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50% Of Men Over 40 Have Some Degree Of Erectile Dysfunction
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Less than half of all men with ED seek help, either because they’re too embarrassed, think the problem is temporary, or that a physician will consider it is unimportant.
The truth is that 50% of men over 40 have some degree of ED and the numbers get worse with age. While ED can be temporary if it’s stress related, more often than not it’s an early indication of a more serious problem. Men with ED have increased risks of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and neurological disorders just to name a few, so it’s not unimportant. In medical terminology, it’s called ‘an early diagnostic window’ because ED can warn of all these problems years before they become symptomatic.
Given that ED is such a common issue, typically gets worse with time and is considered an early indicator for heart disease, it’s definitely worth knowing how to troubleshoot and fix this important part of our anatomy.
Okay, let’s start with how an erection happens. From a mechanical viewpoint, erections happen when the smooth muscle cells in the penis relax and fill with blood. Now, you know those long thin balloons that clowns make into toys for kids? Okay, visualize one of those balloons inside another. The inner balloon is the smooth muscle section of the penis. The outer balloon is the skin of the penis, and the veins that drain the blood from the penis are in the space between these two balloons. Now, as the inner balloon inflates, that is, the smooth muscle cells fill with blood, the space between the two balloons, that is, the place where the veins are, gets smaller and smaller. With the veins compressed, blood can get into the penis, but not out again. This is how an erection happens.
Okay, that explains it from the mechanical perspective. Now let’s talk about what it takes to get the blood into the penis in the first place.
First we need enough testosterone to want sex in the first place. This is not an issue when we are young but as we age, testosterone levels drop. If we have enough testosterone in our system, then when an opportunity for sex arises and we get aroused, the penis starts making a gas called Nitric Oxide.
This nitric oxide then triggers the release of another chemical called cGMP which then causes the smooth muscle cells to relax and fill with blood.
Here it is again, testosterone…sexual arousal…nitric oxide…cGMP…blood flow…erection.
Now here’s a thought, an erection really a kind of tourniquet. The blood can’t move in or out, it just stays there… but what would happen if the erection never went away? Well, according to medical science, after a few hours tissue damage starts to occur, and in the case of some poor soul in Colombia who really overdid it with Viagra, gangrene can set it. This is because the moment and erection starts, the oxygen level in the penis begins to drop… Remember, an erection is like a tourniquet.
Now the body is very well designed, and it certainly doesn’t want your manhood to fall off, so we all have a safety mechanism in our penises that turn off the erections before the lack of blood flow and oxygen cause any damage. This is important because if the penis oxygen level gets too low, it starts making a different set of chemicals called Hypoxic Inducible Factors which can replace the healthy tissue of the penis with scar tissue and scar tissue can’t get erect.
Here’s the key point. When the oxygen sensors in the penis se that the oxygen level is too low, they terminate the erection by generating another chemical called PDE5. Okay, that’s the last chemical term I’m going to toss at you. Just remember that PDE5 is what terminates an erection and it does this by breaking down cGMP the chemical that caused the erection in the first place.
So it goes like this. Erection…oxygen drop…PDE5 rises…blood flow drops…erection ends.
One more time…erection…oxygen drop…PDE5 rises…blood flow drops…erection ends.
So, adding these last two parts we get 10 steps, and they are…
testosterone…sexual arousal…nitric oxide…cGMP…blood flow…erection…then oxygen drops…PDE5 rises…blood flow drops…and erection ends.
Alright, that gives us 5 things that need to happen to have an erection and two things that happen to end an erection. So, let’s start troubleshooting these one at a time.
The first reason erections can fail is due to a lack of testosterone. Testosterone is required for the initial sexual urge and if it isn’t there, we just won’t be as interested in sex. Testosterone drops with to age, and what’s worse, as we get older we start turning what testosterone we do have into DHT which can cause hair loss and estrogen which feminizes us. You heard it right, our male hormone testosterone starts to turn into the female hormone estrogen as we age. In fact, by the time a man is 35, he has more estrogen in his system than testosterone.
