Question: Are there any beneficial herbal products or supplements to help enhance a man's sexual performance?
Answer: One of the jokes that's out there among healthcare providers is that one of the main reasons that men in the 30 to 40 year age range come in – and if not the only reason is because of sexual related issues. Now certainly that's a little bit of a generalization, but it is an important aspect of men's health, and something that I do get a lot of questions about. A few suggestions as far as that goes. First off, lifestyle is key with all of this, making sure that you're active with exercise, and doing all the things you can to keep yourself healthy in general so that your energy level is good. Stress can be a big contributor to sexual issues, especially erectile dysfunction, and also anything that might try to compromise the blood vessels. I'll often say that erectile dysfunction precedes other types of vascular problems like heart disease by a few years, so it can be an early warning sign of those sorts of problems. Now as far as approaches, certainly watching blood pressure, watching alcohol consumption, not consuming a lot of tobacco, are all very important.
In addition there are a few supplements out there, this is unfortunately one of those areas where herbal Viagras are touted everywhere, and there's more marketing than there is actual research about them. Some of the ones that I recommend most commonly are ginseng, and that's panax or Chinese ginseng – 100 milligrams a day seem to help with erectile dysfunction in a lot of men. In addition there's one called maca that is good for overall libido according to one smaller study, 1.5 to 3 grams a day. It's in the radish family and normally in South America where it's from it's considered more of a food. You'll see things about epimedium, you'll see things about longjack and some of the others. I would encourage folks to work with a physician or other healthcare provider when they're trying to coordinate those, because there are a lot of side effects that are risky for folks using those.