(Depression and Erectile Dysfunction, by David Jaynes)
When you’re suffering depression, either acute or chronic, sex is probably the last thing on your mind.
But the scary thing is, even if it was on your mind, you might not be able to do anything about it.
Because there’s evidence that depression can cause erectile dysfunction (as if you didn’t have enough problems).
To make matters worse, the common cure for depression, a series of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, is confirmed to cause ED as a side effect.
In this article, we’re going to dive into how depression causes ED, why SSRIs can exacerbate the problem, and three ways you can treat your depression naturally to get your morning wood back.
Here we go…
First, let’s get something clear…ED and depression and undeniably linked.
Depending on what study you consult, there’s a comorbidity rate of up to 82%, with studies regularly finding between 50-70% (source).
Basically, if you ask 100 men who have depression, between half and three-quarters of them are going to suffer from ED too, and vice versa.
Now the question of cause: does depression cause ED, or does ED cause depression?
That’s a little complicated. There’s definitely a biochemical case to be made that depression does cause ED though.
Depression inhibits your brain’s ability to fire neurotransmitters correctly, and to get an erection, your brain has to fire neurotransmitters to trigger the biological reaction.
The erection starts in your brain – if something is wrong there, it makes sense that your penis would be affected.
But there are other factors as well. In particular, low T levels in older men are associated with both depression and ED.
So it might be a case of a third party causing both problems.
Of course, suffering from ED is sure to send anyone on a downward spiral emotionally. It’s only natural that there would be significant overlap between depression and ED.
Regardless of which way the relationship goes, here’s the important part – if you have either ED or depression, the other one is much more likely happen.
And the worst part? The cure most doctors prescribe will actually make your ED worse, as we’re about to see.
Most depression is treated today by using SSRIs. SSRIs are drugs that affect serotonin levels in the brain.
They work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, so there’s more of it in your brain.
This increases overall serotonin levels and can help ease the symptoms of depression and stabilize your mood.
SSRIs are incredibly common today. In 2014, 8-10% of the US population was on SSRIs, often for off-label uses.
To put that number in perspective, that’s between 25,484,800 and 31,856,000 people.
That’s a lot of prescription drugs.
Why is this a problem?
Because the link between SSRIs and ED is extremely clear. Here are some of the ways that SSRIs can cause ED:
To top all of this off, the problems don’t stop when you stop taking the SSRI.
Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) can linger for months or even years. In some cases, full functionality and sensitivity never return.
So what can you do? You’re damned if you have depression and you’re damned if you try and treat it!
Fortunately, there is a solution: treat depression naturally.
There’s lots of different approaches to treating depression without medication, including therapy, diet, spending time outside, mental exercises, and more.
But we’re going to focus on the three ways that are most effective for most people.
It’s worth noting here that depression isn’t like breaking your arm…
When someone breaks their arm, pretty much no matter who they are, the problem (broken bone) and how to fix it (a cast) is the same.
Depression, on the other hand, affects everyone differently.
Most people need to combine a number of natural treatments to get the best result. So play around with these until you find the right mix for you.
Using exercise to treat depression falls under what’s called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT.
CBT is a psychological-based method that aims to change how people behave so that it will eventually change how they feel.
The rationale is that when you’re suffering from depression, you’re prone to a negative internal monologue, or thought process.
For example, not seeing your friends and then internally thinking ‘I am super isolated. It must be because no one likes me.’
By changing the behaviour (e.g. ‘this week I’m going out for a coffee’) you change the internal thought process (‘I saw someone I liked today.
People must like me’). Thus, depression symptoms and eventually depression itself is reduced.
The basic method is that patients will go and talk through a problem they’re having, and work with a psychologist to overcome that problem.
These problems are often symptoms ( like not exercising enough) of depression, rather than what would normally be considered the root cause.
This structured, goal-orientated way of addressing symptoms means patients tend to feel better, regardless of what ‘caused’ the depression in the first place.
Exercise in particular is an effective execution of CBT to treat depression.
Very early case studies from the 1900s first identified this relationship, but more scientific studies since then have confirmed it.
A meta-analysis completed in 2004 summarized these findings, citing examples like:
What’s clear is that depression can be alleviated by exercise, and the impact of exercise on depression is both rapid and long-lasting – it doesn’t take much to make a big difference (source)
In the same vein as the CBT-driven recommendation to exercise to cure depression comes our second natural cure – sunlight.
First, lack of sunlight actually has its own medical diagnosis, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is essentially a seasonal bout of depression that settles in in winter and alleviates in the spring.
An estimated 20% of Americans suffer from SAD every year.
Of course, more sunlight can treat those suffering from SAD. But what about other forms of depression?
Turns out, sunlight can help those sufferers too.
First, sunlight provides vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D correlate with higher levels of depression.
So right out of the gate, there’s a biochemical reason for the sunlight-depression link.
Second, sunlight impacts our bodies in a number of ways beyond simply providing vitamin D.
Different molecules are absorbed through your skin from the sun which goes on to have a huge variety of complex interactions in your body.
In particular, some of these interactions involve the production and use of ATP, the most common form of energy your body uses (it’s like gasoline for cells).
Lack of sunlight makes ATP less effective, leaving you tired and lethargic – key symptoms of depression.
Porn is often used by those suffering depression as a short-term fix.
They’re feeling lonely and isolated, and porn gives them a brief dopamine boost, which makes them feel better, but only temporarily.
However, while it might seem harmless to seek some short-term relief, the reality is that there are long-term consequences. When you watch porn, you get a massive hit of dopamine.
But over time, you need more dopamine to feel the same effect.
If you’re already suffering from depression, eroding the effectiveness of the little dopamine you do have will only send you deeper down the rabbit hole.
