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.
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Although not proven, it is likely that erectile dysfunction can be prevented by good general health, paying particular attention to body weight, exercise, and cigarette smoking. For example, heart disease and diabetes are problems that can cause erectile dysfunction, and both are preventable through lifestyle changes such as sensible eating and regular exercise. Furthermore, early diagnosis and treatment of associated conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol may prevent or delay erectile dysfunction, or stop the erectile dysfunction from getting more serious.
Yohimbe goes by many names depending on how it’s sold. These include Yohimbehe, Yocon, Yohimex, Johime, Aphrodien and Corynine. Do any yohimbe supplements actually work to help treat sexual problems like impotence, or other conditions? Study results have been somewhat mixed. But there’s some evidence that they may help these conditions. It’s especially helpful when combined with other substances that promote better flow and higher energy levels, such as L-arginine. (3)
3. Men With Bad Lipid Readings.  One study examined men with both erectile dysfunction and "dyslipidemia."  Dyslipidemia is medical speak for bad HDL, LDL, triglyceride or some combination of the three.  They gave these men 1.5 grams of niacin, which is a megadosed amount, and is a favorite of Dr. Davis.  (See my  Review of Track Your Plaque for Dr. Davis' approach to plaque regression.) Besides the above listed benefits, niacin will also a) lower triglycerides, b) boost HDL, c) increase particle size and d) decrease LDL particle counts.  All of these are very anti-atherosclerosis and great for your arteries. 
The art of acupuncture has become the new treatment for everything from back pain, depression, and even ED. Impotence could be more of a state of mind, and acupuncture may help. Through this alternative therapy, fine needles are placed in various parts of the body to relieve pain or stress. Although there are many mixed studies for acupuncture and ED, many tend to confirm positive results. A 1999 study found acupuncture improved the quality of erection and even restored sexual activity in 39 percent of participants.

If ED continues to be a problem even after making certain lifestyle changes, talk with your doctor. ED is an uncomfortable subject for many men to discuss, but it’s treatable in most cases, so there’s no reason to avoid getting help. Doctors see patients every day about ED, so you’re simply one of millions of men dealing with this common condition.


Adequate daily magnesium intake is slightly lower for younger men than for those in their 30s and older. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 400 mg daily for men between the ages of 19 and 30, and 420 mg per day for men 31 and older. While these levels are a good general guideline, you should check with your doctor to determine the proper dosage for a daily magnesium supplement, particularly if you’re using magnesium to help treat or prevent erectile problems.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University last year looked at 3,400 healthy Americans and found that men who were vitamin D deficient were 32% more likely to have trouble getting it up than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for other ED risk factors. In fact, the connection is so common, Walker says D levels are something he always checks in ED patients. Why? The sunshine vitamin is crucial for keeping the endothelial cells that line blood vessels healthy. Without enough of the stuff, blood flow is inhibited, affecting everything from your heart to your hard-on.
Important Caution: Before choosing Yohimbe be sure to let your doctor know you are interested in using this herb. Yohimbe should not be use in those people with low blood pressure or who are on blood pressure medications. Never exceed the dosage of this herb. Not to be taken at the same time you eat cheese, liver or red wine, all of which contain the amino acid tyramine. In addition, there have been many reports that French and American Yohimbine products did not actually contain any yohimbe, but caffeine instead. Before choosing to purchase any Yohimbe product, be sure that it is from a reputable, high-quality source. Never exceed suggested dosage of Yohimbe, as it may be toxic in high doses. Always follow the guidelines on the label of the product you have purchased.
On the other hand, high zinc levels have negative effects on sperm quality. Excessive zinc intake in mice have indicated a negative effect of increasing doses of zinc on sperm count and motility.[5] Although there have been studies focusing on various aspects of zinc related reproductive functions, studies on zinc related sexual behavioral aspects have received scant attention. In one study, intranasal irrigation with zinc sulphate has been reported to completely abolish the sexual behavior of male rats.[6]
Because cholesterol is a building block for testosterone, drugs that interfere with cholesterol production can lower levels of this hormone (Journal of Sexual Medicine, April, 2010). French and Dutch researchers have reported that decreased libido and erectile dysfunction may be associated with statin-type drugs (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Sept. 2004; Drug Safety, July, 2009).
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.

