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Erectile Dysfunction: The Deadly Lie & Simple Cure

From pills and pumps to surgery and shockwaves, there’s no shortage of creative, costly and confounding treatments for erectile dysfunction. And with patients desperate for solutions and doctors quick to dole out medication, symptom-focused quick fixes with high profit margins overtake any discussion of prevention, cause or lasting cure.

But the most disturbing omission of all in the booming business that’s arisen from the battle against impotence, is the fact that erectile dysfunction is not only a top concern for men, but also their top killer. [tweet this]

Hi it's Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome to another vegan nugget. Erectile dysfunction isn’t exactly a topic for dinner conversation. The inability to sexually perform carries with it a profound amount of societal and cultural baggage.

With the astronomical cost of impotence treatments, it’s easy to write off ED as a frivolous use of money better spent on life-threatening disorders and diseases than what’s often seen as men’s egos.

And this is partially true. In this second installment of the Men’s Health Series with Dr. Michael Greger of, we’ll hear the disturbing truth about the life-threatening nature of erectile dysfunction, its cause, and the incredibly simple dietary cure. [tweet this]

On the real dangers of erectile dysfunction beyond the concerns of loss of virility:

“Erectile dysfunction—defined as the inability to have a satisfactory intercourse is present in 100 million men worldwide, 30 million men in the US. You say wait a second, the US only has 8% of the world’s population, yet 30% of the impotence: we’re #1. Yes indeed. But who cares cause we’ve got red, white and blue pills like Viagra.

The problem is that these pills don’t treat the underlying cause which is clogged, inflamed, dysfunctional arteries. So erectile dysfunction and coronary artery disease are actually two manifestations of exactly the same disease. Forty percent of men over 40—40 over 40 have erectile dysfunction placing them in nearly 50 times the risk of dying from a heart attack cardiac event like sudden death. That’s a 5,000% increase in risk and even for younger men.

We use to think erectile dysfunction in younger men in 20s-30s, it was all psychogenetic in origin. Meaning it's all in their head. But it turns out we are realizing it’s more likely the early signs of vascular disease. So men in with erectile dysfunction, even if they don’t have any cardiac symptoms, like chest pain, should be considered a cardiac patient until proven otherwise.

So that’s why even young men should care about their cholesterol levels because hardening of the arteries can lead to soften the penis decades down the road. Your cholesterol now can predict sexual functioning decades later in life in these longitudinal studies.

And you say ‘wait a second, but now we have pills right? Can’t I still just continue to eat crap all my life and then just pop some pills.?' But you know all the Viagra in the WORLD won’t help your sex life after a stroke. The bottom line is ‘ED' stands for ‘Early Death.' It’s the survival of the firmest.”

One why men informed about the life-threatening nature of erectile dysfunction, given it is a manifestation of our #1 killer:

“Well, they’re obviously not subscribers to! Well, it’s like ‘wait a second, why don’t people know that heart disease can be reversed with a healthy enough diet?'

Our #1 killer: the cure for the #1 killer of men and women, we have known that since July 1990 with the Ornish’s publication of Lifestyle Heart Trial decades ago. Yet 100s of 1000s of people continue to dies of this preventable, treatable, reversible condition.

But wait a second, we do we even know that? And it’s because doctors aren’t told about it – doesn’t make people money – I can go through all the list of the forces at work, primarily economic forces, that just don’t allow this information to get out there.

The reason you don’t see ads on TV for broccoli is the same reason you don’t hear about this research. It’s just not a profit motive. No one sends out a press release when a study gets done about how wonderful sweet potatoes are for you because there’s no sweet potato lobby out there. There’s no way they can get this message out there. If only had some kind of resource that could bring this science directly to you without the commercialism bias. Well, that’s why I do the work that I do.”

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Dr. Greger on the true risk and simple solution to erectile dysfunction. You can find links to relevant studies and Dr. Greger’s site at the base of this post.

Though it’s an uncomfortable subject, the truth about erectile dysfunction can literally save lives. Please share this video to help men take hold of their health. [tweet this]

Be sure to subscribe to the channel to not miss out on the rest of the Men’s Health Series.

To support free education like this, please see the support page or join us in the Nugget Army on Patreon.

Now go live vegan, rise to the challenge of truth, and I’ll see you soon.

see ya next nugget!



★Watch More

The Men's Health Series
More With Dr. Greger
Why Your Doctor Is Lying To You
How NOT To Die
What’s Really Killing You
Vegan Nutrition Concerns Playlist
Real Vegan Athletes
Dr. Greger Reacts to YouTube Fitness Nutrition ‘Experts'

▶︎➤Connect With Dr. Greger:
Nab His NYT Best-Selling Book!

