Macca the Peruvian Ginseng

Did You Know…

…that a versatile Peruvian superfood boosts energy, libido and sexual function, improves fertility, and balances hormones? Continue reading

Kegel Exercises for Men

kegelIf you’re a guy and don’t know what Kegel exercises are, then read on. Kegel exercises are probably the easiest and most convenient exercises you can do to help improve your urinary, prostate and sexual health, and you can do them without putting on athletic shoes or breaking a sweat. In fact, no one will even know you are doing these exercises, even if you’re in a crowd or waiting in line at the bank.

What Are Kegel Exercises?

For the uninitiated, Kegel exercises (sometimes referred to as pelvic floor exercises) involve tightening your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, Continue reading

Herbs That Increase Semen Count

Today, there are scientifically engineered pills to cure a number of sexual ailments from erectile dysfunction to low sex drive. For those who are interested in taking a more natural approach to boosting their fertility, the good news is that certain natural herbs and tonics that–along with a healthy diet–have been known to increase sperm count. Many not only improve the quantity of sperm, they improve the quality of sperm, while boosting overall sexual health. Horny Goat Weed, for example, does just what you’d expect–it increases sperm count and revs up the libido. Continue reading

Patients Often Use ED Even When Primary Care Is Available

As national healthcare reform proceeds, hospitals that have benefited financially from high use of emergency departments (EDs) by routine primary care patients will be challenged to retool primary care delivery and payment methods, according to a research letter published in the February 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Karen E. Lasker, MD, MPH, from the Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine, and the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, in Massachusetts, and colleagues analyzed the use of ED services by established primary care patients at BMC, a safety-net hospital, between July 1, 2009, and July 1, 2010. They found that about half of all ED primary care visits took place during weekdays when primary care practices were open and seeing patients.

BMC has 8 primary care practices Continue reading

Alternative Medicine Breakthroughs from Dr. Mercola and Dr. Oz

Just recently Dr. Joe Mercola was a guest on The Doctor Oz Show. Dr. Mercola, often called the “alternative health Guru” and Dr. Oz discussed the fact that that many medical doctors don’t believe in alternative medicine in “The Man Your Doctor Doesn’t Want You To Listen To” segment of the show.

Dr. Mercola believes that many medical conditions can be addressed through eating a healthy diet and taking natural supplements rather than taking pharmaceutical medications.

When Dr. Oz pointed out that Dr. Mercola sells supplements on his website Continue reading

Regular Use of Painkillers Linked to ED

Men who take painkillers regularly to treat pain such as the aches that come with age may be increasing their risk for another common condition of aging, erectile dysfunction (ED), a study suggests.

Middle-aged men in the study who reported regularly taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were more likely to have erection problems than men who took the drugs less frequently or not at all.

The study is published in The Journal of Urology.

Regular use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn), and other NSAIDs was more common in older men. Not surprisingly, so was erectile dysfunction (ED).

In the study, regular use of NSAIDs was defined as those who on pharmacy records received more than a total of a 100-day supply of at least one NSAID, any prescription for three or more doses per day, or those who self-reported using NSAIDS at least five days per week on the study questionnaire. Continue reading

Do You Suffer From ED?

E.D.  Checklist

An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than 50% of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.

  1. Are you overweight?  Yes or No
  1. Do you have any of the following conditions?
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Depression
    • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
    • Kidney disease
  1. Do you:
    • Smoke
    • Drink alcohol
    • Use recreational drugs
  1. How often do you exercise?
    • Daily
    • Once or twice a week
    • A couple of times a month
    • I never seem to get around to it
  1. How often do you feel stressed?
    • Much of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely

Answers:

  1. Overweight men are more likely to have ED
  2. Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation
  3. Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can all damage a man’s blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED
  4. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED
  5. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
  • Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
  • Are there medications I can take?

Did You Know?

  • Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
  • Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
  • ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
  • Intercavernous injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
  • Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the urethra to treat ED.
  • Urologist is a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male sex organs.

Know Your Numbers

  • At least 20 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction, and about one in 10 adult males suffers from ED long-term.
  • About 40% of men in their 40s report at least occasional problems getting and maintaining erections. So do more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70, and about 70% of men in their 70s.
  • Failure to achieve an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual; treatment is rarely needed.
  • Atherosclerosis alone accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men 60 and older. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes have ED, and ED may be a predictor for other vascular problems.

Natural Libido Enhancements for Better Sex

Ginseng: There are several types of ginseng, two of which are Siberian ginseng, which is typically used as an aphrodisiac, and red Korean or Asian ginseng, which is used in Chinese traditional medicine and has slightly more research behind it, Saigal says.

Ginseng, like a lot of herbs, is thought to work by helping the body make more nitric oxide — as does Viagra. A couple of good studies showed some effect from ginseng, so people can look at this as an alternative to Viagra. But it’s not going to be as effective as Viagra or Levitra or Cialis.

