The purpose of this article is to help men understand the role nitric oxide plays in erectile dysfunction or ED.
To best understand this information on nitric oxide and erectile dysfunction, I would recommend watching my YouTube video below. If you prefer reading about it, then the text is below.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 52 percent of men experience ED. When this issue is broken down by age about 40% of men age 40 and as high as 70% of men age 70 are dealing with some level of erectile dysfunction.
While there can be some health issues, and certain medications that contribute to this, in most cases it’s due to insufficient production of nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide is absolutely necessary for an erection. In fact, the bottom line is this:
No NO No Sex!
The capital NO stands for Nitric Oxide.
No nitric oxide production and there will be no erection.
Little nitric oxide production and you will have a weak erection that can’t be maintained.
Proper nitric oxide production helps you maintain proper sexual function.
To help you understand how this works I need to spend some time talking about male anatomy.
The male organ contains two cigar-shaped structures called corpora cavernosa that run the length of the organ.
Arteries bring blood into these two structures with veins carrying the blood away from them.
In a non-erect state, the blood flow from the arteries is restricted while the veins are open to drain the blood away.
When a man becomes aroused, the arterial blood vessels open up so that pressurized blood can enter the corpora cavernosa. The veins leaving the male organ are constricted. This action traps the pressurized blood allowing for the size increase and full erection.
This means that there are two competing functions at play.
Vasodilation of the blood vessels to create the needed blood flow to produce and maintain an erection.
Vasoconstriction of these blood vessels so that men don’t walk around all day long with an erection, which would be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
Nitric oxide addresses the vasodilation side of sexual function.
Drugs like Viagra address the vasoconstriction side of this dynamic.
If you’re interested in how this all works, then stay to the end of this article and I’ll explain in detail.
For now, the most common reason men suffer from erectile dysfunction is lack of nitric oxide in the blood vessels of the corpora cavernosa.
To increase blood flow to the male organ you have three options:
1. Increase the amount of nitric oxide produced in the arterial blood vessels for improved vasodilation.
2. Increase the amount of cGMP produced in response to the nitric oxide for improved vasodilation.
3. Eliminate the PDE that converts cGMP back to GTP so that cGMP builds up. This causes the smooth muscles of the arterial blood vessels to properly relax and fill with blood because you have disabled the vasoconstriction side of the equation.
Drugs like Viagra use option 3 to achieve an erection. Why PDE? Because there are 11 different kinds of PDE in your body but only one type of PDE found in the male organ. That type is called PDE5.
All Pfizer had to do was find a chemical that would selectively block PDE5 and nothing else. This chemical is sildenafil citrate.
Thus disabling the vasoconstriction side of the equation.
And for any man who has used Viagra, you have most likely experienced benefits.
At least initially.
And the reason why is that your nitric oxide levels were high enough to start and maintain the vasodilation side of the equation.
But as you aged, and your nitric oxide levels decreased, so did your ability to have an erection even when the vasoconstriction side has been disabled.
This means that drugs like Viagra don’t address the underlying problem, which is the proper production of nitric oxide.
I’m not discounting the benefits of Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra to help men with erectile dysfunction. All three, when properly used under the guidance of a qualified physician, have been able to change poor sexual function into good sexual function. But understand that these drugs are treating a symptom more than the underlying problem.
For most men the underlying problem is the insufficient production of nitric oxide to help start and maintain proper vasodilation.
The creation of nitric oxide occurs in the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. When these cells are damaged by high blood pressure, high sugar levels, oxidized cholesterol, and nicotine this decreases nitric oxide production.
Bottom line – A healthy endothelium and proper nitric oxide production work together for improved sexual function.
In my video titled “6 Ingredients That Optimize Nitric Oxide Production” I discuss how you can naturally increase your nitric oxide levels.
Now here is how the vasodilation side of the equation works:
The brain sends a signal to a particular nerve fiber. The nerve fiber ends in a NANC nerve cell located in the artery near the point where blood flow needs to be changed. This NANC nerve cell creates nitric oxide.
The nitric oxide acts as a signaling molecule to stimulate an enzyme called guanylate cyclase. This enzyme uses nitric oxide to convert GTP to a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate or cGMP.
cGMP tell the smooth muscles of the arterial blood vessel to relax. This allows for increased blood flow.
There is another enzyme called phosphodiesterase or PDE that deactivates the cGMP by turning it back into GTP.
When the cGMP is deactivated, the smooth muscle returns to its original constricted state.
Nitric oxide turns this cycle on.
PDE turns this cycle off. Drugs like Viagra use a chemical to interfere with PDE5.
Since the PDE5 is disabled, the cGMP doesn’t break down but builds up allowing the arterial blood vessels to fully dilate.
And the man achieves a full erection.
Great stuff when it works perfectly but there are a few problems.
Almost every drug made by man has side effects and Viagra is no exception. Viagra blocks PDE5 but can also affect PDE6 which is used by the cone cells in the retina.
This can affect color vision. For some it changes the way they perceive green and blue. For others they see the world with a bluish tinge for several hours. Because of this pilots cannot take Viagra within 12 hours of a flight.
The other two main side effects are headaches and flushing.
The blocking of the PDE5 can spill over to other areas of the body causing uncontrolled vasodilation. Because Viagra is a prescription drug rather than an over-the-counter drug always consult a qualified physician before taking any Viagra like product.
Which brings us back to nitric oxide. You cannot live without nitric oxide. Your cardiovascular system could not function properly without nitric oxide.
The sexual health of your body revolves around the production of nitric oxide. And much of your nitric oxide production is dependent upon the health of the endothelial cells that line your blood vessels.
This means that the proper productions of nitric oxide is key to men’s sexual health.
Blessing Lives Through Nitric Oxide Therapy!