What’s more, higher levels of porn consumption correlate to higher levels of depression.
It’s not clear if depressed people watch porn more often, or if watching porn more often makes you depressed.
But what is clear is that watching porn frequently is a crutch that makes it more difficult to form solid, emotional bonds with those around you – bonds that can help you alleviate depression or even prevent you from developing it in the first place.
The question of depression causing ED or ED causing depression is really a chicken and an egg situation: it’s hard to know what comes first.
But this much is clear: depression and ED go hand in hand. The common cure for depression, SSRIs, only exacerbate any existing ED problems, reducing sexual function, feeling, and libido.
While both depression and the most common depression treatment can actually cause ED itself, you might feel like the situation is hopeless.
However, there are solutions out there. CBT and the variety of treatments that derive from it do nothing to induce ED and can even help reverse it.
Things like exercise and spending time outside and in the sun can help you fight depression without ruining your sex life.
And if you can keep off the porn, you’ll give yourself an excellent chance of fully recovering.
So maybe the silver lining is this: because depression and ED go hand-in-hand, so to do their natural cures.
Fix one, and the other should soon follow.
(How to Reduce Penile Plaque, written by David Jaynes)
Plaque is never a good thing, especially when it’s preceded by
Penile plaque, for those who don’t know, is when plaque builds up in and around the blood vessels to your penis, causing them to narrow.
This blocks the passage of blood into your penis, making it more difficult for you to get hard.
Less blood flow = softer erections.
It should be clear that this is NOT Penile Curvature, or Peyronie’s Disease. That’s’ when scar tissue builds up which can also cause erection difficulties.
Fortunately, penile plaque can actually be fixed.
Here are 5 ways that you can reduce the penile plaque you have, or help prevent yourself from developing it in the first place.
We all know on some level that being overweight is bad for your health, and I think we all also know that it’s bad for your sex life (even if you don’t want to admit it).
However, because your cardiovascular health and your body’s ability to pump enough blood into your penis to get hard are one and the same, the link between being overweight and ED is stronger than you think.
Basically, being overweight taxes your cardio in a big way. And the weaker your cardio, whether it’s due to plaque-filled arteries or just a weaker heart, the worse your erections are going to be.
And this isn’t just a hunch – scientists have confirmed multiple times that obesity and thickening arterial walls have a causal relationship.
The good news, though, is that a study completed in 2011 found that losing weight doesn’t just stop arteries from clogging – it can actually reverse the problem.
The study, completed by Israel scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and published in Circulation in 2011, looked at the relationship and found that losing at least 12 pounds reduced artery issues caused by atherosclerosis by 5% (source).
The researchers looked at 140 people, aged 40-65 who were both overweight and had heart disease or type 2 diabetes. They were randomly assigned different diets and told to go on their way.
Two years later, researchers checked in to see how the participants were holding up and what was going on in their arteries.
They found that losing 12 pounds reduced the arterial thickness and lowered blood pressure. However, losing less didn’t really have that much of an impact.
It seems there’s some critical 12-pound threshold that people need to cross to really start to see results.
Conclusion? Losing weight is a good way to improve your cardiovascular health in general and will actually reverse any penile plaque that you’ve built up in your system.
How you lose it is up to you, but it’s worth mentioning that the researchers did note that fad diets delivered poor results.
The key is working out a system that actually works for you, not just doing everything you can to lose weight as quickly as possible.
Just remember two things…
First, make sure you lose at least 12 pounds – otherwise, what’s the point?
Second, only undertake this if you’re overweight.
These results are all from participants who were overweight to start with, so if you’re a skinny beanpole then this might not have any impact.
Pomegranate juice has got to be one of the world’s best-kept secrets.
It’s packed with good stuff and can do things like reduce oxidative stress, clear up free radicals, prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s and even improve arthritis symptoms.
In addition to all that, it can help you with your cardiovascular health and reduce and reverse penile plaque buildup in the process.
For starters, pomegranate has been found to prevent plaque from forming in the first place.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is produced in the endothelial cells of your arteries and blood vessels. It’s a key ingredient to getting a good erection as well as having a healthy heart because it’s relaxant.
It’s what causes your arteries and your penis to relax…
In the former, this allows blood to flow better and in the latter, it means that blood can get in and get trapped much more effectively.
A study published in 2006 in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry found that pomegranate juice will actually support the production of nitric oxide.
The researchers looked at the impact of pomegranate juice on the production of endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (NOSIII). NOSIII production is critical to the production of NO.
Unfortunately, high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL (the so-called bad cholesterol) inhibit the production of NOSIII, which inhibits the production of NO, which causes the arterial walls to harden, which makes plaque buildup much more likely (source).
It’s a little like when you’re cleaning your sink…
The parts of the sink that has water flowing in it every day are free and clear. But the corners, where water tends not to reach is where soap scum will build up.
Your arteries are the same way. When they’re full of NO, they’re like the parts of the sink where water goes – always moving, so nothing can get a grip.
But as LDL inhibits NOSIII and thus NO levels drop, the walls stay still.
Now it’s like the corners of your sink, where the water isn’t running, plague begins to build up and your arteries get blocked.
Pomegranate promotes NO production, keeping arteries fluid and thus, helps to prevent penile plaque.
But pomegranate can also help Reverse (not just prevent) arterial plaque.
A study published in 2005 looked at the effects of using pomegranate juice to treat damaged and hardened endothelial cells.
They found that they could reduce the area of arterial walls that hardened over time by up to 26% and help keep them that way, allowing for a significant improvement in blood flow (source).
Another study used human subjects rather than just cells and found a similar result.
