Yohimbine comes from the bark of a tree native to Africa, called Pausinystalia johimbe, aka the Yohimbe tree.
Its robust scientific backing is matched by the precautions that one should take when using it. Yohimbine works to reduce fat levels in areas of the body considered to hold stubborn fat, like the love handles.
However, there is a demonstrable increase in anxiety levels in people predisposed to anxiety and has even been known to induce panic attacks in people who suffer from them.
Suffice it to say, if you have a history of anxiety, yohimbine might not be the best fat burning supplement for you.
For everyone else, it may be worth a crack. It’s probably best to take it easy to begin with, dosage wise. We’ll talk numbers later in this article.
Yohimbine for Fat Burning
Yohimbine does something special that we haven’t really found in other fat burning ingredients: it targets specific cell receptors that are found in greater numbers in the hips, or love handles.
It does that and something else though – it tells fat cells to stop suppressing fat use for energy.
Okay, that’s very simplified, but fat cells do regulate the amount of fat they release, and yohimbine inhibits that regulatory system.
By acting on the beta-adrenergic receptors in fat cells, it can increase levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which as we know from studying caffeine and other similar compounds causes thermogenic fat loss to increase.
Alpha-adrenergic receptors play a role in suppressing fat metabolism, and so yohimbine is an antagonist of those receptors, meaning it shuts them off.
The agonistic behaviour on beta receptors and the antagonistic “shutting-off” of alpha receptors results in a synergistic fat loss effect.
Another, secondary path to fat burning, is its boosting effect on adrenaline levels. Adrenaline itself acts on beta receptors to increase fat burning.
Yohimbine for Sexual Function and Libido
The same antagonistic effect on alpha cell receptors has an aphrodisiac effect that has no connection with testosterone levels.
Also, it is a potential treatment for mild-moderate psychogenic (rather than organic) erectile dysfunction.
How To Use Yohimbine
Studies show that this compound may be less effective when taken with food.
This is the reason why many supplement companies that supply yohimbine as a standalone supplement or part of a larger formula direct the user to take it on an empty stomach.
Given its highly stimulatory nature this isn’t always a successful tactic, especially considering the other stimulants it is often bundled with. Some people have a hard time taking stimulants in a fasted state first thing in the morning.
Nonetheless that’s what the evidence says.
You will normally find it inside the 5 to 15mg daily dose range in fat burner supplements. The lower end of that range applies if there are other stimulants in the formula as they can have an additive effect on one another.
The upper end of the dosage scale – 15mg – would be appropriate for someone using it on its own.
Some people even stretch to 2 x 15mg doses within a day.
The best thing to do is start small, with a 2.5mg dosage and see how you get on. If you find that you feel good then increase it slightly in increments, keeping in mind that you should not go over a total of 15mg in a single serving.
Yohimbine Side Effects
The most documented negative side effect is anxiety, or more accurately the triggering of anxiety in people pre-disposed or suffering from it.
Panic attacks may even be induced in people who suffer from them.
Without a doubt you should avoid yohimbine if you have a history of anxiety and/or panic attacks.
It is also a strong stimulant, which can give rise to the usual stimulant related side effects, such as tremors, nervousness, rapid heart rate.
It may also interact badly with other medication, particularly MAOI anti-depressants, Tricyclic antidepressants and certain migraine treatments in the ergotamine group.
If you are susceptible to stimulant side effects or you are stimulant-naive (not used to them at all), you should avoid using Yohimbine for now.
It’s tough to recommend it outright because of the potential for anxiety issues and drug interactions.
There is however that frustratingly good effect of targeted fat reduction of the love handles.
Most of the “hardcore” fat burners on the market in the US will include Yohimbine. Whereas a lot of other countries have taken a disliking to it and stop it at customs.
Therefore if you live outside the USA you might have to go with the alternatives anyway. There are plenty of them, so you should have no problem finding something that works.
Those damn love handles though!!