Healthier Men Want More Sex for More Years

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According
to a new study, healthier men, no matter their age, have better
sex more frequently and desire it more often than healthier women
– and a healthier sex life could mean a longer life.

The paper’s
findings have wide implication for attitudes toward public health
and how patients respond to doctors’ advice. If a doctor tells
a man diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure that losing
weight could mean five extra years of sex life, that could be
a powerful incentive.

Women outlive
men by an average of five to six years and without a partner,
women are less likely to engage in sex. Also, while there is a
cultural acceptance for drugs such as Viagra for men, this is
not necessarily the case for women.

Sources:

CNN
March 10, 2010

British
Medical Journal March 9, 2010; 340:c810

Dr. Mercola’s
Comments:

Healthy
sex cannot be underestimated as a factor for reducing stress,
bolstering self-esteem, and fostering feelings of intimacy and
bonding between partners. But the real point of this article
is really the fact that a healthy sex life can provide for a
longer, healthier, and most would agree, more enjoyable, life.

A previous
study, published in 1997, tracked the overall health
with sexual frequency and the mortality
of roughly 1,000
middle-aged men over the course of a decade. Interestingly,
men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm experienced
half the death rate.

Other studies
have also correlated frequency of sex with:

  • An
    improved sense of smell

  • A
    reduced risk of heart disease

  • Weight
    loss and overall fitness

  • Reduced
    depression

  • Pain
    relief

  • Less-frequent
    colds and flu

  • Better
    bladder control

This latest
study, which examined the relation between health and several
dimensions of sexuality, concluded:

u201CSexual
activity, good quality sexual life, and interest in sex were
higher for men than for women and this gender gap widened
with age. Sexual activity, quality of sexual life, and interest
in sex were positively associated with health in middle age
and later life.

Sexually
active life expectancy was longer for men, but men lost more
years of sexually active life as a result of poor health than
women.u201D

As common-sense
as this CNN report might seem, I think lead researcher, Dr.
Tessler Lindau, could be onto something when she says
,

u201C…
the paper’s findings have wider implication for attitudes
toward public health and how patients respond to doctors’
advice.

If
you are a man diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure
and I tell you that you need to lose weight and take medication,
and I can say the benefit is five extra years of sex life,
you might be more inclined to do what I tell you.

Hopefully,
most of you will realize that taking medication for diabetes
and high blood pressure is not in your best long-term interest,
and is more likely to take years off your life than add to it,
but overall, isn't it great to know that optimizing your health
could have a major impact on your sex life, well into old age?

Here, the
researchers found that men who were in very good or excellent
health at the age of 55 gained an average of five to seven years
of sexually active life compared with men who had poorer health.

And, although
a man's health appears to have a greater impact on the quality
and quantity of his sex life than women, women too were found
to gain 3–6 years of quality sex life by staying healthy.

Part of
the discrepancy between men and women in this respect may be
the availability of libido enhancing drugs, such as Viagra,
which are now sold and used by men of all ages without much
stigma attached to them.

Female
sexual dysfunction, on the other hand, is still a largely ignored
problem.

The Problem
with Potency Pills and Impotence Drugs

As with
so many other drugs, many people turn to sexual enhancement
drugs looking for a magic pill. But here too we find that the
lure of a quick fix is little more than a mirage. There are
instances where the erectile dysfunction (ED) has a mechanical
or chemical component where a drug or surgical procedure might
be helpful, but in most cases, other much simpler factors are
at play.

For example,
you need to remember that the erection really begins in the
man's brain. (Ditto for women, by the way.)

Your brain stem emits nerve impulses that control erectile function.
These nerve impulses navigate through the erection center of
your spinal column to the erectile tissue of your penis, where
they trigger a chain reaction in the membranes of your vascular
muscle cells. This sophisticated chain reaction is dependent
on a messenger molecule called cyclic guanosine monophosphate,
or cGMP.

However, this works in reverse as well; an erection softens
as soon as another enzyme called phosphodiesterase starts to
degrade the cGMP molecules.

