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Enjoy a healthy sex life.

With Katherine Adreasen, DIP ION MBANT, nutritional therapist and adviser to Pharma Nord (UK) Ltd of Morpeth

Q: I want to make sure my wife has a good Valentine's day but I often experience erectile dysfunction which is very embarrassing as I'm only 45. Can you suggest anything to help?

A: Please don't be embarrassed. This problem is more common than you think. A staggering 52% of men over 40 have problems maintaining an erection.

Under normal circumstances a substance called nitric oxide (NO) is responsible for controlling the physiological circumstances that generate and maintain an erection, such as increasing blood flow to the penis and restricting blood flow from it. Nitric Oxide molecules are produced in the penile artery wall from the amino acid arginine in response to nervous signals stimulated by sexual stimulation. The NO then triggers the dilation and relaxation of the arteries increasing blood flow into the penis. But this process doesn't always work.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can be caused by the side effect of some pharmaceutical drugs, emotional or psychological problems, blockage of the arteries to the penis, diabetes, nerve damage and also low testosterone levels caused by hormonal imbalance.

Try these Nutritional Strategies to give you a boost:

If you are overweight lose it! There are a number of studies that suggest a link between ED and obesity.

Eat a healthy diet that limits saturated fats, processed and refined foods, but includes essential fats (oily fish, nuts and seeds) as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Poor nutritional choices may lead to vascular disease, which interferes with erection process by restricting blood flow to the penis.

Aim to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day

High cholesterol can harden, narrow, or block the arteries (atherosclerosis) leading to the penis. If you have high cholesterol talk to a health professional or nutritional therapist about how you can reduce it.

Take regular exercise which encourages the flow of blood through the body. Exercise also can help you manage stress, another possible cause of ED.

Reduce your intake of alcohol and tobacco products.

Clinical trials have shown that taken daily a new nutritional supplement called Prelox may improve erectile function and enhance sexual pleasure.

Prelox is made from a combination of L-Arginine, which is an essential amino acid, and Pycnogenol which is an extract of the French Maritime pine tree.

Together these substances generate the production of Nitric Oxide which is important for the blood flow to the genital area. Pycnogenol also protects blood vessels from the damage that can occur from ageing.

It is the unique interaction between these two substances which helps to maintain healthy blood vessels and sustain blood flow to the genital area, which in turn, is important in the body's sexual response, ability to maintain erections, and ultimately sexual satisfaction.

In a clinical study 81% of men who supplemented with Prelox for six weeks showed an improved erectile function and 78% judged Prelox to be effective.

The herb ginkgo biloba may also be effective for both men and women. It increases arterial blood flow, which may have a positive effect on sexual function.

Information can be obtained from the Pharma Nord (UK) Ltd freephone on 0800 591 756.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2007
Words:542
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