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Active Ingredients in Male Enhancement Supplements

Sexual pleasure can warm up a couple’s relationship and help maintain it. However, when life is stressful, work loads are heavy, or physical condition declines, sexual performance may not be as good as before.

If you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection during intercourse, you may want to consider talking to your healthcare provider to determine if erectile dysfunction (ED) is the cause.

Some shopping channels often boast about the functionality of male enhancement products, but do these products really have such magical effects? Or are they just illusions made by manufacturers?

We will sort out the ingredients of common male enhancement supplements and hope to help everyone clarify the misconceptions about these products.

Ingredients of Common Male Enhancement Supplements

Men usually play a role with high pressure. They are prone to lack of energy and fatigue under high pressure. At the same time, as they age, changes in hormone levels also have a negative impact on the body. Sexual health needs to be paid special attention.

There are a variety of ingredients in sexual health products sold on the market. The following lists several common ingredients and briefly emphasizes their usage and effectiveness.


Maca is native to the Andes Mountains in Peru, and for thousands of years, the maca root has been used by locals as a health tonic and nutritious root vegetable.


This plant-based supplement is often used to enhance sexual desire, but it is also used to help improve energy, endurance, athletic performance, memory, and enhance the immune system with antioxidants.

In terms of nutritional value, maca is rich in protein, amino acids, taurine, alkaloids, and especially contains special ingredients such as macaene and macaamide, which are considered to be one of the effective substances in maca extract that promote sexual function.

However, in terms of effect, rather than claiming that maca has an aphrodisiac effect, it is better to position it as a health product for nutritional supplements and maintaining physical strength.


Through extensive advertising, many people know that arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO), which can dilate blood vessels in the corpus cavernosum of the penis and improve male erectile function.

Oral L-arginine can release nitric oxide in the body, thereby improving male erectile function. And L-arginine is also one of the important components of sperm.

Therefore, if you want to increase the hardness of your erection, you can consider choosing a product containing arginine. However, when and how much you take has a great impact on the effect of arginine. You should consult a doctor to determine its dosage and safety.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the precursor substance of sex hormones. When taken orally, it can be converted into testosterone in the blood, thereby increasing physical strength and sexual desire.

This principle of action is similar to the animal testicle extract added to some male enhancement products, which enhance sexual performance by supplementing testosterone.

This type of ingredient is particularly suitable for groups with low testosterone concentrations. For example, after middle-aged and elderly men enter menopause, their physical strength and sexual desire decrease significantly, or due to endocrine disorders or the decrease in sex hormones (decreased testosterone levels) caused by specific drugs.

However, if you have a family history of prostate cancer, please do not buy and take DHEA on your own, but should seek advice from a specialist first.


This plant-based supplement is made from the roots and berries of the Indian ginseng plant, which is native to India and has a long history in Ayurveda.


In small studies, taking ashwagandha may improve sperm count, semen volume, and sperm motility in men with oligospermia, and increase serum testosterone, which may help with infertility.

However, it remains to be seen whether taking ashwagandha as an additional supplement will help men with normal semen quality. And its main effect is related to semen quality and quantity, and it does not help much with sexual desire or erection hardness.


In traditional medicine, epimedium is a common herb that is sometimes used in combination with other drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.


This is mainly because animal studies have shown that epimedium can inhibit the PDE5 enzyme, similar to the little blue pill.

So in theory it may help with erectile dysfunction, but there is still a lack of human research, and the actual effect needs more empirical confirmation.

Velvet Antler

Velvet Antler refers to the young antlers of male deer that have not yet ossified and are densely covered with villi. It is a very precious medicinal material in traditional Chinese medicine.

Velvet Antler

The nutrients of Velvet Antler mainly include phospholipids, glycolipids, gum lipids, hormones, fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, and substances such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium.

Among them, amino acids account for more than half of the total ingredients of Velvet Antler. Therefore, the rich amino acids and some hormones in Velvet Antler may indeed improve the condition of erectile dysfunction.

In view of the medicinal properties and price of Velvet Antler, it is recommended to use it under the guidance of professionals and avoid buying and using it at will, especially for people with inflammatory diseases.