When they gave one group pomegranate juice every day for three years and the other group a placebo, they found that the pomegranate reduced the plaque buildup by 35% over three years (source).
The same goes for your penis. The more blood you can push through your arteries and the softer and more flexible your blood vessels are, the faster and easier you’ll find it to get hard.
In addition to improving overall cardio health by losing weight and drinking pomegranate juice, there are a few supplements that you can take to help relax the arterial walls.
Again, this will prevent plaque from building up and keep everything flowing as it should.
Scientists have found a correlation between low magnesium and arterial stiffness…
There’s also evidence that magnesium will help chip away at plaque build up as a result of arterial calcification.
Arterial calcification is the result of tiny pieces of calcium clinging onto arterial walls and slowly building up, like tiny stalactites and stalagmites.
Researchers in Boston in 2014 found that even small doses of magnesium daily were enough to cut calcification by up to 25% (source).
The next supplement on our list is K2. Vitamin K2 is like a great supporting actor….
It helps keep other systems in your body running smoothly, particularly the relationship your system has with vitamin D and calcium.
You see, these vitamins along with calcium work in concert together.
Calcium just gets in the way unless its put in the right place, like your bones or teeth.
Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, but doesn’t tell calcium where to go. So if you take calcium and vitamin D, then you’ve got more calcium to deal with and a greater capacity to absorb it.
Which means that mistakes can happen.
Calcium ends up deposited in all sorts of places it’s not supposed to be, like along your artery walls and the lining of your penis.
And this is where vitamin K2 comes in…
While calcium makes your bones stronger and vitamin D will help the calcium be absorbed, vitamin K2 tells your body where the calcium is needed most.
Its like the guide dog for calcium formations – it gets it where it needs to go.
What’s more, vitamin D and vitamin K2 actually work together to protect your arteries and other soft tissues from calcification. They help produce Matrix GLA Protein (MGP), a protein that stops the process of arterial calcification.
So essentially, by taking vitamin K2, you make it much more difficult for calcification of your arteries to happen.
Not only is there less calcium floating around, but the calcium that IS floating around will be much less likely to be deposited in the arteries leading to your penis.
You might not have heard of him, but Linus Pauling is a big deal.
He’s the only scientist to ever be awarded two unshared Nobel prizes and is one of only four people to have won more than once.
He published over a thousand papers and books in his career and helped found molecular biology.
Towards the end of his life, he started working on the role of vitamins in cardiovascular health and before he died in 1994, he developed the Linus Pauling Protocol.
The Linus Pauling Protocol is a system used to fight heart disease, but it can be easily adapted to specifically help promote erectile health and reduce arterial hardening.
It works like this…
Basically, you take vitamin C and two amino acids, L-Lysine and L-Proline, and that’s it.
The science behind this is pretty nifty.
Collagen is the primary building material of your body. If your body was a skyscraper, the steel frame would be your skeleton and collagen would be the concrete. That’s a little exaggerated, but not much.
Arterial walls, skin, muscles, ligaments… you name it, and collagen connects it.
If you’re not making enough collagen, then instead of the collagen chains criss-crossing like a chain link fence, they sit in separate, parallel lines to stretch out and cover a larger area.
This makes them weak and much more susceptible to damage.
Pauling argues that heart disease is a chronic breakdown of collagen, resulting in very weak arterial walls.
To stop blood from leaking out of your arteries, you body patches the holes with calcium – those nasty deposits that narrow your arteries.
Over time, these patches clog your arteries and harden the walls, both of which make it harder for you to get hard.
Fortunately, the solution is both simple and cheap. All you need to do is promote collagen production.
Step 1: Take Vitamin C: Vitamin C enters the conversation early.
It’s required to make lysyl hydroxylase, a critical enzyme. Without it, collegen doesn’t get made, and the collagen strands become weaker.
Supplementing with vitamin C will give your body the stuff it needs to make more collagen and fix all the various arterial weak spots with a strong chain linked fence style construction.
Dosage wise, you should shoot for about 3 grams daily.
Step 2: take L-Lysine and L-Proline: To make collagen, your body twists together ropes of 3 amino acids….L-Lysine, L-Proline, and L-glycine.
You need enough of these building blocks in order to increase how much collagen is in your body.
And that’s why Pauling recommends you take take L-Lysine and L-Proline.
L-Glycine is one of the 10 amino acids your body can produce. But you can’t produce L-Lysine and L-Proline.
You also can’t store these amino acids — you need to consume new ones every day for your body to use them to make collagen.
If you have enough of these three amino acids, then your body will find the holes in arterial walls where the collagen has snapped and fix these molecular threads.
But to do that, it needs ready access to L-Lysine, L-Proline, and L-glycine.
Otherwise, all your vitamin C will go to waste.
It’d be like buying a power drill to build a house faster, but not having enough screws to screw stuff together.
So to ensure that your body has enough, you want to take about 3 grams of L-Lysine and 1.5 grams of L-Proline, along with vitamin C every day to build up your collagen levels.
Combined, these steps form the Linus Pauling Protocol.
Follow this protocol and your arteries will be soft, supple, and calcium-deposit free.
Fortunately, penile plaque is a reversible condition…
But it’s also an early indicator of cardiovascular problems that may have major negative implications down the line.
This fact explains why monitoring your erections and taking action when necessary is so critically important.
So lose that extra weight, drink your juice, and take your vitamins….
Your sex life and your cardiovascular system will thank you for it.
(Guest Post, written by David Jaynes)
Mint tea might help you warm up in winter or sooth
a sore throat when you’re sick, but it might not be
worth the pain.
Mint and testosterone have a bit of a chequered past, with studies indicating that consuming mint reduces men’s testosterone levels.
