Results from a new pilot study1 published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine indicate that a Kaempferia parviflora ethanol extract, KaempMax (Life Extension; Fort Lauderdale, FL), may improve sexual satisfaction and performance. In the study, KaempMax improved self-assessed sexual health in middle-aged men experiencing mild erectile dysfunction.
The study authors write that sexual health correlates with overall wellbeing. And, while there are existing drugs that purport to enhance male sexual health, like Viagra, many of those products may come with adverse side effects, or simply be ineffective for some men. They add that, increasingly, erectile dysfunction is also considered an early sign of cardiovascular disease, and may even precede the development of adverse cardiovascular events like heart attacks.
According to the researchers, various preparations of Kaempferia parviflora, a plant in the ginger family, have been shown to support cardiovascular health and potentially also improve erectile function. A 2012 study2 conducted in Thailand found that K. parviflora rhizome extract improved erectile response in older men. With this in mind, the study authors sought to evaluate whether KaempMax could provide a safe and efficacious non-prescription alternative to more common drugs targeting men’s sexual health.
The primary endpoint of the current study was to determine KaempMax’s effect on erectile function, which was determined via the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). The secondary aim of the study to determine subjects’ sexual satisfaction using the Global Assessment Questions (GAQ). In the study, researchers supplemented 13 men between the ages of 50-68 with 100 mg KaempMax for 30 days. Researchers evaluated subjects’ sexual health parameters once at baseline, and then at the end of the 30-day study period.
According to the authors, supplementation with KaempMax resulted in “statistically significant improvements in erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, and total scores on the IIEF questionnaire.” KaempMax was also found to be safe and well-tolerated.
While the effects of KaempMax supplementation were encouraging, they were not as pronounced as the results from prescription medications, say the researchers. However, most of the study participants reported being satisfied with the results. They add that additional, longer, and placebo-controlled clinical trials will be needed to more fully determine Kaemp Max’s efficacy for improving erectile dysfunction.
Richard A. Stein, PhD, MD, and the study’s lead author, commented on the results in a press release. “This exciting new pilot study lends support to traditional Asian medicinal uses of K. parviflora for male sexual function,” he said. “We are hopeful that these findings will spur larger trials exploring the potential of K. parviflora extracts to enhance men’s sex lives.”
Added Andrew Swick, PhD, senior vice president of product development, Life Extension: “Results from our study together with those previously published suggest that K. parviflora extract may benefit male sexual health and provides an option for those seeking nonprescription alternatives.”
1. Stein RA et al., “Kaempferia parviflora ethanol extract improves self-assessed sexual health in men: a pilot study," Journal of Integrative Medicine. Published online May 26, 2018.
2. Wannanon P et al., “Efficacy assessment of Kaempferia parviflora for the management of erectile dysfunction,” Online Journal of Biological Sciences, vol. 12, no. 4 (2012): 149-155