By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Medicine
Right or wrong, having a strong intimate romance is often at the very center of how we men define ourselves.
When you can’t perform as you think you should, feelings of inadequacy well up and you no longer “feels like a man.” The thought of being unable to perform is simply at direct odds with our image of what’s manly.
The first step in solving the problem, of course, is to discover its source.
Some of the most common causes for not being able to perform are stress, atherosclerosis, diabetes, low testosterone and prescription drugs – like those taken for high blood pressure, depression and allergies. Additionally, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) is the primary cause of this dysfunction in more than half of men over 50. (In many instances, it’s the first sign of coronary atherosclerosis in these men.)
But before you rush out to get a prescription for those “little blue pills,” know this: Drugs like these simply mask the symptoms temporarily because they improve blood flow to erectile tissue. Plus there are some serious side effects including heart attack, vision problems and painful long-lasting erections.
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Fortunately, you can support healthy sexual function by simply improving the overall health of your arteries through diet, lifestyle changes and proper supplementation.
A diet rich in whole foods—particularly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds—is extremely important. So are some basic supplements including a high-potency multivitamin/multimineral, greens drinks and pharmaceutical-grade fish oil.
Beyond these basics, here are some key supplements I recommend:
Zinc is concentrated in semen, and frequent releases can reduce the body's stores. To compensate for less zinc in the blood, your body may reduce your sex drive as a way to hang on to what's left of this important trace mineral.1 To boost your levels—and your desire—take 30 mg of zinc daily. But since the long-term use of zinc can deplete your copper stores, make sure to also take at least 2 mg of supplemental copper for every 30 mg of zinc.
L-arginine increases nitric oxide inside blood vessels. This, in turn, can improve blood flow to your organs—with the same net effect as the one produced by "the little blue pill”, only without the side effects. In one study, 31% of men who took L-arginine reported improvement in function compared to only 11% of the control subjects.2
Pycnogenol can increase the benefits of L-arginine. In one double-blind study, combining Pycnogenol with L-arginine increased both hardness and satisfaction. Take 60 mg of Pycnogenol along with 690 mg of L-arginine daily.3
Tribulus terrestris can boost testosterone, the key hormone that affects desire.4 The typical dose is 500 to 1,000 mg., taken in two or three separate doses throughout the day. However, don't take tribulus on a constant basis as this can actually decrease your testosterone levels. Follow a five-days-on/two-days-off regimen for 8 weeks, then take 2 weeks off before cycling back on. Look for an extract that's standardized to no less than 45% protodioscin.
Yohimbine is probably the most thoroughly researched natural solution and it works particularly well if the problem is caused by vascular or diabetic conditions. Because this compound is a natural vasodilator, it improves the circulatory blood flow in the areas a man needs most. In fact, yohimbine is so effective, it's the only herb that's been approved by the FDA for the treatment of this dysfunction. While a typical dose (15-30 mg/day) is usually safe, some people experience anxiety, dizziness, a rapid heart beat and an increase in blood pressure.
Taking one or more of these supplements can help you feel like a man again and do wonders for your romantic life! Just be aware that they take time to work. Give it a month or two. If the problem hasn't resolved itself, check with your doctor to rule out more serious problems that could be undermining your performance.
Additional Articles of Interest
Do You Have Low-T?
Men: Don't Be the Victim of the “Feminization Epidemic”
Natural Sexual Enhancers
- Dissanayake D. Effects of zinc supplementation on sexual behavior of male rats. Journal of Human Reproductive Science. 2009;2:57-61.
- Chen J. Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BJU International. 1999;83:269-273.
- Aoki H. Clinical Assessment of a Supplement of Pycnogenol and l-arginine in Japanese Patients with Mild to Moderate Erectile Dysfunction. Phytotherapy Research. 2011 May 27. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3462. [Epub ahead of print]
- El-Tantawy WH, et al. Free serum testosterone level in male rats treated with Tribulus alatus extracts. International Brazilian Journal of Urology. 2007;33:554-558.