This article is going to give you the rundown on what the research says about mint and testosterone, and why it might be worth avoiding for your T levels, your balls, your fertility, and your sex life.
First, lets clarify what we’re talking about. Peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, ginger mint, chocolate mint — all are part of the mentha family.
For the sake of concision, we’re going to just call all of these types of mint mint, because they all cause the following problems to one degree or another.
It’s also worth noting that mint and its mentha family buddies aren’t just found in herbal tea. Toothpaste, gum, deodorants, air purifiers, cooking, cocktails — mint is found in lots of places.
So if you’re looking to reduce your mint intake, remember to look closely at the products that you interact with every day.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at what the science says about this.
One of the first studies that looked at this issue was published back in 2004 in Urology by three researchers from the Suleyman Demirel University Medical School in Turkey.
They looked at the effects of peppermint tea on rats, measuring testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels.
The researchers took 48 rats and divided them into four groups, one control getting water and the other three receiving progressively higher doses of mint (either spearmint or peppermint).
What they found was that the control groups produced significantly more FSH and LH while levels of testosterone plummeted. In the lowest-dose group of peppermint, levels fell 23%. Spearmint dropped testosterone levels by 51%, and that wasn’t even at the highest dose.
The researchers concluded that, despite the benefits of mint tea, we should be aware of the “toxic effects” that it can have on testosterone (source).
And this isn’t the only study…
Three years later, the same researchers published a second study in Phytotherapy Research and reached a similar conclusion. This time, they looked at levels of testosterone in women suffering from hirsutism.
They looked at 21 women, 12 with polycystic ovary syndrome and 9 with idiopathic hirsutism. They had them drink spearmint tea twice a day for 5 days at a specific point in their menstrual cycles.
What they found confirmed earlier studies. Their free testosterone levels dropped and their FSH and LH levels rose significantly.
They also found increases in Estradiol, the primary female sex hormone. And while they concluded that more studies needs to be done, it’s still pretty damning evidence that mint makes T levels go down (source).
It’s worth noting here that men’s and women’s hormones, while they do different things and are present in different amounts, are actually the same stuff. Despite their names, men produce LH, FSH, and oestrogen — they just do it in smaller volumes than women.
Conversely, women do produce testosterone, they just produce less of it.
Now as you might know, testosterone and your balls are pretty closely related…
And in general, the lower your testosterone, the more testicular atrophy you’ll experience. Therefore, the more mint you consume, the worse off your balls are going to be.
In fact, in 2008, a group of Indian researchers confirmed this in a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
They looked at rats and the “probable correlation between oxidative stress in hypothalamic region and antiandrogenic action of [spearmint] on rats”.
In other words, does giving rats spearmint correlate to increased oxidative stress in the hypothalamus and decreased testosterone levels? And if so, why?
By looking at enzyme activity levels, the researchers were able to track oxidative stress levels. As the spearmint doses went up, enzyme activity went down and thus, the oxidative stress must have increased.
Second, their analysis found that:
The researchers concluded that spearmint does cause a decrease in testosterone by causing oxidative stress in the hypothalamus which in turn causes LH and FSH production to decrease.
Then, as the body becomes aware that the hormones are out of whack, it decreases testosterone production by reducing the supply of enzymes and proteins needed to build testosterone molecules, resulting in an overall net decrease of free T in your system (source).
It’s like your body is building a skyscraper, but someone at the head office needs to stop the project…
Instead of going to to the worksite and closing things down, they just call the concrete plant and the steel plant and tell them to stop making deliveries. Without new building materials, production grinds to a halt.
Conclusion? Mint can be a real ball buster.
Of course, you can’t decrease your testosterone levels and cause your balls to shrivel up and induce oxidative stress on your brain and not expect at least some impact on fertility.
Which is exactly why in 2014, researchers from Iran collaborated to publish a study in the Avicenna journal of phytomedicine about male fertility in rats and mint (they used spearmint).
They got male rates and split them into four groups. One group received no spearmint (control) and the rest received either 10, 20, or 40 mg/kg every day for 45 days.
This allowed the research to make dose-dependent conclusions.
After the 45 days, they looked at sperm health based on a variety of factors, including:
What they found was that spearmint did have a negative impact on virtually every fertility metric. Sperm count decreased. Fast motility decreased. Immotility increased. Serum testosterone decreased.
Now to be fair, researchers didn’t find these changes in statistically significant amounts. Plus, there was no difference in the number of offspring between the control and experimental groups of rats; however, their doses were relatively low (source).
With that in mind, small doses of mint probably won’t affect your sperm too terribly. But at higher doses you could run into serious problems.
And remember: this is on top of testicular atrophy and low T levels, both of which WILL cause infertility.
So while the mint might not have direct effect, it’s definitely not helping things along. If you’re looking to pro-create, I’d say it’s best to keep off the mint, especially in high doses.
Now, onto the matter at hand. With all of this information that science has supplied, how much softer or less frequent is your wood going to be?
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any concrete research on mint and ED. There’s no smoking gun.
But think about this:
So with all this in mind, do you think that mint is HELPING your sex life?
I think we can confidently say: ‘probably not’.
What does all this mean?
Does it meant that we can safely chew gum and drink mojitos without any consequences?
Does it mean we should put mint up there with plutonium on our list of ‘don’t touch it with a ten foot pole’?
Does it mean we should wait for science to tell us that mint is definitely good or definitely bad?
It’s up to you.
To be clear, there is currently no scientific evidence, correlative or otherwise, linking mint to erectile dysfunction.
However, there is LOTS of evidence that links a number of causal factors for ED and low testosterone to increasing mint intake.
Basically, mint creates an environment that makes it difficult to get hard, easy to stay soft, and difficult to maintain healthy testosterone production.