Pelvic floor PT is a proven and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. A study in 2006 involved 146 men with mean age of 42 with pelvic pain; 92% of these men had sexual dysfunction.  Treatment consisted of trigger point release and relaxation training, which led to improvement in symptoms by 77-87% – it’s notable that kegels were not part of this study.


Minor side effects associated with erectile dysfunction medications include indigestion, runny nose and skin flushes. Sildenafil may cause temporary changes in your vision, and vardenafil may cause muscle aches and back pain. More serious side effects include hearing loss and erections that last longer than four hours. If you have cardiovascular problems, including a history of heart attacks or strokes, high or low blood pressure or vision problems such as retinitis pigmentosa, it may prove unsafe for you to take sildenafil, vardenafil or tadalafil. These medications may also interact poorly with some antibiotics, blood thinners and medications to prevent seizures and heart rhythm disorders.
In the 1700s, pellagra was an endemic disease in northern Italy—which had not been known until maize (corn) was introduced from America. Italy gave the disease the name, “pelle agra” (pelle means skin; agra means rough). Casal had observed that patients with pellagra were all poor, subsisted mainly on maize, and rarely ate fresh meat. Because pellagra outbreaks occurred in regions of Europe where maize was a dominant food crop, the belief was that maize either carried a toxic substance or was a carrier of disease. When it was later noted that there were few pellagra outbreaks in Mesoamerica, where maize is a major food crop (and is processed), it was considered that the causes of pellagra may be due to factors other than toxins.
Participants in this study gradually increased their daily intake of niacin from 250 mg to 3,000 mg over 36 weeks. Nine of the 23 people who were taking immediate-release niacin withdrew from the study early because of facial flushing, fatigue, or skin discoloration. Eighteen of the 23 who were taking 3,000 mg daily of sustained-release niacin dropped out due to upset stomachs, fatigue, or abnormal liver function tests. All of these side effects disappeared once the participants stopped taking the vitamin. Additional cause for concern comes from other reports suggesting that high doses of sustained-release niacin can cause jaundice and liver failure.
Unfortunately, many of the same factors that brought the Italian Renaissance to an end—among them corruption, wars, and a widespread backlash over secularism and indulgence (leading to the “Bonfire of the Vanities”)—also terminated the “rebirth” in Spain. Chasing heresies became a sport that led to the resurrection of the Inquisition, which unlike its prior appearances operated completely under royal authority, rather than the aegis of the church.
That’s no joke. Like every part of the body, the male repro system needs the right nutrients for optimal health, from function to fertility. Studies have isolated several nutrients that are particularly beneficial. You can get them through these best foods for your penis, or these best proteins for your penis, but we’ve broken them down here by nutrient in case you want to ensure you’re getting enough. (And if you do decide to go the supplement route, as always, talk to your doctor and never exceed recommended dosages.)
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.
There was a higher incidence of adverse events in those taking niacin. However, most patients could tolerate it at the maximum dosage (1,500 mg/day). With this in mind, niacin could be an alternative choice of treatment for patients with ED. Despite the success of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors), such as sildenafil, only around 60–70% of patients have a satisfactory response to this class of drugs. And there are adverse effects such as headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and impaired vision, including photophobia and blurred vision. Hence, there is a need to develop other therapeutic agents for those patients who do not respond satisfactorily to PDE5 inhibitors or are contraindicated for those such as sildenafil.
Men, aged 40–80 y, were recruited from new consultations seen for erectile dysfunction at the Lahey Clinic Center for Sexual Function. Patients were screened by history and physical examination and by evaluation of nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity with the RigiScan™ (Timm Medical Technologies, Inc., Minneapolis, USA). Candidates completed a sexual questionnaire and had morning blood tests for luteinizing hormone (LH), free testosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and androstenedione. Inclusion criteria included normal initial serum testosterone and prolactin levels and the presence of an organic cause of erectile dysfunction manifested by abnormal nocturnal tumescence and rigidity testing with the RigiScan™ monitor. Active smokers and men with concurrent major psychiatric problems were excluded. No other treatment for erectile dysfunction was permitted during the study. Yohimbine hydrochloride (supplied by Palisades Pharmaceuticals, Palisades, NJ, USA) was started at a dose of 5.4 mg three times a day (tid) for 4 weeks, after which the sex questionnaire was administered again and blood tests, nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing were repeated. The dose of yohimbine then was increased to 10.8 mg tid for 4 additional weeks followed by a third administration of the sex questionnaire and final measurements of hormone levels and nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity monitoring.
It is now thought that ED is part of the cardiovascular disease complex related to metabolic syndrome (MS). Although endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis are believed to be part of the main mechanisms for ED in patients with MS, other mechanisms account for ED in MS include androgen deficiency, drugs, the veno-occlusive mechanism, etc. Because dyslipidemia is one of the key risk factors for the development of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis in MS patients, there is a close relationship between ED and dyslipidemia.

