7 Supplements Guys Should Never Take

Still, Sesso advises that "there's no reason to take it, either. For this reason, many men prefer to use a natural sexual enhancement pill, such as Maxis Tempted by products that claim to increase penis size? And no reputable medical organization endorses penis surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. The group also refuses to endorse surgeries that inject fat cells in the penis with the goal of increasing penile girth.

Penis-enlargement products: Do they work?

Links Between Sexual and Overall Health

But ever since he was a young boy, Richard couldn't get over the feeling that his penis was too small. In public bathrooms, he'd use the handicapped stall. He felt embarrassed in gym locker rooms and when standing naked before his wife. Then, in the back of a weightlifting magazine, he saw an ad for the FastSize Extender, a device that claims to make the penis longer and fatter through traction. Richard began wearing the device almost eight hours a day, every day. He was shocked to notice a difference within a few days.

After four months of wearing the device, he says his flaccid penis has stretched from 3 inches to over 5 inches; erect, he has gone from less than 6 inches to over 7 inches. The FastSize Extender, though not extensively tested, has received some validation from mainstream medical sources. But that makes it a true rarity among the nonprescription methods of male enhancement.

Most are a waste of money, and some are downright dangerous, doctors say. Instead of furtively turning to untested methods, men with persistent concerns should consider opening up about them with their doctors. That's because performance problems sometimes act as an early warning signal for serious health problems. Your doctor might be able to prescribe something that can really help, or least provide a valuable dose of perspective about what constitutes "normal" sexual performance.

Sexual performance declines naturally as men age, doctors say. But a rapid or severe decrease in performance or libido can be a red flag. Most importantly, erectile dysfunction may be an early predictor of heart disease.

Atherosclerosis , a condition in which fatty deposits build up inside arteries , may restrict blood flow to the penis and cause erection difficulties.

For men with ED who are at risk of heart disease , prescribing Viagra or its cousins isn't enough, Boyle says. These men should be also be controlling their weight and cholesterol level, limiting their alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. Evidence shows that these changes in themselves can have a positive effect on sexual function, Boyle says.

Sometimes men with erection problems or a diminished libido have low levels of testosterone , Boyle says. Testosterone deficiencies can also affect mood and energy levels. Boyle tests for testosterone levels and prescribes it as a topical gel, though she warns it is only safe when prescribed and monitored by a physician. Nonprescription testosterone, such as the kind used by some bodybuilders, is dangerous, she warns.

For men with performance issues who are physically healthy, Boyle often prescribes counseling, such as marriage counseling for men with relationship issues or psychiatric help for men who are preoccupied with a problem in penile appearance.

For young men with sexual performance problems and no signs of physical problems, Boyle may prescribe counseling and a low dose of Viagra as they work out issues of insecurity. The FastSize Extender device promises results, but it's far from quick and easy.

Just ask Bob, a retail manager from New Jersey. He says he's gained over 2 inches of erect length. All it took was 25 months and over 2, hours wearing the device, typically five hours a day, seven days a week. Richard, the mechanic from New York, got results faster than Bob, but still wore the device under his clothes for about eight hours a day.

Richard's wife has also been supportive. She also says the lengthening has enhanced their sex life, though she had no complaints before. Chicago urologist Laurence A. Levine, MD, director of the male fertility program at Rush University Medical Center, tested the FastSize Extender on 10 men afflicted with Peyronie's disease , which can cause bending and shrinkage of the penis. At the end of the six-month study, which was funded by the maker of the FastSize Extender, Levine found increased penile length and reduced curvature in every man and increased girth in seven of the men.

Calling the results "remarkable," Levine now prescribes the device to many of his Peyronie's patients and reports no significant complications. Levine has also worked as a paid consultant to FastSize Extender. Could FastSize work on men of normal penile length? And the most recent analysis even showed increased prostate cancer risk in some men.

No Impact on Heart and Cancer Risk Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils that's also been studied extensively for disease prevention. Substantial research had "suggested that vitamin E would reduce not just cancer risk, but also cardiovascular disease risk," said Dr. Kristal explained, vitamin E failed to show benefits in people: Most of the trials "found that there doesn't appear to be any obvious benefits to taking individual vitamin E supplements.

Still, Sesso advises that "there's no reason to take it, either. It's not because of potential risk, but just because of lack of benefit, also. A Flop for Erectile Dysfunction The extract from the bark of yohimbe, an evergreen tree found in western Africa, is sold over-the-counter, but its active ingredient, yohimbine , is available only by prescription.

Yohimbe bark supplements claim to help erectile dysfunction ED , even though "very few studies show that it's very useful," said Keith D. Bloom, supplements like yohimbe aim to mimic, to some degree, what Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra do, which is to increase blood flow, but "they just don't do it nearly as well as the prescribed medications do, they don't do it as safely, and they're unregulated," he said.

Another issue is that yohimbe doesn't mix well with some commonly prescribed drugs. According to the urologist, the supplement is thought to increase blood flow in the penis, but it's never been studied in people. Because these types of male enhancement products are not FDA-regulated, "you don't know what you're getting, you don't know how much of the supplement you're actually getting, and you don't know what other fillers are being used to formulate the supplement," Bloom cautioned.

A Downer for Good Cholesterol DHEA — short for dehydroepiandrosterone — is a steroid hormone that the body makes and converts into sex hormones. The body's levels decline naturally starting at about age Some men take DHEA supplements containing a synthetic form sourced from soybeans to replace the hormone. Purported benefits include libido- and testosterone -boosting effects. They "should not be taken without supervision," advised Bloom.

Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali: Don't Boost Testosterone Tribulus terrestris and Tongkat ali are flowering plants that make up two of the more common ingredients found in so-called testosterone-boosting supplements. Not much is known about either plant's effects on testosterone levels.

View All Last Updated: Please enter a valid email address. Men's Health Yeast Infections in Men: What to Know Yeast infections frequently occur in men, even though they're most common in women.

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