Arginine supplements effective for erectile dysfunction
Arginine supplements appear to be an effective intervention for mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction (ED), a recent meta-analysis has shown.
Applying the selection criteria resulted in 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) eligible for inclusion, corresponding to 540 patients with ED. All studies investigated the efficacy of arginine either alone or in combination with yohimbine, pycnogenol, ornithine or adenosine monophosphate. Treatment durations were at least 2 weeks.
Pooled analysis of six studies (n=309) showed that arginine supplements led to a significantly greater improvement in ED than placebo or no treatment (odds ratio [OR], 5.73; 95 percent CI, 2.02–16.23; p=0.0001). The effect remained significant even when arginine was taken alone (OR, 3.37; 1.28–8.77; p=0.01) or in combination with other supplements (OR, 18.93; 1.62–212.21; p=0.02).
In terms of secondary outcomes, researchers reported a significant improvement in the overall satisfaction scores in the International Index of Erectile Function associated with arginine use (weighted mean difference [WMD], 0.57; 0.30–0.84; p<0.0001), either alone (WMD, 0.37; 0.07–0.68; p=0.02) or in combination with other supplements (WMD, 1.22; 0.65–1.79; p<00001).
Similarly, significant improvements with arginine use were observed for orgasmic function (WMD, 1.02; 0.29–1.74; p=0.0060), erectile function (WMD, 4.39; 0.75–8.02; p=0.02) and intercourse satisfaction (WMD, 1.07; 0.32–1.83; p=0.005), but not for sexual desire (WMD, 0.63; –0.42 to 1.68; p=0.24).
Adverse events occurred in 8.3 percent of patients taking arginine and in 2.4 percent of those who received placebo. Common adverse events included headache, itching and insomnia. No severe adverse events were reported.