Drugs like Viagra,
Levitra and Cialis, work by inhibiting phosphodiesterase and
increasing nitric oxide production, which may help maintain
erections. But, these pills will not create an erection in and
of themselves.

Initial
erection still has to be triggered psychologically. Without
that initial impetus, potency pills will have no effect whatsoever.

However,
these drugs, like most others, come with a slew of potentially
dangerous side effects, such as:

Some of
these side effects clearly do not contribute to a long, healthy
life! Nor would they entice you into romantic play.

If you've
done your homework, you'll find that it's becoming more and
more evident that erectile dysfunction are merely a symptom
of an unhealthy lifestyle, and no amount of drugs can
cure that.

Fortunately,
there are a number of lifestyle choices that can contribute
to restoring healthy sexual function, and as for potency pills,
there are alternatives that are far safer than Viagra.

Natural
Alternatives

Herbs like
Panax ginseng and Maca root have been used for centuries as
libido-boosting tonics. And the amino acid L-arginine has a
beneficial influence on blood vessel health, which indirectly
can benefit erectile dysfunction by improving cardiovascular
function.

Researchers
have actually determined that heart disease underlies some forms
of erectile dysfunction. Among men with heart disease, 75 percent
also have problems with erections. In fact, impotence can be
an early warning sign of coronary artery disease,
since the penis is more sensitive to slow-downs in blood flow
than the heart is.

In addition,
men with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes
and smoking are substantially more likely to have trouble getting
erections.

If this
fits your description, you'll want to continue reading, as the
lifestyle changes I will discuss at the end of this article
will help you address these health problems as well.

But first,
let's get back to safer, more natural drug alternatives, such
as L-arginine.

It appears
to help with erectile dysfunction by enhancing the
action of nitric oxide
, which in turn helps relax your blood
vessels, including those supplying blood to your penis. As blood
vessels in your penis dilate, it increases blood flow, which
helps maintain an erection. (This is also how drugs like Viagra
work.)

However,
it's important to realize that L-arginine is not a magic potion
in and of itself either.

Some studies
have found its effectiveness alone is on par with a placebo.
But several studies have concluded that L-arginine in combination
with other herbs is a remarkably effective treatment for mild
to moderate ED.

In combination
with yohimbine, it's also been found to increase
sexual arousal in postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder
.

In men,
L-arginine
combined with pycnogenol
(a plant extract from the bark
of a French maritime pine tree) provided u201Csignificant improvement
in sexual function in men with ED without any side effects,u201D
according to the researchers of one study.

And the
combination of 6 grams of L-arginine
with 6 mg yohimbine was found to be u201Ca promising addition to
first-line therapy for ED
,u201D according to a pilot study published
in the journal European Urology.

Other supplements
that could be worthwhile are choline and vitamin B5.

The neurotransmitter
that triggers that 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
(1,000–3,000 mg) and vitamin B5 (500–1,500
mg).

Lifestyle
Choices that Can Make or Break Your Sex Life

Listen,
Viagra is really unnecessary in a vast majority of men if they:

  • Follow
    a proper diet

  • Engage
    in adequate physical activity

  • Get
    an adequate amount of sleep

  • Avoid
    medications, many of which can cause or exacerbate impotence

  • Avoid
    smoking and excessive drinking

Common
sense will tell you that exercise
may ward off impotence
for the same reasons it can prevent
heart attacks – by keeping blood vessels clear. In one
large, long-term study, researchers found that men who burned
at least 200 calories a day through exercise were less likely
than inactive men to become impotent.

Remember,
just like most things in medicine the best u201Ccureu201D for erectile
dysfunction is prevention. Don't just accept the notion that
erectile dysfunction is a u201Cnormal part of aging,u201D and that you
need a drug to keep going.

Instead,
take a look at your habits, and incorporate the following healthy
lifestyle changes to enjoy a healthy sex life for as long as
possible:

Related Links:

Raise
Your Libido Without Drugs or Endless Therapy Sessions

Nine
Health Benefits of Sex

5
Natural Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive

April
6, 2010

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