Don’t develop a mint tea habit. Don’t chew gum all the time and don’t race through altoids.
But don’t become a mint-nazi.
The odd cup of tea when you’re under the weather or the odd sprig of mint in a summer salad isn’t going to kill you and isn’t going to induce ED.
There are other more important factors when it comes to your testosterone levels and your ED that will have a much bigger impact.
So live a little!
After all, who doesn’t love a mojito on a hot beach?
Allergies can do more than just give you the sniffles.
There’s a growing body of evidence that allergies can actually cause erectile dysfunction.
What’s more, the very medication that big pharma pushes to eradicate your allergies might be contributing to your ED.
This article is going to outline how allergies reduce sexual function, how allergy medication can give you ED, and some key things you can do to cure your allergies naturally.
Here we go!
And I don’t mean just that it’s more difficult to get you or your partner in the mood when you’re feeling like crap. Allergies have been proven to actually reduce your erectile and sexual function, not just your desire to initiate or even have sex.
We talked recently about teeth and ED, citing a study completed in Taiwan.
That study (which was huge) was conducted over eight years by the Taiwan National Health Insurance and is one of the few databases in the world where they asked tens of thousands of men questions about their health and about their sex lives.
So a lot of research has been done using it.
Anyway, back to allergies. Using that data set, a group of researchers in Taiwan looked at rates of allergic rhinitis (AR) and ED to see if there was a correlation.
(As an aside here, “AR” is a fancy term for nasal allergies — blocked or runny nose, clogged sinuses, headaches, etc…).
They looked at two groups of men, 18-55. One group (n=64,000) had allergic rhinitis (AR). The second group (n=64,000) didn’t have AR. They then compared the two and, lo and behold, patients with AR had FAR more sexual function problems than those without AR.
Out of the 128,000 men who were part of the study, 1,455 suffered ED in just under 6 years. Of those 1,455, 844 suffered AR and 611 got ED without any trace of AR (source).
In layman’s terms, this means that you’re 130% more likely to have ED if you have nasal allergies.
Now to be clear, this is still only a correlative relationship. But it is one that’s been repeated.
Two researchers in Cleveland looked at AR, and how it affected the daily lives of their patients. They evaluated patients on a quality of life (QOL) test, asking them about their sleep patterns, fatigue, and sex lives (among other things).
AR has a significant negative impact on sexual function and can result in sleep disturbances and fatigue” (source)
Now, having nasal allergies doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to get ED, and NOT having AR doesn’t mean you’re somehow immune to erectile problems.
What is means is that if you have nasal allergies and you’re also suffering ED, curing your nasal problems might be a good place to start.
Likewise, if you’re suffering from AR but you don’t have erectile dysfunction, dealing with your allergies a little more seriously might be a good idea before they start contributing to other, more severe… flaccid-er problems.
So why is all this happening? The short answer is: we don’t really know.
What we do know is that allergic reactions and chronic allergies are caused by inflammation, which, unfortunately…
Tends to make your body less effective at both moving blood around AND affects your body’s ability to produce the specific chemicals that you need to get a good, solid erection.
So one theory is that inflammation is caused by allergies, which then impact your ability to get an erection.
Regardless, at this point you’re probably ready to run out and buy all the anti-allergen drugs you can get your hands on.
But before you do that, you might want to read just a little more.
First, lets look at how most allergy medication works. When you get allergies, the agent that drives the reaction are histamines.
Histamines are actually incredibly important for your body…
They help you get rid of whatever’s irritating it.
For example, if you have something on your skin, histamines will make you scratch. If you’ve got something your sinuses, histamines will make you sneeze. In your eyes? Histamines make you cry.
Now you probably noticed the things that histamines do are also the core symptoms of allergies.
That’s why the primary medical response by pharmaceutical companies to allergies is antihistamines — drugs that get rid of the histamines in your system.
However, this might be bad news for your erections.
First, antihistamines (even non-drowsy ones) almost always make you tired. That’s because the antihistamines block the central nervous system.
What’s more, when the central nervous system is suppressed, it’s more difficult to become turned on. Basically, it’s like trying to have a sex life when you’re a little out of it.
Second, histamines play an active role in helping you get an erection. Histamines help the spongy tissue in your corpus cavernosum fill with blood — which is what makes your penis hard.
A study completed at in Brazil looked at corpus cavernosum tissue to see what the impact of being exposed to histamines was.
The researchers did two experiments, one where they took small 2cm pieces of tissues, exposing half of the samples to histamines. The other half were not exposed.
In the second experiment, they injected patients with histamines, again with a control group who were not injected.
They then recorded the erectile response (source).
They found that exposure to histamines produced a dose-dependent response for the sample tissues by relaxing them (remember relaxed corpus cavernosum = good erection)
In the human trials, they found a similar result, where higher doses of histamine = stronger erections.
Histamines play a role in human erections by helping relax the corpus cavernosum muscles and allowing them to fill with and trap blood.
So where does that leave us? Allergies contribute to ED and the drugs to cure allergies also contribute to ED.
Treat allergies naturally, by reducing your histamine response moderately and NOT by wiping it out altogether with drugs that will also wipe out your erections.
There are three main ways that you can treat allergies naturally: avoid histamine-producing foods, take vitamin C, and with diet.
These are sometimes called histamine-releasing foods as well, since they cause your body to ‘release’ a flood of histamines.
One thing to consider is that this is a general guide. Some foods are high in histamines (high is a relative term), but most of the histamines in your system at any one time will be histamines you produced yourself.
Some foods will trigger more histamine action for certain people. We’ll get onto diet control in a minute, but it’s important to remember that a lot of this is ‘in general’ rather than gospel truth.