Ginseng appears to help women, too. Ginseng gives people energy and may improve mood, and you need energy and endurance for sex.

Black Cohosh: In the past, black cohosh has been used to treat arthritis and muscle pain and was traditionally used for “female” complaints. Today, it is marketed to treat hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, premenstrual syndrome, and other menopausal symptoms.

Black cohosh has estrogen-like properties, and increases blood flow to the pelvis — which increases arousal and response to sexual stimulation.  More blood flow means more lubrication, and that’s good for sex.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding studies of black cohosh as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.

Chasteberry (Vitex): Chasteberry is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia — and is approved in Germany for premenstrual and menstrual problems. It is said to increase sexual desire by boosting the hormone progesterone and the brain chemical dopamine.

Chasteberry also decreases the brain chemical prolactin that interferes with sexual desire.  It works for some patients..

L-Arginine (Arginine): Arginine is an amino acid the body needs for many functions, like boosting immunity. The body also uses arginine to produce nitric oxide — an effect similar to the way Viagra works. Arginine has been found to improve blood flow to the penis.

One study showed improvements when L-arginine, glutamate, and yohimbine were combined. (Yohimbine is FDA approved as a drug therapy for ED, so how much of the effect was due to arginine is unknown.) Another study showed “significant improvement in sexual function” when L-arginine and pycnogenol were combined — but not when L-arginine was used alone.

Arginine is generally safe, although there may be drug interactions — especially with high blood pressure drugs. In addition, men taking Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra – or nitroglycerin (nitrates) for chest pain (angina) — should be cautious as combining them with L-arginine can cause a potentially serious drop in blood pressure.

It’s something to try. And if it works for those arteries, it could also help the heart arteries, too. Men with heart disease might benefit most from taking arginine.

Ginkgo: Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Ginkgo leaf extract is used today to boost mental power, help Alzheimer’s, and treat tinnitus, asthma, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction. Some studies show that gingko enhances the effects of nitric oxide — which allows better blood flow to the penis.

Ginkgo is one of those herbs that are pretty popular. The thing is there’s no great data for sexual function on it.  Ginkgo is thought to help with sexual dysfunction related to antidepressant use. One study showed that ginkgo made no difference; the other showed some slight difference. There may be a large placebo effect, but there have been anecdotal reports that it helps some people.

Yohimbe: Yohimbe is derived from bark of the yohimbe tree, native to Africa — and traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. In current times, this extract has been shown to be moderately effective in treating ED. It may perhaps increase erections and libido, because it has some effect on the brain.

Some studies indicate that yohimbe may help ED in men taking antidepressants, although research in this area is limited. Caution: Some yohimbe bark extracts may not contain significant amounts of yohimbine, so they may not have these effects. There’s a buyer-beware issue.  A lot of supplements use names that sound like yohimbe but are basically worthless. Look at the content label. Make sure it’s from the yohimbe tree. Also, look for the name of the active ingredient — yohimbine or yohimbine hydrochloride.

Maca: Maca is a vegetable native to Peru that is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac,  There have been rat studies, but studies to support its use are very limited,  but because it’s a vegetable, maca won’t hurt you.

Pycnogenol: Pycnogenol is an extract of the bark from French maritime pine. It is believed that pycnogenol helps protect blood vessels and boost production of nitric oxide — similar to L-arginine, yohimbe, ginkgo, and ginseng.

Some studies show that taking L-arginine and pycnogenol together boosts nitric oxide production. Those weren’t randomized trials [meaning the combination wasn’t compared to placebo], but there was an effect. So there’s some effect in combining the two.

ArginMax: If female patients are interested in herbs, Hutcherson guides them to ArginMax (a combination of Panax ginseng, L-arginine, ginkgo biloba, damiana, multivitamins, and minerals).

Two large clinical studies found that ArginMax improved sexual function in menopausal and other women with low sexual desire.

Zestra for Women: Zestra, a blend of botanical oils and extracts, is designed to increase female sexual desire, arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction when applied to the female genitalia.  Zestra’s ingredients include: borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica extract, coleus extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

In a preliminary study, Zestra was shown to increase sexual sensation, arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction in “normal women” and women with arousal problems. Zestra also helped with sexual side effects related to antidepressants.

You rub it on your clitoris, which is supposed to increase blood flow.

The NIH is launching a clinical study comparing Zestra to placebo in women with a variety of sexual dysfunctions, including problems with interest, desire, arousal, and orgasm.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E oil — when applied to the vagina — helps improve lubrication. It is very effective. .

Cautionary Notes About DHEA Supplements

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a natural hormone that is converted into male and female sex hormones in the body. DHEA is sold as an antiaging supplement that improves energy, strength, and muscle, plus it increases immunity and burns fat.

