Cholesterol, found in the cell membranes of all tissues, is a lipid composed of steroids and alcohol moving in the blood plasma. Men and women with high cholesterol levels as well as LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and HDL (“good cholesterol”) ratios are at risk for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is particularly dangerous due to the buildup of deposits in the artery called 'plaque', which can prevent blood flow, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Plaque buildup in peripheral arteries can also lead to male impotence. The inner peripheral arteries of the penis can become inelastic, preventing blood from flowing normally during an erection.
Why do erection drugs fail?
Most medications prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction provide short-term relief by relaxing the smooth muscles in the artery walls. Relaxation increases blood flow to the genitals, but prescribed medications do not work effectively over the long term, as plaque buildup in the penile arteries impedes blood flow.
The increased cholesterol levels can harm the smooth muscle of the penis, particularly the endothelium of the corpus cavernosum. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels that regulates the health of penile arteries. Men with high cholesterol cannot sustain an erection any longer due to damaged endothelium. If left untreated, the breakdown of endothelial function, the structure of oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, poor diet and high LDL cholesterol, can cause the formation of plaques leading to impotence.
Statins, often prescribed to lower cholesterol (LDL), slow the progression of atherosclerosis and block the synthesis of both CoQ 10 and hepatic steroid enzymes. The blockade inhibits HMG-CoA reductase which is involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Inhibited liver enzymes minimize the production of androgen hormones, ie, DHEA, androstenedione and testosterone. When these androgen hormones decrease, men experience a decrease in the quality of their erection.
Endothelial dysfunction is an early sign of cardiovascular disease
Endothelial dysfunction causes constriction of blood vessels, inflammation and plaque formation. Research has shown that endothelial dysfunction is the root cause of many forms of cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, chronic kidney failure, diabetes and impotence. In fact, impotence is a good indicator that signals the onset of severe endothelial dysfunction eventually leading to many chronic cardiovascular diseases.
The best remedy to fight against impotence caused by high cholesterol remains a good diet. Weight loss diets can help lower cholesterol and thus prevent plaque buildup. Most doctors agree that: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, multi-grain products, and exercise can help lower and maintain your cholesterol levels. The same goes for high-fiber foods like oats, barley, black beans, and lentils, which are a good source of foods for controlling cholesterol. Doctors ask individuals to be aware that cooking oils, which are additives, can affect LDL and HDL levels. Both men and women should avoid butter as it contains a lot of LDL levels. Instead, olive, canola and nut oils are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which increase HDL levels instead of LDL.