There is no evidence that mild or even moderate alcohol consumption is bad for erectile function, says Ira Sharlip, MD, a urology professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. But chronic heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions -- such as interfering with the normal balance of male sex hormone levels -- that can lead to ED.
Testosterone levels generally decrease as an individual ages. This is normal and natural, but it can lead to erectile problems for some people because androgenic hormones such as testosterone play an important part in regulating the function of tissues in the penis and testicles. One study found that supplementing with testosterone gel improved both the libido and erectile function of participants with low testosterone between the ages of 32 and 84.

As an alpha-2 antagonist, yohimbine promotes sympathetic activity. According to a number of studies, yohimbe can increase blood pressure. This is why it’s useful for things like erectile dysfunction or diabetic nerve problems. Yohimbine is sometimes used to treat low blood pressure and symptoms like dizziness when standing up. It works by dilating blood vessels and acting on the sympathetic nervous system. However, it’s important to point out that increased blood pressure can also be a problem for some people, especially those with existing cardiovascular problems, people taking blood pressure medications, or those who already have high blood pressure.
When given orally, yohimbine reaches peak levels in 10–15 min, and the half-life is 0.6 h. The efficacy of yohimbine in sexual function has been questioned, perhaps because of early questionable multidrug preparations.10,11 Yohimbine has been shown to have some effect on psychologic erectile dysfunction12,13 and in reversing fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction.14
There’s some concern that supplements labeled as yohimbe contain different amounts of the active ingredient than the amount that’s listed. The FDA strictly regulates prescriptions containing yohimbine but not supplements. It can be difficult to determine exactly how much active yohimbine is in supplements due to how different growing and distributing variables affect the concentration. These variables can include: the exact type of yohimbe tree bark that is used, what part of the tree the bark is taken from, the maturity of the tree, how fresh the bark is, the processing techniques used to create supplements, and how the supplements are shipped/exported and stored. (16)

When experiencing difficulty in achieving an erection, it’s important to figure out if you are able to achieve an erection at all or if this happens only when you are with your partner. If you are unable to achieve an erection on your own, this may be more related to a medical and/or physical condition. Examples of this could include heart conditions, neuromuscular disorders, or pelvic pain. To evaluate if this is the cause of your condition, you should follow-up with your physician to examine your cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal system. From here, they may recommend medications such as Viagra or Cialis, or sometimes a referral to a urologist.
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. 
Some people experience symptoms of sexual dysfunction, including ED or loss of interest in sex, when taking medications for depression or anxiety disorders called selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). (9) Yohimbine-containing medications are not intended to treat these symptoms. However, some doctors use yohimbine to offset negative effects of treating mental illnesses. It can also decrease lethargy or low pressure since it acts as a mild stimulant. Additionally it may help to prevent complications in diabetic patients including diabetic neuropathy.
Clinical trials were included if they met all of the following inclusion criteria: study population defined; Men with arteriogenic ED were considered; the present review was concerned with studies that used aerobic exercise on ED; only randomized controlled trials on this topic were selected for review; The main outcome measure was satisfactory intercourse without additional therapy using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIED) scores. The present review utilized studies that had successfully undergone rigorous peer review (i.e., published peerreviewed journals), were included.

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.


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