Anyway, first you want to reduce the foods that are known to contain higher-than-normal histamines.
This mostly includes things that are either fermented or involve culturing of some kind. Think cheeses, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and booze. Smoked foods (charcuterie like salami, sausages, or smoked fish), beans, nuts, chocolate, and shellfish are also known to be high in histamines.
Second, try to reduce processed foods: salty snacks, canned and frozen foods, and ready meals should all be avoided. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or the ingredient list is a mile long, it’s probably best to avoid the food.
Third, you want to reduce your intake of foods that tell your body to release histamines, or histamine-releasing foods.
Things like really acidic fruit (lemon, lime, oranges, kiwis, pineapples), papaya, tomatoes, and wheat germ (found in packaged bread) are all prone to increase histamines.
Finally, (since this has probably decimated your diet a bit) there are plenty of foods that are good for histamine control:
Vitamin C is good for many things, and because it’s water-soluble, any excess is simply peed out.
So there’s no adverse effect of trying a higher dose, and you may find that is completely solves your allergy histamine problem.
A study published back in 1992 by two researchers from Arizona State University in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that there was a distinct link between vitamin C consumption and histamine levels.
They put together 10 subjects and took blood samples regularly over six weeks. During some of those weeks the subjects were given 2000 mg’s of vitamin C. On others, no C was given.
They also took a first sample to establish a baseline value.
What they found was that following the vitamin C weeks, histamine levels were reduced by 38%, leading the researchers to conclude that vitamin C might be able to detox your blood and help clear it of histamines (source).
By upping your vitamin C you might be able to seriously cull your histamine levels, and get some of your normal vigor back.
Finally, when all else fails, you can try an elimination diet. Because histamines are a reaction by your body to an external threat or invasion, diet is often a prime suspect for allergy problems.
An elimination diet is a simple method that you can use to work out what foods are triggering the allergies you’re experiencing.
It’s pretty simple.
First, you want to create a baseline. This is a simple diet comprised of stuff that doesn’t normally invoke a histamine response:
Once you’ve been on this diet for 14 days (unless you’re still feeling the symptoms) it’s time to start adding back foods. The key here is to only add them one at a time, and to add them slowly.
One new food every 3-5 days is about right.
If there’s no reaction, the food can join your clean baseline diet. If there is a reaction, stop eating the food and put it back in the testing pile. Try it again in a week or so to confirm your results.
By the end, you should have a clear idea of what’s good for you and what isn’t, and should be able to change your diet to reduce your histamine levels consistently.
Allergies can have a serious impact on your sex life. Not only do they make you feel lethargic and not in the mood, but your immune system’s reaction to things like pollen or gluten actually make it a lot more difficult to get hard.
And to complicate matters, antihistamines and other allergy medicine doesn’t solve the problem, but rather creates new ones.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.
Allergies can be treated 100% naturally simply by reducing your intake of histamine-producing and histamine-heavy foods combined with a little vitamin C.
And, if all else fails, you can go the elimination diet route.
Beyond taking some breath mints if you go crazy on the garlic bread, you might not think that teeth and ED have much to do with each other.
But you’d be wrong.
There’s a growing body of evidence that periodontitis, or gum disease, is linked to erectile dysfunction. Taking care of your teeth might just be the solution you’ve been looking for for your erectile problems, as well as a way to future-proof yourself against ED from age.
Here’s a rundown of the evidence linking gum disease and ED, as well as what you can do to improve your dental health and hopefully, cure your erectile dysfunction.
First, let’s clarify what we’re talking about.
Gum disease isn’t just bad breath or the odd cavity. Gum disease is when your gums start to pull away from your teeth, exposing tiny holes that bacteria can collect in and fester. That bacteria can easily then spread to the surrounding bone (source).
The symptoms of gum disease can range from sensitive gums (gingivitis) all the way to severe damage to teeth, soft tissue, and bone (periodontitis). It can even require a tooth extraction to fix.
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of bacteria into plaque. Brushing and flossing will get rid of plaque, but if left for long enough, it will harden into tartar. This can be removed by a dentist, but that’s it — brushing and flossing certainly won’t move it.
And that’s how you get gum disease — poor oral hygiene, plaque builds up under the gum line, plaque turns to tartar, tartar evolves into pockets of bacteria, and then the infection spreads until the offending tooth falls out.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s turn our attention to how this impacts your wood.
There are a few different theories of what links periodontitis, none of which are conclusively proven. What we DO know is there is definitely a correlation between rates of periodontitis and ED. This has been found in multiple studies from around the world.
For example, one study from Taiwan in 2012 looked at the relationship on a national scale. They looked at over 32,000 men who suffered from ED as well a comparison group of 162,000.
It was a truly enormous study.
They found that of the 32,000 men suffering from ED, 26.9% of them suffered from periodontitis, compared to only 9.4% of the control group. What’s more, when they applied more statistical controls, the researchers found that this relationship only became clearer for men under 30 and over 69 (source).
But these researchers aren’t alone. Other studies have confirmed these findings.
A group of researchers out of the Department of Urology from Inonu University in Turkey published a paper in 2013 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine finding the same link.
They looked at 80 men between 30 and 40 years old suffering from ED and compared them to 82 men without ED, based on the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). Of the 82 men in the non-ED group, 19 had severe periodontitis, or 23%.
This number skyrockets to 53%, or 42/80 men in the ED group. What’s more, evidence of past periodontitis like decayed or missing teeth was far higher in the ED group. The researchers concluded that the scientific community should “consider periodontal disease as a causative clinical condition of ED in such patients” (source).
Both of these studies approached this problem from a fairly simplistic standpoint: do men who have ED also have periodontitis more often than the population at large?
