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If you’re looking to put a spark in your sex life, it might be tempting to order some male enhancement supplements, also known as penis enlargement supplements.

These dietary supplements can be purchased without a prescription. Companies make lofty promises of big benefits, such as an elevated libido and larger penis. Male enhancements seem to be everywhere these days. But do they work?

Like some prescription medications (Viagra) that treat erectile dysfunction (ED), alternative male enhancement supplements work to increase blood flow to the penis.

If you have certain health issues, such as liver disease or hypertension, your doctor may advise staying away from alternative or prescription pills to support ED.

As with any supplement in the United States, penis enlargement supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So it’s important to do your homework and speak with a healthcare professional if you have questions.

This article looks at one specific supplement, Viril X.

Viril X enhancement is sold by Dignity Bio-Labs in Pacoima, California. The company sells a variety of supplements intended for cognitive, joint, and prostate support, among others.

Viril X is made with a mix of 21 ingredients:

  • American ginseng
  • avena sativa
  • barrenwort leaves
  • boron citrate
  • catuaba bark
  • cayenne
  • eleuthero root
  • ginger
  • kola nut seed
  • Korean ginseng
  • L-arginine HCL
  • L-citrulline
  • maca leaves
  • muira pauma
  • nettle leaves
  • niacin
  • orchic substance
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sarsaparilla
  • tribulus terrestris
  • zinc
Viril X

Viril X is a proprietary blend, which means the company doesn’t have to release the amount of each ingredient they use in the product.

Viril X is intended to support the production of testosterone (which declines with age) and nitric oxide (which can enhance sexual function).

One ingredient, L-arginine, is the precursor to nitric oxide, a molecule that influences the body’s soft muscle areas, one being penile tissue.

L-arginine’s role in treating erectile dysfunction symptoms has been studied, and results show some positive findings.

A 2019 review article highlighted various research studies on L-arginine used, alone or in combination with another drug, for ED treatment.

According to the article, “positive evidence is available for the efficacy of l-arginine and its various combinations.” However, the number of studies are limited and have small sample sizes.

On the other hand, nitric oxide is a neurotransmitter that’s the building block of an erection. It acts as a relaxant, allowing blood vessels to open up or dilate, swelling the tissues.

Many of the ingredients in Viril X are natural remedies speculated to boost blood flow and energy, decrease inflammation, increase testosterone levels, and keep the penis and attending organs functioning well.

However, scientific research on these claims is hit or miss at best.

It’s always best to consult with your doctor before taking any natural supplement.

With ED, the inability to achieve and sustain an erection isn’t unusual. Sometimes, ED presents as a reduced interest in sexual activity.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, talk with your physician, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.

However, it’s unlikely a urologist will prescribe these supplements to assuage ED symptoms. ED is a complex condition that involves systemic health, hormones, and state of mind.

Uppal says there could be a number of underlying health conditions causing ED symptoms, such as sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, ADHD, and other mental health issues. You may not even know you have one of these conditions.

“I never advise my patients to take non FDA regulated supplements, because we simply don’t know what’s in them,” she says.

A 2017 study says the prevalence of ED in patients with chronic kidney disease is high. The more advanced your kidney disease, the more likely you’ll have ED symptoms. The study also found that more than 80 percent of those with late-stage kidney disease also experienced ED.

While the ingredients in Viril X are natural, it doesn’t mean they won’t cause side effects.

Ginseng, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne have been shown to cause mild irritation in some people. And natural stimulants can cause anxiety in people sensitive to caffeine or similar substances.

Likewise, if you’re on any medication at all, it’s best to speak with your doctor first.

Each of the ingredients in Viril X has the potential to react with a prescription drug.

L-arginine, for example, shouldn’t be used if you’re on antiplatelets or anticoagulants. It could increase the risk of heavy bleeding. It’s also thought to have reactions with medications for the heart, diabetes, and blood pressure.

Some online reviewers complain of diarrhea after taking Viril X. One reviewer says Viril X caused stomach cramps.

You can order Viril X through the Dignity Bio-Labs site. Other retailers, like Amazon, GNC, and eBay, also carry the product.

Bottles of Viril X come with a 30-day supply. The company recommends taking two pills every day with 8-ounces of water.

  • One bottle: $54.95
  • Three bottles pack: $48.95 per bottle
  • Six bottles pack: $42.95 per bottle

The Dignity Bio-Labs website says they conduct third-party testing on their products. They manufacture in the United States in an FDA registered facility in Utah.

Their website says, “The production facilities our products are produced in have met stringent performance standards regarding cleanliness and maintenance.”

Dignity Bio-Labs is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau. They have 21 listed complaints on the site, most of which involve people seeking refunds. Some complaints have been rectified.

Customers get a 100 percent no-risk guarantee. If you’re unhappy with Viril X, you can get a refund up to 90 days from purchase.

The company offers free shipping to the United States and Canada.

Reviews on Viril X’s efficacy are mixed. Some reviewers rate the product highly and say they will purchase more. Other positive reviews state they had more energy for work or the gym.

Some lackluster reviews say the product doesn’t work. Some reviewers note there’s a 15 percent restocking fee deducted from their refunds. Others say they didn’t receive the product.

One reviewer rates the product 4 stars, saying, “It takes time to see the effects.”

There are several comments online complaining the product does nothing.

On the Dignity Bio-Labs site, however, the product has more than 3,700 ratings, averaging more than 4 stars.

There are no clinical trials or clinical data for Viril X.

How long will I need to take Viril X to see a difference?

Some online reviewers say it takes a few weeks of taking the supplements regularly to see a difference. Others say Virile X has never worked.

Natural supplements respond differently from person to person.

Are there any negative long-term effects of taking Viril X?

There aren’t any recorded negative long-term effects from taking Viril X.

This might be due in part to the lack of clinical trials. We just don’t know enough about the product to conclude if there are long-term side effects.

Can I take more than the recommended amount if I find two pills aren’t working?

You should not take more than the recommended dose.

Viril X is composed of roots and herbs, some of which have shown to spark allergic reactions. Ginseng is one of these plant ingredients. It’s shown to initiate insomnia, headaches, and dizziness — and that’s just one of the 21 ingredients in Viril X.

It might be tempting to try Viril X, or a similar supplement, if you’re experiencing a low libido or symptoms of ED.

However, any natural supplement is not subject to FDA rules, and they can keep proprietary ingredients and recipes private.

If you’re on any prescription medications, you shouldn’t take a supplement without consulting a doctor. If you’re having symptoms of ED, they could be caused by an underlying health condition that’s unrelated to sex.

Tracee Herbaugh is a writer and journalist who lives in the Boston area. She writes about culture, lifestyle, health, and family relationships. You can view her work online or find her on Twitter.