Look, we get it — every guy wants sex to be better. But the colorful world of semi-legal “supplements” and sexual stimulants can expose users to a variety of harmful side effects, and some countries are starting to crack down.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (similar to the U.S.’s FDA), recently issued a strong warning against a supplement called Semenax, which claims to be “clinically proven to take your orgasm to new levels of awesome” by “increasing semen volume and intensity.” Or at least that’s what sites advertising the pills say it does. But the supplement is much riskier than its copy would have you believe.
Semenax’s main active ingredient is a drug called Yohimbine, a compound made from the bark of the African Yohimbe tree, and it’s outright banned in several countries. Yohimbine is an alpha-blocker, or a drug that dilates blood vessels. The drug’s properties mean that it can definitely affect your erection and many supplement makers claim that Yohimbine has aphrodisiac effects
In the U.S., it’s illegal to market Yohimbine drug as a sexual performance supplement without FDA approval, but the substance is available as a prescription for treating erectile dysfunction (provided you speak to a doctor about its risks and benefits first). Many supplement makers also put a natural form of the substance — usually a powder of ground up yohimbe tree bark, which contains the drug in inconsistent amounts — in weight loss or pre-workout supplements. Outside of that, and the sketchy capsules promising to make you cum with the power of 12 men, it’s typically used as a stimulant to wake up dogs who have been put under anesthesia.
Yohimbine is also capable of inducing some seriously dangerous side effects when used in conjunction with other common drugs. On its own, that’s not necessarily disastrous — although it can cause high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, tremors and more — but combined with other alpha-blockers like Viagra, or some forms of anti-depressants, its risk becomes more severe.
NSF International, an independent body based in the U.S. that tests and certifies supplements that aren’t harmful to consumers, listed yohimbine as number one on its list of the top 10 ingredients to avoid in supplements.
“When it comes to supplements, you can’t always trust what’s on the label,” John Travis, a Senior Research Scientist at NSF International, told Men’s Health. That’s why it’s so important for consumers to look for products that have been independently tested and certified by NSF International or another accredited certifying body.”
In Australia, the TGA is concerned that consumers are buying the pills online, which is technically illegal in that country.
“Consumers are advised that Yohimbine is considered to be a prescription-only substance and prohibited import into Australia,” the agency said in a statement. “Semenax capsules have not been assessed by the TGA for quality, safety or efficacy as required under Australian legislation, and the place of manufacture is not approved by the TGA.”
(If you want to cut out supplements entirely, try these natural foods that provide many of the same benefits.)
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But that hasn’t stopped dozens of websites from aggressively marketing the pills. A short search for “semenax pills” brings up dozens of results and testimonials for the product, littered with promises to “increase your load” and give you “raging erections.” Pills marketed online are shipped pretty much anywhere, which is often illegal but difficult to police.
“This is truly a global issue that affects manufacturers, retailers and consumers around the world,” Travis says. “Most supplement manufacturers are committed to ensuring quality and safety, but there are a few irresponsible and unscrupulous companies out there and their actions can put consumers’ health at risk.”
If you want actionable sex tips that don’t involve taking veterinary stimulants, try these tips for lasting longer in bed.
Source: Men’s Health