natural antioxidant, Pycnogenol, a French maritime pine bark extract, can improve the symptoms of ED.
This study adds to a body of research showing the benefits of Pycnogenol for improving circulation and blood flow, strengthening the vascular system and managing cholesterol. Pycnogenol is a brand belonging to Horphag Research.
"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 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.
Blood sugar fluctuations from type 2 diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels
"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," Lamm explained.
Research shows that men with diabetes have a three-times higher risk of developing ED than average and more than half of all men with diabetes will experience symptoms of ED at some point in their lives.
Lamm added that patients frequently seek non-pharmaceutical options for managing these conditions, and to reduce their dependence on prescription medications.
Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant, is shown in numerous studies to support vascular function, a key organ system responsible for circulating blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Pycnogenol is a standardised form of French maritime pine bark extract that promotes nitric oxide production for vascular health and blood circulation.
The new double-blind, randomised, 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 analysed 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 120 mg 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," said Lamm.