Size matters, so get slim and stay slim. A trim waistline is one good defense — a man with a 42-inch waist is 50% more likely to have ED than one with a 32-inch waist. Losing weight can help fight erectile dysfunction, so getting to a healthy weight and staying there is another good strategy for avoiding or fixing ED. Obesity raises risks for vascular disease and diabetes, two major causes of ED. And excess fat interferes with several hormones that may be part of the problem as well.
Vitamin C has been associated with higher sperm counts. You can get it naturally from strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, which are anthocyanins, colorful plant chemicals which help keep your arteries unclogged, boosting circulation and erection quality. In supplement stores, you’ll find all manner of megadoses — steer clear of those; they might do more harm than good.
Yohimbine significantly increased subjective measurements of sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, frequency of sexual contacts, and erection quality during sexual intercourse. Each subject also underwent a sleep study and researchers found that yohimbine also objectively increased the rigidity of erections while sleeping.  Yohimbine appears to alleviate both physical and psychological symptoms associated with ED.
That said, I think that guys like myself who eat a ton of plant foods have to be consider the fact that they may not always be getting all the niacin they could. Men with lower niacin status can probably give their erectile strength and cardiovascular health a nice boost by consuming more niacin-rich plant foods. There are many plant foods, such as broccoli and mushrooms that are quite high in niacin. I actually consume nutritional yeast and BPA-free sardines daily and get a nice amount of niacin this way on top of my regular diet. Therefore, I feel that I am likely maximizing my erectile strength by combining the best of both worlds, i.e. some NO-boosting plant foods and high niacin foods as well. (Both sardines and nutritional yeast also have a decent amount of protein as well, which is important to me since I enjoy lifting weights.)
Much of the evidence shows high rates of vitamin D deficiency in patients with erectile dysfunction. In fact, one study of 3,400 participants found that men with vitamin D deficiency were 32% more likely to have trouble with erections when all other risk factors were controlled for. It’s a little on the nose that you need vitamin D for your “D,” but hey—science can be funny too.
Despite the name, horny goat weed actually helps improve your erection, not libido. Botanically known as epimedium, this herb has been used by the Chinese for centuries to treat, among other things, low libido and erectile dysfunction. “A growing body of research shows that isolated icariin—the extract of epimedium—inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) and significantly increases nitric oxide synthase, helping to improve erectile function,” says Fisch. In fact, this is the same mechanism that Viagra works through (but the herb comes with a way better name).
Also to be considered, patients were not using PDE5 inhibitors during the study period. Therefore it wasn’t determined whether the combined use with niacin can enhance the response of PDE5 inhibitors. Another limitation on the study results was the exclusion of the partner’s assessments. This would help to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the efficacy of niacin.
In the end, the data from the Hong Kong study suggest that niacin alone can improve the erectile function of subjects with dyslipidemia suffering from ED. This is the first time this conclusion has appeared in the literature. Once again, the effect of niacin is clinically significant in those with moderate to severe ED. Further, because of the close relationship between ED and dyslipidemia, niacin could prove to be an important therapy for managing both conditions. Who knows? There may even be other benefits. Future studies will further refine the indications and benefits of niacin in patients with ED.
The positive response in our patients was enhanced with the higher dose of yohimbine, a phenomenon noted previously.20,21 We agree that several weeks of therapy are needed before clinical effects are seen,21,22 and that some responders may be able to take yohimbine only on demand before sexual activity.39 Yohimbine is effective in a subset of men with organic erectile dysfunction, especially nonsmokers, and it deserves a place in our therapeutic armamentarium. When yohimbine is ineffective alone, it may be useful in combination with other treatment modalities, as has been shown with naloxone39 or trazodone.40
When stimulated by the nerves, the spongy tissue arranges itself in such a way that more blood can be stored in the penis. The veins running through the outer sheath of the penis then compress which stops the blood from leaving the penis. As the blood is stopped from flowing out, the penis fills with blood and stretches within the outer casing, giving an erection.
Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) is one of the main risk factors in the development of atherosclerosis, a condition that with the development of statins over the last 20 years has become more treatable, but not without consequences. Statins have been shown to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events by 25–40%, yet this reduction is no big deal, especially considering that many patients need additional therapy to reach more optimal lipid levels and prevent cardiovascular events.
Three types of medications to treat erectile dysfunction -- sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil -- may cause low blood pressure. Niacin, used to treat conditions such as high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries, can also lower your blood pressure. If you take medications to treat male impotence, ask your doctor before combining it with niacin.
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Research in the medical journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine found that supplementing with the mineral zinc, along with the vitamins folic acid and biotin, as well as the herb Rhodiola rosea improved ejaculatory control in males suffering from premature ejaculation. Premature ejaculation is a common type of sexual dysfunction that affects 20 to 30 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 55. The low incidence of any side-effects of these natural treatments may also make it preferable to drug treatments by many men.
The main surgical treatment of ED involves insertion of a penile implant (also called penile prostheses). Because penile vascular surgery is not recommended for aging males who have failed oral PDE5 inhibitors, ICI or IU therapies, implants are the next step for these patients. Although placement of a penile implant is a surgery which carries risks, they have the highest rates of success and satisfaction among ED treatment options.
Zinc is a trace metallic element that occurs naturally in the earth. Certain vegetables, meats, and seafood have more zinc content than others. This makes it fairly easy to obtain zinc through a varied diet. An extreme zinc deficiency is rare in the United States, as most people get some zinc through the foods that they eat. However, when levels of zinc fall below the recommended threshold, problems begin.