Effect of acute DHEA: Millions of men struggle silently with a low sex drive and/or erectile dysfunction (ED), an issue that is so closely tied to masculinity and self-worth. Over the years, doctors talk to countless men in their functional medicine clinics and they have to drag the subject out of them, to find out if it’s an issue or not. Men will come in to the clinics for other health problems, with no mention of ED or a low libido. It’s not until the doctors dig deeper with the many health questions they ask in functional medicine that they find out about their struggles in the bedroom.
Low libido and ED have everything to do with low testosterone, other symptoms of which include weight gain, irritability, and breast tissue enlargement. If you are going through any of these, consider looking at this list of the top reasons why men could struggle with erectile dysfunction and a low libido:
We all know stress is not good for our health. (And if you didn’t know, now you do.) You can be eating the cleanest foods on God’s green earth, but if you’re gorging yourself on stress, you are counteracting all the good healthy stuff. One Russian study found that stressors directly affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. In other words, your brain and testicles don’t speak well to each other when you’re stressing.
Quality, restorative sleep is über-important for your sex drive. One large cohort study found that men with poor sleep habits or health problems like sleep apnea had lower testosterone levels on average.
Effect Of Acute DHEA: Cholesterol is demonized in mainstream medicine, but it’s crucial for our health. Optimal cholesterol levels are needed for a healthy brain and hormones, which are essential for a healthy sex drive and performance. A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled randomized trials confirmed that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs also lowered testosterone levels, because cholesterol is needed to make testosterone!
Did you know that men make estrogen as well? Unlike women, we don’t make our estrogen from our ovaries (for obvious reasons), but in the male body testosterone is converted into estrogen in the liver by an enzyme called aromatase. One common issue found in patients is a hormonal imbalance caused by an over-aromatization of testosterone to estrogen. This over-conversion can be slowed down with aromatase inhibitors. These foods are some of the world’s best down-regulators of aromatase: