Recently I received an email from someone looking for a supplement to help with premature ejaculation. As I researched this question, I came across a supplement called Deferol which was billed as being “over the counter” and “clinically tested” to help men last longer. The clinically tested part got my attention, so I decided to review Deferol in case anyone else was curious about it.
While I was not able to locate a Deferol Nutrition Facts label for this review, the product website tells us that these are the ingredients in each capsule:
- Passiflora Coerulea leaf extract
- Griffonia seed extract
- Pyridoxyl 5-phosphate 12.5 mg
- Pyridoxine HCl 20 mg
- Folic Acid 0.4 mg
The Other Ingredients in Deferol are:
- Magnesium Stearate
- Rice Powder
This ingredients list is not perfect because I can't tell how much Griffonia seed extract or Passiflora Coerulea are in Deferol. But the list does allow me to look at the relevant research which I'll do below.
How Does Deferol Work?
Deferol is said to work by temporally raising the level of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. It does this by increasing levels of its precursor, called 5 HTP. As 5 HTP levels go up, so too does serotonin. Serotonin plays roles in many different things such as appetite, mood and even sexual desire. In addition, Deferol also has an ingredient said to reduce anxiety levels.
I searched ClincalTrials.gov for “Deferol” but did not see any studies on the product.
I then searched the National Library of Medicine for:
- Deferol sex
- Deferol ejaculation
While I did not find any studies on Deferol itself, I did see research indicating that some anti-depression medications may be effective at helping premature ejaculation by elevating 5 HTP. Keep this in mind as we review the ingredients in Deferol.
When I googled “Deferol studies” I did find the results of a clinical study listed on the Deferol.com website. The study involved 29 men, aged 18-49. It reports that Deferol provided a 40% increase in intercourse time compared to a placebo.
But, this study does not appear to be a peer reviewed study. There is no mention as to where this study is published. The study did not show up when I searched the National Library of Medicine or ClincalTrials.gov.
The study appears to have been conducted in 2001 at “SureSafe Testing Labs LLC in Dover Delaware. When I googled “SureSafe Testing Labs” I could not find a website for them but did locate this address: 108 West 13th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.
Deferol contains 5 primary ingredients:
- Passiflora Coerulea
- Griffonia seed extract
- Pyridoxyl 5-phosphate 12.5 mg
- Pyridoxine HCl 20 mg (vitamin B6)
- Folic Acid 0.4 mg
Let's look at each ingredient separately
Folic acid is needed to help make serotonin, but I'm just not convinced most people are lacking in this vitamin. It's in fruits and vegetables and is added to many breads and cereals. Regardless, Deferol provides the RDA for folic acid (400 micrograms) so that's good.
This is another name for vitamin B 6. This vitamin is also involved in the production of serotonin. But again, are most people lacking in vitamin B6? I don't think most are. Foods that contain B6 include fish, meats, poultry, beans and nuts.
This is another name for vitamin B6. Other names that shows up for this vitamin include “PLP” and “P5P.” Giving PLP to people does raise serotonin levels.
This is a species of Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata). Passion flower contains an ingredient called chrysin, which is a type of phytonutrient called a flavonoid. Some research finds that chrysin can reduce anxiety because it binds to the same receptors as anti-anxiety medications.
The downside is that chrysin isn't absorbed well.
In some circles the chrysin extract of passion flower is thought to raise testosterone levels (click to see the study), although there is not much proof of this in people.
I think passion flower is in Deferol because of its anti-anxiety effects. In other words, someone who is less anxious might be more likely to last longer.
Griffonia Seed Extract
My guess is that Griffonia is a reference to Griffonia simplicifolia, which according to Wikipedia is a shurb. The seeds of this plant contain an ingredient called 5 HTP or 5 hydroxytryptophan. I believe 5 HTP may be the “seed extract” used in Deferol.
5 HTP helps us make serotonin. Recall from above that serotonin might impact sexual desire. Recall also that some evidence suggests that 5 HTP might help premature ejaculations.
At least one study shows that the 5 HTP in Griffonia can be absorbed when taken orally. This study did use a version that was sprayed into the mouth – and pertained to weight loss – but it does lend evidence that we can absorb 5 HTP when taken orally.
Yes, 5 HTP is also sometimes used for weight loss. As the study I linked to above shows, there is some evidence it might help. Do see the side effect section below before trying it.
5 HTP is a supplement marketed to help a variety of issues including but not limited to
- wight loss
I did not see any research specific to using Griffonia to help premature ejaculations however. When I searched google for “Griffonia premature ejaculation” I saw several sites that discussed this, but none provided research to back up that it works. Also, when I searched the National Library of Medicine for these terms, no relevant research showed up.
That doesn't mean Griffonia (or 5 HTP) won't work but rather, that it looks like nobody yet has tested it for this purpose.
Here is 5 HTP on Amazon if you want to see what others are saying about it.
Who Makes Deferol?
The Deferol.com website lists the name of the company as iDist Laboratories, LLC. According to the Whois.com file for the company, it is located at 251 North DuPont Highway Suite #76 Dover DE 19901. The website was registered in 2001.
iDist Labrotories LLC appears to be related to another company called Deferol Partners which is located at 1483 Tobias Gadson Blvd., Charleston, SC 29407.
Does Deferol Help ED?
ED – or erectile dysfunction – is different from premature ejaculation. As far as I can tell, Deferol is only marked at helping premature ejaculation. As such I don't think it would help erection problems.
Does Deferol Increase Penis Size?
Deferol is not marketed to increase the size of an erect penis.
Does 5 HTP Stop Premature Ejaculation?
I don't think 5 HTP or serotonin prevent premature ejaculation. At best, the evidence shows it might extend the time it takes to occur.
Deferol Side Effects
I think Deferol is safe in healthy people. When I wrote this review I was not aware of any side effects. Googling “Deferol side effects” did not turn up anything bad. The product has been around since at least 2001, which is plenty of time for people to complain, and I didn't see anything over-the-top. That's good. The product website says that if any side effects occur, they are usually mild and should not last longer than a few hours.
That said, here are some general thoughts that occurred to me as I researched this supplement. See your doctor if you think any of this applies to you. This list is not complete.
- The product website says Deferol might make people sleepy, so it's probably best to avoid driving when taking it.
- See your doctor if you take any medications for migraine headaches.
- If you take antidepressant medications (such as SSRIs or tricyclics) see your doctor. Show your doctor/pharmacist the ingredients. Some depression medications work by increasing serotonin levels. If levels go too high, this can cause serotonin syndrome, which is dangerous. I did not discover any instances of this occurring in my review. Still, I believe it's worth mentioning.
- Exercise caution if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Deferol.
- Don't combine Deferol with alcohol or sleeping pills or illegal drugs.
- Stop taking Deferol and all other supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery.
- Even though Deferol is marketed to men, women who take this product, should also read through the cautions in this section.
- If you take Viagra or similar drugs, ask your pharmacist if its OK to use a supplement that raises serotonin levels.
- Passion flower might reduce blood pressure. Theoretically, this might be an issue in people who take blood pressure medications.
- Talk to your doctor first if you have cancer.
- There is some concern that 5 HTP raises the risk of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). This is a controversial issue. For more insights, see the the National EMS Network and this page of the university of Maryland Medical Center.
Does Deferol Work?
Given that there is evidence that some anti-depressant medications can help premature ejaculation by increasing serotonin levels, it makes some sense that Deferol might have a similar effect. The ingredients in the product do seem logical although I would like to see a published study before making a final judgement. Looking at comments on Amazon, some men said it worked and others said it didn't.
Here's Deferol on Amazon to see see what others are saying.