Propecia (finasteride) Permanent Sexual Dysfunction Risk

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Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Men’s Health;  Endocrinology
Article Date: 15 Jul 2012 – 12:00 PDT

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Hair loss medication, Propecia (finasteride) may be linked to a side effect of sexual dysfunction, a problem which may not go away after treatment has stopped, researchers from George Washington University reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Propecia is a popular medication taken for male pattern hair loss.

Michael S. Irwig MD, who works at the Center for Andrology and Division of Endocrinology, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, prospectively monitored 54 adult males, average age 31, who had had three or more months of finasteride-associated sexual side effects. A side effect that continues for over three months is described as “persistent”.

All the men were healthy at the start of the study, and had never had any problems with sexual functions; they had no medical or psychiatric conditions and had not used oral prescription drugs before taking Propecia for male pattern hair loss.

All the men in this study were checked and rechecked for 14 months.

96% of those who were reassessed still had persistent sexual side effects; some of them also had changes in cognition, genital sensation, and ejaculate quality.

Dr. Irwig found that 89% of the 54 men met the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) of sexual dysfunction, which rates sex drive (libido), arousal, penile erection, ability to orgasm, and orgasm satisfaction.

In an Abstract in the same journal, Dr. Irwig concluded:

“In most men who developed persistent sexual side effects (≥3 months) despite the discontinuation of finasteride, the sexual dysfunction continued for many months or years.

Although several rat studies have shown detrimental changes to erectile function caused by 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, the persistent nature of these changes is an area of active research.

Prescribers of finasteride and men contemplating its use should be made aware of the potential adverse medication effects.”

What is Propecia (finasteride)?

Finasteride is a synthetic 5α-reductase inhibitor. It is an inhibitor of the enzyme that coverts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). It is produced and marketed by Merck Co., Inc. It is known under the brand names Proscar and Propecia and has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of:

  • Male pattern baldness – hair is lost in a well defined pattern, starting above the temples and thinning at the crown of the head.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia – an increase in the size of the prostate

Reported side effected related to finasteride include:

  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Lower ejaculatory volume
  • Abnormal sexual function
  • Testicular pain
  • Gynecomastia – development of male breasts
  • Depression – Merck added this side effect in December 2010

Prostate cancer – The FDA added a warning that finasteride may raise the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. No clear link has been established between finasteride use and prostate cancer risk. Some studies have suggested it may reduce the prevalence and growth of benign prostate tumors. However, finasteride can also mask the early detection of prostate cancer.

A 2008 study found that finasteride reduces prostate cancer risk without boosting the chances of developing aggressive tumors. (Link to article)

A 2010 study suggested that finasteride use is linked to male breast cancer risk. (Link to article)

Written by Christian Nordqvist


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Stendra (Avanafil) For Erectile Dysfunction Approved By FDA

It is estimated that there are approximately 30 million males in the USA who suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Stendra is a medication that is taken, when needed, 30 minutes before starting sexual activity. Doctors are advised to prescribe the lowest dose at which benefit is provided for the patients.

Victoria Kusiak, M.D., deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said:

“This approval expands the available treatment options to men experiencing erectile dysfunction, and enables patients, in consultation with their doctor, to choose the most appropriate treatment for their needs.”

Stendra is a PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitor, and increases blood flow to the penis. Patients taking nitrates should not be given this medication, the FDA emphasizes. Nitrates are often used to treat angina – combining Stendra with nitrates can bring about a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure.

In very rare cases, patients taking PDE5 inhibitors may experience color vision changes. On rarer occasions, patients may report sudden vision loss in one eye (and sometimes both). Some patients have reported loss of hearing, or decreased hearing. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing or vision you should cease taking any kind of PDE5 inhibitor, and see your doctor immediately.

The following side effects were reported by some patients during human studies: nasal congestion, common-cold symptoms, back pain, face redness, and headache. In rare cases patients may experience priapism – an erection that lasts for hours; in such cases medical help should be sought immediately.

The FDA reviewed three double-blind, placebo-controlled human studies, involving 1,267 patients who were randomly selected to take either Stendra for up to 12 weeks (50, 100 or 200 mg doses), or a placebo, up to 12 weeks, as needed, 30 minutes before sex.

