Erectile Dysfunction and Nutrition

ByWaqar Hussain

Feb 23, 2024

We are constantly getting bombarded from every angle about the importance of Nutrition in order to be healthy.  And there is an extensive emphasis on the risk of obesity, which has risen significantly over the past couple of decades and the ever-increasing rise in all age groups suffering from diabetes.  This has worsened as a result of Covid as some people opt to work at home and miss out on the daily exercise of walking to a bus stop or train station or even moving around the office. Pharmaceutical companies are jumping on the bandwagon and instead of good old-fashioned exercise and diet drugs like Ozempic are providing a diet and weight fix, and the people who engage in these believe they are healthier and fitter but are they really and does poor diet in the long term have even more devastating consequences that are rarely talked about? Also, if you eat junk food, drink heavily, but then burn it off at the gym it doesn’t mean that your body is healthy

A more sinister and overlooked effect of a bad diet is the one thing that all men dread: Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction is one of the most common medical conditions facing men, but of course is a taboo subject, that your manly parts can’t function, so all men keep tight- lipped about their little secrets. However, a whopping 50% of men over the age of 40 suffer from this condition and it is on the rise and a diet of junk food, lack of exercise and a more sedentary lifestyle take over from the way we used to function years ago. But sadly, if you visit your GP or even a nutritionist, they will talk about all the other effects of a bad diet like, high blood pressure, heart disease, risk of diabetes and cancer, but omit the one thing that is close to a man’s heart that they have a functioning male organ and are able to participate in a sex life.

So why does Nutrition play an important role in a man’s sexual health?  And what can a man do about it?

Firstly, it is important to understand how a man has erections. Most of us have never considered this. Our first erections are somewhat of a shock, and we are not going to make a beeline for the biology teacher at school to find out the dynamics of what has happened. In layman’s terms, first a male gets aroused, by sight, sound, touch and this sends a signal to the brain. The brain then sends a signal through the nervous system within your body, this leads to your arteries (the large blood vessels that carry blood from your heart) to significantly widen.  This leads to the widening of millions of little blood vessels in your penis, this triggers up to a whopping 20 times as much blood flowing into the penis until it is rigid, erect, and primed for sex.

So if this is how a man has erections, how can having a healthy lifestyle affect a man’s ability to have sex? And is this really something we should be worried about? Especially if you are young and can burn the candle at both ends, eat junk foods such a s McDonalds and kebabs as fuel to keep you going and can bounce back from a hangover with a few coffees.
The answer is yes. For many men, Erectile Dysfunction doesn’t come overnight. It is a slow burn over the years. The ability to pump 20 times as much blood into the penis drops to 19, 18, 17, 16 etc. Then, men become pill poppers and more reliant on the likes of Viagra, but after that many men are left looking into the abyss of erectile dysfunction.

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The reason it matters is that a healthy diet is closely related to a healthy cardiovascular system. For the non-medical this means nothing, so let me explain. Your cardiovascular system is the system of blood that flows around your body. It is pumped from your heart, through arteries (the big blood vessels), through veins (medium blood vessels) and then through a network of millions and millions of tiny blood vessels. A bad diet over a period of time not only affects the free flow of this blood, but it can also start affecting the nervous system.  Take diabetes, a prime reason for this disease is a poor diet. And the staggering fact in in the last twenty years is that  the number of people suffering from diabetes has doubled. Yes, you got that right it has increased by a massive 100%. With diabetes, the body struggles to remove sugar from the bloodstream. Over a period of time this sugar can thicken and cause fatty deposits on the lining of blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to restrict blood flow. It is worse at the extremes of the body, where the heart has to do more work getting blood there. The extremes of the body are your feet, your hands and yes you have got it your penis.  So as the blood vessels become less effective and clogged up and some start to wither away, so does a man’s ability to have sex.

Likewise many men, especially in their youth have a diet of junk food and alcohol. Many swear that alcohol helps them with sex and in fact, to start with they may be right. Alcohol can combine to make the mind and body relax, lose inhibitions and in a young man lead to better sex. But alcohol is a doubled-edged sword. What might work in one’s youth can become the opposite as they get older. Alcohol can weaken blood vessels, decrease their flexibility to expand and contract and also lead to rupturing and atrophy.

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A bad diet also decreases the effects of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is like gas that circulates around the body, it has many functions, but one of the most important ones is that is relaxes and widens muscles. So, it plays an essential role in engineering the twenty times as much blood that is needed to rush to a man’s penis to have an erection. It also plays a role in the nervous system as a we discussed before to have an erection a man has desire, and this triggers the nervous system into action.

There are many other conditions that can be caused by a bad diet that can directly or indirectly lead to erectile dysfunction: high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, certain cancers and the list goes on. And if you are a smoker, quit now as the mixture of a bad diet and smoking is a sure-fire recipe for a future of erectile dysfunction.

So, if you are a male reading this article it is likely that you fall into one of two camps. You either are functioning fine and now need to engage on a healthy diet to prevent future erectile dysfunction or you have already passed that point, and you are popping pills like Viagra to help you or are past the point where that works. Let me address both situations.

There are copious articles out there on how to plan a healthy diet, so I don’t plan to preach on this. Everyone should know the basics. We have all heard about eating five fruit and vegetables every day. And that doesn’t mean in the form of a smoothie, it means in the natural form, where all the fibre is. Aim for colourful fruit and vegetables.  Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, lean proteins such as chicken, fish, beans, and tofu, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Limit processed foods, such as crisps, sweets, sugary drinks pastries and cakes or foods with excessive sugar or fats. Stay hydrated with water and eat food in proportion. Balance is important, we all enjoy our treats, but make sure your body has all the good stuff.

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So that comes onto, what if you have already reached the point where your penis isn’t as strong, you are relying on Viagra, but that is being less effective. You are adopting a better diet, but the damage is done, and you are either dreading erectile dysfunction or you are already a fully-fledged sufferer.

Well, help is at hand. There are now revolutionary technologies that are being used by medical clinics around the world restoring medical function and are enabling some men, who thought their sex lives were over for good to start again. The technologies include Focussed shockwave Therapy, EMTT therapy, Functional Magnetic Stimulation, and the Tesla Chair. There are also injections such as the E shot and P shot that have shown to improve a man’s sexual function.  

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