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Erectile Dysfunction - the Canary in the Coal Mine Theory

Have you heard the expression "a canary in a coal mine?" Miners used to carry caged canaries while at work to detect carbon monoxide. The birds would die before the levels of gas became hazardous to miners. This signal became a fail-safe for the teams of men and women.

Our bodies have some fail-safe alarms, too. In fact, men have a warning signal that should never be ignored: erectile dysfunction (ED)

Vasculogenic erectile dysfunction has been aptly called the “canary in the coal mine” for cardiovascular disease because it almost always precedes other manifestations of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction and stroke.

Believe it or not, difficultly or inability to get an erection when aroused can be your body's way of telling you to take a look at your heart health.

Coronary Artery Disease Precedes Before ED Occurs

ED happens before coronary artery disease (CAD) is detected in almost 70 percent of cases, so it's important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you have ED so that you can be evaluated for CAD.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent or repeated inability, for a duration of at least 6 months, to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. 

It is estimated that between 18 and 30 million men in the United States are affected. Aging and concomitant other medical problems such as atherosclerotic vascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, and cigarette smoking are associated with a higher prevalence of ED. 

ED may be understood as a warning sign of poor vascular function and impending coronary artery disease.

ED was also shown in one study to precede CAD in a whopping 70% of male CAD patients.

It is perhaps no surprise that ED and CAD go hand-in-hand, as they share many of the same risk factors, including sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, and declining NO activity.

Nitric Oxide (NO) and Erectile Function

NO is produced in the blood vessels, nerves, and immune cells. Endothelial NO causes relaxation of the surrounding smooth muscle, resulting in vasodilation. NO is known as The Endothelium Relaxer.

Your endothelium is a single layer of cells that line your blood vessels and help them contract and relax.

With regard to male sexual health, NO triggers the relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle of the penis, allowing for engorgement and  subsequent erection.

NO production declines with age, however, placing males at increased risk of ED as they grow older.

The loss of nitric oxide production precedes the development of CVD and ED

Endothelial inflammation undermines NO production and is thus a significant determinant of ED and other vascular diseases. 

Lifestyle and nutrition have been increasingly recognized as central factors influencing vascular nitric oxide (NO) production and erectile function. The importance of NO as the principal mediator influencing cardiovascular health and erectile function can be understated.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with smoking, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and decreased antioxidant defenses, all of which reduce NO production.

Better lifestyle choices; physical exercise; improved nutrition (80% plant based) and weight control and improved nitric oxide will all improve vascular and erectile function 

ED is the earliest sign and symptom of the loss of nitric oxide and the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease. That is why erectile dysfunction is considered the canary in the coal mine.

It is the first signs of danger. 

According to Dr. Nathan Bryan, one of the world leading experts on nitric oxide, we have the technology and means to improve nitric oxide production and even reverse cardiovascular disease.

Reveiw Dr. Nathan Bryan's site and watch the short video on nitric oxide

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