A study from Western China took a different approach.
In 2011, a group of scientists from Luzhou Medical College published a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Their goal wasn’t to identify a correlation — it was to find the cause.
First, they gave half the rats they were studying periodontitis. Then, they looked at a number factors that are normally used as indicators of erectile dysfunction, including:
What they found was that the rats who were induced with periodontitis performed worse across every measure. Conclusion? Penile functionality is impaired by periodontitis (source).
Of course, not everyone agrees with this aggressive causal statement. The American Academy of Periodontology (you can think of them as Big Dental) argues that there’s not enough evidence to say that bad teeth causes erectile dysfunction.
They argue that sure, these studies definitely support the theory that there’s a link between periodontitis and your ability to get it up. But they stipulate that there’s no evidence that an infection in your teeth is causing you to go soft.
It’s all about inflammation.
Which brings us to cause.
To be blunt, we don’t really know. All the research so far has only indicated that there’s a correlative relationship rather than a causal one.
That said, there are a few prevailing theories.
The most popular theory is that it’s all about inflammation.
It goes like this.
As you develop periodontitis, your body has a natural immune response to it. As part of this, white blood cells flood into the area around the infection to help your body fight it. This causes inflammation. However, an infection in one part of the body can have spillover effects on others.
In this case, the chronic inflammation caused by periodontitis can lead to damage in the endothelial cells. These are the cells that form the barrier that lines the inside of blood vessels, and thus are everywhere where there’s a lot of blood (like your heart and your penis).
So why does damage to the endothelial cells causes you to lose your morning wood?
Because that’s where nitric oxide is produced.
And since getting a solid erection depends on nitric oxide, the more chronic inflammation that’s occurring in your body, the more damaged your blood vessels are going to get, and the less nitric oxide they’re going to produce.
Specifically, damage to the endothelial cells interferes with the creation of the enzyme that catalyzes nitric oxide production, endothelial nitric oxide synthase 3, or eNOS (it’s sometimes called NOS3).
What’s more, your body will often use your penis like an early warning system. Chronic inflammation can have serious effects on your heart and brain and can raise the likelihood of having a heart attack or a stroke, significantly.
ED might be an early and comparatively harmless way for your body to tell you something isn’t right.
Quick note: Chronic doesn’t mean ‘really really bad.’ It means ‘happening all the time.’ When you bite your lip and it swells up, that’s acute inflammation. Periodontitis is chronic because it’s always there.
Of course, this theory doesn’t really link teeth to ED. It links inflammation to ED, but that inflammation could come from anywhere. Arthritis, chronic back pain, asthma, or even hepatitis are all sources of inflammation.
Or, it could also be something else completely. So it’s not a 100% causal relationship. That said, given that the men studied in these experiments and others are 2.28 times more likely to suffer from periodontitis compared to their more erect control groups, I think that a visit to the dentist is a good place to start.
There is another theory out there. It’s a little less involved but it basically argues that there is no merit to this research.
People who have periodontitis are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction not for any teeth-related reason, but rather because the men who have periodontitis are more likely to be unhealthy in general, which decreases erectile functionality for a number of reasons.
However, most of these studies have made at least some effort to control for confounding lifestyle factors. So yes, there is the possibility that there’s some other common thread uniting these men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
But I don’t think that’s any reason to avoid brushing your teeth.
My take? I think that for whatever reason, curing your periodontitis will only help your sex life. At best, you get a better erection and better breath. And at worse, you end up with better dental hygiene. What have you got to lose?
Let’s set aside the causal/correlative relationship and focus on the positive: how to improve your dental health and cure your erectile dysfunction.
There are two key components to dental health: putting the right stuff in so that your body can repair your teeth itself, and taking care of your teeth with positive dental behavior (flossing, brushing, etc…).
There are few key components to getting (and maintaining) healthy teeth — specifically, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2.
Now you’ll notice that none of these vitamins are calcium, the usual star of the dental health world. The thing is, calcium is great, but it can actually cause problems.
Just like calcium in water can clog pipes, calcium in your body can build up into plaque that clogs your arteries. This is part of atherosclerosis, or the hardening of your arteries.
And as we know, what happens to your heart…
… usually happens to your penis too. When your arteries harden from too much calcium, the flexible, delicate blood vessels in your penis struggle to engorge correctly, making it more difficult to get hard. What’s more, as plaque builds up in your arteries, it’s harder to get enough blood to get your penis hard in the first place!
Enter the fat-soluble vitamins.
First K2. K2, which comes from fermented foods like natto and hard cheeses, activates a protein which binds calcium in your body to your teeth and bones where it belongs.
Basically, you can drink all the milk in the world but unless you have enough K2, it’s just going to harden your arteries, do nothing for your teeth, and make your ED worse.
Second, vitamin D. Where K2 helps your body pick up the calcium off your arteries and get it to where it needs to go, vitamin D helps you absorb it into your bones and teeth, providing strength and opacity, keeping your teeth hard and whole.
Finally, vitamin A. Vitamin A works to promote bone density (which is good). But it also works to promote mucus and saliva production, which coats your teeth and gums and protects them from harsh foods like acidic foods.
To keep your teeth healthy you need to balance all three of these vitamins:
Together, they form the core to oral health.
When it comes to brushing and flossing, the rules are pretty clear.
Brush twice a day, 2 minutes each and floss once a day.
But here are some tips to keep your teeth as healthy and clean as possible.
Overbrushing is when you brush your teeth too much and too hard. Much like sandpaper wearing down a piece of wood, overbrushing causes toothbrush abrasion, wearing away protective enamel and causing your gums to recede.