The sulfide (H2S) in garlic has an effect similar to nitric oxide in promoting erectile function, but the mechanism of action is slightly different.

H2S mainly promotes the dilation of the corpus cavernosum blood vessels by directly opening potassium ion channels, while nitric oxide mainly produces its effect through the cGMP system (the mechanism of action of aphrodisiac drugs). However, human research related to garlic is very limited.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a plant native to the southeastern United States, and its fruit is used to make saw palmetto supplements.

This herb is a source of fatty acids and phytosterols and is one of the most commonly taken supplements by men with prostate issues.

Saw palmetto is most commonly used to help support prostate health, promote healthy urinary tract flow and frequency, and help maintain hormonal balance.


Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to human health. It acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells and is required for many processes in the body, including fertility, thyroid hormone metabolism, and DNA synthesis.

Selenium concentrations decline with age, and some studies have shown a correlation between selenium intake and prostate health. Selenium also helps maintain cardiovascular, thyroid, and immune health.


Boron is a trace mineral that plays an important role in metabolism, and researchers say it plays a significant role in the production and metabolism of sex hormones, including testosterone.

Boron can beneficially affect how the body uses testosterone and vitamin D, and it also plays a role in the absorption and use of calcium and magnesium. Studies show that sex hormones increase in both men and women after boron supplementation.


Zinc is an important coenzyme in the body, and zinc deficiency may affect the conversion and action of sex hormones.

In the case of low and deficient testosterone levels in the blood, moderate zinc supplementation can increase testosterone levels in the blood.

However, if the testosterone level in the blood is normal, additional zinc supplementation will not have any additional effect.

Zinc is closely related to the production and quality of sperm. However, studies have shown that zinc supplementation can only increase sperm count in men with low testosterone levels in their blood.

What You Need Most?

The reasons that often affect male sexual function include insufficient male hormones, poor blood circulation, poor physical strength, medication, or other factors.

Firstly, we need to understand our own reasons in order to supplement the corresponding nutrients based on the reasons.

  • Caused by decreased hormone secretion: The situation can be improved by moderate supplementation of male hormones or related health products.
  • Poor erection hardness: Usually related to blood circulation or nerve disorders (mostly the former), which can be improved by increasing exercise, supplementing arginine, antioxidants or medication prescribed by a doctor.
  • Excessive stress: If you feel tired and weak due to excessive work pressure, it is recommended to supplement with maca and B vitamins, and you need more rest and physical strength.
  • Drug-induced factors: It is recommended to consult relevant professionals or doctors for assistance.

Determine your needs.

  • Increase hardness: Consider supplementing with L-arginine.
  • Increase libido: Consider supplementing with DHEA and Velvet Antler.
  • Increase semen volume: Consider supplementing with zinc and ashwagandha.
  • Increase physical strength: Consider supplementing with maca.

Targeted supplementation can be provided for situations where a certain nutrient deficiency has already been identified. We can choose a product that is more suitable for ourselves through the nutrient composition table.

Be Careful of Illusory Traps

Sexual health products sold on the market often advertise that one product contains multiple ingredients, seemingly able to take care of all needs, but in fact, each health ingredient has a recommended effective dose.

For example, if you want to supplement arginine to improve the hardness of erectile function, the common recommended dose is about 4-5 grams (4,000-5,000 mg). But if you only take 500-1000 mg, the actual improvement effect is very limited.

Because the capacity of a product’s tablets or capsules is limited (too large is difficult to swallow). If a product adds too many ingredients, the content of each ingredient must be low.

Therefore, if a product contains many ingredients at the same time, you must pay attention to whether the content of each ingredient is clearly marked, otherwise you may face the dilemma of having everything but not enough.

Bottom Line

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem, and the incidence rate will increase with the age of men.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that nearly 50 types of male enhancement (not approved by the FDA) can be purchased through online markets, and these products contain hidden ingredients. 80% of these products contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The risks of taking male enhancement pills are high. Many male enhancement pills are not transparent about their ingredients. Taking pills with unknown ingredients can cause serious side effects, especially if they interact with other medications or supplements you’re taking.

Before trying any new supplements or herbs, you should consult a doctor to determine which ingredients are present and the potential effects they may have on you – especially when you are taking other medications.