During my first weeks working in a community pharmacy, the senior pharmacist told me that some prescriptions are more likely than others to be filled at pharmacies in train stations and airports. It was in 1998, and he was talking about the new drug Viagra® (Sildenafil) that had recently stormed the market and often appeared in the press. Even though 15% of men worldwide suffer from decreased sexual function associated with ageing and occasional stress1, a stigma was still associated with the disorder. Fast forward 20 years and sexual health is talked about openly. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, as the number of people openly discussing sexual performance grew, so did the number of questionable products marketed to them.
Sexual disorders are highly prevalent and affects 43% of women and 31% of men worldwide2. It includes hypoactive sexual desire disorder, experienced by 30% of women and 15% of men and defined as persistent or recurring deficiency of sexual thoughts causing personal distress, as well as sexual arousal disorders. Sexual health significantly impacts the emotional health, intimate relationships and overall quality of life of men and women3.People are more likely than ever to raise the issue of sexual performance with their physicians. However, the risks and side effects of taking certain prescription medications mean that often these can not be prescribed or that the people prescribed them are reluctant to comply with treatment. These are only some of the reasons why there is much demand for a safe and effective non-medicinal alternative; a natural extract with which to support sexual response in men and women.
There is a long history of using plant-based remedies to treat sexual performance. However, information about the efficacy and safety of these natural ingredients often relies less on scientific evidence and more on anecdotal reports. The quality of the products in this market segment is inconsistent. Many of them, at best, do nothing for our sexual health. The bigger worry is that some products put us at risk because of the ingredients or questionable manufacturing practices used. Some products that claim to be natural and plant-based contain Sildenafil and other synthetic PDE inhibitors. The lacing of products is a dishonest practice that can be life-threatening as PDE inhibitors are contraindicated for certain groups of people with different diseases or health conditions4.
Three features are indispensable to ensure the efficacy and safety of plant-based ingredients and natural products: standardization of bioactive compounds, a defined mechanism of action, and scientific evidence proving efficacy. Furthermore, in the case of plant extracts and botanicals, branded ingredients offer certain advantages:
- They are trademarked and registered to a standard dose.
- A standardized dose ensures the efficacy they have been clinically proven to provide.
- Manufacturers ensure that every batch is produced using the same controlled process.
Liboost™ is a branded damiana extract (Turnera diffusa) standardized to ≥1.5% bioflavonoids and to a pool of three biomolecules supporting sexual response.5 Damiana extracts are amongst the most adulterated botanical ingredients, typically enriched with other, sometimes illegal substances. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 95% of adulterated supplements are products targeting sexual enhancement6. Liboost’s™ standardization ensures the product’s homogeneity and purity. The leaves of the damiana plant were used in traditional medicine dating back to the ancient Maya as an aphrodisiac and to strengthen and stimulate sexual function. Scientific evidence supports these claims for the pure and branded damiana extract Liboost™ at the low dose of 300 mg per day.
A four-week consumer study conducted with 60 healthy participants, divided evenly between men and women and aged between 25 and 60, assessed the effects of Liboost™ in improving pre-defined parameters of sexual health. Participants were in stable relationships and completed both unisex and single-sex validated questionnaires to measure changes in sexual indices at baseline and weekly intervals for four weeks after taking 300 mg of Liboost™ daily and as directed. The three questionnaires used (Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI), International Index of Erectile Function (IIFE), and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI)) explored parameters such as interest in behaving sexually with a partner or by oneself, orgasm, sexual and general satisfaction, desire and arousal, etc.
After four weeks of taking 300 mg daily of Liboost™, the IIFE score measuring parameters such as erection, orgasm, desire, satisfaction in sexual intercourse, and global satisfaction increased significantly by 40% (p=0,01). In the same timespan, the FSFI score measuring parameters such as desire, vaginal lubrication, frequency of sexual thoughts, satisfaction, orgasm and pain during sexual intercourse increased significantly by 92% (p=0,01). In addition to these impressive improvements in the scores for indices measuring sexual function, the participants stated the intention to continue taking Liboost™ after completion of the study.
