Erectile Dysfunction – The Long & Short of It

Dr. Robert Ostfeld is giving a talk at the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine this week titled, Erectile Dysfunction – The Long & Short of It. He was also a guest on the Exam Room Podcast last week where he provided information on what causes Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and how to prevent, stop, and/or reverse it. It is startling to see how prevalent this is. Here I’ll share some highlights from the discussion along with information provided by Dr. Michael Greger, a fun experiment from the documentary, The Game Changers, tips to be as healthy as you can be, and a potential – outstanding response to the question, “Why did you go plant-based?”

Here are a few facts to set the stage:

  • Erectile dysfunction, is defined as the recurrent or persistent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection in order for satisfactory sexual performance
  • ED and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) are different clinical manifestations of the same disease – inflamed, crippled, and clogged arteries…atherosclerosis is a systemic disorder that uniformly affects all major vascular beds. So the heart and penis are in the same boat…
  • 67% of men showing up in an Emergency Room with acute chest pain reported they had ED issues well before the onset of CAD symptoms
  • Penis artery is half the size of heart arteries
  • ED is present in up to 30 million men in the U.S. and 100 million men worldwide
    • U.S. makes up 8% of world population but accounts for 30% of ED cases? Damn SAD (below)
    • 40% of men over 40 have signs of ED
    • New ED in men 40-49 years old was associated with a 50x increase in an incidence of CAD
  • This information is pulled from, Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death via Dr. Greger

Dr. Greger shares how with the penis artery half the size of the heart, when blood flow is restricted by clogged arteries, there is no surprise the penis artery and symptoms would demonstrate issues before heart symptoms and/or issues. He cites a study where they state, “a man with ED (and no cardiac symptoms) should be considered a cardiac (or vascular) patient until proved otherwise.” Dr. Greger closes the video stating, “ED stands for Early Death” with its connection to CAD. I’ve heard other cardiologists share when a doctor identifies a patient with ED and does not follow with a cardiologist next step it should be considered malpractice.

What’s causing ED?

Dr. Robert Ostfeld, a guest on the Exam Room Podcast last week, stated the most common reason for ED is vascular related…getting blood flow to the penis. “If there is a problem with that, that can cause ED.” He shares what we eat profoundly impacts the blood flow restriction and erectile function. He also makes the connection of ED being an early detector of heart disease calling it, the canary in the coal mine.

Eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat clog the arteries leading to ED and heart disease among other chronic illnesses. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of these foods and hence the high amounts of ED and heart disease (and deaths) in the U.S. The host of the podcast went through a list of the 10 most popular foods Americans eat with Dr. Ostfeld and asked him to give a thumbs up or down in the foods’ relation to ED. Here is the list and a Thumbs Up if it promotes Erectile Function or Thumbs Down if it promotes Erectile Dysfunction:

  1. Pizza (cheese loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol) – thumbs down
  2. Hamburger (saturated fat, cholesterol) – thumbs down
  3. French Fries (oils = 100% fat…, now if you air fry….) – thumbs down
  4. Fried Chicken (saturated fat, cholesterol, fried…ugh) – thumbs down
  5. Hot Dog (“part of the ED starter kit”) – thumbs down
  6. Ice Cream (dairy…highest form of saturated fat) – thumbs down
  7. Mac and Cheese (cheese, white pasta, double whammy) – thumbs down
  8. Peanut Butter and Jelly (the typical peanut butter has a lot of additives, white bread a no no, sugary jelly…now make it an organic no additive nut butter and no additive jam you have something to work with) – thumbs down citing the typical…
  9. Donuts (those eggs and dairy suck) – thumbs down
  10. Burrito (meat, cheese, sour cream…geez!) – thumbs down

Damn…10 for 10… consistent with how U.S. men are leaders in ED world wide.

Here is a fun experiment from the documentary, Game Changers, where Dr. Aaron Spitz, Lead Delegate of the American Urological Association performed on three collegiate athletes in their early 20s. He states right from the start that studies show, “The more meat men eat the more they lose their manly manhood.”

The experiment tested the affects of the gentlemens’ erections (hardness and duration) based on eating two different meals on consecutive nights. One with meat and the other with plant protein. The meat meal was a burrito with chicken, red meat, and pork and the plant-based versions had plant protein versions of the meat meals. They would sleep through the night while their data was collected. The results were astounding:

  • All outcomes showed outstanding results after consuming the plant-based meal vs. the meat option
  • Hardness/Bigger Erections after plant-based meal vs. meat meal
    • Athlete 1 – 8.89% harder
    • Athlete 2 – 8.79% harder
    • Athlete 3 – 13.54% harder
  • Duration of Erections after plant-based meal vs. meat meal
    • Athlete 1 – 303% increase
    • Athlete 2 – 477% increase
    • Athlete 3 – 312% increase

The video is pretty entertaining…the young men having fun laughing it up as they review each other’s results. When asked where they would take their date on Valentine’s Day, one of them said, “to the Veggie Grill.” Ha!

Dr. Ostfeld and Dr. Spitz are teaming up on a new study in this arena so we have more to look forward to in the near future.

What do you eat?

This one is simple. Eat as many whole plant foods as you can for outstanding sexual health. These foods promote blood flow and reduce inflammation. Animal foods decrease blood flow, promote inflammation, and increase risk of other chronic illnesses. We want maximum blood flow to our:

  • Heart to keep us going (so taking the blue pill to promote an erection will not mask the damage to heart arteries)
  • Brain so we can think clearly
  • Muscles so we can be strong, run fast, and be vibrant
  • Sexual organs to feel great (this is true for women as well)

Over 5 1/2 years ago I went plant-based for overall health and athletic performance reasons. I then realized the cruelty to animals and horrific lives they live to be slaughtered for food and animal rights became just as important as my personal health benefits. You add in this to the mix…

With all these factors in play, when asked the question, “Why did you go plant-based?” You could easily respond with, “The sex!”

– Add Health to Your Life

Featured Blog Photo:

  • Left Column Foods – Promotes ED
  • Right Column Foods – Promotes Sexual Functions

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