Does Icariin Work?
Icariin as with any active plant compound is always questioned on its ability to actually work. Such skepticism is completely natural and so the following article sets-out to address once and for all, the question of Does icariin work?
The very simple answer to this question is YES icariin does work, moreover it works extremely well, however to what extent really depends upon the 'quality' of the icariin supplement you buy and this encompasses various different factors (we will go into this further below), however next on the agenda is to break down for you exactly HOW it is that icariin works.
How Does Icariin Work Exactly?
Icariin is an active flavonol compound that is present in all members of the Epimedium plant species. It displays many different activities within the body, many of which have already been discovered and many of which are still being discovered as we speak. The following article will discuss the two most prevalent beneficial activities in which icariin exerts on the human body, these being:
- Improved Nitric Oxide Signaling.
- Increased levels of 'Free' Circulating Testosterone hormones.
These two beneficial activities of icariin flavonols are the most prestigious scientific reasons as to how Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium) gained its reputation as a traditional herbal aphrodisiac remedy in the Far East.
Improved Nitric Oxide Signaling From Taking Icariin
Nitric Oxide is a very important naturally occurring gas molecule in the human body, it is responsible for various different functions and one of those functions is instructing the body to send blood to different places when required. Without the correct amount of Nitric Oxide signaling the body simply cannot correctly deliver the appropriate amount of blood to the place required. Nitric Oxide diffuses to the smooth muscles of the arteries allowing them to dilate and then deliver blood to the penis.
Nitric Oxide signaling is something that can often fail to occur to its required extent. Such failure as this can be due to various factors be it; age, stress, natural changes in chemical balance, diet etc. The fact is that in 90% of cases, erectile dysfunction is actually caused by a deficiency in Nitric Oxide signaling.
Icariin when taken daily over an extended period is an extremely powerful booster of Nitric Oxide signaling activity within the body. Taking icariin can improve Nitric Oxide production enormously and this is precisely why icariin is known as the best natural remedy for the symptoms associated with erectile dysfunction. Not only is icariin very effective, but is also far less harmful when compared to the prescription medicine options, which will often exhibit a nasty array of side effects some of which can be very obviously visible to ones sexual partner. If you suffer from male impotence and want a powerful natural remedy, then icariin contained within Horny Goat Weed extract is the number #1 choice of treatment.
Increased Levels of 'Free' Circulating Testosterone Hormones From Taking Icariin
Testosterone levels begin to decline in the late third or early fourth decade of a person life and diminish at a constant rate thereafter. Steeper declines occur with free (unbound) testosterone hormones. Such lowering testosterone levels are a major risk factor for a multitude of metabolic and mental health conditions.
'Free testosterone' is the only form of the T-hormones that actually binds to androgen receptors, resulting in both anabolic and androgenic beneficial effects. This androgen binding then activates a formidable flow of biological mechanisms for protein synthesis, tissue growth, increased bone density and muscle strength, hence why bodybuilders and other athletes hold great importance towards T-levels. Free testosterone not only affects bones and muscles but also has a huge influence on male sex drive levels, prostate and sperm health, therefore free testosterone is a very crucial hormone for men hence maintaining and increasing free testosterone levels is always top of the list for men wishing to stay strong and sexually active.
Icariin not only increases the levels of 'free testosterone' hormones but it also increases the binding of those hormones to androgen receptors by up to 90%. This enormous beneficial factor of taking icariin explains why it has become so popular amongst men both from a sexual health perspective and a sporting/athletic performance perspective.
What Benefits Does Icariin Have To Offer?
Taking a good quality icariin supplement will work to enable you to acquire the following benefits:
- Sexual Health (including increased sex drive, regained erectile function, improved prostate health/sperm production)
- Athletic Health (including increased strength, increased muscle mass, increased stamina, increased mental drive, improved overall performance)
- Bone Health (including improved bone repair, improved levels of bone density, reduction of the symptoms associated with osteoporosis and arthritis)
- Mental Health (including reduced anxiety, reduced stress, anti-depressant properties, improved memory function, reduction of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease)
Does Icariin Work For Both Men & Women?
It's all well and good to say that really icariin works and to outline what benefits it can offer a person, however it's equally as important to know whether or not icariin works for both men and for women.
Icariin is well established as being beneficial for men however less people realize that icariin also works wonders for women too. For women icariin offers exactly the same amount of benefits as those given in the bullet point list above, however with regards to 'Sexual Health' icariin is obviously going to offer different benefits than those of a man. From taking a Horny Goat Weed supplement with a high icariin content, women can benefit from both increased libido and better quality orgasms.
Women do not usually require the same milligram dosage per day of icariin that men require, meaning that taking too much is not harmful but rather it would be unnecessary therefore a waste of extract. This of course however depends on the percentage of icariin in which the Horny Goat Weed supplement you are taking, contains. We will shall cover icariin quality and percentage more below but as a simple example: if the supplement you (as a woman) are taking contains only 10% icariin then a woman would be expected to take the full dosage per day as 10% icariin is not very potent. However if for example the Horny Goat Weed supplement you are taking contains 60% icariin, then as woman you could benefit equally from taking less of the daily recommended number of capsules than specified for male adults. You as a woman can of course take the full daily dose of even a potent 60% icariin supplement however as outlined, it may simply not be necessary - a worthwhile 'money saving tip' for the female variety!
