Pycnogenol, a natural plant extract from French maritime pine bark, and L-arginine restored sexual function in men, and pycnogenol reduced menopause symptoms in women, in three new studies.
In the first of two pycnogenol/L-arginine studies, researchers recruited 40 men, aged 25 to 45, whose erectile problems were not the result of a physical disease. For the first month, participants took 1.7 grams of L-arginine per day, with 5% reporting normal erections after 30 days, a result doctors said was not statistically significant. For the second month, participants added 40 mg of pycnogenol twice per day and continued the L-arginine, with 80% reporting normal erections after 60 days. For the third month, participants took 40 mg of pycnogenol three times per day along with the 1.7 gram L-arginine dose, with 92.5% reporting normal erections after 90 days, without side effects.
In the second pycnogenol/L-arginine study, 50 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction took a combination of L-arginine plus pycnogenol or a placebo for 30 days. After one month, all participants reported normal erectile function and having sexual intercourse twice as often as at the start of the study. In order to achieve an erection, the smooth penile muscle must relax. Doctors noted that levels of nitric oxide—which relaxes muscle—in the sperm and testosterone blood levels, increased. There were no reported side effects.
In a menopause study, 155 perimenopausal women took 200 mg of pycnogenol per day or a placebo for six months. At the end of the study, all participants reported physical and emotional symptoms had improved. Doctors noted the ratio of bad cholesterol to good cholesterol (LDL/HDL) improved, without side effects.