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The Connection Between Heart Disease and Erectile Dysfunction


Cardiovascular disease remains our nation’s biggest killer, responsible for about one-third of deaths in the U.S.1 Erectile dysfunction (ED) is typically the first clinical manifestation of cardiovascular disease, making it a helpful early marker for men who are likely to die of heart attacks. There is a strong relationship between erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina, stroke, heart attack and a premature death.2, 3

Erectile dysfunction is an accurate predictor of heart attacks and strokes in the future. Psychogenic components play a role in erectile dysfunction, but the most common and primary cause in most men is organic vascular insufficiency, meaning not enough blood gets to the penis. Erectile dysfunction usually occurs one to five years before a male manifests overt signs of cardiovascular disease. The first sign may be death.

A nutrient-dense, plant-rich (Nutritarian) diet is a huge defense. When men eat for optimal health, they protect their heart, prostate, brain, and, in effect, the entire body. A nutrient-dense, plant-rich (Nutritarian) diet floods the body with protective nutrients, and supports a healthy weight. It not only normalizes risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, but also offers a substantial level of protection against common cancers.

Erectile dysfunction affects around half of all men over the age of forty, but often men do not request treatment.4 The recent surge in Viagra and other medications to deal with erectile dysfunction is indicative of the rapid deterioration of the circulatory system in most men in this country.

This subject is fascinating because the science links erectile dysfunction with an abnormality in the pro-erectile nitric oxide production system in the blood vessels of the penis. Improving cardiovascular health with a Nutritarian diet will improve nitric oxide production and therefore blood flow regulation throughout the body.5

The choice is yours. You do not have to die of a heart attack, and you do not have to have erectile dysfunction. Both are the result of dietary choices, and you can make a choice right now to protect your life. Do you want to die of a heart attack or don’t you? If you don’t, then are you willing to do what it takes to reduce your risk almost 100 percent? I don’t know about you, but for me, just dropping my risk 20 to 40 percent with medical care is not enough. I want maximum protection.

You can choose erectile dysfunction as you age, which will be followed by your share of heart problems, angioplasties, bypass and a premature cardiac death, or you can avoid cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, thoracic surgeons, emergency rooms and operating rooms. I made my choice and thousands of other men have, too.

I have cared for hundreds of men with erectile dysfunction that have reversed their condition with a Nutritarian diet and the judicious use of dietary supplements. I have cared for hundreds of heart patients with angina and advanced heart disease, who have turned their backs on invasive cardiac procedures, recovered from angina and opened up the closed blood vessels in their diseased hearts. Out of thousands of men with advanced heart and erectile problems who have followed my nutritional advice, I have never had a patient suffer a heart attack or cardiac related death.

This same program will just as effectively lower your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and protect you against prostate cancer.

Superior nutrition lowers cholesterol levels more powerfully than drugs, without the risks and side effects. In fact, my nutritional program, when analyzed in a scientific study, was shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 33 percent after only six weeks.6

In another scientific article published in 2015 in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, respondents who were not taking cholesterol-lowering medication experienced an average 42 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol and an average decrease in triglycerides of 79.5 mg/dl about one year after switching to a Nutritarian diet. Furthermore, case histories presented in that publication documented atherosclerosis reversal.7

Another study showed a forty percent increase of blood flow to the heart within one year of starting a dietary program designed similar to the one described in my book, The End of Heart Disease. Of pertinent note is that, in the same study, the patients following a high-protein Atkins’ diet decreased blood flow to the heart by forty percent in one year.8 These dangerous high-protein diets are a certain path to erectile impotence and a premature cardiac death.

The most important way to protect your heart is to eat a Nutritarian diet and that means eating your G-BOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. Natural plant foods have numerous cardio-protective effects. For example, greens activate the Nrf2 system, which turns on natural detoxification mechanisms and protects blood vessels against inflammatory processes that lead to atherosclerotic plaque buildup.9

Higher consumption of fiber-rich vegetables, fruits and beans helps to keep blood pressure in the favorable range.10 Beans, nuts and seeds have unique cholesterol-lowering capabilities.11-13 Berries and the flavonoids they contain have a blood pressure-lowering effect, plus berries and pomegranate have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect against the development of heart disease.14-18

Getting frequent exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are, of course, also important. Plus, avoiding or minimizing risky dietary factors such as salt, alcohol, caffeine, and too much animal products is crucial. Animal protein elevates insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the blood, a growth-promoting hormone that is associated with increased risk of several cancers and cardiovascular disease.19, 20

This approach is simply the ideal way to live and eat if you want to maintain your youthfulness and health into your later years. Many thousands of people have chosen and will choose to enjoy fantastic tasting foods that are nutrient-dense and offer dramatic protection against disease.

