One study found that sticking to a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish was associated with a lower risk of ED development and improvement in people who already suffered from ED. There is also some evidence that vegetarian and vegan diets may lower the risk of some types of heart disease, which in turn decreases the likelihood of developing ED.
The endothelium is vital to the maintenance of vascular health. It is a critical determinant of vascular tone and patency, reactivity, inflammation, vascular remodeling, and blood fluidity. (9, 10). Nitric oxide (NO) is the most potent vasodilator and is secreted by the endothelium. It is synthesized from Larginine by the endothelial enzyme NO synthase (eNOS). NO released in response to sexual stimulation relaxes penile vascular smooth muscle by increasing intracellular cyclic 3′, 5′-guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) concentration. Vasodilatation of erectile tissues allows the sinusoidal spaces to fill with blood resulting in the attainment and maintenance of an erection (5).
To locate the muscles these exercises engage, try to stop and restart the flow of urine mid-stream. Just do this once, because if you do it too much it can affect the passage of urine. Once you’ve located these muscles, you can tighten and draw the muscles in, feeling them lift upward. Hold for a count of five, then release. It’s recommended that men do 8 to 10 repetitions, resting in between. Ideally, each series of 8 to 10 should be followed by 5 to 10 quick squeezes and releases, and men should work up to doing the whole process four or five times per day for best results.
In conceiving the potential solutions to issues around erectile dysfunction, it’s really helpful to understand clearly how an erection is achieved and completed. To achieve an erection, there needs to be some form of stimulation, either from touch or some sort of audiovisual stimuli. Once the stimulation occurs, chemical messengers are released and blood starts to fill into the penis. In terms of the musculature, the bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus muscles need to be relaxed so blood can fill the area completely. Then the bulbospongiosus needs to contract to keep the blood in the penis. The erection ‘completes’ with the rhythmic contraction of the bulbospongiosus muscle.
Pay attention to your vascular health. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides can all damage arteries in the heart (causing heart attack), in the brain (causing stroke), and leading to the penis (causing ED). An expanding waistline also contributes. Check with your doctor to find out whether your vascular system — and thus your heart, brain, and penis — is in good shape or needs a tune-up through lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medications.
"Erectile dysfunction can be a very serious issue because it's a marker of underlying cardiovascular disease, and it often occurs before heart conditions become apparent. Therefore, men should consider improving their weight and overall nutrition, exercise more, drink less alcohol and have a better night's sleep, as well as address risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Can one of the B vitamins actually improve erectile dysfunction? The research makes a strong case that Niacin, a.k.a. Vitamin B3, does indeed do just that for a big percentage of men. Of course, this is a inexpensive help to erectile issues, as high niacin foods and supplements are cheap and readily available. Below I summarize the most prominent human evidence to date that shows which men will likely benefit and why:
Supplements are popular and often cheaper than prescription drugs for ED. However, supplements have not been tested to see how well they work or if they are a safe treatment for ED. Patients should know that many over-the-counter drugs have been found on drug testing to have ‘bootlegged' PDE 5 Inhibitors as their main ingredient. The amounts of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Stendra that may be in these supplements is not under quality control and may differ from pill to pill. The FDA has issued consumer warnings and alerts.
"The problem with alternative treatments for any medical problem, including erectile dysfunction, is that until you have about 20 well-controlled studies over several years, you really don't know what you are working with," cautions Richard Harris, MD, a urologist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System in Chicago.
Nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity monitoring using tumescence and rigidity activity units measure the area under the curve of activity divided by the time slept so that varying sleep times may be compared. All four parameters of base and tip tumescence and rigidity rose more in responders than in nonresponders (Table 5). Most changes showed either a trend toward significance or achieved statistical significance. Baseline tip rigidity activity units and tip tumescence activity unit scores differed significantly between groups (P=0.038 and P=0.026, respectively). In fact, nearly all of the baseline values were higher in the responders compared with the nonresponders. Responder tip tumescence activity unit scores increased steadily, whereas nonresponder scores dropped negligibly with the 10.8 mg tid dose. Responders had a significantly higher final score while taking the 10.8-mg dose (P=0.010). Responder tip rigidity activity unit scores also increased steadily, whereas nonresponder scores increased at the second dose, then fell again at the final dose. The mean tip rigidity activity unit score of the responders was significantly higher than that of the nonresponders with the 5.4-mg tid dose (P=0.011). The final scores of the responders were almost twice those of the nonresponders as well (significant where P=0.041). Base rigidity activity unit scores did not differ significantly between the two groups, although the increased responder scores with the initial dose of yohimbine was greater than that of the nonresponders (trend where P=0.065). Finally, base tumescence activity unit scores of the responders who were taking high doses of yohimbine were significantly higher (P=0.009).
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