Patients completed questionnaires when the study started, and then every four weeks. The questionnaires asked about erectile function, vaginal penetration, and successful intercourse. In all three studies, a considerably higher number of patients scored well on all three points, compared to those on placebo.

Stendra is marketed by Vivus Inc., Mountain View, California, USA.

Written by Christian Nordqvist

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Cialis (Tadalafil) Approved For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treatment, USA

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Main Category: Prostate / Prostate Cancer
Also Included In: Urology / Nephrology;  Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Article Date: 06 Oct 2011 – 20:00 PDT

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Tadalafil (Cialis) has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) signs and symptoms – a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges. It has also been approved for the treatment of simultaneous BPH and ED (erectile dysfunction). Since 2003, the medication has been on the market legally in the USA for ED treatment.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called benign prostatic hypertrophy (really a misnomer), benign enlargement of the prostate (BEP), or adenofibromyomatous hyperplasia, are all terms which refer to an increase in the size of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms can include difficulty in starting urination, a weakened urine flow which causes stopping and starting, strain when passing urine, urinating too frequently, waking up in the night often to urinate (Nocturia), sudden urges to urinate which can result in incontinence if a toilet is not found immediately, inability to fully empty the bladder during urination, and sometimes blood in urine.


Normal prostate on left, Benign prostatic hyperplasia on right

IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) is commonly used to measure BPH severity of symptoms. Two human studies demonstrated that patients with BPH who were prescribed 5 mg of tadalafil once a day had statistically significant improvements in BPH symptoms compared to those on a placebo. The findings were based on lower total IPSS scores.

Another study reviewed by the FDA showed that males with both BPH and ED combined who were given 5 mg of tadalafil had improvements in both conditions, compared to those in the placebo group. ED symptom improvements were measured using the Erectile Function domain score of the International Index of Erectile Function.

Scott Monroe, director of the Division of Reproductive and Urologic Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said:

“BPH can have a big impact on a patient’s quality of life. A large number of older men have symptoms of BPH. Cialis offers these men another treatment option, particularly those who also have ED, which is also common in older men.”

Patients taking nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, should not take Cialis – those who do, run the risk of a dangerous drop in blood pressure. The FDA does not recommend Cialis use together with alpha blockers for BPH treatment because studies on their use together have not been conclusive, also there is a risk of a drop in blood pressure.

The following medications have already been approved by the FDA for BPH symptoms:

  • Avodart (dutasteride)
  • Jalyn (dutasteride plus tamsulosin)
  • Proscar, (finasteride)
  • and the following alpha blockers:

  • Cardura (doxazosin)
  • Flomax (tamsulosin)
  • Hytrin (terazosin)
  • Rapaflo (silodosin)
  • Uroxatral (alfuzosin)

Cialis is made and marketed by Eli Lilly and Co.

Written by Christian Nordqvist


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“Partner Betweenness” May Contribute To ED In Couples’ Relationships

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Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Sexual Health / STDs;  Men’s health
Article Date: 10 Aug 2011 – 10:00 PDT

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It seems that if your girlfriend or wife is better friends with your friends than you are, you may have more problems on your hands than just a rocky relationship. There is now evidence that there is an association between erectile dysfunction (ED) in heterosexual men and strong relationships that may exist between their partners and their male friends.

Benjamin Cornwell, a professor of sociology at Cornell University and Edward Laumann, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, describe the situation as “partner betweennes.” This is when a man’s female partner has stronger relationships with his besties than he does.

The research explains:


“Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex.”

Laumann says partner betweenness undermines men’s feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity. This can lead to overt conflict or problems with partner satisfaction and attraction:


“The results point to the importance of social network factors that are rarely considered in medical research, network structure and the individual’s position within it.”

Cornwell and Laumann continue:


“Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex. In general, while the majority of men have more contact with all of their confidants than their partners do, about 25% of men experience partner betweenness in at least one of their confidant relationships. Partner betweenness is a significant predictor of ED: A man whose female partner has greater contact with some of his confidants than he does is about 92 percent more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection than a man who has greater access than his partner does to all of his confidants.”

