Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction Statistics
Have you ever thought why there are so many ads for ED (erectile dysfunction) drugs – Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis on the TV and in magazines everywhere? The reason for it is rather simple – a lot of people experience erectile dysfunction. Over 30 million men in the U.S. alone suffer from ED. Erectile dysfunction affects over 50 percent of men aged 40 to 70, and the incidence of complete ED is three times more prevalent among these age groups. What is even more unfortunate is that experts expect cases of erectile dysfunction to double or triple over in the next 25 years or so.
Erectile Dysfunction and Social Costs
ED imposes substantial social costs. It has an impact on a man’s satisfaction with life and relationships with others. Researchers have shown that sexual intimacy is much desired even by older adults. A study conducted in 29 countries and featuring 27,000 women and men aged 40 to 80 discovered that less than 20 percent of the respondents agree with the statement “older people don’t want sex anymore.” Due to the rising rates of ED, many couples are not able to enjoy a healthy sexual life in their senior years.
What Does Healthy Erectile Function Require?
What is causing the prevalence of erectile dysfunction to rise? Many researchers believe it is a direct consequence of bad dietary habits and lifestyle. For a long time, it was thought that ED was mostly psychological in nature, but recent studies have shown that over 80% of erectile dysfunction cases happen due to physiological factors. For a man to produce a proper erection, several bodily systems need to function properly: blood flow needs to be smooth and unobstructed throughout the body, nerves need to fire and send messages to the brain and specific body parts, and one’s libido needs to be active to encourage sexual arousal. All of these systems require proper nutrition to function correctly.
Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
To understand the causes of ED better, we can examine the risk factors that have been confirmed scientifically. Risk factors directly associated with lifestyle choices include consumption of alcohol, hormone levels, diet, inflammation, obesity, lack of exercise, high cholesterol, use (and misusage) of prescription drugs, smoking, stress, and even motorcycling. There is also a strong connection between ED and medical diagnoses of depression, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and what is known as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Studies show that most men with erectile dysfunction suffer from these diseases and conditions that are often the result of the same lifestyle choices and risk factors listed previously. Moreover, the connection has shown that ED is often an alarm signal for cardiovascular disease.
Diet and Erectile Dysfunction
How is all of this related to nutrition and diet? For our bodies to operate properly, they need the right nutrients. Many studies have established the close connection between an unhealthy diet and the risk factors listed above. Diets with high levels of sugar, refined grain, processed meat and dairy; and at the same time low on vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains cause these conditions. Sometimes, all it takes for men to experience improvement is to partake in a healthier diet, so their symptoms of erectile dysfunction will be reduced or completely vanish. Through decent nutrition, regular exercise, and with the help of certain supplements, the erectile function can be restored.
Erectile Dysfunction and Drugs
Many people ask, “What’s wrong with using drugs?” The standard answer is that while drugs will work properly in most cases, there are still side effects, and some of them can be dangerous. Even more importantly, medicine is not a solution to the underlying condition. Erectile dysfunction is usually a sign from your body telling you that something is wrong, and it needs your attention. It is your warning to take action before a more serious event occurs.