L-arginine, an amino acid that is naturally present in the body and helps make nitric oxide, supports a successful erection. Nitric oxide is responsible for making the blood vessels relax, which helps sustain an erection for men. A 1999 study, observed the effects of six weeks of high-dose (5 grams/day) orally administered nitric oxide (NO) donor L-arginine on men with organic ED. Thirty-one percent of those who took 5 grams/day of L-arginine experienced significant improvements in sexual function. Burns told Medical Daily, “l-arginine and deer antler velvet” have been the most popular go-to natural treatments for men.
DHEA. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced in your body’s adrenal gland that aids in the production of testosterone and other hormones. Since testosterone is critical for healthy male sexuality, supplementing with DHEA may help with issues like sluggish libido and impotence. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study found subjects given 50 milligrams of DHEA every day for six months experienced improvement in symptoms of E.D.
Although not direct proof of cause and effect, the positive results that we report in half of the men in the current study may reinforce our clinical observation with objective RigiScan™ data that use of yohimbine might be associated with better effects in nonsmokers. We30 reported that cessation of smoking may rapidly improve nocturnal erectile activity and found that nicotine was not the noxious agent in our study. We postulated that carbon monoxide might create a hypoxic environment in the penis. This effect probably was mediated through restoration of nitric oxide activity.31
Response to yohimbine was not dependent on patient age. Patients who showed a positive response had fewer medical risk factors overall, although the small number of patients was not large enough to provide statistical significance. The positive clinical response was verified subjectively both by the formal questionnaire and by the in-office clinical encounter. The positive response was verified objectively by measuring nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity with the RigiScan™ home monitor. The trend of the baseline penile erectile response was better in the responders, suggesting that use of yohimbine might be more effective in patients who have less severe erectile dysfunction. Some authors have questioned the effect of yohimbine on penile activity, but either inadequate doses of yohimbine were used or only tumescence was measured,21,32 often in an office setting where anxiety and embarrassment might affect results.
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What if we look at erectile dysfunction as something that can be addressed as a condition other than a “pill for every ill”.   What if we actually look at a nutrient level that directly correlates to a medical condition and follow the science to give a directive on its recommendation?  Well it turns out taking a simple zinc supplement won’t help 100% of the time, but it certainly helps some of the time.

You may know horny goat weed from its omnipresence behind the counter at your local convenience store, but this traditional Chinese formula is less sketchy than it sounds. Used for centuries to treat low libido and erectile dysfunction, the herb’s potential efficacy was show in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers who fed the supplement to rats found they had improved erectile function; another study showed that the supplement can block a natural chemical that wilts erections. (Just be warned: Viagra was found to be 80 times more powerful.)

"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.
The phrase “penis exercise” actually refers to exercises known as pelvic floor or Kegel exercises, in which a man focuses on strengthening the muscles that control the flow of urine and ejaculation. These exercises are often recommended to men who are recovering from prostate cancer treatment, have problems with ejaculation, or have a hard time holding their urine, but they do not appear to help erectile dysfunction.

Over the years, myriad treatments and gadgets have been invented to assist with issues related to erections. They run the gamut from vacuum pumps to constriction bands, surgical implants, male hormone therapy, herbal supplements (ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto,  L- arginine, and yohimbe), and even shock-wave therapy. Lifestyle changes include: increasing exercise, decrease smoking, losing weight, and eating healthier. More natural alternative treatments include acupuncture and watermelon juice. In her hilarious and informative book entitled Bonk, researcher Mary Roach explores coupling of science and sex, and dedicates a couple of chapters to in-depth analysis of erectile dysfunction treatments.
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality discovered carrots had the best all-around results on sperm count and motility—a term used to describe the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg. Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.

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.


Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.
It's also important to remember that your mental health plays as much a part of your sexual ability as your physical health. Stress and other mental health concerns can cause or make erectile dysfunction worse. Minor health problems may slow your sexual response, but the accompanying anxiety that comes with the slow sexual response can shut things down entirely.
Vitamin B12 can be found only in the products of animal origin. That is, the greatest amount of this vitamin is available in by-products (liver, kidneys, and heart). The other vitamin B12 rich foods include cheese, seafood (crabs, salmon fish, and sardines), meat, and poultry. Vitamin B12 deficiency declares itself by diarrhea, decreased appetite, tingling tongue, burning tongue, low stomach acid, altered skin sensation, and impairment of sensation in the extremity muscles.
Consequently, this negatively affects sexual function. Finally, if you frequently suffer from stress, then Vitamin B2 deficiency surely takes place. And the symptoms of this deficiency include peeling lips, cracked lips, stomatitis, tongue inflammation, skin lesions resembling eczema, conjunctivitis, photophobia, lacrimation, and decrement in visual acuity.
These medications don’t work for everyone but they are easy to use and work for around 60% of people who try them. They work by making it easier to get an erection by reducing the effect of (inhibiting) the chemical PDE-5. This chemical is used in the body to make sure there isn’t too much blood in the penis during an erection, but if you have erectile dysfunction then this chemical ends up over-compensating.

Ancient Incans consumed this energizing Peruvian plant before battle or a bout of sex, Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, told Outside Online. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance, and fertility. One 2008 study conducted at the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that maca helped people with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction to regain their libidos.
In the analysis of the study, the niacin group showed a significant increase in both IIEF-Q3 scores and IIEF-Q4 scores compared to the initial baseline values. While the placebo group also showed a significant increase in IIEF-Q3 scores (high hopes, no doubt), it did not for IIEF-Q4 scores. In other words, the “placebo effect” did not extend to maintaining erections. Also, when patients were stratified according to the baseline severity of ED, the patients with moderate and severe ED who received niacin showed a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.56 and 1.03, respectively) and IIEF-Q4 scores (0.56 and 0.84, respectively) compared with baseline values. These results were not significantly increased for the placebo group.
Often when we start to look outside of mainstream medicine for alternative protocols to heal our health issues we replace one pill-taking protocol with another. The prescription drugs are replaced with a long list of supplements. Supplements alone, without any other lifestyle changes, will have some impact, but it will be nowhere near what they can achieve when working in a body supported with a healthy way of life.

Even at the higher doses of yohimbine, no changes in blood pressure or pulse were noted. This agent would appear to be safe in men with medically controlled hypertension. There was an increase in the morning cortisol levels in all men; the value was higher but not significantly so in responders. Telöken et al18 reported a high percentage (80%) of adverse events, but these authors administered a large dose (100 mg) of yohimbine. A toxic overdose of 200 mg produced only tachycardia, elevated blood pressure and anxiety of brief duration.33 Even direct intravenous dosing of yohimbine raised the mean arterial blood pressure by 12%,34 Goldstein et al35 systematically administered yohimbine and noted large hemodynamic and norepinephrine responses in both normal and hypertensive men; only the men who had a history of anxiety, depression, or other psychopathologic factors had symptoms. Oral administration of yohimbine at standard doses or even four tablets (21.6 mg) at a time has had no effect on blood pressure.4 Elevated blood pressure and heart rate were recorded when eight tablets (43.2 mg) were given at one time.3
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality discovered carrots had the best all-around results on sperm count and motility—a term used to describe the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg. Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.
Depending on dosage, yohimbine can either increase or decrease blood pressure Small doses can increase blood pressure. Higher doses can lead to a potentially dangerous drop in blood pressure. Higher doses of oral yohimbine may have numerous side effects, such as rapid heart rate, overstimulation, unusual blood pressure, cold sweating, and insomnia.
If other options sound boring, maybe you should consider a fun, revved-up option like salsa dancing. You and your partner can lose yourself in the music, and it’s an intense exercise that engages the senses, combining cardio, balance, and coordination. Plus salsa dancing is great for keeping weight under control because it burns a lot of calories. Furthermore, it’s an activity that can build self-confidence, and if you’re single, the classes can be terrific for meeting new people. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery, and there are many types of dance classes that can seriously improve fitness and help you address erectile dysfunction.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
The improvements in IIEF-erectile function domain (IIEF-EF) score for moderate and severe ED patients in the niacin group were 3.31 and 5.28 and in the placebo group were 2.74 and 2.65, respectively. In the lower range of mild and mild-to-moderate ED, there was no significant improvement in erectile function. Of the 160 patients in the study, 32 were using statins; 18 in the niacin group and 14 in the placebo group. For patients not receiving statin treatment, there was a significant improvement in IIEF-Q3 scores (0.47) for the niacin group, but not for the placebo group. To summarize, niacin alone can improve the erectile function in patients suffering from moderate to severe ED and dyslipidemia.
Data from the Florida Sexual History Questionnaire collected at each time period (baseline, 5.4 mg tid and 10.8 mg tid) are presented in Table 6. Three patients (two responders and one nonresponder) did not complete the entire questionnaire for each study period and were excluded from the analyses. Thus, data in the table and statistical analyses are based on the responses of seven responders and eight nonresponders.
ICI Alprostadil may be used as a mixture with two other drugs to treat ED. This combination therapy called "bimix or trimix" is stronger than alprostadil alone and has become standard treatment for ED. Only the Alprostadil ingredient is FDA approved for ED. The amount of each drug used can be changed based on the severity of your ED, by an experienced health professional. You will be trained by your health professional on how to inject, how much to inject and how to safely raise the drug's dosage if necessary.
There are two things that need to be looked at in recommending a supplement for a medical condition: what is the physiology of the medical condition and what is the pharmacology of the supplement you are using.  There then is a search for a link between the two that leads to a tie in with a therapeutic approach.  In some ways this is like a logic course that says A causes B, B causes C therefor A causes C.  We then must apply this to the scientific method and finally the ultimate test: clinical response and safety.  This is often made out to be the gold standard for our typical Rx meds that I dispense every day, but often ridiculed when it crosses the barbed wired “nutraceutical” boarder.  If it is a nutrient then we must be getting the right amount in our food after all right?  Regardless of 1)what the real amount is in the food we eat, not to mention 2)the depletion that may be taking place of that nutrient due to a prescription drug we are taking (an absolute science based cause and effect) – we blindly accept what our food has in it and the level our bodies maintain – this is an incorrect assumption.  In fact it is quite ironic that the anti-nutraceutical court is still hanging onto this assumption when both are established by science.
A study published in The American Journal of Cardiology confirmed that aerobic exercises will help you to cure your erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is most commonly caused by obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, which decrease the blood flow in the penis. Aerobic exercises can and will help you to improve your health in general, improve your blood flow, and ultimately treat your condition.

