Can Pde5 Inhibitors Help With Erectile Dysfunction?
According to statistics, over 150 million men worldwide suffer from erectile dysfunction. While age is the biggest predictor of ED, it’s not the only factor as the number of men experiencing the inability to get and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse increases. Diet, weight, and lifestyle factors such as the amount of porn you watch are all factors into whether or not you’ll have to deal with erectile dysfunction.
Outside of the doctor’s orders to change diet and lifestyle, one of the most popular categories of prescription medications that are used to treat erectile dysfunction is known as Pde5 inhibitors.
What Are Pde5 Inhibitors?
Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5) inhibitors are used to treat erectile dysfunction in men by increasing the blood flow to the penis. In turn, this will help to get and maintain a longer-lasting erection that is suitable for sexual intercourse.
There Are Many Prescription Brands Of Pde5 Inhibitors
Prescription brands of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors include Cialis (drug name: Tadalafil), Levitra (drug name: Vardenafil), and perhaps the most famous brand, Viagra (drug name: Sildenafil (Viagra).
What Do Pde5 inhibitors Do?
As mentioned above, the role of Pde5 inhibitors is to counteract the negative effects of erectile dysfunction by ensuring that the blood flow to the penis is fully functional. How do Pde5 inhibitors do this?
In order to get an erection, the penis must be engorged with blood, and it is the blood vessels in the penis that make this happen. Now, there are three chemical processes that must happen in order to achieve a strong and long-lasting erection.
- First, when aroused, the body’s production of nitric oxide spikes.
- Second, nitric oxide also plays a key role in activating a compound called guanylate cyclase.
- Third, in turn, guanylate cyclase triggers the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, also known as cGMP.
It is the production of cGMP that is so essential to achieving and maintaining a healthy erection because cGMP has the greatest influence over the blood vessels that help to usher in blood to the penis while preventing the blood from leaving.
Unfortunately, those who suffer from erectile dysfunction are found to have high levels of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5. The compound, Pde5 has been shown to destroy cGMP. Since cGMP is so important for the health and function of the blood vessels when achieving an erection, the lower your levels of cGMP, the more likely you’ll experience erectile dysfunction.
These Drugs Stop Phosphodiesterase-5 From Destroying cGMP
As the name suggests, Pde5 inhibitors work to inhibit the compound Pde5, allowing levels of cGMP to stay high and promote a healthy erection. What does the science say about Pde5 inhibitors? Numerous studies have cited the success of Pde5 inhibitors in reversing erectile dysfunction and restoring a healthy sexual function. These benefits were even greater when combined with a healthy lifestyle and dietary changes.
This Helps To Relax The Smooth Muscle Of The Penis And Lead To An Erection
The more cGMP in your blood, the better your erection, or the more pronounced the engorgement of your penis.
Are There Pde5 Inhibitors Over The Counter?
Given the success of Pde5 inhibitors, naturally, the question is can I buy them over the counter?
There Are Currently No Over The Counter Pde5 Inhibitors Approved by the FDA
Unfortunately, due to its potency and potential for misuse and abuse, no pharmaceutical-grade Pde5 inhibitor is available as an over-the-counter medication.
With that said, you do have the ability to buy Pde5 inhibitors from an online pharmacy. These “pharmacies” are usually located outside of the United States in places like India and Thailand. The prices are inexpensive, but the quality cannot be guaranteed.
What’s more, it’s not uncommon to be harassed by medication-selling telemarketers after making one purchase. If you’re going to go the route of online pharmacy, do your research into the company you’re buying from. Online forums are a great place to start.
Some Supplements That Can Act As Natural Pde5 inhibitors
If you’re not able to get a prescription for a Pde5 inhibitor and you’d rather not take the risk of making a purchase online, there are supplements available that have shown great promise as natural alternatives to Pde5 inhibitors.
Pycnogenol Naturally Inhibits Pde5
Also known as Pinus pinaster bark extract, Pycnogenol is a plant extract that is commonly used for circulation problems. However, Pycnogenol has also been shown to improve nitric oxide production. It does so by boosting the levels of the enzyme, nitric oxide synthase (NOS), a precursor to nitric oxide. Remember that nitric oxide production is the first step in increasing cGMP levels.
Studies show that consistent supplementation with pycnogenol can help to fight the symptoms and causes of erectile dysfunction. Its benefits were amplified when paired with l-arginine.
Tongkat Ali Has Been Used For Centuries To Treat ED
Without a doubt, Tongkat Ali is one of the most popular male enhancement and sexual performance supplements on the market. It’s been used as an aphrodisiac and libido booster in several cultures for thousands of years. Today, it’s commonly used as a testosterone booster but it’s also found in natural supplement blends geared toward men who suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Commonly referred to as Eurycoma longifolia or longjack, Tongkat Ali is a plant that is native to India and Thailand. Numerous studies have shown Tongkat Ali to be a powerful way to improve all-around sexual health. One study found that Tongkat Ali didn’t just help with achieving an erection, it also boosted libido, sex drive, and sperm quality.