- 83% of participants intended to purchase Liboost™ after taking it for four weeks
- 85% of participants would recommend Liboost™ to others
- 80% of participants felt the dosage was correct
There are several strategies for the treatment of sexual performance, including the use of compounds producing an increase of nitric oxide (NO) in endothelial cells and the use of inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) to ensure the maintenance of blood flow during sexual activity (“physical” strategies). Moreover, there are also hormonal strategies such as inhibiting aromatase activity which prevents testosterone degradation.7 Published in-vitro studies show that Liboost™ works on all three fronts inhibiting PDE-5 and aromatase activity and promoting NO release.8
The mechanism of action of Liboost™ is similar in men and women. In men, it increases circulation, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis. It also relaxes smooth muscles, which play a central role in improving sexual response and raising and maintaining testosterone levels. In female sexual dysfunction, the release of NO at the vaginal smooth muscle changes, resulting in less vaginal lubrication, a thickening of the vaginal wall and a smaller diameter of the vaginal opening, which all alter normal sexual activity13. A better understanding of female decreased sexual function is central to supporting women’s health and warrants further research. Pharmactive Biotech Products S.L.U is at the forefront of research in developing natural, plant-based products to effectively and safely support men and women’s emotional and physical well-being.
Mechanism of Action Liboost™
|Nitric Oxide (NO) Release||Luteolin-7-o-glucoside, may increase NO release in endothelial tissue of the male reproductive system, promoting vasodilatation. Several molecular pathways participate in NO release and libido arousal.||Luteolin-7-o-glucoside, may increase NO release, thereby promoting normal behaviour of the first stage of female sexual function to promote normal sexual activity.|
|PDE-5 Inhibition||Inhibition of an enzyme involved in the degradation of cGMP (PDE-5), which induces smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in penile erection.||Inhibition of an enzyme involved in the degradation of cGMP (PDE-5), which induces smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in vaginal smooth muscle relaxation erection.|
|Testosterone Level Increase||Apigenin-7-o-glucoside and acacetin, both contained in Liboost™, inhibit testosterone degradation as a result of anti-aromatase activity and maintain its levels for adequate erectile function 9-12.||Apigenin-7-o-glucoside and acacetin, both contained in Liboost™, inhibit testosterone degradation as a result of anti-aromatase activity and maintain its levels for adequate sexual desire 9-12.|
Liboost™ supports the promotion of sexual desire and libido and sexual arousal and relaxation without unwanted side effects and drug interactions. This branded water-soluble plant extract is non-GMO and non-irradiated. Each batch undergoes strenuous quality control tests to ensure homogeneity and purity. Liboost™ can readily be formulated in capsules and soft gels and used in several other application forms such as syrups, ampoules and “ready to drink” and “ready to mix” formulations.
- Ahmed A., et al. EMHJ. 2011; Vol.17 No. 7
- Rosen R. C. (2000). Prevalence and risk factors of sexual dysfunction in men and women. Current psychiatry reports, 2(3), 189–195.
- Proprietary consumer study, 2019: (2) Ahmed, A., et al. EMHJ2011, vol.17 No.7
- Gilard et al. 2015. J Pharm Biomed Anal, 102, 476-93
- Rakic, Z., Starcevic et al. (1997). Arch. of sexual behavior, 26(5), 495-504
- Almodóvar P (1), González-Hedström D (1, 2), Jarama I (1), Salamanca A (1), Espinel AE (1)
- Research and Development Dep’t, Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L, Madrid, Spain
- Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain)
- Almodóvar P., et al. Nutri Clin y Diet Hosp. 2018; 38(supl. 1): 77
- Chun Hu., et al. Mol Cell Biochem. 2004; 265:107;
- Zhao J., et al. Bioelectrochemistry. 2008; 72(2): 117-21
- Poster Almodovar P, et al. SEFIT Congress 2019
- Park H, Goldstein I. and Berman J.R. Int J of Impotence Research. 1998; 10: S84-S90
Dr. Natalie Vladi, MRPharmS.
Scientific Advisor Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L.
Managing Director Fountain House GmbH, home to the premium food supplements brand Foondiert®