This recent post on sexual health published on CNN reinforces many of the things we’ve discussed on this website and discuss with our patients. The article discusses the relationship between cardiovascular health and sexual function. Better sex is dependent on a healthy cardiovascular system.
One key to better sex is having good overall cardiovascular health, not only to the genitalia, but also the brain, which the CNN article describes as the largest sex organ as it controls the flow of hormones from the brain to genitalia.
Madeleine Castellanos, MD whom CNN interviewed for the piece mentions the importance eating a diet low in sugars to prevent and minimize atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. We could not agree more. Please see our post on how high blood sugar causes vascular disease.
High blood sugars also adversely effect nerves, and one does not have to have diabetes to have sugars high enough to damage the nerves that can potentially lead to sexual dysfunction.
Nitric Oxide and Better Sex
We’ve published a series of posts that discuss the many health benefits of a unique molecule called nitric oxide. See ” What is Nitric Oxide”, “Nitric Oxide Foods”, and “Boosting Nitric Oxide with Exercise”. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator leading to improved blood flow. Erectile dysfunction drugs work by making nitric oxide more available. The CNN article discusses the use of L-arginine, an amino acid, to increase nitric oxide levels. Some studies as CNN mention have shown improved sexual function with use of L-arginine, but there’s evidence that it might not work well in those over age 40 who have endothelial dysfunction which hinders the production of nitric oxide from L-arginine. See video below.
Foods high in nitrites/nitrates like green leafy vegetable increase nitric oxide levels improving blood flow essential to better sex. And, L-citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelon, can also increase L-arginine production. One problem with L-arginine is that after the age of 40 it does not increase nitric oxide levels very well. L-citrulline is an alternative and better way of boosting nitric oxide levels for those over 40.
Watch this video with Dr. Nathan Bryan from Neogenis on why L-arginine may not work after age 40.
Exercise also increases nitric oxide levels and improves blood flow independent of nitric oxide production as well. Studies have shown that individuals who are more physically active tend to have more satisfying sex lives.
Improve your blood flow and enjoy better sex.
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