Animal Researchfont-size: 18pt;">Legendary African aphrodisiac might help fat-burning, but risks seem to outweigh its benefits.
Though it’s most widely known as a traditional herbal for sex enhancement, Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe) has also shown some promise as a weight loss supplement. In this area of wellness, Yohimbe is believed to work by:
- Increasing heat generation (thermogenesis) by stimulating sympathetic nervous system
- Boosting the breakdown of fat (lipolysis) by blocking certain receptors found in fat cells
- Raising the blood concentration of fat-burning hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine
Overviewem>Pausinystalia johimbe, known popularly as yohimbe, is an evergreen tree species found in central and western Africa. The bark of the tree contains the active ingredient yohimbine, which has been used primarily as an aphrodisiac in traditional African medicine.1
Most popularly, yohimbe is used to help erectile dysfunction, sexual side-effects from taking SSRIs, and general sex-related problems.
While its effectiveness for sexual issues is supported by numerous studies, Yohimbe is also now being investigated as a potential fat burner. Let’s check out Yohimbe’s possibilities for healthy weight management.
Yohimbe’s Fat-Burning Bio-Activitiesones norepinephrine and epinephrine play an important role in the breakdown and storage of fat in the human body. When they bind with alpha-2 adrenoceptor sites found in fat cells, these hormones slow the breakdown of fat. When bound to beta receptors, they seem to have the opposite effect, working to accelerate the breakdown of fat.2.
Yohimbine (the active ingredient in Yohimbe) is classified as an alpha-2 antagonist: A substance that inhibits alpha-2 receptors.
- By blocking alpha-2 receptors from binding to norepinephrine and epinephrine, and increasing the amount of these hormones that can bind to beta receptors, yohimbine is believed to promote fat breakdown (lipolysis).
Plus, yohimbine also appears to increase the body’s production of heat (thermogenesis), which may further assist with fat loss. Researchers have attributed this effect to increased stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
It is also possible that yohimbine suppresses appetite. Evidence of this benefit was found in rat research, but no human studies have been performed as of yet.3