There is an often confusion among nutritional supplements users when it comes to speaking of yohimbe and yohimbine. There are 2 kinds on the market - yohimbine hydrochloride (yohimbine HCL) and yohimbe bark.
Both are used in medicine and among sports enthusiasts. In this article, however, we will not discuss their properties. We will focus on the differences between the two types. Yohimbine is a substance, which is contained in the bark of some African and Asian trees.
It has become one of the most effective, if not the most effective, supplements for fat burning. Yohimbine is known as an aphrodisiac, stimulant, energy agent, but there is little information about its interaction with human hormones.
One such interaction may be essential for the yohimbine effectiveness as a nutritional supplement. Therefore, in the following lines, we will talk about what science says about the relationship between yohimbine and insulin.
Insulin is a peptide hormone, which is secreted by the pancreas in order to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It improves the absorption of blood glucose by the skeletal muscles and fat tissues.
Yohimbine, as an individual extracted alkaloid, can be most commonly found as hydrochloride (Yohimbine HCL). Practically speaking, yohimbine and yohimbine hydrochloride is the same thing. The Yohimbine HCL form is just more stable, soluble and absorbable and is often used in pharmaceuticals.
The first advantage of yohimbine is the fact that most people feel little side effects. Yohimbe has been used for years and beyond clinical practice by some African tribes as an aphrodisiac, as a hallucinogen, and in cases with impotence problems.
Basically, yoimbine bark and yohimbine HCL both products share common properties, but when it comes to erectile dysfunction - the yohimbe bark is considered the more effective option.
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What Is Yohimbe Bark?
As the name suggests, products that contain yohimbe bark may have it in the form of powder from bark of crushed branches and trunks, or in the form of yohimbe extract. The extract is the common option.
Unlike hydrochloride (HCL), the bark contains much more alkaloids, including the yohimbine alkaloid, which is considered the most potent and effective one. The concentration of all alkaloids in the bark is about 6%, as 10-15% of that content is yohimbine.
Yohimbe has been used for years and beyond clinical practice by some African tribes as an aphrodisiac, as a hallucinogen, and in cases with impotence problems. Basically, both products share common properties, but when it comes to erectile dysfunction- the yohimbe bark is considered the more effective option.
Yohimbe contains the corynanthine alkaloid, which is the alpha-1 adrenoceptors blocker. In contrast, Yohimbine is just the alpha-2 adrenoceptors blocker.
While the individual blocking of both alpha-adrenoceptors might affect erection, it is believed that the alpha-1 adrenoceptors are more powerful and the best overall effect of their blocking can be actually achieved by the yohimbe bark. There are some problems, however, in the bark of yohimbe.
Although this problem varies in different people, most people, that have taken yohimbe bark, complain from severe side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, erythema, skin rash, nausea, fatigue and others.
Yohimbine has the same side effects, but fewer people have a problem with it. The problem with the bark is supposed to be due to other alkaloids therein. Another problem arises from the fact that concentrations of alkaloids vary greatly including yohimbine.
If the product is made of the crushed tree roots - its power depends on how old that tree is, as the concentrations of alkaloids increase over time. If the product is an extract, its power depends on the method of extraction, but it is believed that it cannot contain more than 6-7%of the total alkaloids.
An earlier study from 1995 showed that the vast majority of products on the market of yohimbe extract contained very low concentrations of alkaloids. Yohimbine was almost absent.
Whether that is true –we don’t know even today. But if you buy bark extract, at least read the label in order to see if this is standardized yohimbine and what is the percentage therein.
What Is Yohimbine?
Yohimbine, as an individual extracted alkaloid, can be most commonly found as hydrochloride (Yohimbine HCL). Practically speaking, yohimbine and yohimbine hydrochloride is the same thing.
The Yohimbine HCL form is just more stable, soluble and absorbable and is often used in pharmaceuticals. As mentioned above, many years ago some African tribes used the tree and its bark.
With the progress of science, however, people found that the main effect of the tree is due to its alkaloid - yohimbine. In general, all researches on the effectiveness were carried out with the yohimbine alkaloid, not the bark extract.
The first advantage of yohimbine is the fact that most people feel little side effects. Second, since it is sold in a dosage of up to 3.5 mg in a capsule, the dosage it is more flexible and more easily adapted according to the tolerance of the recipient.
Last but not least, yohimbine is considered the most potent alkaloid and is a strong alpha-2-adrenoceptors blocker, because that is a popular supplement among people that want to reduce body weight and body fat.
Yohimbine and Its Intake on an Empty Stomach
Have you ever wondered why people recommend thermogenic fat burners, yohimbine hcl, in particular, to be taken on an empty stomach? This is not just a gimmick, but an approach that is essential to the effectiveness of many thermogenic supplements.
