MEN’S HEALTH: Is Your Sexual Vitality in Need of a Little Boost?

mh-18.jpgErectile dysfunction can be a sensitive topic, especially for older men. ‘Popping a pill’ isn’t the best answer to regaining your sexual vitality. Find out some natural health options for erectile dysfunction.

The National Institutes of Health claims that up to 30 million men in America have some degree of erectile dysfunction, or ED. Defined as the inability to sustain an erection, ED may be a sign of much more important problems in men’s health than those associated with sexual performance or self-esteem.

It turns out that erectile dysfunction is a strong indicator of an individual’s overall cardiovascular health, and is often the earliest marker of previously undetected, but significant vascular disease. The erectile tissues within the penis depend on an unimpeded blood supply to achieve and maintain an erection.

With over 70% of men who experience ED there are clear physical causes — heart disease, diabetic neuropathy (weakened nerves from diabetes), atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), or complications or side effects from prescribed medications. The remaining cases may be caused by depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy or other psychological issues.

Regardless of the cause, taking a pill for a temporary fix doesn’t deal with the underlying situation. The drugs do not perform miracles or offer a cure. They’re also expensive, and have some potentially serious side effects and risks. Some of the adverse effects that can arise with sexual-dysfunction drugs include:

  • Stroke
  • A heart-threatening drop in blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Development of blue/green color blindness

Instead of drugs to enhance your sexual performance, consider some safe, natural, and inexpensive nutritional options:

  • Acetylcholine (ACH) is a neurotransmitter (nerve-to-nerve chemical messenger) involved in sex. Too little ACH, and sexual function is reduced. Choline or soya lecithin (containing phosphatidyl-choline) can be taken as supplements. Choline should be taken with vitamin B5 (20-30 minutes before sex) to better produce ACH.
  • L-arginine is an amino acid supplement affecting blood vessel functions, which are vital to sustaining an erection.
  • Panax ginseng is a Chinese herb reputed to enhance physical stamina and possibly sexual performance.
  • Take the time to exercise. Men who regularly get vigorous aerobic exercise reduce their chance of getting ED. 75% of sedentary men with heart disease get ED.
  • Stop smoking and reduce excess weight. Many cases of ED are related to vascular problems. Smoking and obesity can make it much worse.

Losing the ability to get an erection is not life threatening, but it’s like the canary in the coal mine — it’s a warning of more serious issues, like heart disease and diabetes. Most important, it’s preventable and sometimes reversible if the underlying men’s health risks are addressed.


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