So what we need to do is both raise our testosterone as well as keep it from turning into DHT and estrogen. Now a man can raise his testosterone by using testosterone patch or injection but if he does, what will end up happening is that his testicles will get lazy and shrink as he become dependent on the drug.
What else can we do to raise testosterone? While Andropak contains the herb Tongkat Ali which may support healthy testosterone levels nothing beats cold exposure to raise your testosterone. If you want to try adding some cold exposure to your life, you can start with ending your showers with cold water and wearing lighter clothes. This will raise your testosterone but you’re also going to need to make sure you that this extra testosterone doesn’t just turn into DHT and estrogen so the next thing you have to do is to suppress the enzymes in the body that cause hair loss and feminization. These are the enzymes 5 alpha reductase and aromatase.
That’s why Andropak also contains specific phytosterols which may support the body in maintaining healthy levels of these two enzymes.
Okay, testosterone, check. Second is arousal. This is where stress comes in. If we are under a lot of stress, it’s hard to get aroused. The body is basically saying, look, stop thinking about sex, you need to think about survival. So, if this applies to you, you might consider some kind of mindfulness or meditation practice to keep you relaxed.
Third on our list is nitric oxide, the gas the triggers the erection. First, we need to make it, but more importantly, we need to protect it. You see, nitric oxide is very fragile and if we have an excess of a free radical called superoxide in our bodies, the superoxide will react with the nitric oxide gas before it has the chance to do it’s job and get our erection started. Now in terms of supporting proper nitric oxide production, Andropak contains the amino acid citrulline and the herbs tribulus terrestris and yohimbe, but to keep nitric oxide from being destroyed by superoxide radicals we make a different product called Rejuvelon that contains superoxide dismutase, the enzyme that neutralizes the superoxide radical. If you want to know more about Rejuvelon, consider listening to that audio presentation.
Number 4 on our list is the chemical cGMP. You get a pass on this one. Unless you have some rare genetic disorder, you probably make enough cGMP so let’s move on.
Number 5 is blood flow to the smooth muscle cells. There are two ways that we can have issues with this part of the process. The first is with the smooth muscle cells themselves and the second is with the blood flow. Let’s start with the smooth muscles themselves.
The issue is that once we hit 30 we start to lose on average 3-5% of our muscle mass every decade. This is called age related sarcopenia and our penis is no exception. This means that we can lose half our muscle mass by the time we reach our 70’s. When we are young our penises are about 50% muscle but as we get older they can shrink down to 30% muscle. Now remember that it is this smooth muscle in the penis that blocks the outflow of venous blood that create the erection so the less muscle you have there, the weaker erections become. So, what to do? Well, going to the gym can help you with other muscles but to strengthen the penis muscle and keep it from shrinking you must not only keep having erections, …you know the phrase ‘use it or lose it’… but also there is a specific set of exercises you can do to keep these muscles strong. They are called Kegel exercises. Most people know about them for women that want to either tighten their lady parts or help with bladder control after childbirth but we guys can benefit too. In fact, studies showed that 3 months of Kegels were MORE effective at dealing with ED than drugs were. To do them just contract and relax the muscles that you would use to keep from urinating and defacating as well as that muscle you can use to make your penis bob up and down. Tighten these three muscles 5 times for 5 minutes a day. Think of it as weightlifting for your penis.
The second issue is blood flow. At this point all that has to happen to get an erection is for blood to get into the penis. So, what’s the issue? Well, a 5% drop in penis blood flow is enough to start causing erection problems. This is where the connection to heart disease comes in. Plaque build up in the coronary arteries can lead to angina. What does plaque build up in the penis lead to? Yeah, erectile dysfunction. So, here’s the deal, just like you have to clean the pipes out once in a while if you want good water pressure in your house, you have to clean the plaque out of your arteries once in a while if you want a healthy heart and strong erections. That’s why Andropak contains EDTA, a compound which may support the body in maintaining healthy arteries.
