Yohimbine – A New Wonder Supplement for Weight Loss and Potence?

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Yohimbine is an active component of the Yohimbe tree. This is an evergreen tree that can be found in western and central Africa. The bark of the tree contains this active compound that we use today. Yohimbine was traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and is now a popular dietary supplement made from the bark of this African evergreen tree.

It is most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. It has also gained lots of popularity among bodybuilders due to its role in weight loss.
Yohimbine increases the adrenaline levels in your body and inhibits a regulatory process in fat cells, which leads to fat burning.

Yohimbine can’t really be obtained through food intake, which is why it is most often used in a fasted state.
Despite the rising popularity of this supplement, there are some potential risks and side effects that you should be aware of before you start using it daily.

Recommended Dosage for Yohimbine

The recommended dosage for this supplement is 0.2mg/kg body weight, and it has been proven successful to increase fat burning without compelling changes in cardiovascular parameters like heart rate and blood pressure. When you calculate this dosage it adds up to:

  • 14 mg for a 150lb person
  • 18 mg for a 200lb person
  • 22 mg for a 250lb person

Studies suggest that yohimbine is most effective when taken between meals or during short term fasting.

Overdosing on Yohimbine

You should be cautious if you have a higher body weight since your cardiovascular system might not be prepared to handle a stimulatory supplement like yohimbine. If you haven’t used yohimbine before and are planning to for the first time, always start with a half-dose of what we recommended so you could establish tolerance before proceeding.

Also, be wary of what supplements containing yohimbine you use because a lot of products don’t list how much yohimbine is included, or if they do, the actual dose ranges from 25-150% of the dose listed. Because the dosage may be higher than what it actually says, it’s all the more reason to start with a lower dose.

If you plan on combining yohimbine with other stimulatory supplements, take the half-dose of both supplements and work up to the recommended dose safely because two supplements combined may lead to some negative side effects and results.

Benefits of Yohimbine

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile disfunction with YohimbineYohimbine is largely used for its abilities to help with erectile dysfunction, but there are still uncertainties whether there is any evidence behind this claim.

Several controlled studies indicate that this claim actually is true. In the studies, yohimbine was far more successful in treating erectile dysfunction than a placebo.
There was one study in the review that examined the effects of yohimbine on 82 male veterans with erectile dysfunction.

After getting treatment for a month, 34% of patients taking yohimbine had experienced significant improvement in symptoms, while 20% of patients reported getting full and sustained erections. Only 7% of veterans who underwent the treatment with placebo reported noticing any improvements.

Nonetheless, the American Urology Association and similar organizations still don’t recommend yohimbine treating erectile dysfunction due to incomplete evidence and because of the potential risks and side effects.

Weight Loss

fat loss with yohimbineYohimbine supplements are also showing to play a huge in helping people lose weight and improve body composition.
Yohimbine has shown to have the ability to block the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors that are found in fat cells and this could potentially lead to increased fat loss and weight loss. There have been several studies examining this and have found mixed results.

In one study the effects of yohimbine were examined in 20 obese females who consumed a 1,000- calorie diet for three weeks. The women who were supplementing with yohimbine lost significantly more weight than those who were taking a placebo — 7.8 pounds (3.6 kg) vs. 4.9 pounds (2.2 kg).

Elite soccer players were also part of a study, and the results led to a decreased body fat by 1.8 percentage points over the course of three weeks. Similar to the previous conclusions, no results were found in the group who underwent placebo treatment.

However, there were two additional controlled studies that have concluded that yohimbine had no significant effect on weight loss or fat loss on their participants.
Nonetheless, more research is definitely needed before yohimbe is recommended for people who are struggling with fat and weight loss.

Yohimbine Side Effects

Taking yohimbine as a supplement comes with some risks and could lead to several potentially dangerous side effects.
In one study where all the cases reviewed were reported to the California Poison Control System regarding the adverse side effects of supplements that contain yohimbine.

The side effects that were most often reported included gastrointestinal distress, increased heart rate, anxiety, and high blood pressure. There have been a small number of cases where people even experienced life-threatening events such as heart attacks, seizures, and acute kidney injuries.

However, it should be mentioned that a lot of these cases resulted from products that contained a combination of other ingredients in addition to yohimbine. This could have been the reason that these adverse effects occurred in the first place.

The Verdict

In a nutshell, yohimbine is a popular herbal supplement and it is marketed to help people with erectile dysfunction and improve their body composition and weight and fat loss.

The main active ingredient in yohimbe supplements is yohimbine, and there is still not enough evidence that suggests this supplement can effectively improve erectile dysfunction. On the other side, the research on weight loss and body composition has had mixed results but has shown a lot more promise.

There have been several cases reported of inaccurate labeling on yohimbe products. And as we mentioned, taking this product comes with the risk of some potentially harmful side effects.

For these reasons, it might be safer to handle this supplement with care until more research has been done, or at least make sure you are purchasing a product with this supplement from an esteemed company.

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Allison King
Allison holds a PhD in Biology specializing in cell and molecular biology and undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a minor in theoretical physics. She has taught at four universities in Eastern Canada and currently consults masters and doctoral students. She believes that peer-reviewed scientific research is the best source when looking for information on a given subject. Allison also lives a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and enjoys competing in various races including half marathons and triathlons.