What Is Quality With Regards To Icariin?
If you refer back to the first section of this article you will recall that we mentioned that the extent to which icariin works depends entirely upon the 'quality' of the icariin supplement you buy, well this vital facet is what we will now be covering for you.
When we use the term 'quality' in respect of icariin flavonols we are referring to the factors which determine how well a Horny Goat Weed extract will work in relation to the effectiveness of the icariin flavonols contained within the extract. This 'quality' factor not only encompasses the 'amount' of icariin flavonols contained within the Horny Goat Weed extract, but also the 'grade' of said icariin flavonols:
Amount of Icariin
Herbal remedy manufacturers can extract Horny Goat Weed plants down to contain as little as 10% icariin flavonols right up to 98% of icariin flavonols. On this percent scale it would appear obvious to assume that a 98% icariin Horny Goat Weed extract will be the most effective, after all it contains the most icariin flavonols right, while it is true that a 98% icariin Horny Goat Weed extract by logic contains more flavonols than any lower percentage extract it is not the most effective extract.
The explanation as to why a 98% icariin Horny Goat Weed extract is less effective than extracts of a lower icariin percentage is the result of something referred to 'active flavonol destruction from over-extraction', meaning when you take a natural plant matter such is the Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) plant and extract it in order to purify it down to contain a specific active element you are essentially stripping the the plants composition of it's original constituents and the downside to this is that if you strip out too much of the plants original constituents, you can actually end up damaging the active elements to the point of rendering them inactive.
Horny Goat Weed can be extracted down to contain a maximum of 60% icariin i.e. whereby to leave all the active flavonols in a 100% active state. From the 70% icariin percent extraction upwards the active icariin flavonols start to become inactive, as the balance of remaining plant part constituents is no longer support the activity of the flavonols. The higher the percentage of extraction above the 70% purity mark, the less remaining active flavonols there will be in the Horny Goat Weed extract so for example an 80% icariin extract may contain the same amount of active flavonols as a 40% icariin extract and a 98% icariin extract may contain the same active flavonols as a 10% to 20% icariin Horny Goat Weed product.
For this very reason, most retailers will stick to selling Horny Goat Weed extracts within 10% to 60% icariin extract range, as they know that they are retailing a standardized extract that both guarantees the active icariin percentage to consumers and essentially speaking, works the best.
Grade of Icariin
When it comes to the grade of icariin it is fairly cut and dry because there are basically two different grades of icariin. Although having just said that this factor is cut and dry, there is one tricky aspect about telling the two different icariin grades apart and that is because to the average consumer of Horny Goat Weed the grade of icariin isn't made glaringly obvious and consequently the majority of consumers are completely oblivious to this factor at all.
The reason for this lack of awareness to the two different grades of icariin is due to the difference being noted solely by the word icariin being in singular form or plural form i.e. icariin or icariins. For the average consumer this is not immediately noticeable when scanning a product packaging or product detail on a website and so many consumers get caught out buying a product which they think is high grade yet has a cheap price tag, when in fact it is a low grade product with an appropriately cheap price tag.
Icariin (singular form of the word) is the best grade of Horny Goat Weed extract, meaning that a percentage of 'icariin' refers to the actual percentage of icariin flavonols contained within the finished plant extract. Icariins (plural form of the word) refers a far inferior grade of Horny Goat Weed extract because 'icariins' refers to the percentage of the plant matter which contains a percentage of icariin flavonols, confusing right? Well here is an example to clarify:
Lets say that the Horny Goat Weed product states that it contains 50% icariins, this means that the extract within the product contains 50% worth of plant matter that contains icariin flavonols while the other 50% of the plant matter actually contains zero icariin flavonols. The 50% plant matter that does contain icariins will normally only contain a very small percentage of actual active icariin flavonols, therefore the product would be far less effective than that of a product in which 100% of the plant matter contains say 10% icariin flavonols i.e. a 10% icariin (singular form of the word) Horny Goat Weed product.
The reason as to why we stated earlier that the 'grade' aspect of buying icariin is very cut and dry, is because the concrete rule is simply to avoid any Horny Goat Weed extracts which are formulated from icariins.
Which Quality of Icariin Works Best?
So we know that icariin does actually work and it's now time to look at the quality/percentage of icariin that works best. Based on the above icariin 'quality' factors the most effective percentage of icariin which will work the best in terms of the various health benefits bullet-pointed above is a 60% icariin Horny Goat Weed extract. Not that everyone needs an extract as effective as a 60% icariin quality of extract, for example some people may only suffer from a small loss of libido and hence 60% icariin could be overkill for a subtle boost in sex drive. However, should you feel very noticeable declines in health related to one or more of the beneficial areas bullet-pointed above then a 60% icariin Horny Goat Weed extract would definitely be the way to go.
To find our more about how 60% icariin works and how you can benefit from such a high grade of Horny Goat Weed extract, please click the following link:
ICARIIN - How It Can Help You