We studied the involvement of zinc in the sexual behavioral response of male rats. The study design employed a rat model to predict the human sexual response to elemental zinc supplementation. Rats were used because they are very social and copulate under a variety of circumstances, regardless of the presence of a human experimenter. They are practical (small and easy to handle) and certain tissues and neuroendocrine systems are strikingly similar to humans.[13]


The art of acupuncture has become the new treatment for everything from back pain, depression, and even ED. Impotence could be more of a state of mind, and acupuncture may help. Through this alternative therapy, fine needles are placed in various parts of the body to relieve pain or stress. Although there are many mixed studies for acupuncture and ED, many tend to confirm positive results. A 1999 study found acupuncture improved the quality of erection and even restored sexual activity in 39 percent of participants.


The principal difference between the Hong Kong study. and others that proceeded it, is that the researchers used niacin alone, rather than in combination with PDE5 inhibitors. The results indicate that niacin can improve erectile function in those with moderate to severe ED but not in those with mild and mild-to-moderate ED. Statins also appear to be effective for improving erectile function in those with more severe ED.

Stress is another main cause of impotence in men. Psychological stress lowers libido in general and may suppress a man’s ability to become aroused, causing impotence. This is usually temporary and is easier to reverse than cases of physiological impotence. Nonetheless it is extremely important to manage stress levels when working to reverse impotence. Whether a man is experiencing impotence due to physiological reasons or psychological reasons, stress plays a key role. Any man that is experiencing erectile dysfunction will experience higher levels of stress because of the condition itself. Stress management skills need to be in place when working to reverse impotence.


A complete sexual behavioral cycle of males involved pre sexual performances, copulation and ultimate ejaculation. Pre sexual behavior comprises physical contact with the female, sniffing and licking of female genital area, licking of their own penis, and few mounts without intromissions. Although all induced females were screened for receptivity, some females showed a mild rejection in the beginning. However, there were no rejections when they were coupled with very active males. All animals which completed the behavioral cycle showed a normal pattern of behavior (not an aberrant sexual behaviour) during the observation period.
The phrase “use it before you lose it” can be applied when it comes to helping men with ED regain normal erectile function. Pelvic exercises, more commonly known as kegel exercises, are used to promote urinary continence and sexual health. They help to strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle, which does three things: allows the penis to engorge with blood during erection, it pumps during ejaculation, and it helps empty the urethra after urination, according to Healthline.
Kegel exercises are very effective, simple and affordable methods in enhancing the strength of your muscles. These muscles are the ones that are involved in your sexual function. If you are unsure of the information that you read online, the best option is to talk with your doctor about your condition in order to avail of the best treatment methods for you.
Dealing with erection problems can be a challenge. However, there are lots of treatments and lifestyle changes which can help. While medications such as Viagra improve symptoms in the short term, pelvic floor exercises can help you improve your sexual function in the long term. Find out why pelvic floor, also known as Kegel exercises, can be used to treat ED and how to perform the exercises correctly.

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).
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
Magnesium helps regulate levels of calcium, zinc, and other vitamins and minerals. It also helps the body produce energy and contributes to proper organ function. Most people don’t develop a genuine magnesium deficiency, even if they don’t get enough of the mineral in their diets, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A true magnesium deficiency, however, may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
L-arginine, or arginine, is an amino acid found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products that helps expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. “The body uses this semi-essential amino acid as the primary building block for nitric oxide,” explains Harry Fisch, M.D., clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital.

In addition to getting helpful nutrients from your diet, you can also consider supplementing. Many of these are also on my list of top five supplements to increase sex drive, so they’re helpful for overall sexual health. It’s a good idea to check in with a practitioner, particularly one with knowledge of your individual health issues and medications, before taking anything. Here are some I recommend:

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