Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that many people experience. It refers to when a person regularly finds it difficult getting or maintaining a firm enough erection for sexual activity. However, treatments are available that can help with symptoms of ED and improve sexual performance.
ED affects around 30 million people in the United States. A 2019 review found ED to have a 3 to 76.5% global prevalence, with high reports among young individuals. Aside from prescription medications for ED, such as Viagra, numerous male enhancement products, including ExtenZe, reportedly help treat the condition.
This article will discuss what ExtenZe is, what ingredients it contains, and whether it works.
ExtenZe is a male enhancement dietary supplement containing natural ingredients. It reportedly helps boost sexual performance, desire, and pleasure by increasing the size of an erection. It contains a combination of ingredients that previous studies suggest may be effective in treating ED.
The manufacturer of ExtenZe suggests that its fast-acting, extended-release formula allows for improved blood flow to the penis, which may help increase the firmness and duration of an erection. The company also compares the product to other enhancement methods and indicates it is a more affordable and safer option.
ExtenZe is a proprietary herbal blend containing several active ingredients that may help treat ED, such as:
L-arginine is an amino acid that may help achieve erections easier and maintain them longer. Evidence suggests it may work in combination with other ED ingredients.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
GABA is a neurotransmitter that people may use for ED due to its vasodilatory properties. For example, a 2017 study suggests that a 75% GABA and 25% sildenafil mixture may be the most effective combination of these ingredients to help treat ED symptoms.
Also known as yohimbine, yohimbe extract is an herbal supplement from the Pausinystalia johimbe tree that practitioners commonly use in West African medicine for ED. A 2018 study notes that yohimbine and ginseng were effective treatments for ED. It works by blocking alpha-2-adrenergic receptors that inhibit erections. Yohimbe also promotes the release of nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels to allow more blood to pool into the penis.
Horny goat weed
Also known as yinyanghuo, horny goat weed is a herbal medicine popular in China as a treatment for ED. Its active ingredient, icariin, is a PDE5 inhibitor, which prevents PDE5 from stopping the dilation of arteries in the penis.
Folic acid and zinc
Zinc is a necessary mineral for sperm formation — it works with folic acid to form DNA in sperm. A zinc deficiency may also relate to hypogonadism, where the testes have issues producing the sex hormone testosterone, sperm, or both. Another study found that weight training coupled with zinc supplementation improved testosterone levels.
DHEA is known to improve mood, sexual function, and cognitive ability. However, doctors classify this hormone as a performance-enhancing drug, which is why professional athletes are not eligible to take ExtenZe.
Pregnenolone is a steroid hormone that helps the body produce other hormones, such as testosterone and DHEA. Some people may use it as a supplement to increase testosterone levels.
Tribulus terrestris is an herb that people have used for centuries to treat ED, as it may increase libido. It may also help with erections and increase DHEA and testosterone levels.
A 2021 study suggests that tribulus terrestris, ginseng, and L-arginine are suitable supplements for improving ED, possibly due to their positive effect on nitric oxide synthesis, which could enhance blood flow in the body.
Ginseng is a popular natural supplement for treating ED. A 2021 study notes that it is effective for improving ED and reducing fatigue in individuals with prostate cancer. In addition, research from 2018 compared several herbal dietary supplements for ED and found ginseng to be an effective herbal treatment.
While there are several studies on the efficacy of many of ExtenZe’s ingredients, such as ginseng, yohimbine, and L-arginine, there are currently no trials or studies specifically investigating the effectiveness of this product. Additionally, ExtenZe has mixed reviews online, with some users reporting anecdotal benefits.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that it does not regulate male enhancement supplements and that taking them
Some of ExtenZe’s ingredients may cause side effects. For example, yohimbe may cause anxiety, dizziness, drooling, bloating, rapid heart rate, headaches, and frequent urination. In addition, a 2021 study found an overdose with this substance may cause poisoning and even death.
A 2019 case report also notes that hormones in male enhancement supplements may cause the development or worsening of male breast cancer. Another 2018 case study adds that ExtenZe may cause priapism, a prolonged and often painful erection.
Aside from the lack of reliable sources regarding the efficacy of ExtenZe, the FDA does not regulate it or any other male enhancement supplements. This means these products may contain ingredients that could be harmful to health. Individuals who wish to take male enhancement supplements or have problems with sexual function should consult their doctor first.
For people who want better sexual performance, there are several FDA-approved medications for ED, including:
- Sildenafil: This is the active ingredient in the popular ED medication Viagra. After consumption, sildenafil takes effect after 30–120 minutes.
- Tadalafil: The active ingredient in Cialis. It takes longer to take effect than sildenafil, at around 36 hours.
- Vardenafil: The active ingredient in Levitra. Since it is more potent, a lower dose is enough to cause an effect and may result in fewer side effects.
- Avanafil: The active ingredient in Stendra. Unlike sildenafil, avanafil has a lesser tendency to lower a person’s blood pressure.
Additionally, specific lifestyle changes may help improve a person’s sexual health, such as:
- quitting smoking
- decreasing alcohol intake
- eating a nutritious diet
- following an active lifestyle
ExtenZe is a male enhancement supplement containing a proprietary herbal blend that claims to enhance sexual performance and increase libido and pleasure. However, male enhancement supplements do not have FDA approval and may contain ingredients harmful to a person’s health.
For safety, people with ED and even those keen to try male enhancement supplements should consult with a healthcare professional first for supervision and guidance.