Relevant studies on erectile dysfunction for further research & information:

Banks, Emily, Grace Joshy, Walter P. Abhayaratna, Leonard Kritharides, Peter S. Macdonald, Rosemary J. Korda, and John P. Chalmers. “Erectile Dysfunction Severity as a Risk Marker for Cardiovascular Disease Hospitalisation and All-Cause Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study.PLOS Med 10, no. 1 (January 29, 2013): e1001372. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001372.

Chew, Kew-Kim, Nicholas Gibson, Frank Sanfilippo, Bronwyn Stuckey, and Alexandra Bremner. “Cardiovascular Mortality in Men with Erectile Dysfunction: Increased Risk but Not Inevitable.The Journal of Sexual Medicine 8, no. 6 (June 2011): 1761–71. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02239.x.

Chiurlia, Emilio, Roberto D’Amico, Carlo Ratti, Antonio R. Granata, Renato Romagnoli, and Maria G. Modena. “Subclinical Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction.Journal of the American College of Cardiology 46, no. 8 (October 18, 2005): 1503–6. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2005.06.068.

Chung, Shiu-Dong, Yi-Kuang Chen, Hsiu-Chen Lin, and Herng-Ching Lin. “Increased Risk of Stroke among Men with Erectile Dysfunction: A Nationwide Population-Based Study.The Journal of Sexual Medicine 8, no. 1 (January 2011): 240–46. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01973.x.

Corona, Giovanni, Giorgio Fagioli, Edoardo Mannucci, Annadina Romeo, Massimiliano Rossi, Francesco Lotti, Alessandra Sforza, et al. “Penile Doppler Ultrasound in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Role of Peak Systolic Velocity Measured in the Flaccid State in Predicting Arteriogenic ED and Silent Coronary Artery Disease.The Journal of Sexual Medicine 5, no. 11 (November 2008): 2623–34. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00982.x.

Dong, Jia-Yi, Yong-Hong Zhang, and Li-Qiang Qin. “Erectile Dysfunction and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.Journal of the American College of Cardiology 58, no. 13 (September 20, 2011): 1378–85. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2011.06.024.

Esposito, K., M. Ciotola, F. Giugliano, M. De Sio, G. Giugliano, M. D’armiento, and D. Giugliano. “Mediterranean Diet Improves Erectile Function in Subjects with the Metabolic Syndrome.” International Journal of Impotence Research 18, no. 4 (August 2006): 405–10. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901447.

Esposito, Katherine, and Dario Giugliano. “Lifestyle/dietary Recommendations for Erectile Dysfunction and Female Sexual Dysfunction.” The Urologic Clinics of North America 38, no. 3 (August 2011): 293–301. doi:10.1016/j.ucl.2011.04.006.

Esposito, Katherine, Francesco Giugliano, Maria Ida Maiorino, and Dario Giugliano. “Dietary Factors, Mediterranean Diet and Erectile Dysfunction.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 7, no. 7 (July 2010): 2338–45. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01842.x.

Fung, Maple M., Richele Bettencourt, and Elizabeth Barrett-Connor. “Heart Disease Risk Factors Predict Erectile Dysfunction 25 Years Later: The Rancho Bernardo Study.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 43, no. 8 (April 21, 2004): 1405–11. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2003.11.041.

Giugliano, Francesco, Maria Ida Maiorino, Carmen Di Palo, Riccardo Autorino, Marco De Sio, Dario Giugliano, and Katherine Esposito. “Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Sexual Function in Women with Type 2 Diabetes.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 7, no. 5 (May 2010): 1883–90. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01714.x.

Greger, MD, Michael. Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death | Vol. 14, 2013.

Gupta, Bhanu P., M. Hassan Murad, Marisa M. Clifton, Larry Prokop, Ajay Nehra, and Stephen L. Kopecky. “The Effect of Lifestyle Modification and Cardiovascular Risk Factor Reduction on Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Archives of Internal Medicine 171, no. 20 (November 14, 2011): 1797–1803. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.440.

Inman, Brant A., Jennifer L. St Sauver, Debra J. Jacobson, Michaela E. McGree, Ajay Nehra, Michael M. Lieber, Véronique L. Roger, and Steven J. Jacobsen. “A Population-Based, Longitudinal Study of Erectile Dysfunction and Future Coronary Artery Disease.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 84, no. 2 (February 2009): 108–13. doi:10.4065/84.2.108.

