pine bark extract Pycnogenol helps erectile dysfunction in diabetic men

Though not much discussed, erectile dysfunction is an early complication of diabetes. But there is a simple natural treatment that just might be the answer.

Pine bark extract is loaded in potent antioxidant polyphenolic flavonoids known as proanthocyanidins. Among its many other powers, pine bark extract enhances the production of nitric acid, and nitric acid dilates the blood vessels of the penis, allowing an erection to occur. So, perhaps pine bark extract could help the erectile dysfunction that people with diabetes suffer from.

To find out, 32 people with diabetes and erectile dysfunction and 21 people with erectile dysfunction but no diabetes were given either pine bark extract or a placebo for three months in a double-blind study. The pine bark significantly helped erectile dysfunction in both groups, but it really helped in the diabetes group, suggesting that pine bark extract could be an ideal fit for diabetic erectile dysfunction. In the healthy group, pine bark extract improved erectile dysfunction by a significant 22%, but the diabetes group improved an even greater 45%. In the placebo groups, nondiabetics with erectile dysfunction got 16% worse and diabetics with erectile dysfunction got 20% worse.

As a bonus, pine bark extract also lowered total cholesterol by 20%, LDL cholesterol by 21% and glucose levels by 22% in diabetics.

But there may be an even better way to help. As we discuss in our book Sex & Fertility: Natural Solutions, though pine bark extract has previously been shown to improve erectile dysfunction from moderate to mild (Nutr Res 2003;23:1189-1198), it works even better if you combine it with arginine. 92.5% of people with erectile dysfunction are returned to normal erections with the pine bark/arginine combination (J Sex Marital Ther 2003;29:207-213).

And those results were no fluke. At least two double-blind studies have duplicated the results. In a group of men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, the pine bark/arginine combo improved erection scores significanty from 15.2 to 27.1 while the placebo group only improved from 15.1 to 19 (BJU Int 2010;106:1030-1033). In the second, the combination brought about “marked improvement” and safely and effectively treated mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (Phytother Res 2012;26:204-207).


Bratisl Lek Listy 2019;120(12):941-944


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For much more on treating erectile dysfunction, see our book Sex & Fertility: Natural Solutions. For more on preventing and treating diabetes, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive help with sexual and reproductive health, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.


The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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