· Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas have done the research
· They found that 17 out of 21 ingredients had no scientific evidence of the confirmation
· Only ginseng, L-arginine, tribulus terrestris and maca root had evidence
Supplements for erectile dysfunction that are retailed online have little or no precise evidence that they work, experts have warned.
A study of 21 ingredients used in six of Amazon's maximum rated erection supplements in the United State found that most have never been tested in a study.
It was verified that only four ingredients helped, and while each pill contained at least one of these four ingredients, they also contained numerous other undetected ingredients.
The study also found that the immense majority of positive reviews may not come from real customers.
Scientists said people should be cautious of being influenced by positive reviews or marketing efforts, and better able to cope with medical choices like Viagra.
The Baylor College of Medicine study in Texas in September 2018 looked at six of Amazon's most common supplements.
The products were Korean Panax Ginseng (from NutraChamps), Leyzene with Royal Jelly (Natural Food), Horny Goat Weed Extract (Zhou Nutrition), Boost Elite (Zhou Nutrition), Arginine L Extra Strength (Havasu Nutrition) and IncrediBULL (eSupplements).
They contained four ingredients that studies recommend could improve the strength and frequency of male erections: ginseng, L-arginine, tribulus terrestris, and maca root.
However, the supplements also contained 17 other agents that have never been proven by science to improve erections.
These involved tongkat ali, goat weed, Muira puama, capsicum annuum, zinc, epimedium, saw palmetto, fenugreek seeds, and Yohimbe bark.
Diindolylmethane, AAKG, piperine, gluconolactone, L-citrulline malate, polypodium Vulgare, Rehmannia root and royal jelly also had no scientific evidence to suggest that they work.
Researchers have searched a database of previous scientific studies on the effects of these ingredients on erectile dysfunction. A total of 413 studies were performed - 69 on humans.
WHAT INGREDIENTS HAVE SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT?
Exploration in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that many ingredients in dietary supplements that are said to enhance men's erections have no scientific evidence that they work.
Here is a list of the individual ingredients and the number of scientific studies that have shown that they work well in men with erectile dysfunction:
· Ginseng (5)
· L-arginine (4)
· Tongkat ali (0)
· Goat Weed (0)
· Tribulus terrestris (2)
· Maca root (1)
· Muira Puama (0)
· Capsicum annuum (0)
· Zinc (0)
· Epimedium (0)
· Saw Palmberry (0)
· Fenugreek Seeds (0)
· Yohimbe Bark (0)
· Diindolylmethane (0)
· AAKG (0)
· Piper (0)
· Gluconolactone (0)
· L-citrulline malate (0)
· Polypodium vulgare (0)
· Rehmannia root (0)
· Royal Jelly (0)
The scientists, led by Dr. med. Alexander Pastuszak, wrote in her report: "Doctors need to know the ingredients of these preparations to better advise patients on the effectiveness of these preparations.
"Although consumer ratings published on the online product pages on [erectile dysfunction] prominently announce the effectiveness of the product, there is a lack of primary evidence for the positive effects of these products on ED symptoms."
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition in which men have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection for sex.
The disease is more common with increasing age of men, and more than half of men over 50 are affected by mild or occasional problems.
Medicinal medications that help men get an erection to include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Spedra - Viagra is now available without a prescription.
The research also found nearly half of the reviews for the erectile supplements "untrusted".
And as the untrustworthy reviews were filtered out, the number of customers claiming the products were working declined dramatically.
Around 90 percent of the comments claiming to increase sexual satisfaction were considered suspicious.
Besides, 83 percent of the ratings indicated better erection maintenance and 77 percent a better erection strength.
At the end of their paper, scientists suggested that people should be wary of using supplements unless better human data were published.
This was "especially given the availability of high-potency, FDA-cleared medicines, and increasingly affordable treatment options," they added. The research was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
WHAT CAUSES IMPOTENCE?
Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, occurs when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection.
It is more common among over-40s but affects men of all ages. Failure to stay erect is usually due to fatigue, stress, anxiety or alcohol and is not a cause for concern.
However, it can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, side effects of medications or hormonal problems.
Lifestyle factors that can affect the condition are obesity, smoking, over-cycling, over-drinking, and stress.