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What are some natural substitutes for Viagra?

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Quick Answer

Acupuncture, L-arginine, Korean red ginseng and pomegranate juice are believed by some researchers to help alleviate erectile dysfunction, according to MedicineNet. Research on these alternatives have yielded a variety of results.

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Full Answer

Acupuncture has been used to treat male sexual problems for centuries, but there is minimal scientific evidence to support its use for erectile dysfunction. In 2009, South Korean scientists conducted a systematic review of studies on acupuncture for erectile dysfunction, but major design flaws were found in all of their studies. L-arginine occurs naturally in food and boosts the body's production of nitric oxide, a compound that facilitates erections by dilating blood vessels in the penis. There have been numerous studies that examine the effectiveness of L-arginine to treat erectile dysfunction, but they have yielded mixed results. A 1999 trial found that high doses of L-arginine can help improve sexual function, but only in men with abnormal nitric oxide metabolism. A 2003 study found that L-arginine combined with pine extract pycnogenol resulted in improved sexual function.

A 2002 study of 45 men found that Korean red ginseng helped alleviate symptoms of erectile dysfunction and brought enhanced penile tip rigidity, notes MedicineNet. Although it has yet to be proven, it is believed by some experts that ginseng promotes nitric oxide synthesis, resulting in stronger erections. A 2007 study showed that pomegranate juice might help with erectile dysfunction, but the study was small, and the researchers cited a need for further studies. Pomegranates have been proven to have many other health benefits as well, such as reducing risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.

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