PEAK TESTOSTERONE

Blueberries and Erectile Dysfunction

I have for years been adding about a half cup of organic frozen blueberries into my nightly smoothies, and, in hindsight, that sounds like one of the smartest decisions I've ever made.  Why do I say that?  Because a recent study shows that blueberries were associated with reduced erectile dysfunction (along with red wine and citrus fruits). [1] The authors also noted that "a higher total fruit intake was associated with a 14 per cent reduction in the risk of erectile dysfunction. And that a combination of consuming flavonoid-rich foods with exercise can reduce the risk by 21 per cent." Yes, it's all about lifestyle when it comes to your heart and arteries. [2] My book, The Peak Erectile Strength Diet, covers many other foods and drinks that do the same.

So is the idea that blueberries could protect and possibly relieve erectile dysfunction without any biological plausability? Actually, it's quite the opposite.  Below are Four Properties of Blueberries that Will Improve Hardness Factor and Decrease the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction:

1. Increased Nitric Oxide. I have dozens of ways to increase NO on this page:  Summary Page on How to Increase Nitric Oxide. Why do I give it so much coverage?  The reason is that nitric oxide is lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow and is an arterial anti-inflammatory.  All of us men desperately need nitric oxide for the protections of our heart and penis. It turns out that blueberries are yet another plant food that boosts nitric oxide, at least according to a study on women that showed a huge 68% increase in nitric oxide levels. [3] Even better, these results were achieved with consumption of the equivalent of about a 1 cup of frozen blueberries each day. This is doable and berries are respected by almost every popular diet out there from Mediterranean to low fat to Paleo, so just do it!

NOTE:  Increased nitric oxide almost always means increased blood flow, including to the all-important pudendal and penile arteries.

2. Reduced Blood Pressure. The same study showed very significant drops in blood pressure, 7 and 5 mm, in systolic and disastolic blood pressures, repsectively. That drop in diastolic blood pressure is particularly significant, because many men with prehypertension find it hard to lower that one. Now it should be pointed out that this study examined post-menopausal women, and the reason is that they often struggle with high blood pressure.  This is shown by the fact that the average blood pressure levels were in the prehypertensive range.  Even, so, many men also struggle with prehypertension due to the high prevalence of prediabetes and insulin resistance, which are associated with higher blood pressure levels.

3. Lowered Arterial Stiffness.  Again, the same study showed greatly decreased arterial stiffness as well in the blueberry treated group.  Obviously, stiff arteries are not going to help erections, and blueberries help in this category as well.

4. Improved Vasomotor Tone.  Arteries work through the relaxation and dilation of smooth muscle tissue. One of the issues that stress and aging can worsen is the noradrenaline-induced contraction of the arteries.  Of course, this narrows arteries, decreases blood flow and is bad for erectile strength.  Blueberries have been found in a couple of animal studies to reduce that powerful contractile reaction, and thus improve the kind of stress responses that plaque us in modern societies. [7][8] This is the same pathway that alpha blockers work on but without the side effects!

5. Dopamine Protection and Possibly Stimulation.  Dopamine is ground zero for libido. It also boosts mood and can help cure some types of depression.  One of the ways that TRT works is by boosting this key neurotransmitter, something I cover in my page on Testosterone and Dopamine. Blueberries at a minimum protection dopamine levels, and I'll show evidence below that they actually boost them as well:

a) Parkinson's Prevention.  Researchers have done several studies building animal models of Parkinson's, the disease where dopamine-producting neurons are slowly destroyed in the brain.  These models powerfully show that blueberries can protect and reverse this process. [4][5] This is incredibly important in modern Western cultures where dopamine neurons are steadily destoryed somehow by our lifestyles through the decades. Again, low dopamine will usually translate to low libido and erectile strength.

b) Reduced Depression.  I do not know of a study that shows that blueberries actually increase dopamine levels.  However, if dopamine is increased, it will usefully help with depression, and one study on seniors and blueberry consumption shows improved depression. [6] The same study also showed improved memory!

REFERENCES:

1) 'Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, on January 13, 2016.

2) http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-01-blueberries-citrus-fruits-red-wine.html

3) J Acad Nutr Diet, 2015 Mar, 115(3):369-77, "Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial"

4) Experimental Neurology, Dec 2005, 196(2):298 307, "Blueberry- and spirulina-enriched diets enhance striatal dopamine recovery and induce a rapid, transient microglia activation after injury of the rat nigrostriatal dopamine system"

5) Nutritional Neuroscience: An International Journal on Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System, 2006, 9(5-6), "Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons"

6) J Agric Food Chem, 2010 Apr 14, 58(7):3996-4000, "Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults"

7) J Med Food, 2005, 8:8-13, "Wild blueberry-rich diet affect the contractile machinery of the vascular smooth muscle in the Sprague-Dawley rat"

8) Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease, 2012, 22:127-132, "The temportal effect of a wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)-enriched diet on vasomoter tone in the Sprague-Dawley rat"