And by “for the men,” of course I mean for the benefit of the women as well. Hmmm
Rachael Schultz at Men’s Fitness Magazine did a great job of getting to the nitty gritty of this article, and I’ve included the link so you can read ALL about it, but for my purposes, I’ll just summarize the list of supplements that could help a guy keep his flag pole straight up instead of having to go see a doctor about a prescription for a Viagra.
As many as 30 million American men suffer from Erectile Dysfunction, and one in four who seek treatment for ED are actually under the age of 40, according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
ED can be caused by a handful of things, but one thing’s for sure: You need a healthy supply of the neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) to get and maintain an erection. NO is produced in nerve tissue and helps jolt your Johnson by relaxing the smooth muscle so blood can fill the penis. After the initial release of NO, your body releases a cascade of chemicals—including more of the neurotransmitter—to help keep you hard and happy, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The problem comes when your body can’t produce enough nitric oxide to get and keep you going. Meds like Viagra fix this problem, but herbs, vitamins, and amino acids have been eliminating erection problems long before the magic pill came around.
One caveat: Even though these supplements are all natural, vitamins and amino acids can interact with other medications, so be sure to talk to your doc before you add anything to your daily routine—especially since countless studies have shown ED is typically linked to larger health problems, including heart disease.
#1 L-Arginine: 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.
While the rationale behind why it would work is airtight, the research on arginine’s actual effect on erectile dysfunction is slim, points out Charles Walker, M.D., assistant professor of urology and cofounder of the Cardiovascular and Sexual Health clinic at Yale University. But given its solid safety profile, minimal side effects, and potential benefit on heart disease, it’s worth a try, he adds, especially when taken in conjunction with other herbs on this list, which studies have shown can be more effective.
However, you might actually be better off going one step back in the chain reaction and taking a L-citrulline supplement. While your body converts L-arginine to nitric oxide, it also metabolizes it too fast when the amino acid is taken in an oral supplement, according to a 2011 study from the University of Foggia in Italy. L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, is actually a better option to follow the same metabolic pathway and serve as a treatment for ED, the same study found.
#2 – Vitamin D: According to a study at Johns Hopkins University, Men who are Vitamin D deficient are 32% more likely to experience trouble getting it up. Vitamin D is crucial for keeping the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels healthy. If they aren’t healthy they can clog the vessels and restrict blood flow. No or low blood flow = No hard on.
#3 – Yohimbine: Enhances sexual performance by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the brain and increasing the release of nitric oxide in the cavernosal nerves of the penis. When combined with L-arginine, yohimbine usually is successful in helping men achieve an erection, but it can raise blood pressure and anxiety levels, so do check with a doctor first.
#4 – Horny Goat Weed (A.K.A. epimedium): Helps improve the erection by inhibiting PDE-5 and increasing nitric oxide synthase. This basically is exactly what Viagra does.
#5 – Vitamin B3 (niacin): Improves erectile function in men with high cholesterol by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow. B-3 is also important in the production of sex hormones and is best when taken in combination with L-arginine and propionyl-L-carnitine.
#6 – Panax Ginseng: Helps create harder, longer lasting erections, and improve testosterone levels which also boosts libido.
#7 – Folic Acid: This B Vitamin stimulates nitric oxide. A Turkish study showed that men with ED also suffered from low folic acid.
#8 – Ginkgo Biloba: Helped counteract sexual dysfunction caused by the use of anti-depressants in 76% of patients experiencing the side effect.
Who knows, maybe there would be less need for the anti-depressants if their penises were working. Hmmm
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