In the Hong Kong study, the researchers postulated that niacin might be as beneficial as statins on erectile function, and have other related benefits too. Niacin is known to produce a flushing effect (see “Toleration Despite Adversity,” above), which is related to prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) release in the skin. This can lead to vasodilation and concomitant flushing. The production of PGD2 can also occur in macrophages, a type of protective white blood cell. Consequently, when PGD2 production is induced by niacin, it may affect all body tissue, including the cavernosal tissue in the penis. Indeed, PGD2 is one of the potential agents causing the vasodilation and engorgement of cavernosal tissue, thereby leading to erection. Thus, niacin improves erectile function by stimulating the production of PGD2.
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The results, published earlier this month, show that the 80 men in the study with moderate or severe erectile dysfunction (ED) and high cholesterol reported an improvement in their ability to maintain an erection after supplementing their diet with niacin. The 80 men who took a placebo pill, who also began the study with only mild ED, did not experience a change in their symptoms, the researchers said.
Instead of injecting a medicine, some men insert a suppository of alprostadil into the urethra. A suppository is a solid piece of medicine that you insert into your body where it dissolves. A health care professional will prescribe a prefilled applicator for you to insert the pellet about an inch into your urethra. An erection will begin within 8 to 10 minutes and may last 30 to 60 minutes.
Talk with your doctor about going to a counselor if psychological or emotional issues are affecting your ED. A counselor can teach you how to lower your anxiety or stress related to sex. Your counselor may suggest that you bring your partner to counseling sessions to learn how to support you. As you work on relieving your anxiety or stress, a doctor can focus on treating the physical causes of ED.
What it’ll do for you: “Yohimbe dilates the blood vessels and can lower blood pressure,” says Dr. Patrick M. Fratellone, an integrated physician with a practice in Manhattan. “So experts figured, if it can do that, it must give you an erection and treat erectile dysfunction.” Some proponents say that yohimbe extracts are powerful antioxidants that can prevent heart attacks, act as a stimulant and an anti-depressant, and an aid to weight loss. Here, a closer look at the key benefits:
Zinc distributes all over the body, so it’s difficult to test through a blood test. If you have problems with erectile dysfunction or suspect that you might have a zinc deficiency, talk with your doctor. A medical professional will be able to check your testosterone level and determine if using zinc supplements to treat your ED is an appropriate course of action.
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