Maca Root May Help Improve Erections
Just like Tongkat Ali, maca is no stranger to being used for sexual dysfunction. From the famous Andean region of Peru, where Cusco is located, maca is a staple of the Peruvian diet. It’s been used for thousands of years as an overall health and wellness aid with an emphasis on improving libido and sexual performance.
Maca is often suggested as a natural alternative for improving one’s sex life as numerous studies have concluded that maca is useful for boosting libido in men and post-menopausal women. There are three types of maca root: yellow, red, and black. While all three have their benefits, black maca extract is the best for boosting sexual performance.
Panax Ginseng is a Popular Supplement for ED
Panax ginseng is to the Chinese and Koreans what maca is to the Peruvians: a daily necessity. Panax ginseng is a root and its extract is consumed daily throughout Asia, especially China and Korea. Long touted as an aid to wellness, Panax ginseng is used by many as a way to boost the immune system as well as mood.
For men, Panax ginseng can be especially useful for reversing the effects of erectile dysfunction. Studies show that ginseng is an effective and natural alternative to many prescription medications. In one study, subjects received either ginseng or a placebo. At the conclusion of the eight-week study, those who were receiving ginseng reported improvements in their sexual dysfunction.
What Foods Increase Pde5 Inhibition And Help With ED?
As we discussed above, medication and supplements should not be solely relied upon; rather they are complements to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Let’s start first with your diet: There are many foods that can fight back against erectile dysfunction while improving your overall health.
Beets Are A Good Source Of Nitrate
That dark purple vegetable that you find in your salads might be able to do more for you than provide a nice shot of your daily vitamins and minerals. Beets – love them or hate them – contain a high level of nitrates. Why is this important? Because your body takes those nitrates and turns them into nitric oxide. Again, nitric oxide is the first step in the process of increasing cGMP levels.
Beets have also been shown to lower your blood pressure. If your erectile dysfunction is caused primarily by high blood pressure, beets will be able to help.
Oysters Can Help Boost Your Testosterone
If you enjoy hitting up your local seafood restaurant for a huge bowl of oysters, you’re really going to like this news: oysters can help to boost your testosterone levels and prevent sexual dysfunction.
Studies show that the consumption of oysters helps to improve zinc levels. For those men whose sexual dysfunction is linked to a zinc deficiency, researchers confirm that oysters can prevent reproductive defects.
Zinc has also been linked to healthy testosterone production. Normal levels of testosterone are associated with increased sexual desire and sexual performance.
Dark Chocolate Can Help With Blood Circulation
While you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to load up your diet with chocolate, studies show that dark chocolate can be a valuable nutrient to complement the other foods and supplements on this list by increasing circulation.
Dark chocolate – think 70% or more of cocoa – contains a high level of compounds called flavonoids. These are antioxidants that have been shown to promote good cholesterol, fight inflammation, and increase blood circulation. The theory is that better blood circulation throughout the body can improve blood flow to the penis as well as the nutrient uptake of the other foods and supplements on this list.
In the same study mentioned above, flavonoids can promote the production of nitric oxide, which is key for cGMP levels.
Watermelon Has Amino Acids That Can Help With Erections
Watermelon provides you with citrulline, which is then converted in the body into the amino acid arginine. L-arginine has been shown to boost nitric oxide levels. Again, nitric oxide is essential to create cGMP, which supports healthy erections.
Lifestyle Tips For Improving Erectile Dysfunction
Now that you have several proven foods you can add to your diet, let’s discuss some key lifestyle changes you can make in order to naturally stop erectile dysfunction and improve your sex life.
Check With Your Doctor For Any Underlying Issues That Might Be Causing ED
Erectile dysfunction isn’t a straight-forward medical condition. There could be a variety of underlying causes that you might not be aware of. For example, if you are in great shape but still experiencing erectile dysfunction, psychological issues could be to blame. Here are some other common causes of erectile dysfunction that we recommend talking to your doctor about:
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Substance abuse
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Sleeping disorders
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- Enlarged prostate
- Certain surgeries or injuries
- Psychological complications
Cut Out Excessive Drug, Alcohol, And Tobacco Use
As briefly mentioned above, smoking, drinking, and drug use can be a cause of erectile dysfunction. Smoking has been proven to damage blood vessels and restricts blood flow to the penis. Smoking also damages your lungs preventing healthy levels of oxygen in the body.
Even though many sexual encounters happen while drinking, alcohol is considered a depressant and it can kill your mood and sexual performance.
Depending on what type of drugs you use, the substance can directly contribute to erectile dysfunction. Studies show that illicit drugs such as heroin, amphetamine, and MDMA have been linked to erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual desire, and increased ejaculation latency.
Exercise Regularly to Boost Testosterone And Control Weight
One of the best things you can do for your hormone levels, weight management, and overall health is to begin a regular exercise routine. Plenty of studies have shown the benefits of exercise including weight loss, a boost in testosterone, improved blood flow, and better wellness.
Final Thoughts on Pde5 Inhibitors
If you’re currently suffering from erectile dysfunction, the first step you should take is to chat with your doctor. Together, you can evaluate your lifestyle choices that might be contributing to the condition. You can request a prescription of a proven Pde5 inhibitor as you begin to make long-lasting changes in your life. Your goal will be to come off of the medication, having restored your ability to achieve and maintain an erection in a natural way.