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Pine Bark Extract plus L-arginine Combo Effective for Improvement of Erectile Function


[The Hardness Factor | Study Results | References]

The Hardness Factor by Steven Lamm, MD

Newly published study results, as detailed in The Hardness Factor, by Steven Lamm, MD, show a combination of L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract to be effective for the improvement of erectile function. The book, The Hardness Factor, arrived in bookstores May 31, 2005.

L-Arginine is an amino acid that plays an important role in nitric oxide mechanisms in the body, and Pycnogenol®, is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of French Maritime pine trees that expands and supports healthy blood vessels. Research in The Hardness Factor shows that this combination helps protect, restore and sustain blood flow to the genital area, naturally enhancing erections and the body’s sexual response.

As detailed in Dr. Lamm’s The Hardness Factor, thirty-seven men with milder forms of erectile dysfunction were given L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract supplements for six weeks. At the end of the evaluation period, 81 percent stated that treatment with the dietary supplement improved their ability to engage in sexual activity and 73 percent reported that supplementation made it easier to initiate an erection.

More than 70 percent stated that supplementation made it easier to sustain an erection. Study results were also reflected in a defined and measured improvement showing higher penile rigidity through use of a digital inflection rigidometry (DIR) designed specifically and gently to measure the hardness of an erection. Overall, no side effects were reported and all men tolerated the supplements very well.

“This study confirms previous data showing a combination of Pycnogenol and L-Arginine to be effective in restoring healthy male sexual function. As outlined in my book, study results show that a combination of L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract is particularly effective in aging men from 30 years of age and older who are experiencing the first signs of reduced sexual performance,” said Dr. Lamm, who is also Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University Medical School. “These supplements are a scientifically supported natural alternative that can help men achieve greater erectile quality, and restore sexual function permanently during supplementation.”

Clinical studies conducted in the United States and Europe homogeneously demonstrated that male sexual function was permanently restored during supplementation with the combination of L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract. Study participants said the supplement combination helped them recapture their sexual pleasure and passion. The supplement was preferred by many study participants as a natural alternative to improve erectile quality, minus the side effects and time-limitations of prescription medications.

“While prescription medication is a treatment for advanced sexual dysfunction, L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract are all-natural and become part of your diet like any vitamin or health supplement. These supplements are a safe and effective long-term solution for men who wish to compensate for early signs of flawed sexual performances and regain spontaneous sexual arousal,” said Dr. Lamm. “During regular supplementation, healthy production of nitric oxide is permanently restored, thus allowing men to enjoy a more fulfilling sex life.”

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Study Results

The main characteristics of erectile response of patients who experienced restored erectile function are the time until erection developed in response to spontaneous sexual stimulation and the duration of the erection.  These results were demonstrated in the 1993 study of 40 men published by Stanislavov and Nikolova of the Medical University of Sophia (Bulgaria).  The men chosen for the study had an inability to achieve an adequate erection.  Men with organic causes for erectile dysfunction were excluded from the study.

In the first month, the men, aged 25 to 45 years old, received 3 g/day of L-Arginine.  In the 2nd month, these men received 3 g/day of L-Arginine plus 80 mg/day of Pycnogenol® Pine Bark Extract.  In the third month, they continued to receive 3 g/day of L-Arginine and their dosage of Pycnogenol® was increased to 120 mg/day. 

In the first month, 2 men (5%) experienced normal erections.  In the second month, 32 men (80%) experienced normal erections. In the third month, 37 men (92.5%) experienced normal erections which lasted a mean time of 15 minutes. 

  Baseline 1 Month 2 Months 3 Months

(out of 40)

0 (0%)

2 (5%)

32 (80%)

37 (92.5%)

Time until response (Mean)


10 +/- 2 min

4 +/- 1 min

2 +/- 1 min

Duration (Mean time)


2 +/- 1 min

4 +/- 1 min

15 +/- 3 min

No side effects were noted, and no hyper-stimulation was observed. 

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  1. Stanislavov R, Nikolova V. Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine. J Sex Marital Ther. 2003 May-Jun;29(3):207-13.

  2. Lamm, Steven MD. The Hardness Factor. HarperCollins, 2005.

  3. Lamm S, Schonlau F, Rohdewald P. Prelox® for Improvement of Erectile Function: A Review; Eur Bul Drug Res; 11(3)2003.

  4. Moody JA, Vernet D, Laidlaw S, Rajfer J, Gonzalez-Cadavid NF. Effects of long-term oral administration of L-arginine on the rat erectile response. J Urol. 1997 Sep;158(3 Pt 1):942-7.

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