7 ED Risk Factors and a Natural Cure

Are you at risk for getting ED? ED risk factors like race, medication, and age can make men more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than others.

ED risk factorsAccording to the National Institutes of Health, erectile dysfunction (ED) affects as many as 30 million men in the US. It affects both young men and older men, though it’s more common as you get older.

ED is the inability to keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. It can occur occasionally or it can result in no erections at all.
So are you at risk for getting erectile dysfunction? Here are ED risk factors that can give you some insight.

ED Risk Factor 1: Age

There is certainly a relationship between age and the incidence of ED. Roughly 4% of men in their 50s experience the complete inability to have an erection. 17% of men in their 60s and 47% of men older than 75 all experience a complete inability to have an erection.

ED is not an inevitable part of aging. Rather as men get older, other factors related to aging cause erection problems.

ED Risk Factor 2: Race

Certain races may be more likely to develop ED than others. For example, black men and Hispanic men are several percentage points more likely to have erectile dysfunction that white men. Researchers attribute the difference though to socioeconomic status rather than race. Learn how the following ED risk factors can also affect you.

ED Risk Factor 3: Level of Health

Other health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease, alcoholism, vascular disease, MS, and endocrine disorders may be responsible for 70% of ED cases.  That’s a major reason to get ED treated since it can indicate a serious underlying condition.

ED Risk Factor 4: Depression

Even with a variety of ED risk factors, most ED cases are caused by physical problems. But psychological factors contribute in 10 to 20% of ED cases.

Performance anxiety and other sexual fears can cause ED as well. ED is 82% more likely in men who are depressed. And although treating depression is unlikely to help ED, treating ED can relieve symptoms of depression.

ED Risk Factor 5: Weight

In a recent study, obese men on a low calorie diet for 8 weeks not only lost weight but also increased their sexual desire and erectile function. Actually, just increasing physical activity can improve blood flow to the penis, and to the rest of the body.

ED Risk Factor 6: Alcohol, Smoking, and Drugs

Alcohol, smoking, and drug use can affect penile function. Smoking is the biggest cause of ED for men under 40 partly because nicotine contracts blood vessels and impacts blood supply for an erection. Definitely one of the ED risk factors that can be eliminated.

ED Risk Factor 7: Prescription Medications

ED can be caused as a side effect to many prescription medications. Meds that can cause erectile dysfunction include most antidepressants, many blood pressure drugs, most sedatives, and some indigestion drugs. Even over the counter cold medicines can have a detrimental effect on your manhood. Drugs may account for up to 25 % of ED cases in the United States.

The Natural ED Cure

1.Improve Your Diet

You can reduce most ED risk factors with lifestyle and diet changes.  Eating a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is your first line of defense for avoiding ED. Protein is critical for producing sex hormones. Meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and nuts are all good sources of protein

2.Maintain Heart Health

A healthy heart can keep your sex life long and satisfying. Specifically, heart health as measured by HDL levels. Researchers have found a link between HDL (good cholesterol) and erectile dysfunction.

A South Carolina study showed men with HDL levels of 60 mg/dL greatly reduced the chance of ED. HDL levels of 30 mg/dL showed a 66% greater chance of ED problems.

HDL cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol. It effectively “scours” blood vessel walls cleaning out excess cholesterol. Then HDL takes the excess cholesterol to the liver for processing. So a measurement of a person’s HDL level, is a measurement of how well his or her blood vessels are being cleaned.

HDL levels below 40 mg/dL have been shown to result in greater risk of coronary artery disease. This even occurs when total cholesterol and LDL levels are normal. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered normal. HDL levels greater than 60 mg/dL, on the other hand, may represent protection from heart disease. When it comes to HDL levels, higher is better.

How can We Increase Our HDL Levels?

Aerobic exercise or cardio. Any exercise that raises your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes at a time may have the most dramatic effect on increasing HDL. Aerobic exercise examples are jogging, bike riding, rowing, and walking. A recent study has shown that duration of exercise rather than intensity plays a bigger role in boosting HDL.  See Better Body After 50.

Stop smoking

Stop smoking and your HDL levels will increase.

Alcohol

As controversial as it might sound, 1 to 2 drinks per day can significantly raise HDL levels. More than that, however, can lead to serious health problems including heart failure. Unfortunately, some individuals will develop these conditions even when limiting their alcohol to 2 drinks per day.

