By Summer Banks on Jun 02, 2017

Losing weight and improving your health can be quite challenging. This is why people turn to dietary supplements like Yohimbine for help [20].

There are dozens of the ingredients found in the fitness and health industry that claim they support weight-loss, but the key is to know what they do before trying a new product.

Yohimbine is a substance found in countless products for weight-loss, sexual health, and physical fitness.

We will take a close look at Yohimbine, where it comes from, what it has to offer, and what research has been conducted with this ingredient. This will help you better determine if this herb is right for you.

What is Yohimbine?

Yohimbine is a chemical that is taken from the bark of the Yohimbe evergreen tree, which is native to central and western Africa [1] [16]. It is also referred to as yohimbine HCL [hydrochloride].

This ingredient is used in some over-the-counter supplements [32], though it is often associated with weight loss, improving blood flow, treating erectile dysfunction, enhancing exercise performance, and reducing anxiety [1] [2] [3] [16] [23] [36] [45].

Yohimbine is considered a stimulant, and can therefore interfere with some drugs, such as MAOIs [monamine oxidase inhibitors] [1] [33].

To Sum It Up: Yohimbine is a stimulatory chemical found in Yohimbe tree bark, and it may help treat certain health conditions such as obesity, erectile dysfunction and anxiety [9] [10] [11] [13] [41].

What Does Yohimbine Do?

Yohimbine assists by dilating blood vessels, enhancing nerve impulses and improving blood flow. It is an alpha-blocker, which means it can help relax certain muscles, lower blood pressure, and affect some hormone levels [1] [3] [35] [45].

When combined with exercise, yohimbine may help stimulate lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fat cells or stubborn fatty deposits [28].

To Sum It Up: All in all, this natural chemical helps widen blood vessels, relax the muscles and functions as an alpha-blocker.

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How Much Do You Need?

The recommended dosage of yohimbine HCL varies depending on whom you consult. However, some experts recommend 5.4 milligrams taken three times daily for treating erectile dysfunction [38].

Other sources suggest 15-30 milligrams per day to increase libido in both men and women [37].

There is no set dosage for aiding in weight-loss and improving athletic performance. Though many supplements recommend taking 5-15 milligrams daily, the amount you need often depends on your weight, age, gender, health/fitness goals and how your body reacts to the chemica

To Sum It Up: In general, up to 15 milligrams of yohimbine per day appears to be safe for most people. If you have a preexisting health condition or are taking a prescription medication, you should consult your doctor beforehand.

Is It Good For Weight-Loss?

Some research has been done regarding yohimbine and weight reduction. In fact, clinical studies have revealed that this ingredient helps promote fat loss, especially when combined with regular exercise [9] [14] [21] [22] [25].

For instance, research has shown that this chemical helps suppress appetite and reduce feelings of hunger [26]. This may help you eat less frequently and reduce your overall calorie intake.

Due to its stimulatory effects, it can also help boost metabolism. [21] [22] [25], increase heartrate, and dilate the blood vessels—all of which aid in calorie burning.

To Sum It Up: It’s clear that some scientific research has shown that yohimbine supplements can aid with weight-loss, at least to some extent. However, it was also noted that more studies are needed to determine just how useful this chemical is.

Effects of Yohimbine on Male Sexual Dysfunction

Some clinical studies have found yohimbine to help with erectile dysfunction and impotence. Supplements containing this ingredient may help boost libido and enhance sexual performance, especially when taken within an hour of sexual activity [2] [5] [10] [11] [18] [44] [47].

One study involving a group of men with erectile problems showed that taking 30 milligrams of yohimbine each day helped 3 out of 11 men with sexual arousal and erectile response [13].

Other research has revealed that this supplement can help treat sexual problems in those taking depression medications [17] by reducing their negative side effects.

Some doctors also prescribe this supplement in combination with prescription drugs like Viagra. Though a Canadian study from the International Journal of Impotence Research reported that additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness yohimbine HCL supplements are for treating erectile dysfunction in humans [34].

To Sum It Up: Some clinical studies have shown promise in regards to treating erectile dysfunction and low libido in men with yohimbine supplements.

Will it Improve Exercise Performance?

Some research suggests yohimbine can improve exercise performance. [6] [23] [24] [27]. It’s also known to improve fat loss in elderly individuals by increasing lipolysis and overall activity when it is combined with exercise [12].

In one study, 20 professional soccer players showed that this substance could help enhance exercise performance and improve body composition when taken for 21 days in doses of 20 milligrams per day [1] [4] [25].

Other studies have revealed that yohimbine helps stimulate the nervous system, which may help promote the release of fat cells and enhance athletic performance, but more human research is required [40].

To Sum It Up: There have been some clinical studies that show promise when it comes to this supplement and improving exercise performance. However, more research may be needed to truly determine whether or not yohimbine helps with overall fitness and body composition.

Other Health Benefits of Yohimbine

Yohimbine supplement have also been used to treat type 2 diabetes, anxiety disorders, dry mouth, low libido in women and even depression [28] [31] [43].

One study conducted by the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute demonstrated that this supplement helps suppress anxiety, reduces mental stress and enhances the body’s response to the natural release of adrenaline [28] [41].

Other research showed that yohimbine, when taken during the sleep cycle, can improve symptoms of depression. It works within hours and can help elevate mood throughout the following day [30].

Another study revealed that this chemical could help increase saliva in humans and animals and used to treat dry mouth, which is often brought on by prescription antidepressants and other medications [31].

Additional research shows that a yohimbine product may help treat and reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes [42] [48]. However, this may only work in certain subjects/individuals.

The antioxidants found in this herb also help combat damaging free radicals, which in turn can assist with overall immune system health and wellness [28].

To Sum It Up: According to some research, yohimbine does have certain health benefits when taken for specific conditions. However, the effects vary from person to person, and some people do not experience the benefits or desired results.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Some side effects of yohimbine include headaches, nausea, insomnia, increased urination, vomiting, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, irritation, skin flushing or rashes [7] [8] [15] [46] [50].

As a stimulant, this herb can also interfere with some prescription medications, which means its important to speak with your physician before taking this supplement if you are already on a prescription drug [33].

Some people experience more severe allergic reactions to yohimbine. These adverse reactions can include irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, unusual behavior, severe mood swings, seizure and even paralysis [39].

To Sum It Up: In short, this ingredient can lead to some unpleasant side effects. This is especially the case if too much is taken at once. In general, Yohimbine is a safe supplement to use.

Discontinue use immediately if you experience any severe reactions, and alsways speak with your doctor if you are concerned about drug interactions.

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The Bottom Line on Yohimbine

All in all, yohimbine is an herbal ingredient that has been used for many years to treat sexual dysfunction, poor performance, obesity, depression, and other health issues. It appears to be relatively safe when taken as directed and not combined with certain prescription drugs.

In regards to weight management, this supplement has shown some promise for improving body composition and reducing excess fat when combined with regular exercise. It also helps with erectile dysfunction and improving blood flow.

If you choose to take a yohimbine product for weight reduction or improving sexual performance, speak with a licensed physician beforehand. He or she can better assess your physical health, any prescription medications you may be taking, and how much yohimbine is right for you and your needs.


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About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.