Yohimbe Bark (Yohimbine-HCL) Extract, Herb, Root - Side Effects - Page 2
In addition to promoting erections, yohimbe's blockade of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors is the central means by which this compound helps with sex drive.
Yohimbine also increases blood levels of the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine (as does phenylalanine). Norepinephrine stimulates the brains sex center in the hypothalamus and is considered one of the body's natural pro-sexual chemicals.
The proportion of men showing positive side effects to yohimbine has consistently been in the range of thirty-three to forty-six percent.
It is important to remember that suppressed sex drive occurs for a variety of reasons -- it would be unrealistic to expect one substance to be universally effective. Given the low incidence of adverse reactions and the drawbacks of some other options (for instance, surgical implants and drugs), yohimbine has been recommended by some as an alternative.
Rising to the Challenge
Normally, in the presence of sexual stimulation, blood flow is directed into pockets known as the corpus cavernosum, contained within the shaft of the penis. The resulting inflow of blood leads to the enlargement and stiffening of the penis. This engorgement is triggered by nitric oxide (NO), a short-lived neurotransmitter. Nitric oxide, synthesized from the oxidation of the amino acid l-arginine, activates an enzyme that manufactures cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a biochemical signaling enzyme. Under normal circumstances, cGMP, directs the smooth muscle cells to relax, leading to the dilation of penile arteries. However, immediately following release of NO and production of cGMP; another enzyme, cGMP phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5), is activated. PDE-5s main activity is to destroy cGMP almost as fast as it is formed. The result of this breakdown of cGMP by PDE-5 is a rapid decrease in smooth muscle relaxation and a loss of blood flow to the penis. Subsequently, the penis returns to its flaccid state.
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