Of course, it has only been recent that society has begun to speak more openly about issues such as menstrual cycles and hormonal imbalances, but what about men? These days, it seems that our only familiarity regarding male reproductive dysfunction is with the ads for drugs to improve male sex. Think about the large number of commercials you’ve seen with a happy and smiling couple because the older man discreetly uses a small blue pill. But guess that? That pill is a vasodilator originally designed for hypertension.
The marketing we see for this prescription drug represents a very distorted image, in which sexual dysfunction is a factor of old age and has a simple solution: pharmaceutical products. This is not the truth. Current research has determined that male reproductive dysfunction is highly prevalent and predominantly a vascular problem. Therefore, it can affect men of any age, and conditions and diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases can be risk factors associated with reproductive dysfunction in men .
Foods & Supplements Which Help Men’s Health
Fortunately, some of the best and
simplest ways to avoid male reproductive dysfunction involve a daily diet and
lifestyle habits. Current research suggests that adding some very common foods
and supplements to your diet may help support the male reproductive system.
More Plants, Less
The Mediterranean diet has proven
beneficial for the prevention of many chronic diseases, but research has also
found that this diet improves reproductive function in men. It has been shown
that the Mediterranean diet, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, legumes and unsaturated fats and includes only limited amounts of meat,
improves cardiovascular risk factors such as insulin resistance, high serum
triglycerides and hypertension. Therefore, eating for cardiovascular health is
also eating for reproductive health. We can often generalize the male
reproductive system as less complicated than its female counterpart, but we
must remember that men of all ages experience problems with reproductive
A small pilot study considered the use
of pistachios to improve reproductive function in men. After three weeks of a
daily dose of 100 grams (approximately one cup) of pistachios, standardized
reports of sexual function had improved among participants. Other parameters
also improved, including the decrease in total serum cholesterol and the
decrease in the LDL to HDL ratio.
Studies have found that watermelon can
be a great source of citrulline, which helps in the production of nitric oxide,
the body’s endogenous vasodilator. In one study, it was discovered that
participants who consumed six cups of watermelon juice daily for three weeks
had a significantly higher citrulline conversion than the control group.
However, few studies have tested the parameters of reproductive function as a
result of ingestion of watermelon in humans.
Herbs and spices have been used for
centuries as aphrodisiacs and substances that improve fertility. In modern
times, preliminary research has shown that some have had beneficial effects on
male reproductive dysfunction. Maca root and saffron have shown some of the
best results in increasing sexual function in trials with humans and rats.
However, the current evidence is mainly anecdotal, and the results are mixed
between dried herbs and extracts.