Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition in adult men across the world and has a chance of occurring, regardless of age and demographics. There are many factors that contribute to increasing the chance of developing this condition, both physical and psychological. However, one of the key drivers of ED is ageing where the long-term lifestyle factors and variables start causing health complications and issues at the later stages of our lives with key factors like smoking, drinking alcohol, diet, exercise and stress levels. As a result, as we get older, many underlying health complications start manifesting themselves. One of the most common ones is cardiovascular (or heart) illnesses which usually are associated with high levels of cholesterol.
Heart conditions which involve high levels of cholesterol are common across the world where almost 62% of the England population are diagnosed with higher levels of cholesterol. This condition usually does not have any symptoms but it can contribute to major health issues, especially the emergencies like strokes and heart attacks. However, for men, higher levels of cholesterol are proved to contribute to the ED condition occurrence.
Therefore, to answer all of your burning questions about the link between cholesterol levels and chances of ED occurring, read this Pharmica article below:
One of the first starting points of investigating the connection between the two conditions is defining what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is an organic molecule that is made in your liver as well as intake from the food you consume. However, one of the misconceptions about cholesterol is the fact that it is unhealthy which is not exactly true. Cholesterol can be split into two key types – High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is also known as the “good” cholesterol due to its ability to transport cholesterol all over your body back to your liver. The other type is the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), aka “bad” cholesterol, which, in high amounts, can start to build up in blood vessels and arteries, restricting the blood flow. As a result, the build-up of this molecule can lead to an increased chance of ED as well as much more severe conditions like heart failure, strokes and heart attacks.
The Link between Cholesterol and ED:
How that you are aware of what cholesterol is, it is important to understand how it contributes to the higher risk of developing an ED condition. The Low-Density Lipoprotein, which was previously mentioned as a harmful type of cholesterol, build up in your arteries and blood vessels, narrowing them down. As a result, the blood flow throughout your body is restricted, increasing your chances of experiencing ED. Furthermore, additional research suggests that cholesterol and its high levels also affect the ability to produce nitric oxide – an essential chemical that is needed for muscles to relax, which also affects your ability to perform in sexual intercourse. Furthermore, another effect of high levels of cholesterol is the fact that restricted blood flow affects the ability of your body to produce enough hormones like testosterone. This hormone is responsible for managing the libido in men and therefore also affects the ability to have sex. The good news is, however, is the fact that lack of testosterone only accounts for a very slight proportion of ED cases.
How do I Lower Cholesterol Levels?
In order to effectively manage your cholesterol levels, it is important to ensure that relevant and consistent lifestyle adjustments are made. For example, one of the key sources of cholesterol is your diet where fatty and unhealthy foods contain higher levels of bad cholesterol. Replacing these foods with more healthy alternatives could replace your LDL levels with HDL, achieving a balanced level of cholesterol and contributing to a generally healthier lifestyle.
Furthermore, the amount of bad cholesterol can be reduced by the consumption of unsaturated fats that are contained in food like fish, seeds and grains, oils and spreads. Increasing your fibre intake also contributes to the absorption of cholesterol within your blood. These foods usually include grains and wheat as well as fruit and vegetables. In addition, exercising regularly greatly assist with lower the cholesterol levels by lowering the levels of triglycerides fat levels
Finally, lifestyle and habit adjustments tend to help, where giving smoking and reducing the alcohol intake can help with the blood flow and reduce the narrowing down process of arteries and blood vessels. While not directly increasing the LDL levels, smoking makes this molecule stickier, increasing the chances that the arteries will be more likely to clog up.
Furthermore, if you are experiencing ED, there are plenty of clinically proven and effective erectile dysfunction treatments. Treatments like Viagra help to reduce the enzymes that are making it harder to achieve an erection and therefore assist you when needed if you are affected by this condition.