Okay, that’s all the issues that we are likely to have to deal with in terms of getting an erection. Let’s talk about how an erection ends…
Remember, an erection is like a tourniquet so the moment it starts, the clock is ticking. Once the oxygen level in the penis drops below a certain point, the oxygen sensors will trigger the release of PDE5 and terminate the erection. This is a good thing as it protects our penis from damage but it can also be frustrating when the erection ends before we want it to or never even starts in the first place.
When we are young, our circulation is good and we have good endurance. What I mean by endurance is that the cells in our bodies are used to blood oxygen dropping now and again from the exercise we get, cardio in particular.
So, when a man, say in his 20’s, gets an erection, he starts with a high penis oxygen level and it can drop farther before the erection termination signal is given.
Now let’s look at this same fellow 30 years later. Now in his 50’s his circulation isn’t as good as it used to be and he hasn’t done any cardio for years. Because of this, not only does he start with a lower penis oxygen level, but the cells in his body are less acclimated to low oxygen levels when they do happen. He gets an erection, but this time, it doesn’t last as long as he would like. More than that, with lower testosterone, more estrogen, less nitric oxide and fewer toned smooth muscle cells in his penis the erection he does get is not as rock hard as it was in his youth.
Now let’s fast forward 10 more years. Now this same guy is in his 60’s. What little testosterone he does make keeps turning into DHT and causing his hair to continue to fall out and turn into estrogen making him more feminine by the day. He’s losing his competitive edge in business and his wife going through her own hormonal reversal now has more testosterone than he does. He’s lost one fourth of the smooth muscle cells in his penis and has even more plaque than when he was in his 50’s. He barely makes any nitric oxide at all and what nitric oxide he does make gets knocked out by his increasing superoxide radical levels. Now he knows he has ED, but the plaque in his arteries is giving him angina and his doctor is concerned about his high blood pressure. ED is now the least of his worries.
Now this fellow could take one drug for his ED, another for his high blood pressure, another for his cholesterol… in fact the average 60 year old man has 4 different prescription drugs he takes regularly…
Or, he could take another path. He could start taking cold showers to raise his testosterone. He could join a gym and do some cardio twice a week to improve his oxygen levels. He could do a few Kegel’s now and again to increase the smooth muscle cells in his penis. Finally, he could take some Andropak to support his body in maintaining healthy nitric oxide, cGMP and PDE5, levels and support his body in maintaining proper hormonal and circulatory function.
Well now you know. You know how we get erections. You know how we lose them and how to get them back again. You also know that ED isn’t just about your penis, it’s representative of the health of your entire cardiovascular and hormonal system.
Well, what about for women? While Andropak was originally made for men experiencing ED, the same ingredients that help men are also beneficial for women too. Not only are yohimbe, tongkat ali and epimedium are all associated with both stronger libido and greater physical pleasure for women, an increase in testosterone may support them in having stronger bones, better moods and more energy as well. The hormone balancing effects of epimedium may also support women during and after menopause.
You may wish to consider these as well…
The penis and prostate can become calcified with age, trauma and infection. Consider adding some Medicardium to your sexual rejuvenation protocol.
In most men, the penis accumulates scar tissue with age. One reason is because every erection causes a temporary decrease in the blood flow to the penis which can result in the release of Hypoxic Inducible Factors which lead to penis scarring. Consider adding some Notoplex to your sexual rejuvenation protocol.
As men age, the enzyme 5-alpha reductase turns testosterone into estrogen. This leads to male ‘andropause’. The belly gets pudgy, muscles weaken, and drive and stamina decrease and male behavior becomes more… feminine. For this reason, you may want to consider adding some Endosterol to your sexual rejuvenation protocol.
Nitric oxide is a gaseous molecule that is required for proper circulation and strong erections. The free radical superoxide turns nitric oxide into the carcinogen peroxynitrite. The antioxidant superoxide dismutase may support the body in maintaining youthful nitric oxide levels.
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