Pistachio Nuts for Erectile Dysfunction

Pistachio Nuts for Erectile Dysfunction
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Men eating pistachio nuts experienced a significant improvement in blood flow through the penis accompanied by significantly firmer erections in just three weeks—perhaps due to pistachios’ antioxidant, arginine, and phytosterol content.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Erectile dysfunction is considered “an important cause of decreased quality of life in men”—in fact, so much so that one early theory suggested that this may explain the link between impotence and heart attacks. Depression is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, and the thought was that men who couldn’t get it up became so depressed that they, like, die of a broken heart.

But, now we know that erectile dysfunction and heart disease can be two different manifestations of the exact same root problem: diseased arteries—inflamed, oxidized, cholesterol-clogged blood vessels. So, no wonder a diet chock-full of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering plant foods would improve sexual functioning in both men and women, as well as reduce risk of heart disease. But why go low-risk when you can shoot for no risk? A totally plant-based diet can even stop and reverse our #1 killer.

Of all the plant foods individually examined so far, nuts are among those most tied to longevity. Just two handfuls a week may extend a woman’s life as much as jogging four hours a week. So, if nuts reduce the risk of heart disease, might they also help with sexual function?

Well, men eating three to four handfuls of pistachios a day for just three weeks experienced a significant improvement in blood flow through the penis accompanied by significantly firmer erections. This may not be surprising.

Remember how antioxidant-rich foods have a Viagra-like effect of boosting nitric oxide production? Well, pistachios are certainly “rich sources” of antioxidants. And, remember how the citruline in watermelons helped with erection firmness by boosting arginine, which is what our body makes nitric oxide out of? Well, pistachios have a bunch of arginine, which may help explain the improvement in blood flow.

And, we know that cholesterol is an important predictor of sexual dysfunction in both men and women, and after just three weeks on all those pistachios, there were significant improvements in cholesterol.

And, like other studies that piled on hundreds of calories of nuts a day, there was no weight gain. Conclusion: Just three weeks of pistachios “resulted in a significant improvement in erectile function…with additional improvement in [cholesterol] without any side effects.”

Note the two important differences between diet and drugs. Just taking drugs like Viagra to poison this enzyme, and artificially boost nitric oxide signaling, is just covering up the symptoms of the underlying problem—unhealthy arteries. Whereas eating whole healthy plant foods, like nuts, actually helps attack the root cause—cholesterol, oxidation, and inflammation—and only has good side effects.

This enzyme that Viagra-like drugs muck with is primarily found in two places in the body: the erectile tissue of the penis, and the retina of the eye. That’s why the FDA encourages people to stop taking drugs like Viagra, and call a doctor right away if you “experience sudden loss of vision” (of course, you can still find your phone).

Though the harms tend to be self-limited and reversible, such as cyanopsia (in which your vision suddenly becomes tinted blue), why risk side effects at all, when the problem can reversed, cured in the first place, improving the quality and quantity of our lives?

“Improvement of sexual…function in men [and women] should be added to the growing list of clinical benefits brought about by healthy lifestyles in human beings.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Thanks to Ellen Reid, Maxim Fetissenko, PhD, and Laurie-Marie Pisciotta for their Keynote help.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Erectile dysfunction is considered “an important cause of decreased quality of life in men”—in fact, so much so that one early theory suggested that this may explain the link between impotence and heart attacks. Depression is a risk factor for coronary heart disease, and the thought was that men who couldn’t get it up became so depressed that they, like, die of a broken heart.

But, now we know that erectile dysfunction and heart disease can be two different manifestations of the exact same root problem: diseased arteries—inflamed, oxidized, cholesterol-clogged blood vessels. So, no wonder a diet chock-full of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering plant foods would improve sexual functioning in both men and women, as well as reduce risk of heart disease. But why go low-risk when you can shoot for no risk? A totally plant-based diet can even stop and reverse our #1 killer.

Of all the plant foods individually examined so far, nuts are among those most tied to longevity. Just two handfuls a week may extend a woman’s life as much as jogging four hours a week. So, if nuts reduce the risk of heart disease, might they also help with sexual function?

Well, men eating three to four handfuls of pistachios a day for just three weeks experienced a significant improvement in blood flow through the penis accompanied by significantly firmer erections. This may not be surprising.

Remember how antioxidant-rich foods have a Viagra-like effect of boosting nitric oxide production? Well, pistachios are certainly “rich sources” of antioxidants. And, remember how the citruline in watermelons helped with erection firmness by boosting arginine, which is what our body makes nitric oxide out of? Well, pistachios have a bunch of arginine, which may help explain the improvement in blood flow.

And, we know that cholesterol is an important predictor of sexual dysfunction in both men and women, and after just three weeks on all those pistachios, there were significant improvements in cholesterol.

And, like other studies that piled on hundreds of calories of nuts a day, there was no weight gain. Conclusion: Just three weeks of pistachios “resulted in a significant improvement in erectile function…with additional improvement in [cholesterol] without any side effects.”

Note the two important differences between diet and drugs. Just taking drugs like Viagra to poison this enzyme, and artificially boost nitric oxide signaling, is just covering up the symptoms of the underlying problem—unhealthy arteries. Whereas eating whole healthy plant foods, like nuts, actually helps attack the root cause—cholesterol, oxidation, and inflammation—and only has good side effects.

This enzyme that Viagra-like drugs muck with is primarily found in two places in the body: the erectile tissue of the penis, and the retina of the eye. That’s why the FDA encourages people to stop taking drugs like Viagra, and call a doctor right away if you “experience sudden loss of vision” (of course, you can still find your phone).

Though the harms tend to be self-limited and reversible, such as cyanopsia (in which your vision suddenly becomes tinted blue), why risk side effects at all, when the problem can reversed, cured in the first place, improving the quality and quantity of our lives?

“Improvement of sexual…function in men [and women] should be added to the growing list of clinical benefits brought about by healthy lifestyles in human beings.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Thanks to Ellen Reid, Maxim Fetissenko, PhD, and Laurie-Marie Pisciotta for their Keynote help.

Doctor's Note

This is the final installment of my three-part video series on sexual health. If you missed the first two, check out Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction & Death and 50 Shades of Greens.

The watermelon effect (via citrulline) is documented in Watermelon as Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. And the jogging statistic, taken from the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, can be found in What Women Should Eat to Live Longer.

The absence of weight gain is, surprisingly, par for the course when it comes to studies on nuts. See Nuts & Obesity: The Weight of Evidence. This may be for a number of reasons (see Solving the Mystery of the Missing Calories)—including the “pistachio principle” (see Testing the Pistachio Principle).

In addition to improving penile blood flow, nuts may also help prevent breast cancer (see Tree Nuts or Peanuts for Breast Cancer Prevention?), inflammatory diseases (see Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell), and sudden death (see How Do Nuts Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death?).

I discuss the epidemic of adverse prescription drug side effects in my 2012-13 annual review, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, and in my 2013-14 live presentation, More Than an Apple a Day.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Foods for a Long Life & Love Life, Pills vs. Diet for Erectile Dysfunction, and Pistachios May Help Erectile Dysfunction.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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