A study recently published in the Bratislava Medical Journal1 found that supplementation with French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol from Horphag Research, Hoboken, NJ) supports erectile function and lipid profile in patients with diabetes mellitus. Erectile dysfunction may be considered an early diabetic complication because inflammation from the disease can result in vasoconstriction pathways and decreased nitric oxide availability in corpora cavernosa, resulting in ED. In the randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study, 53 patients with erectile dysfunction were divided into two groups (32 with diabetes and 21 without diabetes) each randomized to take either placebo or pine bark extract.
Results showed the pine bark extract significantly improved erectile function by 45% in the group with diabetes, compared to 22% in the non-diabetes group. Supplementation also lowered total cholesterol by 20%, LDL-cholesterol by 21%, and glycaemia by 22% in the diabetes group. The non-diabetes group also showed significant, but lower reductions in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol of 9% and 14%, respectively, but no significant reductions in glycaemia.
“Our results indicate that patients with erectile dysfunction and diabetes mellitus are more sensitive to the positive effect of Pycnogenol compared to non-diabetes mellitus erectile dysfunction patients,” state the authors. “In our recent work, we found elevated [levels of the] marker of endothelial dysfunction, endoglin, in our patients with diabetes mellitus compared to non-diabetes mellitus patients at the baseline, which positively correlated with glucose level. Pycnogenol decreased glucose levels in diabetes mellitus patients, and decreased glucose levels correlated with decreased endoglin.”
1. Trebaticky B et al. “Natural polyphenols improve erectile function and lipid profile in patients suffering from erectile dysfunction.” Bratislava Medical Journal, vol. 120, no. 12 (2019): 941-944