In terms of periodontitis, receding gums opens up more opportunities for small pockets to form, which are likely to grow into a major problem.
Don’t think that you’re overbrushing? Think again. According to The Wall Street Journal, 10-20% of people are overbrushing.
Because the thing is…
… plaque is easy to remove. It’s not stuck on like flecks of a label on a jar that needs to be scrubbed off. It could be wiped off with a clean rag, if you could get a rag that gets all the way to the back. Cleaning off plaque is more like cleaning a window than scrubbing a stove.
Here’s how you can avoid overbrushing:
Most dental plans include an annual checkup and two teeth cleanings a year.
A dentist can check the health of your teeth and help you solve small problems before they become big ones. Second, even the most vigilant tooth-brusher and flosser will miss a spot or two.
Most people develop a tooth brushing pattern, missing the same spots again and again. While self-correction is important, regular teeth cleaning will help you identify these areas and a dentist will help you clean the tartar off your teeth — tartar that’s impossible to remove on your own.
Keeping your teeth clean and clear isn’t just about minty fresh breath (despite every Colgate ad ever). It’s also about holistic, whole-body health — including the health of your penis.
There’s a growing body of evidence that poor dental health like the chronic inflammation caused by periodontitis correlates to worse penis performance.
The stress your body has to go through to constantly be pumping white blood cells into your gums, bones, and teeth causes inflammation of other cells too — namely, your endothelial cells.
When these cells are inflamed, they’re not as good at their job of moving blood around your body. Plus, inflammation compromises their ability to synthesise eNOS, a critical component to your body’s ability to get hard.
Fortunately, the cure is easy.
Make sure you’re putting the right stuff in, like fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K2. These are found in dozens of supplements as well as liver (vitamin A), fermented products and cheeses (K2) and, well, the sun (vitamin D).
All of these work together to protect your teeth and ensure that your body is moving calcium where it’s needed, when it’s needed. This has the spin off effect of improving your cardiovascular health, so it’s a win-win.
Second, look after your teeth. Brush regularly with a soft-bristle brush, avoid overbrushing, and visit your dentist regularly.
Keeping your teeth is important in its own right. But since it’ll also help you get (and keep!) your erection, you’re only set up to gain from the experience.
Now go dig up $2 and get a new toothbrush. It might just turn your (sex) life around.
(Magnesium for Erectile Dysfunction, written by David Jaynes)
The good news for men with ED is, there are a ton of supplements
out there that will supposedly help fix your ED.
The bad news for men with ED is, there are so many options it’s hard to decide which supplements actually work.
The worse news for men with erectile dysfunction is, that it’s hard to tell what’s real, what’s rumor and what’s intentional snake oil.
Which is what this blog is all about!
Today let’s look at magnesium. Word around the block is, magnesium can cure your ED ills. But what does the research have to say?Continue reading
(Tribulus Terrestris for Erectile Dysfunction, by David Jaynes)
If you search deep enough and long enough on the web, you can find a blog post or forum post recommending taking pretty much any substance to cure pretty much any ill.
That’s why some of my posts here examine the claims of how one treatment or another work for curing erectile dysfunction. We look at the claims, the science, and what people experience on the ground.
Today’s candidate: tribulus terrestris. Continue reading
(Oysters and Erections, written by David Jaynes)
Okay. This one isn’t exactly news.
Folks have been eating oysters as an aphrodisiac for a really long time.
This all started back in the days of the “Doctrine of Signatures,”…
An idea from back in the day when people assumed every plant and animal was custom made by a higher being.
The idea was that the higher being designed plants and animals in shapes that gave us a hint about how they might be useful to us.
A plant with a flower like an eye would help with vision. Birds, because they flew, might help with breathing problems.
And anything shaped like a dong or a vagina would help with fertility, libido, erections, and anything else related to sex and marital bliss.
Oysters on the half shell look a bit like a vagina, but both clams and oysters in the wild underwater look a lot like one.
And so early naturalists assumed that meant they’d make people horny.
Fast-forward to now, and it turns out they were — through no fault of their own — right. Oysters do a lot of stuff to help put and keep lead in the old pencil.
Let’s take a look at exactly how.Continue reading
(Nofap No Morning Wood, written By David Jaynes)
Sometimes things have to get worse before they can
Ask any recovering drug addict about withdrawal
if you have any doubts about that.
It’s no different with a porn addiction.
Too much fapping to porn, especially the hardcore stuff, leads to a “dead stick” in your cockpit when you’re not actively using pornography.
Which can be scary to you and disappointing to your partner.
It can also do a number on your self esteem, leading to social withdrawal, anxiety and depression.
But if you all of a sudden decide to stop fapping, you can experience a period of “flatline” where you penis won’t respond to anything but porn. But you’re not using porn now…
So your formerly reliable morning wood abandons you entirely as you work your way through this recovery phase.
And let’s be honest with each other here. If you’re not even getting morning wood, your libido has left the building. Continue reading
(Written By David Jaynes)
Testosterone is known as the “man” hormone.
It’s what puts hair on your chest, muscles on your frame, and passion in your sex life.
But with age, environmental factors, lifestyle changes or simple bad genetic luck, testosterone can decrease – sometimes to the point of health problems.
We’re obviously talking about weak erection / testosterone problems, but we’re also talking about how-long-you-live health problems.
Stuff like heart disease and obesity.
If you have weak erections, this can happen because of a variety of factors. Some of them are caused by isolated issues like high blood pressure, stress or other health conditions.
In other words…
The link between a weak erection and low testosterone exists, but the cause of the problem is not always direct, as Low-t leads to other health conditions….
Conditions that can eventually lead to blatant erectile dysfunction if you don’t get a grip on them.
For example…Continue reading