The two studied data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NAHAP), a comprehensive 2005 survey by NORC at Univeristy of Chicago, which included 3,005 people aged 57 to 85.
Erectile dysfunction, is common among men in the age group studied in the NSHAP. About one-third of the men in the survey experience ED, which increases as men age. Health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and obesity can contribute to the condition, along with psychological and other factors.

The researchers took these sources of ED into account and found that even among men who were healthy and capable of having satisfying sexual relationships, there is increased risk for sexual problems when their partners have greater contact with the couple’s shared friends.

Written by Sy Kraft

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Premature Ejaculation Behavioral Therapy

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Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Sexual Health / STDs;  Men’s health;  Urology / Nephrology
Article Date: 10 Aug 2011 – 15:00 PDT

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Teaching males to control their minds and bodies so that they can overcome a premature ejaculation problem during sex does not appear to be backed by reliable evidence, researchers revealed in a Review published in The Cochrane Collaboration. Two authors, however, added that so-called behavioral therapy should not be discounted yet, before further studies are done.

Stanley Althof, executive director of the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida, said:

“We need to do more to
prove it works.”

Experts define premature ejaculation as ejaculation that occurs within a minute of placing the penis inside the vagina. Nobody is sure what percentage of men experience premature ejaculation, and how often.

Althof says that approximately between 2% to 5% of men suffer from premature ejaculation if the one-minute definition is used strictly. He added that more men probably think they are too quick, even if their ejaculation occurs after one minute.

Althof said:

“If you ask men themselves if they have premature ejaculation, you’re likely to get 20 to 30 percent who say they have it.”

Nobody is sure what causes premature ejaculation; experts believe it is probably linked to:

  • A malfunctioning ejaculation reflex
  • Anxiety
  • Brain chemical problems
  • Possibly also genetics
  • Prostate disease

Antideppressants, such as Zoloft or Paxil are sometimes prescribed for premature ejaculation.

Lead review author Tamara Melnik, professor of internal medicine and evidence-based medicine at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil, said:

“These medications are a simple treatment and cost effective
if not used for a lifetime.”

Although delayed orgasm may be one of the desirable side effects of antidepressants for some men, they also come with some other side effects which are not so nice, Melnik said.

Dr. Ege Serefoglu, a urologist at Kiziltepe State Hospital, in Turkey said that lidocaine or some similar topical anesthetic may also help. Some patients do not like having to apply it 15 minutes before sex and then having to put on a condom.

Behavioral therapy is commonly offered for men with premature ejaculation, either on its own or in combination with medications. The therapy tells men not to try to distract themselves by thinking about other things during sex, such as prices, the stock market or baseball.

Althof said:

“It’s like looking at a speedometer. We teach men to hover in the midrange of excitement and learn to slow down or speed up when they notice where they are.”

The review authors set out to determine how effective behavioral therapy is. They gathered data from four studies involving 253 individuals.

One study appeared to show good results by teaching the man to change positions during sex, control his movements better, to focus better, and use a start-stop approach.

Another study showed better results with Celexa, an antidepressant, compare to just behavioral therapy.

Another study showed better results among the men who took Thorazine (schizophrenia drug) combined with therapy, compared to those who were just on the Thorazine.

There was not enough data in the fourth study to make any conclusions.

According to their review, the authors believe that studies have not been able to confirm in a compelling way that behavioral therapy works. There are too few studies they added, and their techniques are all similar.

They added that men who are distressed by premature ejaculation should undergo a medical examination.

Written by Christian Nordqvist


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When A Man’s Female Partner Becomes Too Buddy-Buddy With His Pals, His Sex Life May Suffer

Main Category: Psychology / Psychiatry
Also Included In: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation;  Sexual Health / STDs
Article Date: 10 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

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Researchers have found a potential new source for sexual problems among middle-aged and older men: The relationships between their female partners and the men’s closest friends.

Cornell University and University of Chicago researchers have found a connection between erectile dysfunction and the social networks shared by heterosexual men and their partners. The researchers describe the situation as “partner betweenness.” In such cases, a man’s female partner has stronger relationships with his confidants than the man does – in effect, the romantic partner comes between the man and his friends.

“Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex,” write Benjamin Cornwell, Cornell professor of sociology and Edward Laumann, University of Chicago professor of sociology in the paper.

Cornwell and Laumann argue that partner betweenness undermines men’s feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity. This can lead to overt conflict or problems with partner satisfaction and attraction. They examined data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, a comprehensive survey at the University of Chicago that included 3,005 people, from ages 57 to 85. The project is by supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The research, “Network Position and Sexual Dysfunction: Implications of Partner Betweenness for Men” is published online today, Aug. 8, 2011, in the current issue (dated July 2011) of the American Journal of Sociology. [NOTE: The paper issue of the journal will be published in late August 2011.]

Laumann said the study shows the value of understanding the connection between social relationships and health. “The results point to the importance of social network factors that are rarely considered in medical research – network structure and the individual’s position within it.”




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Erectile Function And Libido Improve In Obese Diabetic Men Who Lose Weight

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Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Diabetes;  Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 08 Aug 2011 – 7:00 PDT

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The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a new study which explains that improved erectile function, sexual desire and lower urinary tract symptoms are enhanced by weight loss in obese men with type 2 diabetes.

Led by Professor Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, of the University of Adelaide, 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes were studied over an 8 week period by researchers. The men were given either a low-calorie meal replacement diet or a low-fat, high-protein and reduced-carbohydrate diet, both of which were prescribed to lower their daily intake of calories by 600.

Results revealed that a modest weight loss of 5% produced accelerated reversal of sexual and urinary problems within 8 weeks, together with continual improvements up to 12 months.

Wittert reports:

“Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk.

The evidence that improvement can be achieved by modest weight loss, in particular when a diet is of high nutritional quality, is of public health significance in framing public health messages that resonate with men.”

Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine also explained:

“This important paper supports earlier publications that lifestyle is relevant and can positively affect sexual function.

At a time when oral drugs are very popular, it can now be shown that weight loss is an important non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention in restoring erectile and urinary function and cardio-vascular health. Obesity is an epidemic, and such data reinforce the positive relationship between eating right, losing weight, improved sexual function and voiding and overall cardiovascular health.”

Written by Grace Rattue

Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Article Reference:
“Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men”
Joan Khoo MRCP1, Cynthia Piantadosi PhD, Rae Duncan PhD, Stephen G. Worthley PhD, Alicia Jenkins PhD, Manny Noakes PhD, Matthew I. Worthley PhD, Kylie Lange BSc, Gary A. Wittert MD
The Journal of Sexual Medicine Article first published online: 5 AUG 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02417.x




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Common sense is gratis

posted by BJ on 8 Aug 2011 at 8:04 am

This article and its study are the biggest wastes of money and time I’ve seen outside of our dysfunctional political arena. As the kids would say, ‘No D’uh!”

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Diabetic? Erectile Dysfunction? Lose Weight And Win, Study Reports

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Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Diabetes;  Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 07 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

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New studies support the fact that men with type 2 diabetes suffering from erectile function problems tend to be obese, but by losing a few pounds, patients can recover and be winning again in the bedroom.

Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, of the University of Adelaide in Australia explains:


“Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk. The evidence that improvement can be achieved by modest weight loss, in particular when a diet is of high nutritional quality, is of public health significance in framing public health messages that resonate with men.”

The study looked at 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes over 8 weeks. The men received a meal replacement-based low-calorie diet or a low-fat, high-protein, reduced-carbohydrate diet prescribed to decrease intake by 600 calories a day.

So what happened? In obese men with type 2 diabetes, results found that, a modest weight loss of 5%, resulted in a rapid reversal of sexual and urinary problem, within 8 weeks, and the improvement continued out to 12 months.

The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are complex and involve impairments in nerve, blood vessel, and muscle function.

To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.

Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, and also the publication in which the study was made public said:


“This important paper supports earlier publications that lifestyle is relevant and can positively affect sexual function. At a time when oral drugs are very popular, it can now be shown that weight loss is an important non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention in restoring erectile and urinary function and cardio-vascular health. Obesity is an epidemic, and such data reinforce the positive relationship between eating right, losing weight, improved sexual function and voiding and overall cardiovascular health.”

