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Men's Health

Erectile dysfunction

The ability to sustain an erection and to reach orgasm for men is under the control of the autonomic nervous system. This is the part of the nervous system that takes care of bodily functions without our conscious control and it is very much under the influence of the stress hormones, it has two branches which take over depending on what else is going on. The parasympathetic branch governs “rest and digest” and is in charge of making changes in the blood flow to produce an erection. Any problems with blood circulation, such as high blood pressure or arteriosclerosis can therefore cause problems, reduction in flow in the artery supplying the penis is a major cause in roughly half the number of men complaining of this problem over 50. Another thing that really interferes with the parasympathetic nervous system is the other branch of the system – the sympathetic branch. This branch is activated when under stress, producing the stress hormone adrenalin known as the “fight or flight” hormone. So if this part of the system is being constantly activated, then the parasympathetic side will suffer and not be able to do its job properly.

On the other hand, ejaculation is under control of the sympathetic system, so for it to be able to carry out that task, is has to be not being utilised elsewhere because of stress.

Therefore, the biggest contributing factors to male sexual problems are stress, and also factors affecting circulation such as cigarette smoke and alcohol.

Nature’s answer to Erectile Dysfunction

Cutting back on cigarettes and alcohol may be enough to improve the situation. If not, then looking at stress and high blood pressure reduction would be the next step. There are some herbs and supplements that can also help. Damiana and Maca root are herbs that can strengthen the male reproductive system, whereas Gingko biloba and L-Arginine supplements can help restore blood flow to the peripheries of the body. Increasing general health with a good multivitamin and especially supplementing Vitamin C, E and zinc can help. Always get checked over by a doctor to eliminate dangerous cardio-vascular conditions and diabetes if the problem continues.

Male Infertility

Sperm count and motility (swimming ability) are the two factors that need to be checked for the male when a couple has difficulty conceiving. Sperm are constantly being created in the testicles ready for use and can be stored for roughly six months. When wanting to conceive it is therefore recommended to generally get into good shape about 6 months before starting to try for a baby.

Nature’s answer to Male infertility

Always start with your GP if there is difficulty conceiving so they can run the necessary tests and find out what’s going on. Supplementation with the amino acid  L-Arginine may be able to support the treatment.

Prostate Trouble (Prostatitis)

Enlargement of the prostate gland (benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH) is a relatively common condition affecting men as a part of the aging process. The prostate gland produces part of the fluid that creates semen and is located around the urethra tube, so when it grows in size it can pinch the tube leading away from the bladder and interfere with urination, causing a feeling of increased need to urinate, sleep disturbance from waking at night wanting to use the toilet, and a reduced urine flow.

Nature’s answer to BPH

It is important to get checked up by your GP if you have the symptoms that could suggest BPH, just in case there is anything more serious going on. In some cases prostate cancer can result from the growth of the prostate gland so do get this investigated. Balancing levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone and the way excess hormone is cleared from the body is important. Good liver health contributes to this balance and the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and sugar interferes with it. Saw palmetto herb and zinc supplements can help prostate health. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, and foods rich in lycopene such as tomatoes, spinach and kale can help too.