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Dietary Sexual Dysfunction

Cholesterol builds up not just inside the arteries that feed our heart muscle, but inside all of our blood vessels. In the heart, atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack. In the brain, it can cause a stroke. In our legs, it can cause peripheral vascular disease and result in debilitating cramping; in our vertebral arteries, it can cause disc degeneration and lower back pain. And clogs in our pelvic arteries can lead to sexual dysfunction—and not just in men.

A landmark study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine entitled “Hyperlipidemia and sexual function in premenopausal women” found that “Atherosclerosis of the arterial bed supplying female pelvic anatomy can lead to decreased vaginal engorgement and clitoral erectile insufficiency syndrome, similar to erectile problems in men, resulting in vasculogenic female sexual dysfunction,” an important factor of which may be “failure to achieve clitoral tumescence, or engorgement.” They found that women with high cholesterol reported significantly lower arousal, orgasm, lubrication, and satisfaction.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, today’s Care2 video pick is a video-of-the-day from last week featuring a case report of a man who went on a low carb diet, lost his ability to have an erection, and nearly lost his life (see above).

That was a pretty dramatic report, but it was just one person. Researchers at Harvard recently  looked at one hundred thousand people and concluded that low carb diets were “associated with higher all-cause mortality, higher cardiovascular disease mortality, and higher cancer mortality.”

But what about the so-called “Eco-Atkins” diet, a plant-based low carb diet? Find out in the sequel, Plant-Based Atkins Diet. Another video of interest may be Rosy Glow, describing how erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign for heart disease.

The bottom line? Eating healthier can extend one’s life, and also one’s love life.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: Rainer Z / Wikimedia Commons

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Healthy Aging, Heart & Vascular Disease, Holidays, Love, Men's Health, Sex, Valentine's Day, Videos, Videos, Videos, Videos, Women's Health, , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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9:15AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

First of all you need to talk to your doctor about it. However there are safe and effective herbal male enhancement pills that help men to treat erectile dysfunction and increase libido without the use of prescription medication. Visit:

10:00AM PDT on May 11, 2012

These diets also affect the body as a whole - eating foods high in zinc is not just for erectile dysfunction, there are several other side effects more prevalent then stronger erections. One of the most noticeable side effects is better skin, also the healing of wounds, regulation of enzymes, less fatigue and it's as essential element for pregnant women.

It just so happens that it's also a fix for ED but that's not the only one, here is a good list of the most important foods for better sexual function: Taking food supplements over mediation is always a good idea because medications have side effects - natural food don't PLUS you get the benefit of a better diet.

I am a naturalist who knows all too well about the link between ED, sexual dysfunction in men and the effects of the right diet for better blood flow.

12:16PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

thanks for sharing

1:32AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

There are many causes of sexual dysfunction.....including some medications-
eating a veggie burger or salad 7 days a week is not going to miraculously cure you of it.
I don't take ANY pills nor do I eat Vegan....My sexual function is just fine.

9:11PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

Are those 3 snags supposed to represent 3 limp you-know-whats? Just thinking out loud...

10:30AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Thanks for the info

12:24PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

Sesli Chat Sesli Sohbet Kamerali Sohbet Eglenceli Chat Sitesi Seslichat

8:40AM PST on Mar 8, 2012


2:57AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Thanks a lot for this awesome post keep working and posting variety of articles.....

6:18PM PST on Mar 2, 2012


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