Risk factors for ED include conditions such as high blood pressure, abnormally high blood lipids (i.e., elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides), obesity, diabetes, and smoking (McKay D 2004). Recently, some US scientists reported that it may be necessary to add aging itself to the list of risk factors that produce vascular dysfunction of the kind associated with ED. "The normal aging process may induce significant global vascular dysfunction (involving the endothelium and the vascular smooth muscle)," wrote scientists published in the International Journal of Cardiology. This age-associated dysfunction was judged to occur even in the absence of clinically diagnosed atherosclerosis and was related to alterations in the production of endothelial nitric oxide (Al-Shaer MH et al 2006).
The link between ED and vascular disease is so strong that physicians are advised to consider men who present with ED but no diagnosis of heart disease as undiagnosed cardiovascular patients until proven otherwise (Jackson G et al 2006). It is believed that alterations in the availability of vascular endothelial nitric oxide represent the common thread linking these interrelated pathologies (Sullivan ME et al 1999).
ED is a very serious condition that can gravely affect a man's quality of life. In many cases, however, ED has physical causes that can be remedied through lifestyle changes and supplementation. Men who are overweight may find some relief through weight loss. In addition, a number of supplements may help:
- L-arginine—2 to 9 grams (g) daily
- Yohimbine—6 mg daily
- Ginseng—900 to 2700 mg daily
- Maca extract—3 g daily
- Ginkgo biloba—120 mg daily
- Zinc—30 to 50 mg daily
- Grape seed extract—100 mg daily
- Chrysin—1400 to 2800 mg daily
- Icariin—80 mg daily
- Testofen—500 mg daily
- Saw palmetto—320 mg daily
- Nettle extract—240 mg daily
- DHEA—50 to 75 mg daily. A DHEA blood test after 3 to 6 weeks can enable one to optimize individual dosing.
Life Extension® Fitness Summer 2011 issue now online!
It's a Fact: Healthy feats, facts and figures
Walk, run and have fun: the sneakers you need this summer
First, flex your muscles, by Isaiah Williams
The best way to avoid nagging injuries is to avoid injuries completely. Prevent pain and protect your body with these six simple stretches.
Tone up in 2 months: 50 days is all it takes to look better, feel better and have more energy, by Isaiah Williams
Austin's Power: Tennis icon Tracy Austin discusses healthy competition, healthy living and raising a healthy family,
by Jon Finkel
Hollywood Health Guru, by Jon Finkel
Exercise physiologist to the stars Jimmy Peña talks to Life Extension Fitness about his training philosophy, his projects, and how you can start achieving your own fitness goals today!
Go green, get lean
With studies showing that green tea can boost post-exercise fat burning and muscle building, tea time just took on a whole new meaning
Iron Woman: Against all odds, by Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CPT
Canadian triathlete and professional optimist Lisa Bentley has excelled at the sport she loves for decades, despite living with a debilitating disease.