Living Healthier Longer

Veggie Viagra

by Ruth Heidrich, ph.D.

Have you heard the one about the doctor who used to treat sick people, but ever since he discovered Viagra, is now raising the dead? Or, what’s the difference between Niagara and Viagra? Niagara Falls! Did you know there is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra than Alzheimer’s research? By 2020, there should be a large elderly population with perky breasts and erections and no recollection of what to do with them!

Folks, this is serious! Although it’s a sensitive, sometimes taboo, subject, impotence, technically known as Erectile Dysfunction (ED), must be very, very common. When the drug, Viagra, was first introduced, its sales skyrocketed into one of the top-selling drugs in America!

Viagra was originally developed for the treatment of pain caused by angina. In test groups from 1980-1990, it did nothing at all for that condition, but test subjects wouldn’t’t give it up because of its now-famous side effect!

Here’s the logic of how both problems, angina and impotence, occur. Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in animal protein, cholesterol, and fat, causes plaque to develop in the arteries. In a famous study published in the 1950s, it was found that eighteen-year-old young men had plaque in their arteries. Then it was discovered that this process of laying down plaque in the arteries starts as young as two-years of age when eating the SAD diet. Although the coronary arteries was where this plaque is found, no one thinks that this process would selectively occur only in these arteries and not the arteries to the genitals as well.

Just one high-fat meal, e.g., a fast-food breakfast of 50 grams of fat and 900 calories, narrows the arteries, putting you at risk of a heart attack, coronary artery disease, and, of course, the dreaded affliction, E.D.

How Viagra Works
An erection depends on several factors, most importantly, a good blood supply, nerve tissue and enzymes. Viagra (sildenafil) enhances the effects of nitric oxide, the chemical that relaxes blood vessels of the penis (and clitoris), allowing increased blood flow and, therefore, erection. There are, however, side effects such as headaches, visual disturbances, and nasal congestion.

Is Testosterone The Answer?
Last year doctors wrote 1.5 million prescriptions for testosterone, mostly for middle-aged and older men seeking relief from low libido, E.D., fatigue, depression, bone and muscle loss, etc. These are also the symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle, usually the SAD diet and little or no exercise. Instead of another pill, patch, or injection, if they would switch to a low-fat vegan diet and add some vigorous, daily exercise, most, if not all, those symptoms would simply disappear.

What About Us Women?
All of the above applies! The SAD diet clogs the same arteries. Although there are obvious anatomical differences, each has functional counterparts. For example, Skene’s glands are the female equivalent of the male’s prostate. Scientists in Italy have identified an enzyme called PDES that destroys the nitric oxide which allows erections to occur, and Viagra works by blocking this enzyme. Researchers believe that anti-impotence drugs work on women in a similar way.

Veggie Viagra
The Western medical model is based more on treatment of symptoms than on getting to the cause and/or prevention of disease. The cause of blockage of arteries is the SAD diet but how many medical doctors tell their patients to reverse the clogging by changing to a low-fat vegan diet? A few, but not many. Most just write a prescription for a pill to either lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, or Viagra.

What we really need are more doctors to prescribe “Veggie Viagra” – healthy doses of broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, apples, oranges, and bananas. Then all the Viagra jokes will be on them!

web pages designed by Audry Wild

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