However, the NIH says, “there is no conclusive evidence that DHEA supplements do any of these things,” and “there is little scientific evidence to support the use of DHEA as a ‘rejuvenating’ hormone.”

Long-term effects of DHEA supplements have not been studied — but there are “early signs that these supplements, even when taken briefly, may have detrimental effects on the body, including liver damage.”

Even if DHEA does rev your libido, it won’t help erections,  If the goal is a better erection, getting more testosterone won’t help.  We don’t know the long-term effects of DHEA

Keeping Your Libido Healthy

Pills aren’t the only answer. If flagging sexual desire is the problem, find something that adds spice. Find something interesting that stimulates your mind, since the brain is the largest sex organ.

Her libido-boosting suggestions:

  • Sleep in the bedroom. Have sex anywhere else — the den, kitchen, or laundry room.
  • Seize the moment wherever, whenever, it hits.
  • Buy something new. New lingerie definitely qualifies.
  • Send hot sizzling notes to each other during the day.
  • Buy a sex toy. Read an erotic novel together. Watch an erotic video.

There are so many things, you can never run out of ideas. What helps most — the best aphrodisiac — is going on a field trip to an adult store together. Try different things, touch, giggle, have a good time. You find you can’t wait to get home to try them.

Protecting Your Sexual Desire

To keep your libido in prime form, you’ve got to walk, jog — do some kind of aerobic exercise — daily. Maybe it doesn’t sound sexy, but a two-mile walk every day keeps the blood flowing.

Losing weight (if you’re obese) and eating a low-fat diet also helps restore sexual function. You’ll feel better about yourself, and your partner will be more interested in you. You’ll also help your heart.  And that’s very sexy.

Shockwave Therapy Shows Promise for Erectile Dysfunction

PARIS – It sounds painful, but shockwave therapy may be an effective treatment for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a small study showcased here at the European Society for Sexual Medicine.

Focused shockwaves, generated by a special machine, is an established method of breaking up kidney stones. In patients with heart disease, shockwave therapy is being increasingly used to grow blood vessels.

“If the therapy can work in the small vessels of the heart, we felt that it might work in the penis because most patients with erectile dysfunction have vascular (blood vessel) problems,” Dr. Yoram Vardi, from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, told Reuters Health.

Vardi and colleagues tested their low-intensity shockwave protocol in 20 men with mild or moderate ED caused by reduced blood flow in the penis.

All of the men underwent a three-week course of two weekly treatment sessions and a second identical round of shockwave therapy starting three weeks later. During each treatment session, low-energy shockwave therapy was applied to different areas of the penis for a few minutes.

Erectile function, assessed at the time of enrollment and four weeks after the end of treatment, improved significantly in 15 of the men, Vardi and colleagues found.

There were no side effects related to the treatment.

Although not presented at the meeting, six-month follow-up data show that 12 of the 15 patients who significantly improved with treatment said they no longer needed to use Viagra or a similar agent to treat their ED.

While drugs like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are “extremely effective at treating ED, they only provide functional improvement,” Vardi noted. Shockwave therapy “could potentially be useful to most ED patients,” the researcher said.

GEMS doctors often recommend the amino acid L-Arginine as a natural remedy for ED.

Topical Cream for Erectile Dysfunction could Prove Safer

NEW YORK – An innovative drug-delivery system, nanoparticles encapsulating nitric oxide or prescription drugs, has shown promise for topical treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), say New York scientists.

According to scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the new system, which was tested successfully on a small number of animals, could potentially prevent side effects associated with oral ED medications, if study results can be replicated in humans.

The study has been published in the online edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Tens of millions of men worldwide have benefited from oral ED medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). However, these medications – which belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors – have limitations. They can cause systemic side effects that can be serious. These side effects include headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, upset stomach, abnormal vision as well as isolated reports of hearing and vision loss.

In addition, “an estimated 30 to 50 percent of men with ED do not respond to oral use of PDE5 inhibitors,” says senior author Kelvin P. Davies, Ph.D., associate professor of urology at Einstein.

The drug-delivery system, developed by Einstein scientists, consists of nanoparticles that can carry tiny payloads of various drugs or other medically useful substances and release them in a controlled and sustained manner.

The limited number of topical formulations of ED drugs has so far proven ineffective. The latest study was done to evaluate whether the Einstein nanoparticles, which have been shown to penetrate the skin, might allow the targeted delivery of compounds that treat ED and thereby avoid the drugs’ systemic effects.

An effective topical therapy could be especially significant for those ED patients who have reduced levels of nitric oxide (NO), the signaling molecule that dilates blood vessels responsible for erectile activity. These men, who often aren’t helped by oral PDE5 inhibitor drugs, may benefit from direct application of NO or the PDE5 inhibitors.