Jackson, Graham. “Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Disease: Evaluating the Link.” Maturitas 72, no. 3 (July 2012): 263–64. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.03.012.

Meldrum, David R., Joseph C. Gambone, Marge A. Morris, Donald A. N. Meldrum, Katherine Esposito, and Louis J. Ignarro. “The Link between Erectile and Cardiovascular Health: The Canary in the Coal Mine.” The American Journal of Cardiology 108, no. 4 (August 15, 2011): 599–606. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.03.093.

Montorsi, Francesco, Alberto Briganti, Andrea Salonia, Patrizio Rigatti, Alberto Margonato, Andrea Macchi, Stefano Galli, Paolo M. Ravagnani, and Piero Montorsi. “Erectile Dysfunction Prevalence, Time of Onset and Association with Risk Factors in 300 Consecutive Patients with Acute Chest Pain and Angiographically Documented Coronary Artery Disease.” European Urology 44, no. 3 (September 2003): 360-364-365.

Montorsi, Piero, Paolo M. Ravagnani, Stefano Galli, Francesco Rotatori, Alberto Briganti, Andrea Salonia, Patrizio Rigatti, and Francesco Montorsi. “The Artery Size Hypothesis: A Macrovascular Link between Erectile Dysfunction and Coronary Artery Disease.” The American Journal of Cardiology 96, no. 12B (December 26, 2005): 19M–23M. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2005.07.006.

Schwartz, B. G., and R. A. Kloner. “How to Save a Life during a Clinic Visit for Erectile Dysfunction by Modifying Cardiovascular Risk Factors.” International Journal of Impotence Research 21, no. 6 (December 2009): 327–35. doi:10.1038/ijir.2009.38.

Yao, F., Y. Huang, Y. Zhang, Y. Dong, H. Ma, C. Deng, H. Lin, D. Liu, and K. Lu. “Subclinical Endothelial Dysfunction and Low-Grade Inflammation Play Roles in the Development of Erectile Dysfunction in Young Men with Low Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.” International Journal of Andrology 35, no. 5 (October 2012): 653–59. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2605.2012.01273.x.

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  1. Troy on August 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Emily, I need some help with my erectile dysfunction. Can you help me out? Maybe dinner and a movie? *wink*

  2. aboomustapha on September 10, 2016 at 2:00 am

    hi doc. tell how do i burnt off my cholesterol for better erectile function

    • Emily Barwick on September 19, 2016 at 2:49 am

      Whole foods plant based diet :) I’m not a doctor though.

  3. claude saint-jarre on August 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Emily, are you aware of cured Freidreich’s ataxia patients?

  4. Justin on January 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I’m 31 andI didn’t have erection problems before going vegan, but after going vegan my erections have improved with noticeably harder erections. I was probably going down a path leading towards ED at some point in my future. The erection improvement was something I was unaware of before going vegan and I would also say that prior to going vegan my diet wasn’t extremely poor and likely much better than the average american (that doesn’t really mean much).

    • Emily Moran Barwick on January 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had such an improvement since going vegan! And you’re right—ED doesn’t happen overnight. It happens overtime with increasingly restricted bloodflow. So men can think that their diet’s okay because nothing is happening…yet. I still get so angry about the way the medical field handles ED and prostate issues… essentially painting them as an inevitable part of aging. I’m so glad you found the truth and made the switch before experiencing any serious problems! All the best!

  5. paul joseph on July 5, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Greatly appreciate the infos. In my case ginseng+maca worked at a fraction of the price of Taladafil, with no headaches. I took ginseng(panax)-maca because I needed energy, and to my complete astonishment it treated my ED to a satisfying level. (I can skip a day or two without taking a pill. I absolutely derive no benefit from saying this — financial or otherwise. Actually I’m quite poor. It’s sad because Doctors try to sell us expensive medications, while in the herbal realm there are so many unbelievable claims that skeptical guys like me tend to refrain from trying things out of fear of being ripped off. Another avenue is Taladafil at very low daily doses. Something doctors and urologists don’t tell is that Taladafil remains in the body for many days, so it really doesn’t take much to have some effect. It builds up in the body and after a few days levels remain acceptable even if supplementation is minimal. In my case an eigth of a pill daily suffices. Still it costs more than ginseng-maca. I wish I had read this many years ago. ED is manageable for a few cents daily but unfortunately some urologists do not present all of the options and all the infos that’s available. Of course, finding a temporary solution to ED does not preclude one from investigating one’s circulatory system, heart, cholesterol level, etc so as to prevent eventual problems. (I have had chest pains since I am a child but doctors find nothing….).

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