Heart and Erectile Dysfunction

What is the relationship between a heart and erectile dysfunction (ED)? Firstly, there is a clear indication that men who suffer from ED have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it’s primordial to keep your heart in check should you have these particular penis issues.

In this article, I will explain why the cardiovascular and the erectile functions are linked and how to avoid health issues in both of them.

Should you have a cardiovascular disease, I will also give you advice on how to improve your sexual life, safely.

Heart and Erectile Dysfunction – Facts

The scientific world has been studying the link between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction for a while. However, this link isn’t commonly known by the public. As a consequence, the lack of knowledge on the subject can cause illogical fears. Therefore, it’s primordial to know the actual facts rather than click-bait facts that are inundating the web.

So, let’s have a look…. what is the link between cardiovascular disease and ED?

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As a matter of fact, both are caused by the same factors. The main ones being:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High Cholesterol (LDL) and Triglycerides Levels
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • History of Cardiovascular Disease

These factors increase the risk of cardiovascular incidents and sexual disorders. In addition, accumulating more than one of these increases risks exponentially.

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Science for Non-scientific People (like Myself)

Here’s an example to put things into perspective:

When a person does a physical effort, she needs a higher blood supply for the heart to work properly. A gas, nitric oxide (NO) is going to relax the walls of the arteries which will result in increased blood flow. However, factors of vascular risks damage the cells that produce nitric oxide. Consequently, the production is reduced. This also impacts erectile function because nitric oxide is needed to relax the smooth muscles of the penis. Therefore, those factors also impact the chances of having a good erection.

Now that you understand the correlation between the heart and erectile dysfunction, it won’t be a surprise to know that people who are at risk or past victims of heart disease are a lot more exposed to ED.

A study published in 2013 showed that 40% of the participants who suffered from ED also had a cardiovascular pathology. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that the blockage of an erection was the result of a clogging of blood localized between the cavernous and spongy bodies on the rear side of the penis. When this issue is of a vascular origin, it’s linked to a cellular dysfunction – coming from the cells that produce NO. Therefore, this confirms what I mentioned beforehand, cardiovascular disease is intimately linked to ED. (1)

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Regardless of these facts, how can we preserve the cells that produce NO to maintain a healthy blood flow?

Heart and Erectile Dysfunction – Prevention is the Solution

Rather than waiting for health issues to appear or come back, it’s way better to take things into our own hands. Especially, when it comes to health.

The following advice does not replace medical one but is most certainly, complementary. More so, I would say it’s essential to improve and maintain a good health on the long term – and also, great erections! πŸ˜‰

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Researchers have studied medical literature related to the impact of a lifestyle change (for a minimum of 6 weeks). They mainly researched everything that could lead to a reduction of erectile dysfunction risk.

With 6 studies and a total of 740 participants, they concluded that a lifestyle change and a reduction of cholesterol & triglycerides results in improved erections. Additionally, the effect was heightened in men who suffered from minor erectile troubles.

Amongst the changes, diet was one of the most important. A healthier diet prevents the shrinking of blood vessels. The most successful diet to improve erectile function is the Mediterranean diet. In it, you will find many good fats (extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fresh cheese), whole grains (moderately), fruits (dried and fresh) and an extraordinary amount of vegetables (additionally, you’ll find a moderate amount of quality proteins – from animals and legumes)! To prevent ED and cardiovascular disease, the Mediterranean diet is an excellent choice and it’s also an extremely tasty one. Should you be interested, gather more information via a search engine.

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In addition, another important factor was observed by the researchers: physical activity. Here’s a wonderful fact: by running for one hour and a half or by exercising hard for 3 hours per week, you can reduce your risk of ED by 30%!

For sufferers of type 2 diabetes, an increase of physical activity and an overall improvement of diet (over 12 months) will greatly reduce the risk of ED. (2)

Conclusion

It’s obvious that there isn’t any miracle to reduce the risks. You can’t pop a pill and expect a profound change. To see real improvements, you will need to take care of your body inside out. However, when it comes to the risk factors, don’t hesitate to consult your GP to have additional information and an adequate treatment, if needed.


(1) Hypertension: The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Artery Disease. Jacob Rajfer and Martin M. Miner. Journal of Men’s Health. November 2013.
(2) The effect of lifestyle modification and cardiovascular risk factor reduction on erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Gupta BP, Murad MH, Clifton MM, Prokop L, Nehra A, Kopecky SL. Arch Intern Med. 2011

Vincent Lee