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Yohimbe is a tree bark containing a variety of pharmacologically active chemicals. It is marketed in a number of products for body building and "enhanced male performance."
Serious adverse effects, including renal failure, seizures and death, have been reported to FDA with products containing yohimbe and are currently under investigation. Food and Drug Administration
Yohimbine is also a prescription drug in the United States. Side effects are well recognized and may include central nervous system stimulation that causes anxiety attacks.
At high doses, yohimbine is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor. MAO inhibitors can cause serious adverse effects when taken concomitantly with tyramine-containing foods (e.g., liver, cheeses, red wine) or with over-the-counter (OTC) products containing phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants and diet aids.
Individuals taking yohimbe should be warned to rigorously avoid these foods and
OTC products because of the increased likelihood of adverse effects.
Symptoms of over dosage include weakness and nervous stimulation followed by
paralysis, fatigue, stomach disorders, and ultimately death.
Yohimbine from yohimbe bark can produce significant side effects even in
moderate to small amounts, especially if taken over a long period of time.
Being an MAO inhibitor, yohimbe should not be taken with any food or drink that contain high amounts of tyramine (all wines, beer and ale; cheese, products made with large amount of yeast, salami, sausage, bologna, pepperoni, pickled herring, meat extracts, chicken liver, salted dried fish, avocado, tomato, green bean pods, eggplant, Italian broad beans, banana, red plums, oranges, figs, raisins, soy sauce, bouillon cubes, soya, stored beef) and particularly not with the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine.
A rise in blood pressure can result from the body not being able to remove the
tyramines from these foods. Learn more about Yohimbe.
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