Reviews

Maca Man Review

Maca Man is a GNC branded sexual health formula featured Maca along with Arginine, Yohimbe, and Gingko. Most of these ingredients have shown at least preliminary efficacy with regards to treating erectile dysfunction and/or improving sexual well-being…

GNC Maca Man

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ARGININE

A 1999 study, which sought to determine if supplemental arginine was a sound alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction, found that arginine (5 grams daily for 6 weeks) significantly improved subjective measures of sexual function only in subjects who initially had low nitric oxide levels.

However, a 2000 placebo controlled cross-over study found that arginine, at a dose of 1500mg daily for 17 days, failed to produce a statistically significant effect with regards to erectile dysfunction as compared to the placebo. In a 2003 study, researchers investigated the effects of increased NO on erectile dysfunction using two alleged NO increasing substances: l-arginine (1.7 grams daily) and Pycnogenol.

During the first month, subjects only received arginine and only 5% reported improved symptoms of erectile dysfunction. During the second month, subjects received 80mg Pycnogenol daily in addition to the arginine, and 80% reported improvement. During the third month, the dose of Pycnogenol was increased by 40mg to 120mg and 92.5% of the subjects reported experiencing normal erections.

While the researchers concluded that a combination of arginine and Pycnogenol was an effective alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction, it is important to note the arginine by itself was ineffective. It wasn’t until the addition of Pycnogenol that subjects showed significant improvement.

As evidenced by the previously mentioned study, it appears as though low doses of arginine (1.5 or 1.7 grams) are not significantly effective at treating erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that large doses (5 grams) may only be effective in individuals with low NO levels.

MACA

Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) is a relative of broccoli, indigenous to Peru, which has historically been used as an aphrodisiac. While frequently included in products aimed at increasing testosterone, research has confirmed that the aphrodisiac effect of Maca is not caused by an elevation of testosterone, nor does it have any significant impact on any hormones. In several human studies, Maca has demonstrated a clear aphrodisiac effect when at least 1.5 grams is consumed.

A 2009 study using 2400mg of Maca showed “a small but significant effect of Maca supplementation on subjective perception of general and sexual well-being in adult patients with mild ED.”

A separate 2009 pilot study, this time investigating a potential effect on physical performance, found that Maca supplementation effectively improved physical performance (cycling) in trained male cyclists, while simultaneously increasing sexual desires.

Overall, it apepars Maca supplementation with atleast 1.5 grams may increase sexual well-being and possibly improve certain aspects of physical performance.

YOHIMBE

Yohimbine, referred to on the Maca Man label as a “Yohimbe alkaloid”, functions as a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor by blocking the Alpha-2-Adrenergic receptors, resulting in increased levels of noradrenaline in the brain.

Elevated noradrenaline levels can increase sexual desire and promote an overall sense of well-being. It is secondary to this mechanism that Yohimbine may improve erectile dysfunction. Because Yohimbine acts primarily on the brain, it has shown to be more effective in those with ‘psychogenic’ ED rather than ‘organic’ ED, though an effect has still been observed in subjects with organic.

Doses as low as 6 mg have been shown to be effective although in this particular study, yohimbine was combined with 6 grams of arginine. As mentioned above, Maca Man contains arginine, but nowhere near 6 grams. However, the formula contains 5 mg of Yohimbine (Yohimbe alkaloid), which may be an effective (but safe) dose.

GINGKO BILOBA

Gingko, while commonly used as a nootropic, has been under investigation for a variety of applications, including as a potential alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction. Gingko has long been used in alternative medicine for ED because of its alleged ability to enhance blood flow via increasing nitric oxide.

However, a 2011 study found elevated dopamine levels in rats that were given Gingko extract. Dopamine has been identified as a major influence on sexual response, and this offers an alternative mechanism of action by which Gingko may improve erectile function. However, the evidence is far from conclusive, and a good deal of research would be needed before drawing any conclusions about Gingko as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Maca Man contains a relatively concise blend of Arginine, Maca, Yohimbine, and Gingko, all of which have at least preliminary evidence of potentially treating erectile dysfunction and enhancing overall sexual well-being. However, while the ingredients themselves are fine, the doses used in the Maca Man formula leave a little something to be desired. Ultimately, may see some benefit, but at a little over $1 a dose, there are better options out there.

Supplement Facts

  1. Zenico, T., et al. “Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well‐being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double‐blind clinical trial.” Andrologia 41.2 (2009): 95-99.
  2. Stone, Mark, et al. “A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 126.3 (2009): 574-576.
  3. Riley, Alan J., et al. “Double blind trial of yohimbine hydrochloride in the treatment of erection inadequacy.” Sexual and Marital Therapy 4.1 (1989): 17-26.
  4. Morales, A., et al. “Is yohimbine effective in the treatment of organic impotence? results of a controlled trial.” The Journal of urology 137.6 (1987): 1168.
  5. Chen, J., et al. “EVect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor l-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.” BJU international 83 (1999): 269-273.
  6. Klotz, T., et al. “Effectiveness of oral L-arginine in first-line treatment of erectile dysfunction in a controlled crossover study.” Urologia internationalis 63.4 (2000): 220-223.
  7. MacKay, Douglas. “Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: examining the evidence.” Age (years) 50 (2004): 60.
  8. Stanislavov, R., and V. Nikolova. “Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine.” Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy 29.3 (2003): 207-213.
  9. Rowland, David L., Khalid Kallan, and A. Koos Slob. “Yohimbine, erectile capacity, and sexual response in men.” Archives of sexual behavior 26.1 (1997): 49-62.
  10. Lebret, Thierry, et al. “Efficacy and safety of a novel combination of L-arginine glutamate and yohimbine hydrochloride: a new oral therapy for erectile dysfunction.” European urology 41.6 (2002): 608-613.
  11. Vogt, H. J., et al. “Double-blind, placebo-controlled safety and efficacy trial with yohimbine hydrochloride in the treatment of nonorganic erectile dysfunction.” International journal of impotence research 9.3 (1997): 155.
  12. Chen, J., et al. “EVect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor l-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.” BJU international 83 (1999): 269-273.
  13. Klotz, T., et al. “Effectiveness of oral L-arginine in first-line treatment of erectile dysfunction in a controlled crossover study.” Urologia internationalis 63.4 (2000): 220-223
  14. Stanislavov, R., and V. Nikolova. “Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine.” Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy 29.3 (2003): 207-213.

 

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