Find Out How Much Icariin Equals Viagra

Icariin is an active compound found in the Epimedium genus, also known as horny goat weed. You’ve probably heard icariin has the potential to enhance erectile function and improve a man’s sexual performance.

Since many men consider icariin as the natural alternative for Viagra, it’s impossible not to wonder how much icariin equals Viagra, exactly? Scroll down to learn more about this subject.

How Icariin Works?

Icariin, which is available in natural products containing horny goat weed, has a simple and straightforward mechanism of action. Before we address how much icariin equals Viagra, it’s crucial to describe how this compound works in the first place.

Icariin works by inhibiting the activity of protein phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), an enzyme that negatively affects erectile function (1). You see, PDE5 impairs nitric oxide levels and cGMP. To achieve erection, nitric oxide, upon sexual stimulation, signals cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate).

The cGMP is a chemical that relaxes smooth muscles to improve blood flow throughout the body, including your genital area. Blood rushes to the penis fills out the chambers, and you get an erection.

When PDE5 interferes with nitric oxide and cGMP, the erectile function weakens. Icariin works to inhibit PDE5 from allowing you to improve the strength and rigidity of the erections. In turn, blood vessels dilate, and smooth muscles relax. The blood, then, fills the arteries and three chambers in the penis to give you a rock-hard erection.

In other words, icariin works just like Viagra.

How Much Icariin Equals Viagra?

To determine how icariin compares to Viagra, we need to discuss their potencies, i.e., the IC50 value. The term IC50 refers to the half-maximal inhibitory concentration that measures a drug’s effectiveness in inhibiting a certain biological function.

In other words, IC50 indicates how much of the drug is necessary to cut that process by half. Logically speaking, the smaller the value, the more potent is the medication.

Icariin has IC50 of 5.9µM (2), whereas sildenafil (Viagra) has IC50 of 74nM (3).

One µM (micromolar) is equal to 1000nM (nanomolar). This means that 590nM of icariin is necessary to achieve the effects of 74nM of sildenafil.

The natural form of icariin isn’t as powerful as Viagra. That being said, studies show that chemically modifying icariin can bring its IC50 value to 75nM (4). Keep in mind that IC50 values may vary from one study to another.

Although more research on this subject is necessary, it’s evident that icariin can have a similar potency as Viagra after chemical improvement. At this point, it’s not clear how much icariin equals Viagra in terms of standard dosage.

Does Icariin Work?

Finding out how much icariin equals Viagra requires getting a deep insight into its effectiveness. It’s impossible not to wonder if icariin is just as good as people are led to believe.

The current body of evidence confirms the effectiveness of icariin. One study discovered that purified extract of horny goat weed improved erectile function in rats (5). Scientists explained their study validated the use of this traditional treatment for erectile problems.

A different study found that icariin successfully inhibits PDE5. However, this research also showed that sildenafil was about 80 times more effective (2).

It’s also useful to mention that one study found the combination of icariin and daily sildenafil could be a candidate for the treatment of neurogenic ED in the future (6). The combination of icariin and daily sildenafil resulted in better erectile function and effectively preserved the penile size.

Is Icariin Safe?

Icariin is a natural compound. Like other natural substances, icariin is safe for consumption. Side effects are rare, but not impossible to occur. Keep in mind that there are no long-term toxicity studies in animals or humans about the safety profile of horny goat weed and its active compound (7).

Adverse reactions are rare, but when they do happen, they may include rapid heartbeat, nausea, sweating, and mood changes.

Instead of focusing on how much icariin equals Viagra and trying to top it, you need to prioritize healthy intake practices. The more isn’t always, the better. Always adhere to the dosage instructions that the manufacturer provided. Avoid taking too much of a product containing horny goat weed. Stick to regular doses.

Other Benefits of Icariin

While all men want to know how icariin is different than Viagra or how they compare, we shouldn’t forget other potential benefits of this compound.

Some potential benefits of horny goat weed and icariin include (8):

  • Anti-DNA damage effects
  • Bone growth and repair
  • Stress management and improved mood
  • Higher sex drive
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Brain health
  • Heart health
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lowering fatigue

Of course, more research is necessary to learn all the benefits and mechanisms of action of icariin. Although there is no specific answer on how much icariin for Viagra effects, it’s impossible to deny that unlike sildenafil, this natural compound has tons of health benefits worth exploring.

Conclusion

A growing body of evidence confirms the effectiveness of icariin in the improvement of erectile function.

However, it’s not clear how much icariin equals Viagra in a standard dose, as amounts vary from one study to another. This doesn’t mean you should take excessive amounts of horny goat weed supplements. Make sure your intake of icariin is an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle.

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