Erectile Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Disease and Diet

Erectile Dysfunction Defined:

The inability of a male to maintain an erection sufficient for satisfying sexual activity.

Endothelial Dysfunction and ED:

Endothelial dysfunction is the cause of both vascular disease and erectile dysfunction.

The inner lining of every artery, including the penile arteries, is a single layer of cells called the endothelium. When this wallpaper-like lining was healthy, it produced the gas nitric oxide (NO), which resists plaque, clotting, or constriction of arteries. A good endothelium leads to good sustained erections, just as it leads to good heart artery flow. Endothelial dysfunction (ED) leads to a poor blood flow response throughout the body. Dr. Joel Kahn – America’s Healthy Heart Doc

Nitric Oxide:

L-arginine is an amino acid that helps make proteins. It also becomes the gas nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO is important for erectile function because it helps blood vessels relax, so more oxygen-rich blood can circulate through your arteries. Healthy blood flow to the arteries of the penis is essential for normal erectile function.

In the blood vessel wall, NO is produced mainly from l-arginine by the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Dysfunction in the production and/or the bioavailability of NO characterizes endothelial dysfunction, which is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.

This paper states Nitric oxide (NO) is the principal factor increasing blood flow into the penis. It goes on to state Because NO is critical for vascular health and ED is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease

E.D. And Cardiovascular Disease:

Erectile Dysfunction is an early indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Eric Rimm, professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Chan explains:

“Erectile dysfunction is often an early barometer of poor vascular function and offers a critical opportunity to intervene and prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and even death.”

In this video, Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, presents the data about ED being a predictor of future heart disease. He states:

ED is the ‘harbinger’ of coronary artery disease. For instance if you’re a 70-year-old man and you have erectile dysfunction, your risk isincreased– maybe 1 to 1.4 times is your risk for coronary disease. But if you’re a 40-year-old man and have erectile dysfunction, your risk for coronary disease is 40 to 50 times higher.

He goes on to say:

“The risk factors for erectile dysfunction and for coronary disease are basically exactly the same– diabetes, overweight, lack of exercise, poor diet, hypertension, etc. So we need to start working on those risk factors.”

In this recently published article (January 2019), the authors make it clear that erectile dysfunction is a highly prevalent condition that has been demonstrated to share the same risk factors as clinical CVD, and to have independent predictive value for future CVD events:

Erectile dysfunction links to cardiovascular disease – defining the clinical value.

Lifestyle Approach to Erectile Dysfunction:

In the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, eating a diet rich in natural foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, with fewer red and processed meat and refined grains, decreased the likelihood of ED.

Massachusetts Male Aging Study

In this paper, from the University of Naples, Italy, a high intake of fat and sugar result in oxidative stress (and disrupts Nitric Oxide). It further states reduced intakes of fat and sugar, and improved antioxidant status through diet are critical for maximizing erectile function, resulting in greater overall success and patient satisfaction, as well as improved vascular health and longevity.

Lifestyle and metabolic approaches to maximizing erectile and vascular health. Oxidative stress and inflammation, which disrupt nitric oxide (NO) production directly or by causing resistance to insulin, are central determinants of vascular diseases including ED. Decreased vascular NO has been linked to abdominal obesity, smoking and high intakes of fat and sugar, which all cause oxidative stress.

According to a new study from researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia, men who consume just three or four weekly portions of foods and drinks containing flavonoids – which include berries, citrus fruits, and red wine – may reduce their risk of erectile dysfunction,

They studied of 25,096 men and examined the relation between habitual flavonoid intakes and incidence of ED. They also used data from a systematic review of the available 6 randomized controlled trials demonstrating beneficial effects of lifestyle interventions on ED. They Conclude that increased intake of specific flavonoid-rich foods is associated with a reduced ED incidence.

Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction:

Choosing Nutrition Over Pills & Procedures:

The side effects of drugs / ED medications like Viagra include:

  • COMMON: Headaches, Body Aches and Pains, Digestive System Issues, Dizziness, Blurry Vision, Skin Flushes (Redness, Blotchy Skin, Rashes), Congestion, Runny Nose.
  • SEVERE: Priapism (erections that last longer than 4 hours), Hearing Loss, Vision Loss.

Side effects of a diet rich in Antioxidants:

  • Longer, Harder Erections!

Healthy Arteries Are Natural Viagra:

The most effective way to increasing nitric oxide and blood flow is choosing a diet that is low in saturated fat and high in antioxidants. Antioxidants present in plant-based foods contribute to a healthy blood flow to our bodies.

Greens, Watermelon, and Blueberries are Nitric Oxide Powerhouses. Berries, Citrus Fruit, Garlic, Pomegranate, Walnuts, Arugula, Spinach, Kale, and Broccoli are all rich in antioxidants.

In fact, vegan men have 13% HIGHER testosterone levels than meat eaters!


Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men.


If you want good health, no diabetes, no heart disease, and NO ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION – Choose a Plant-Based Diet!

Or you could just go with a penis pump! (aka Vacuum Constriction Devices) – but that kind of ruins the moment.

penis pump

As always, If you have questions about this post or any of my content, please feel free to reach out to me directly.


P.S. Further Reading Below

Read my post: Vegan Men Have 13% Higher Testosterone!

Vegan Men Have 13% HIGHER Testosterone Levels

Further Reading:

Is Erectile Dysfunction an Example of Abnormal Endothelial Function?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately half of men during middle age. Erectile dysfunction is often an early symptom of systemic vascular disease, which may precipitate significant cardiac events. The pathophysiology of ED and cardiovascular disease is closely linked. Endothelial dysfunction occurs at an early stage in ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD). In normal conditions, nitric oxide dependent and independent mechanisms regulate penile vascular tone ensuring an appropriate balance of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation. A normal endothelium is responsible for mediating the effect of pro-erectile mediators derived from the endothelium and is critical in normal erectile function. Endothelial dysfunction disrupts the homeostatic mechanisms responsible for regulation of smooth muscle contraction and penile vascular tone. Reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO) occurs as a response to endothelial damage. Phosphodiesterases further degrade levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and impair smooth muscle relaxation and erectile function. A number of endothelium derived NO independent mediators of erectile function have been described and are known to contribute to ED in the presence of endothelial damage. This review provides an up to date analysis of the role of the endothelium in ED describing the pathways involved and how these represent current and potential therapeutic targets.

Extended Reading:

The Effect of Lifestyle Modification and Cardiovascular Risk Factor Reduction on Erectile Dysfunction

19 Replies to “Erectile Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Disease and Diet

  1. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I feel that is among the so much vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article.

  3. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. keep up the excellent quality writing.

  4. This topic is very important and a must read to people who experience this. A healthy diet is a must to avoid ED.

  5. I need to forward this to my dad. No, I think I will just send this to my mom instead. My mom told me that my dad is having this kind of problem already. She should be the one discussing it with him as I don’t want him to feel embarrassed. Thanks!

  6. About 80% of ED cases are a result of Chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Vascular disease, and Hormone Disorders. Of the previous diseases mentioned, Diabetes has become the major culprit of ED due to its rising occurrence in our society. As of 2014, 1 out of every 3 American was either Prediabetic or Diabetic. Diabetes results in ED through its vascular and neural damage, causing up to 50% of Diabetics to experience ED

    1. Thank you for the stats Dr. Mandell. As I outline in this post, endothelial dysfunction is causative for both CVD and diabetes and result in ED. It is the same parthenogenesis. Dr. Dean Ornish did a tremendous study showing that a plant-based diet can reverse vascular disease. Dr. Kim WIlliams, the President of the American College of Cardiology advocates for the same. He says that cardiologists are either plant-based, or they have not read the literature!

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