Men typically have higher zinc needs than women, which can make them more vulnerable to zinc deficiencies. In men, zinc is also needed to support healthy prostate and penile function. Keep in mind that excessive amounts of zinc can be harmful so it is best to follow package directions on the supplement you choose, should you decide to supplement with the mineral.
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Partner preference index in both 5 mg zinc treated group and controls was positive. In the control group, time spent by males, with estrous and diestrous females, was 21.75 sec. (SEM 2.26) and 13.62 sec. (SEM 1.05) respectively. In the zinc treated group they spent 20.87 sec. (2.09 SEM) with estrous and 14.37 sec. (SEM 0.70) with diestrous females. The PPI of controls and zinc treated group was 8.12 Sec. (SEM 2.32) and 6.50 Sec. (SEM 1.76) respectively. There was no significant difference between the two groups, P > 0.05.
Lastly, it should be remembered that many individuals without dyslipidemia take niacin as a preventative measure. If you plan to take more than about 800 mg of niacin a day, it is a good idea to have your liver tested periodically just to make sure that your liver has no problem with high-dose niacin. These liver tests are the same used to check for liver toxicity in people taking statins, from which there is a higher likelihood of liver toxicity compared to taking niacin. The principal problem from taking statins is muscle damage which is serious enough to be life-threatening. This problem does not occur with those who take niacin. Not to be forgotten, niacin has been found to prolong orgasm.
Erectile problems can sometimes be linked to cardiovascular issues. If your heart isn't in full health, your sex life maybe suffering as result. Men who suffer with moderate to severe erection problems have significantly lower levels of folic acid than guys without the issue. The B vitamin has been shown to work with nitric oxide which would explain why an absence of it would lead to problems in the manhood. This seems to help with erectile dysfunction more than some medications. Treatment with folic acid resulted in men having an increase in their erectile strength.
Geraerts, I., van Poppel, H., Devoogdt, N., de Groef, A., Fieuws, S., & van Kampen, M. (2016, January–February). Pelvic floor muscle training for erectile dysfunction and climacturia 1 year after nerve sparing radical prostatectomy: A randomized controlled trial [Abstract]. International Journal of Impotence Research, 28(1), 9–13. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26538105
What's to know about erectile dysfunction? Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which a man regularly finds it difficult to get or keep a firm erection. ED can be caused by psychological, physical, and medical reasons. This article looks at many of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options, which include medication, surgery, exercise, and diet. Read now
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