Are You Eating Yourself Impotent?

Erectile dysfunction: the new harbinger for major adverse cardiac events in the diabetic patient by Carmine Gazzaruso in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found,

"…ED is a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients with silent CAD…"1

An accompanying study, Erectile dysfunction predicts coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes, in this same issue by Ronald Ching-Wan Ma found,

"In type 2 diabetic men without clinically overt cardiovascular disease, the presence of ED predicts a new onset of CHD events. Symptoms of ED should be independently sought to identify high-risk subjects for comprehensive cardiovascular assessments."2

The same diet that closes the arteries to the heart (heart attacks) and brain (stroke) also closes the arteries to the penis - the result is erectile dysfunction (ED), which means a delay in time to maximal erection, reduced rigidity, and decreased ability to sustain an erection.

An interesting question asked in an accompanying editorial was, 

"Why does ED seem to precede symptoms of CAD in patients with a vascular etiology for ED?"3 

The answer,

"…this phenomenon relates to the size or diameter of the blood vessels. For example, the penile artery has a diameter of 1 to 2 mm, whereas the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery is 3 to 4 mm in diameter. An equally sized atherosclerotic plaque burden in the smaller penile arteries would more likely first compromise flow and cause ED compared with the same amount of plaque in the larger coronary artery causing angina."

People with ED also have higher risks for heart attacks, heart surgery, strokes, transient ischemic attack (TIA), congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest, and cardiac arrhythmia. 

The reason is these conditions are all diseases of sick blood vessels - atherosclerosis. 

Patients with health problems are also more likely to be taking medications, such as blood pressure pills, that commonly cause sexual dysfunction.

Fortunately, with a change in diet and a little exercise most of our patients are able to lower their blood pressure and get off of their "erection deflating" medications, and they are able to reduce their "plaque burden" by reversing the underlying atherosclerosis.

Now there's a valid reason to eat fruits and vegetables!

(You can make sure you are getting the daily recommended nine to eleven servings of fruits and veggies, and much more, by using whole-food supplements. There are not many, but they do exist.)

1) Gazzaruso C, Solerte SB, Pujia A, Coppola A, Vezzoli M, Salvucci F, Valenti C, Giustina A, Garzaniti A. Erectile dysfunction as a predictor of cardiovascular events and death in diabetic patients with angiographically proven asymptomatic coronary artery disease: a potential protective role for statins and 5-phosphodiesterase inhibitors. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 May 27;51(21):2040-4.

2) Ma RC, So WY, Yang X, Yu LW, Kong AP, Ko GT, Chow CC, Cockram CS, Chan JC, Tong PC. Erectile dysfunction predicts coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 May 27;51(21):2045-50.

3) Kloner RA. Erectile dysfunction: the new harbinger for major adverse cardiac events in the diabetic patient. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 May 27;51(21):2051-2.