Also, other research shows increases in cancer risks from any alcohol consumption. This is something for you and your doctor to discuss.

Lose weight

Being overweight increases LDL and lowers HDL. Losing weight should boost your HDL. If you are overweight, reducing your weight should increase your HDL levels.

Cut out the trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil are present in many prepared foods and represent a potential problem for your heart. Trans fatty acids not only increase LDL levels, they also lower HDL levels. Cut out trans fatty acids and you’ll most likely see a measurable increase in HDL.

Increase monounsaturated fats in your diet. Along with cutting out trans fatty acids, you should increase consumption of monounsaturated fats like olive oil, nuts, and canola oil. These all have been found to raise HDL without raising total cholesterol.

Eat more soluble fiber. Add 2 or more servings a day of foods high in soluble fiber such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.  Soluble fiber both reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol.

Other dietary changes

Fish and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can raise HDL. Cranberry juice is also known to increase HDL levels.

3.Alcohol and Smoking

Cut out alcohol and smoking

4.Supplements to Reduce ED Risk Factors

L-Arginine

L-Arginine is a wonderful amino acid. It’s known to improve cholesterol levels, control blood pressure, relieve angina, and help with erections.  Nitric oxide is a molecule released from your blood vessels that helps expand blood vessels in your penis and produce erections. L-arginine produces nitric oxide.

Several studies have shown the benefits of taking L-arginine to boost nitric oxide and keep blood flowing to the penis. One group of men with ED showed significant improvement by taking 5 grams of L-arginine daily for 5 weeks.

A suggested dose for L-arginine is 5 grams per day for 2 weeks as a “loading” dose. Then take 2.5 grams per day for maintenance. Do not exceed 10 grams per day as this has been shown to cause digestive problems.  More details at Your Best Body After 50.

Add L-arginine to the following plant derived helpers.

Herbs For ED

Here are some all natural, plant-derived libido and testosterone boosters – libido boosting herbs. Try them one at a time rather than all at once.  See Trouble Free Prostate for herbs to improve prostate health.

Muira Puama

Muira puama is an herb found in South America known to boost libido. It’s shown to boost energy, strength, and function when deficient testosterone is suspected.  Take 300mg daily.

Tongkat Ali (Long Jack)

Tongkat also known as Eurycoma Longifolia, Long Jack or Pasak Bumi, is an asian bush with medicinal properties. An extract made from the roots has been shown to not only increase libido, but also boost lean muscle gains and reduce body fat. Though not proven in human studies, it’s believed to be a powerful testosterone booster.

The effects can take a couple of weeks to show up and the supplement cost is rather high – $70.00 for a 2-3 month supply.  Start with (1) 300mg capsule of 1:200 root extract daily taken around lunch time. You can increase to (2) capsules if it’s well tolerated.

Tribulus Terrestris

This herb has been known for centuries to boost testosterone and improve symptoms of impotence and infertility. Tribulus contains steroidal saponins which act to increase testosterone. Several human studies have shown tribulus can boost male hormone by 30% or more.

And along with improved sexual function and libido, studies also suggest tribulus may improve cardiovascular health. Keep in mind, these results are only typical if you have low testosterone.  Take 500mg – 750mg daily.

Yohimbe

Yohimbe is extracted from the bark of a tree that grows in Africa. The drug yohimbine is made from yohimbe and was at one time the only FDA approved medicine for ED. The effects of yohimbe are well known and yohimbe is a good place to start rather than taking prescription ED drugs.  Take 500mg of yohimbe bark extract daily.

ED Drugs

Prescription medications such as Cialis, Viagra, and Levitra can actually be good at enhancing performance in men with ED. They do what they say they do with few reported side effects. As a long term solution to ED, though, they are most likely not helpful.

Viagra is the most popular of these drugs. On average, only 1 out of 3 men show results using Viagra. And in a survey of men using Viagra over 3 years, over 50% stopped taking the drug because it no longer worked for them. The same survey showed that 30% of the users needed to double their dose to keep getting the effects.

Prescription ED drugs do not solve erectile dysfunction problems. They may actually mask some other ED risk factors. They merely enable the “hydraulics” for sex. More worrisome, they may mask underlying health conditions that are the real cause of the ED such as cardiovascular disease. Do yourself a favor and get to the heart of the problem for a long term solution to ED.