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Can Foods Treat or Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

man-eating-healthyby James Hubbard, M.D, M.P.H.

Q. Are there any foods that help to manage and/or correct erectile dysfunction?

Anonymous


A. No specific foods are known to manage or correct erectile dysfunction. Ginseng may help some people a little. The good news, however, is your overall diet can play a big role.


WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Erectile dysfunction has multiple potential causes, including psychological (depression, anxiety), trauma, medications, alcohol and nerve damage. But there are also disease causes. Diabetes, for example, is a well-known cause. We all know proper dietnewsletter-graphic and exercise can better control and even sometimes prevent it.

But the cause I was thinking of that overall diet can help is arteriosclerosis, which is a hardening and thickening of the artery walls from cholesterol and calcification.  This results in poor blood flow to the body part it supplies.

Arteriosclerosis is usually not regional but affects all the arteries supplying all your organs and tissues. It can restrict blood flow to your kidneys, brain, heart and penis, to name a few. Many doctors actually think erectile dysfunction is a warning sign you'd better get your heart checked out because you're may be at risk for a heart attack from arteriosclerosis of your heart vessels (coronary artery disease).


HOW YOUR DIET MAY HELP ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Since there's no penile artery bypass surgery, it's wise pay attention to the risk factors that cause widespread arteriosclerosis. Obesity happens to be one. Another is increased cholesterol. So a diet full of vegetables, fruit and whole grains and low in saturated fats makes sense.  So does treating hypertension with weight control, low salt and medications if needed.  (Ask for the ones that don’t have impotence as a side effect.)

Another factor known to help is regular exercise, but always check with your doctor first. (Remember the risk for a heart attack that can come with erectile dysfunction.)  And you just have to stop all tobacco products pronto.


JAMES HUBBARD, M.D., M.P.H., is the publisher of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com, the Web site written by health-care professionals for the general public. He's been a family doctor for over 25 years.

Last updated and/or approved: March 2010.

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written by Instant Performer Facs , September 30, 2011

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It Is all in your head
written by love boutique , February 16, 2011

I don't believe food can do it.
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Re: Exercise for excellence in bed
written by Leigh Ann , October 12, 2010

Thanks, Kent. The article mentions exercise at the end (with a safety caveat); thank you for making sure the idea isn't overlooked.

Leigh Ann Otte
Managing Editor, MyFamilyDoctorMag.com

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Exercise for excellence in bed
written by Kent , October 08, 2010

Perhaps a little beyond the scope of your article buy in my humble opinion one can't ignore the importance of exercise. What you eat sure plays a big role but today way too may people are looking for a quick fix which in ters of ED involves pills, pumps and even penile injections, now that's scary unless there's a medical reason behind it.
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Adam & Eve, Adult Sex Toys
written by Adam & Eve, Adult Sex Toys , September 09, 2009

That's an interesting perspective on how food could affect erectile dysfunction. I never considered the possibility that hardening and thickening of the artery walls could happen from cholesterol.
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