In addition, tobacco use narrows blood vessels, which can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction. Smoking can also decrease levels of the chemical nitric oxide, which signals your body to allow blood flow to the penis.

Drinking too much alcohol, more than two drinks a day, can also damage blood vessels and worsen erectile dysfunction.

Stress can reduce erections. To keep stress under control, evaluate and prioritize tasks. Set realistic expectations and try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.

Finally, is it important to get regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase blood flow, improve your mood and energy levels, and reduce stress.

Erectile dysfunction herbs and other natural remedies have been used in Chinese, African and other traditional medicines for many years. But finding out whether erectile dysfunction herbs or supplements work, and if they’re safe, can be tricky. Unlike prescription medications for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis), most erectile dysfunction herbs and supplements haven’t been well studied or tested. Some can cause side effects or interact with other medications.

Keep in mind that these meds can have serious heart problem risk, so in combination with diabetes medications, could prove fatal.

Written by Sy Kraft


Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Article Reference:
1. The Journal of Sexual Medicine
“Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men”
Joan Khoo MRCP, Cynthia Piantadosi PhD, Rae Duncan PhD, Stephen G. Worthley PhD, Alicia Jenkins PhD, Manny Noakes PhD, Matthew I. Worthley PhD, Kylie Lange BS, Gary A. Wittert MD

2. The Mayo Clinic




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Diabetic? Erectile Dysfunction? Lose Weight And Win Study Reports

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation
Also Included In: Diabetes;  Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 06 Aug 2011 – 3:00 PDT

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New studies support the fact that men with type 2 diabetes suffering from erectile function problems tend to be obese, but by losing a few pounds, patients can recover and be winning again in the bedroom.

Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, of the University of Adelaide in Australia explains:


“Our findings are consistent with the evidence that not only erectile function, but also lower urinary tract symptoms are a marker of cardio-metabolic risk. The evidence that improvement can be achieved by modest weight loss, in particular when a diet is of high nutritional quality, is of public health significance in framing public health messages that resonate with men.”

The study looked at 31 obese men with type 2 diabetes over 8 weeks. The men received a meal replacement-based low-calorie diet or a low-fat, high-protein, reduced-carbohydrate diet prescribed to decrease intake by 600 calories a day.

So what happened? In obese men with type 2 diabetes, results found that, a modest weight loss of 5%, resulted in a rapid reversal of sexual and urinary problem, within 8 weeks, and the improvement continued out to 12 months.

The causes of erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are complex and involve impairments in nerve, blood vessel, and muscle function.

To get an erection, men need healthy blood vessels, nerves, male hormones, and a desire to be sexually stimulated. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control erection. Therefore, even if you have normal amounts of male hormones and you have the desire to have sex, you still may not be able to achieve a firm erection.

Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, and also the publication in which the study was made public said:


“This important paper supports earlier publications that lifestyle is relevant and can positively affect sexual function. At a time when oral drugs are very popular, it can now be shown that weight loss is an important non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention in restoring erectile and urinary function and cardio-vascular health. Obesity is an epidemic, and such data reinforce the positive relationship between eating right, losing weight, improved sexual function and voiding and overall cardiovascular health.”

In addition, tobacco use narrows blood vessels, which can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction. Smoking can also decrease levels of the chemical nitric oxide, which signals your body to allow blood flow to the penis.

Drinking too much alcohol, more than two drinks a day, can also damage blood vessels and worsen erectile dysfunction.

Stress can reduce erections. To keep stress under control, evaluate and prioritize tasks. Set realistic expectations and try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.

Finally, is it important to get regular exercise. Regular exercise can increase blood flow, improve your mood and energy levels, and reduce stress.

Erectile dysfunction herbs and other natural remedies have been used in Chinese, African and other traditional medicines for many years. But finding out whether erectile dysfunction herbs or supplements work, and if they’re safe, can be tricky. Unlike prescription medications for erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis), most erectile dysfunction herbs and supplements haven’t been well studied or tested. Some can cause side effects or interact with other medications.

