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Erectile dysfunction reveals your state of health

by La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024
La dysfonction érectile révèle votre état de santé - La Boite à Grains

By Véronique Cousineau
Naturopath; RHN

Difficulty achieving an erection is a subject that makes many men uneasy, as they fear that one day or another they will experience a decrease in their sexual vitality. Although men become more prone to it as they age, the causes of erectile dysfunction are often physiological and can be corrected quite naturally to restore the body's masculine vigour, regardless of age.

This sexual problem affects many couples, and unfortunately, men are quick to turn to medication to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. However, prescribed medication is fraught with side-effects and the dangers of long-term use. Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, aims to rebalance the body to facilitate a natural erection and help you maintain a healthy, fulfilling sex life for as long as possible.

How to identify the cause

Erectile dysfunction can be described as difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse. There are many causes, but they can be targeted with the help of a healthcare professional. Laboratory tests, a complete medical history, a review of medication used and a lifestyle analysis are all needed to identify the cause(s) of erectile dysfunction.

Physiological causes

In 90% of cases, the difficulty in obtaining or maintaining an erection is physiological. Among the most frequent problems are :

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Drug, alcohol or cigarette use
  • Side effects of certain medications, including antidepressants, antacids, antihypertensives, statins and sleeping pills
  • Prostate disorders or physical trauma to the sexual organ

In men aged 50 and over, erectile difficulty is due, in 50% of cases, to arteriosclerosis, a cardiovascular health disorder. It is therefore reasonable to believe that loss of erectile reflex is an early sign of heart disease.

Psychological causes

It is less common for erectile dysfunction to be psychological in origin. Around 10% of men will experience difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection in cases of :

  • Performance stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mental illness

What to do about it

Scientific studies show that a healthy diet and exercise program promote sexual health. What's more, reducing body weight to reach a healthy weight will restore sexual vigour in 30% of cases. Ideally, the diet should be reviewed by a nutritionist or naturopath to rebalance cardiovascular, hormonal and mental health.

Colorful, antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits (especially berries) and lean proteins (poultry, fish, game, legumes, nuts, seeds) should form the basis of the diet. Good fats such as olive, avocado, flax and coconut oil can be used abundantly, as they promote hormonal and emotional health. Processed flours and grains should be avoided, as should trans fats and added sugars. Pork, red meat and dairy products should be consumed in moderation, as they promote inflammation of the cardiovascular system. It goes without saying that excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to health, and caffeine should not be ingested in large quantities.

Whatever the cause of erectile dysfunction, a rich intake of vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins and zinc, promotes sexual health.

The following table suggests natural alternatives for erectile dysfunction disorders. If you're on medication and think your erectile dysfunction may be drug-related, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Suggested supplements for erectile dysfunction:

Causes Remedies and supplements Other considerations
Arteriosclerosis Aged garlic, ginkgo biloba, vitamins A, C, Ezinccoenzyme Q10, omega-3, lysineL-arginine

Liver cure Increase water intake

High blood pressure Aged garlic, vitamin A, CEselenium, coenzyme Q10, omega-3, magnesium

Liver treatment Increase water intake


Diabetes Alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, zinccoenzyme Q10, dietary fibresL-glutamine Make a liver cure
Hypothyroidism Iodine, seleniumzincB vitamins, ashawaganda or schisandra

Do a liver cleanse Reduce stress levels

Testosterone dysregulation Tribulus, royal jelly, zincmaca, panax ginseng

Do a liver cure Include seaweed in your diet

Stress and anxiety Siberian ginseng, ashwaganda, zincB vitamins, ginko biloba, kava kava Psychotherapy
Depression L-tryptophan or 5-http or St. John's wort, vitamin C, B vitaminsrhodiola, zinc, royal jelly, tribulus, gingko biloba

Liver treatment Psychotherapy

In short, erectile health is closely linked to cardiovascular, hormonal and mental health. Choose to work with a natural health professional who can guide you towards full vitality, both physically and psychologically. A healthy lifestyle and rewarding interpersonal relationships promote sexual health, whatever your age.

Véronique Cousineau

Naturopath; RHN


References :

Heidelbaugh JJ. Management of erectile dysfunction. American Family Physician 2010 Feb 1;81(3):305-312

Shin D, Pregenzer G Jr, Gardin JM. Erectile dysfunction: a disease marker for cardiovascular disease. Cardiology in Review 2011 Fan-Feb;19(1):5-11

Sikora R, SohnM, Deutz et al. Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction. Journal of Urology 1989;141:188A

Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction-an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Phytomedicine 2008:15(1-2):348-353

Murray, M.T., Pizzorno, J. (2012). The encyclopedia of natural medicine, Third edition. New York (NY), Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Balch, P.A. (2010). Prescription for nutritional healing; An a-z reference to drug-free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs & food supplements, Fifth edition. NewYork (NY), Penguin Group Inc.

Haas E.M., Levin B. (2006). Staying healthy with nutrition, the complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine, 21st century edition. US, Ten Speed Press



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