Photographs of smiling couples, captured in an intimate embrace, gaze at you from your computer screen convincingly. Such are the marketing tactics for natural male enhancement products that proliferate the Internet and interrupt your late-night television programs. If the man in your life is eyeballing these products, you should know that not only are natural male enhancement pills unlikely to do what they claim; the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) says they could even be dangerous.
What’s In a Word
“Natural male enhancement” is a more genteel term for “penis enlargement.” If you are wondering if a pill has the potential to add to penis length or girth, Mayo Clinic doctors say neither is possible.
In fact, there’s no scientific evidence that suggests that the male penis can be enlarged through anything other than surgical techniques. This is a procedure that no reputable doctor would ever suggest, says the Mayo Clinic. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), natural male enhancement supplements have reduced something even more important, the amount of money in the male’s bank account.
The Enzyte Lawsuit
You may remember seeing “Smiling Bob” from the Enzyte television commercials that aired in the early 2000s. Bob’s blithe grin suggested that the marketing claims behind this particular natural male enhancement supplement were possible. Not only did Enzyte claim to add an astounding 3 inches to the male penis. Purportedly, this supplement made stronger, firmer erections possible and also treated erectile dysfunction. In a 2007 article published in “U.S. Pharmacist,” W. Steven Pray, Ph.D., from the Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s College of Pharmacy, writes that Enzyte contains a plethora of herbs and nutritional supplements, such as ginkgo, ginseng, zinc, niacin, maca root and saw palmetto, to name only a few. Thousands of customer complaints led the attorneys general in 18 states to file suit against the makers of Enzyte for deceptive advertising. The company’s legal woes culminated with the federal indictment of six key players by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2006.
The most important thing that you and the man in your life should know about natural male enhancement pills is that these are dietary supplements–not medicine. Being defined as such, they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat or cure any specific health condition. In other words, there’s no guarantee they work. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers some valuable tips for assessing natural male enhancement products. If it’s advertised as “natural” or “herbal,” give it a pass. No herbal remedy has been proven effective in treating male impotence. If you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy it, it won’t treat what ails you. If the product claims to be a “breakthrough treatment” or supported by scientific studies or a medical organization, double-check with your doctor.
FDA Warns of Danger
Natural male enhancement supplements have posed a big problem for the FDA, which has recalled many from the shelves. The NCCAM states that some dietary supplements advertised to treat erectile dysfunction contain “undeclared ingredients,” analogues to the ingredients in prescription drugs. These can be dangerous, precipitously lowering blood pressure and elevating cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Men with medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, should be warned that “all natural” doesn’t mean “perfectly safe.” NCCAM advises men who experience adverse reactions to natural male enhancement products to contact a doctor.
Penis enlargement pills are not the only product on the market. You can easily find other lotions, pumps, weights and exercises all designed to remedy–purportedly–a problem that can only be fixed with a doctor’s help, says the Mayo Clinic. The good news for the man in your life is that absent the consistent ability to perform, he probably has nothing to worry about. The average size of the male penis, when erect, is between 5 and 7 inches when erect and between 3 and 5 inches when flaccid. Few men have a micropenis, one that’s 3 inches long or shorter, when erect. Penis size remains a common concern for men, says the Mayo Clinic, which advises that men speak with a counselor, psychologist or even the family doctor for reassurance that they are indeed normal.
- cute couple image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com