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Yohimbe is an herbal supplement. It has a long history of use in West African traditional medicine to improve sexual performance.
More recently, yohimbe has been sold as a dietary supplement with a wide variety of common uses. These range from treating medical conditions like erectile dysfunction to aiding in weight loss.
The supplement is derived from the bark of an evergreen tree found in western and central Africa called the Pausinystalia johimbe.
It has been approved by international drug agencies for various health issues. It has a powerful effect on our systems, and like so many herbal medicines, yohimbe emerged from traditional uses. The bark is majorly used as an , among other things.
Thepart is that over-harvesting of yohimbe trees for its valuable bark and extracts has resulted in a dangerous drop in the availability of trees, particularly in certain West African countries. Always be sure to get a yohimbe tree extract, or anything claiming to contain yohimbine, from a certified herbal practitioner or health food store.
There’s a key difference between the natural supplement yohimbe and the chemical yohimbine. Although yohimbine comes from the yohimbe bark, it’s concentrated and standardized.However, it’s not clear that yohimbe — the natural product — has the same benefits as yohimbine.
One study has been conducted with Yohimbine in elite soccer players taking 10mg yohimbine twice a day (20mg total) for a period of 21 days noted that, after the diet was controlled for, that fat percentage was decreased from 9.3+/-1.1% to 7.1+/-2.2% (assessed via calipers), while placebo experienced a nonsignificant increase.
0.2mg/kg Yohimbine in otherwise healthy men appears to enhance the fat burning effects of endogenous noradrenaline, and appears to be more effective during periods of exercise and attenuated if given beta-blockers; another study noted this attenuation to be measured at 70%.
Yohimbine’s ability to block the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors located in fat cells could, in theory, lead to increased fat loss and weight loss. Several controlled studies have evaluated this and found mixed results.
One study examined the effects of yohimbine in 20 obese females who consumed a 1,000- calorie diet for three weeks. The women taking yohimbine lost significantly more weight than those taking a placebo — 7.8 pounds (3.6 kg) vs. 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg) (6Trusted Source).
Yohimbine was also studied in elite soccer players, and was found to decrease body fat by 1.8 percentage points over the course of three weeks. No significant changes were found in the placebo group (7Trusted Source).
Very little research has been conducted on the use of yohimbe for weight loss and/or its effect on body mass. In a small clinical trial, 5 mg yohimbine taken four times/day resulted in greater weight loss (mean weight loss 3.55 kg) than placebo (mean weight loss 2.21 kg) in 20 obese females (mean BMI 40 for placebo group and 43 for yohimbine group) who followed a low-energy diet (1,000 kcal/day) for 3 weeks . However, in another clinical trial in 47 men (weighing >20% more than ideal body weight), high-dose yohimbine (peak dose 43 mg/day) for 6 months had no effect on body weight or body fat compared with placebo . The authors of a 2011 review of yohimbe concluded that no conclusive evidence indicates that yohimbe affects body weight or body mass . The author of a 2010 review of yohimbe reached similar conclusions, noting that results from small human trials of yohimbine for weight loss are contradictory and the evidence base is insufficient to support a weight loss claim for this compound .
Yohimbe is commonly taken to increase sexual excitement and to reduce sexual problems such as symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence. Research shows that yohimbe may be capable of increasing blood flow to the penis or vagina. It also increases nerve impulses that play a role in orgasm. Due to how yohimbine affects blood vessels, it can cause relaxation of the penile tissue and engorgement of blood. This helps a man to maintain an erection. These effects are beneficial for both sexes when it comes to experiencing sexual satisfaction.
Fear extinction is a form of therapy that helps get rid of the fear of certain objects, animals, or people .
Lesser known is the fact that yohimbe can have harmful side effects, including high blood pressure, anxiety, racing heartbeat, and headaches. At high doses, purified yohimbe can cause heart failure or death.
Yohimbe, taken by mouth, is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Yohimbe has been linked to reports of severe side effects including irregular or rapid heart beat, kidney failure, seizure, heart attack, and others.
Dosages of 0.2mg/kg bodyweight have been successfully used to increase fat burning without significant implications on cardiovascular parameters like heart rate and blood pressure. This results in a dosage of:
- 14 mg for a 150lb person
- 18 mg for a 200lb person
- 22 mg for a 250lb person
Supplementation is most effective between meals or during short term fasting.