Do it now. Do not wait until you have advanced disease. Half of men who die suddenly from a heart attack had no warning, no pain and no symptoms.21 Their first symptom of heart disease was their deadly first heart attack. Make sure this will not be you.

When it comes to combating heart disease, most information sources promote drugs and surgery as the only viable options, with lip service to dietary advice that simply does not work. As a result, the demand for high-tech, expensive, but largely ineffective medical care is soaring, causing medical costs and insurance rates to skyrocket. This chase for "cures" is both financially devastating and futile. Morbidity and premature mortality from heart disease continue to rise, with no sign of abating.

Interventional cardiology offers only partial benefits, since these procedures do not remove the causes of the problem. Attempts to intervene with invasive procedures or surgery after the damage already has been done have not been shown to offer a significant reduction in cardiac deaths.

We need to keep in mind that angioplasty and bypass surgery have some significant adverse outcomes, including heart attacks, stroke and death. These invasive procedures only attempt to treat a small segment of the diseased heart, usually with only a temporary benefit. The patients treated with angioplasty and bypass will continue to experience progressive disability and most often die a premature death as a result of their heart disease.

Unfortunately, government agencies often are slow to respond to new scientific information and economic and political forces make it difficult for our population to receive clear information informing them that heart disease is nutritionally induced and totally avoidable with dietary excellence. Sadly, even the American Heart Association advocates a diet that has been shown to actually increase heart disease.

Too many people are not aware that there are safer, more effective options available. The dietary plan outlined in my book The End of Heart Disease gives people specific guidelines to reduce heart disease risk to almost zero and to effectively reverse atherosclerosis.

 
References
  1. Xu J, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Bastian BA. Deaths: Final Data for 2013. Natl Vital Stat Rep 2016, 64:1-119.
  2. Solomon H, Man JW, Jackson G. Erectile dysfunction and the cardiovascular patient: endothelial dysfunction is the common denominator. Heart 2003, 89:251-253.
  3. Billups KL. Erectile dysfunction as an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Int J Impot Res 2005, 17 Suppl 1:S19-24.
  4. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol 1994, 151:54-61.
  5. Agarwal A, Nandipati KC, Sharma RK, et al. Role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiological mechanism of erectile dysfunction. J Androl 2006, 27:335-347.
  6. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism 2001, 50:494-503.
  7. Fuhrman J, Singer M. Improved Cardiovascular Parameter With a Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Rich Diet-Style: A Patient Survey With Illustrative Cases. Am J Lifestyle Med 2015.
  8. Fleming RM. The effect of high-protein diets on coronary blood flow. Angiology 2000, 51:817-826.
  9. Zakkar M, Van der Heiden K, Luong le A, et al. Activation of Nrf2 in endothelial cells protects arteries from exhibiting a proinflammatory state. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2009, 29:1851-1857.
  10. Streppel MT, Arends LR, van 't Veer P, et al. Dietary fiber and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 2005, 165:150-156.
  11. Sabate J, Oda K, Ros E. Nut consumption and blood lipid levels: a pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials. Arch Intern Med 2010, 170:821-827.
  12. Kelly JH, Jr., Sabate J. BNuts and coronary heart disease: an epidemiological perspective. Br J Nutr 2006, 96 Suppl 2:S61-67.
  13. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al. Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2011, 21:94-103.
  14. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000, 71:1062-1076.
  15.  Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004, 23:423-433.
  16. Cassidy A, Mukamal KJ, Liu L, et al. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Circulation 2013, 127:188-196.
  17. Cassidy A, O'Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2011, 93:338-347.
  18. Ros E, Tapsell LC, Sabate J. Nuts and berries for heart health. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2010, 12:397-406.
  19. van Bunderen CC, van Nieuwpoort IC, van Schoor NM, et al. The Association of Serum Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I with Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer in the Elderly: A Population-Based Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010.
  20. Kaaks R. Nutrition, insulin, IGF-1 metabolism and cancer risk: a summary of epidemiological evidence. Novartis Found Symp 2004, 262:247-260; discussion 260-268.
  21. Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2012 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012, 125:e2-e220.
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