Studies on humans have shown that yohimbine hcl, taken on an empty stomach, enhances the lipolysis and does not affect the blood sugar levels and the insulin secretion.
This has been confirmed in other studies and the conclusion is that the intake on an empty stomach provides maximum efficiency of yohimbine as a fat burner. On the other hand, the biomarkers for fat loss (increased glycerol and NEFA) decrease drastically if yohimbine is combined with a diet rich in proteins and carbohydrates.
This is partly explained by the fact that yohimbine has a synergistic effect with physical exercises in terms of lipolysis, as the intake of nutrients during exercise blocks the fat burning processes.
How Does the Insulin Secretion Affect Yohimbine?
Insulin alone does not directly inhibit the absorption or the effect of yohimbine. The secretion of insulin with the intake of carbohydrates directly inhibits the lipolysis, through which yohimbine exert its action, whether combined with exercises or not.
Yohimbine stimulates the fat burning mainly through the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "active" body mode. Insulin inhibits the action of the sympathetic nervous system and it respectively blocks the mechanism of fat burning.
Insulin is the primary regulator of lipolysis and the lowering of its levels is needed for the optimal stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. The short explanation is that the carbohydrates intake suppresses the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and consequently the process of burning fat.
At low levels of insulin, yohimbine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to the maximum by enhancing the lipolysis.
Do not forget that the sympathetic nervous system is associated with increased energy levels, increased stamina, improved concentration, and mental attitude. These factors improve the quality of training, which is an indirect cause for more burned fat.
How Does Yohimbine Affect the Pancreas Function?
It has been found that yohimbine, when to be added to food, enhances the insulin secretion by the pancreatic cells when the process is induced by glucose administration. However, the same effect does not occur when yohimbine is taken on an empty stomach.
In vitro studies on pancreatic cells have reached the conclusion that the alpha-adrenergic receptors stimulate adrenaline to suppress the secretion of insulin with the intake of carbohydrates.
The same results are confirmed by tests on dogs. The use of 3.3 mg of yohimbine HCL/kg on dogs not only stimulates the insulin secretion but also enhances the release and the pancreatic hormone somatostatin and glucagon.
The mechanism is associated first with the blocking of the α2 receptor, as another possible mechanism associated with the central nervous system is also mentioned.
At this stage studies in rats have shown promising results, according to which the intake of 2.5 mg yohimbine HCL/kg of body weight enhances the serum insulin levels and the blood flow to the pancreas and in diabetic animals.
Such an effect does not occur in healthy rats. It is interesting to note that yohimbine also increases the plasma levels of the hormone leptin, which is directly related to the carbohydrate metabolism.
How to Take Yohimbine HCL and Yohimbe Bark?
Dosages of 0.2mg/kg bodyweight have been successfully used to increase fat burning without significant implications on cardiovascular parameters like heart rate and blood pressure.
This results in a dosage of:
Supplementation is most effective between meals or during short term fasting. If the target is a maximum fat loss, then it is advisable to consume yohimbine on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning after getting up before training. The evening intake is not recommended.
When the intake on an empty stomach is impossible, then you can resort to an unproven hypothesis, according to which yohimbine can cause lipolysis, if taken with a few fats and proteins, because carbohydrates and large amounts of proteins induce the insulin secretion.
Possible Side Effects:
Yohimbe has been linked to reports of severe side effects including irregular or rapid heart beat, kidney failure, seizure, heart attack, and others.
When taken by mouth in typical doses, yohimbe and the ingredient yohimbine can cause stomach upset, excitation, tremor, sleep problems, anxiety or agitation, high blood pressure, a racing heartbeat, dizziness, stomach problems, drooling, sinus pain, irritability, headache, frequent urination, bloating, rash, nausea, and vomiting.
What to Do According to Our Diet?
In high-fat diets, there should not be a case with the intake of yohimbine. If you are on a high-protein diet, you are recommended to take yohimbine on an empty stomach or at meals with less protein.
In the case of high-carb diet, the intake on an empty stomach is mandatory. When the diet is evenly balanced, consumers have more opportunities because yohimbine could be taken on an empty stomach or with meals with little carbohydrates or without any.
If the objective is improving the insulin secretion, then it is recommended that yohimbine is taken with food, rich in carbohydrates.
Yohimbe bark and Yohimbine are the two popular forms of this supplement, which you will encounter in the market.
While both substances have the same properties –the effect of the bark is attributed mainly to yohimbine, and there is this popular idea is that bark extract is suitable for combating erectile dysfunction and increasing libido.
Yohimbe bark is unfortunately not suitable for most individuals and that is why people choose yohimbine HCL.
It is preferred mostly for losing weight and reducing body fat. It is also recommended for erectile problems. Depending on what your goals are, you can select the appropriate option.
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