Keep in mind that these meds can have serious heart problem risk, so in combination with diabetes medications, could prove fatal.

Written by Sy Kraft


Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Article Reference:
1. The Journal of Sexual Medicine
“Comparing Effects of a Low-energy Diet and a High-protein Low-fat Diet on Sexual and Endothelial Function, Urinary Tract Symptoms, and Inflammation in Obese Diabetic Men”
Joan Khoo MRCP, Cynthia Piantadosi PhD, Rae Duncan PhD, Stephen G. Worthley PhD, Alicia Jenkins PhD, Manny Noakes PhD, Matthew I. Worthley PhD, Kylie Lange BS, Gary A. Wittert MD

2. The Mayo Clinic




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Antioxidants Of Growing Interest To Address Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction

Main Category: Nutrition / Diet
Also Included In: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation;  Fertility
Article Date: 01 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

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3 (1 votes)

A growing body of evidence suggests that antioxidants may have significant value in addressing infertility issues in both women and men, including erectile dysfunction, and researchers say that large, specific clinical studies are merited to determine how much they could help.

A new analysis, published online in the journal Pharmacological Research, noted that previous studies on the potential for antioxidants to help address this serious and growing problem have been inconclusive, but that other data indicates nutritional therapies may have significant potential.

The researchers also observed that infertility problems are often an early indicator of other degenerative disease issues such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The same approaches that may help treat infertility could also be of value to head off those problems, they said.

The findings were made by Tory Hagen, in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and Francesco Visioli, lead author of the study at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain.

“If oxidative stress is an underlying factor causing infertility, which we think the evidence points to, we should be able to do something about it,” said Hagen, the Jamieson Chair of Healthspan Research in the Linus Pauling Institute. “This might help prevent other critical health problems as well, at an early stage when nutritional therapies often work best.”

The results from early research have been equivocal, Hagen said, but that may be because they were too small or did not focus on antioxidants. Laboratory and in-vitro studies have been very promising, especially with some newer antioxidants such as lipoic acid that have received much less attention.

“The jury is still out on this,” Hagen said. “But the problem is huge, and the data from laboratory studies is very robust, it all fits. There is evidence this might work, and the potential benefits could be enormous.”

The researchers from Oregon and Spain point, in particular, to inadequate production of nitric oxide, an agent that relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This is often caused, in turn, by free radicals that destroy nitric oxide and reduce its function. Antioxidants can help control free radicals. Some existing medical treatments for erectile dysfunction work, in part, by increasing production of nitric oxide.

Aging, which is often associated with erectile dysfunction problems, is also a time when nitric oxide synthesis begins to falter. And infertility problems in general are increasing, scientists say, as more people delay having children until older ages.

“Infertility is multifactorial and we still don’t know the precise nature of this phenomenon,” Visioli said.

If new approaches were developed successfully, the researchers said, they might help treat erectile dysfunction in men, egg implantation and endometriosis in women, and reduce the often serious and sometimes fatal condition of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy. The quality and health of semen and eggs might be improved.

As many as 50 percent of conceptions fail and about 20 percent of clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage, the researchers noted in their report. Both male and female reproductive dysfunction is believed to contribute to this high level of reproductive failure, they said, but few real causes have been identified.

“Some people and physicians are already using antioxidants to help with fertility problems, but we don’t have the real scientific evidence yet to prove its efficacy,” Hagen said. “It’s time to change that.”

Some commonly used antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, could help, Hagen said. But others, such as lipoic acid, are a little more cutting-edge and set up a biological chain reaction that has a more sustained impact on vasomotor function and health.

Polyphenols, the phytochemicals that often give vegetables their intense color and are also found in chocolate and tea, are also of considerable interest. But many claims are being made and products marketed, the researchers said, before the appropriate science is completed – actions that have actually delayed doing the proper studies.

“There’s a large market of plant-based supplements that requires hard data,” Visioli said. “Most claims are not backed by scientific evidence and human trials. We still need to obtain proof of efficacy before people invest money and hope in preparations of doubtful efficacy.”

Source:
Tory Hagen

Oregon State University




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Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
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All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

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For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

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MediLexicon International Ltd
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MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.