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Fitness Prevents Impotence

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that lack of physical fitness is a major cause of impotence. Dr. Eric Rimm of the Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who run for three or more hours per week, or play tennis five hours a week, have a 30 percent lower risk for impotence. In previous studies, Dr. Rimm reported that having a large waist, not drinking any alcohol or drinking too much alcohol also increase risk for impotence.

Risk factors for impotence are the same as those for heart attacks. The most common cause of impotence is a having a poor blood supply to the penis. Therefore anything that blocks blood flow to the penis increases risk for impotence and anything that increases blood flow to the penis helps prevent impotence. Dr. Rimm presented his studies on alcohol previously at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. He showed that men who have one or two drinks a day have lower cholesterol, and better blood flow to the penis, than those who don't drink at all, or those who drink to extreme. So taking one or two drinks a day helps prevent impotence. On the other hand, taking more than two drinks a day increases risk for impotence.

Overweight people and sedentary people often have high cholesterols and are at increased risk for heart attacks and therefore they are at increased risk for impotence. Men with waistlines of 42 inches or more were twice as likely to be impotent as men with 32-inch waistlines. Men with beer bellies are at high risk for diabetes, which blocks blood flow to both the heart and penis. Therefore men with beer bellies should be treated as diabetics and avoid refined carbohydrates in flour and sugar-added foods.

If you are impotent, go to your doctor and get tests to measure your cholesterol, HBA1C to see if you are diabetic, a blood test for testosterone, and a prolactin to see if you have a brain tumor. If your cholesterol is high, or you have diabetes you should be on a heart attack prevention program that will also help you to regain your potency. If all of the tests are normal, you should still be on a heart attack- prevention program because the odds are overwhelming that anything that helps prevent heart attacks will also help prevent and treat impotence. Go on a diet that is loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, reduce your intake of meat, chicken, and whole milk diary products. Avoid smoking and being overweight. Reduce your intake of bakery products and sugar. Start an exercise program. The message in today's Annals of Internal Medicine is that the more vigorous your exercise program, the less likely you are to be impotent. Now that the information is out, women will be even more likely to seek out men who are fit. See report #M127.

Annals of Internal Medicine, August, 2003

Checked 6/29/13

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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