When I read the headline “Statins improve erectile dysfunction symptoms”, I laughed out loud… and then I thought: Oh please… what a load of hogwash!
Over the years, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have received numerous accolades from mainstream medicine and the media for being a cure-all ‘wonder drug’, capable of treating common flu symptoms, preventing prostate cancer and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease, to mention but a few of the so-called health benefits linked to these side effect ridden drugs.
What goes up must come down…
The latest delusional claim comes from a new study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Researchers from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in the US, analysed 11 randomised controlled trials, which included a total of ‘just’ 713 men. The results showed that statins improved scores on the International Inventory of Erectile Dysfunction – a well-validated “scorecard” for erectile dysfunction (ED).
The researchers added that the increase was equivalent to nearly one-third of the improvements seen with drugs specifically designed to treat erectile dysfunction, the most famous of which is Viagra.
It is unclear how statins may improve erectile dysfunction, but the researchers speculate that it may be due to decreased levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and improved endothelial function – including the ability of blood vessels to dilate and constrict which increases blood flow that can help to improve ED.
However, before you rush to your doctor to ask for a statin prescription (trust me he probably won’t even blink before giving it to you because these drugs are dished out like sweets), there are a few things you need to know first:
- Erectile dysfunction, impotence, and testicular pain are listed as side effects for the most commonly prescribed statin drugs like Zocor and Lipitor.
- A study in 2010, evaluated nearly 3,500 men who had ED. 7 per cent of the participants were treated with statins and according to the results of the study, men taking statins were twice as likely to have low testosterone. The researchers added that statins increased the prevalence of hypogonadism – a condition in which men don’t produce enough testosterone.
- In total, statin drugs have been directly linked to over 300 side effects, which include: Sexual dysfunction, cataracts, an increased cancer risk, nerve damage and muscle pain.
The truth is ED can be an early warning sign that you are at an increased risk of heart disease. An Australian study of 95,000 men found that men with ED had an increased risk of heart-related problems, including: Heart failure, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and ischaemic heart disease.
The Australian researchers also found that men with the most severe ED and a history of heart problems had more than a 60 per cent greater chance of being admitted to hospital, or dying from a heart-related problem. But even those who had no prior heart problems had a 35 per cent greater risk of developing heart problems if they had severe ED.
However, treating ED with a drug that has erectile dysfunction, impotence, and testicular pain listed as side effects, makes no sense at all. So, before you fall for this mainstream farce, make these natural alternatives your first port of call:
- L-Arginine: According to a Bulgarian study, L-arginine can be particularly effective when used in combination with another natural agent, pycnogenol, which resulted in significant improvement in sexual function in men with ED. Another study, published in the journal European Urology, found that 6 grams of L-arginine combined with 6mg of yohimbine, a compound found in the herb yohimbe, was successful in treating men with ED.
- Panax ginseng and maca root have been used for centuries as libido-boosting tonics.
- Choline and vitamin B5: The neurotransmitter that triggers sexual messages in your brain, whether you’re male or female, is acetylcholine (ACH). With too little ACH, sexual activity goes down. One way to safely and effectively enhance your ACH levels is to take choline supplements (1,000-3,000mg) and vitamin B5 (500-1,500mg).
- Exercise regularly: Make sure you incorporate high-intensity interval exercises, which also optimize your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively: as they are both linked to ED.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
PLOS Medicine January 22, 2013
J Sex Marital Ther. 2003 May-Jun;29(3):207-13
Eur Urol. 2002 Jun;41(6):608-13; discussion 613
GreenMedInfo.com, Statin Drugs
Statins May Lower Testosterone, Libido, published online 16.04.2010, webmd.com
Zocor Side Effects, drugs.com
Statins may improve sexual health in older men, published online 01.04.14, foxnews.com