12 February 2018

Alzheimers-and-impotence-This-ain’t-all-in-the-mind!

For our brain to be fully functional, it takes a good deal of blood. For a bloke to get an erection, it takes a good deal of blood.

Ever wondered how Alzheimer’s and male impotence may be connected?

Well, for our brain to be fully functional, it requires a good deal of blood all of the time - around 750ml every minute. For a bloke to get an erection, it takes a good deal of blood some of the time… in fact, around 130ml each time.

However, what if the blood vessels were impaired? Clogged up? Suffering from atherosclerosis? Became worse with simple old age? If so, then blood could not get to the brain or the penis so easily. For the brain - multiple small strokes and brain atrophy - Alzheimer’s. For the penis - not enough blood flowing quickly enough to produce and sustain an erection - impotence!

So this week we investigate and explore how to prevent and even possibly reverse two of the most feared conditions going around, but first



          Thought for the day

              At some point
              We all sit down
              To a banquet of consequences.

                         Robert Louis Stevenson 





Let us begin with the brain. 

Apparently we normally lose around .5% of our blood flow per year. So at 65 the blood flow to our brains may be down 15 - 20%. Sounds a lot, but we are well designed and have built in reserves, so at this point, no obvious problems.

However, we are not designed for a high fat, high protein diet. This contributes to atherosclerosis; other risk factors being smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and genetics. All but the last are lifestyle factors; factors over which we have some control.

Atherosclerosis in the brain is found to be significantly more frequent and severe in those with Alzheimer’s disease. One recent study even examined specific arteries in the brains of healthy, non-demented controls and compared them to those with Alzheimer’s. They looked at the specific arteries critical to memory and the learning centers of the brain and found major differences - way more plaque in those with Alzheimer’s.

In another study, 400 people with cognitive impairment for were tracked for 4 years using CAT scan angiography.

The cognition of those with the least atherosclerosis in their heads remained pretty stable over the years, but those with more cholesterol plaques became worse and those with the most blockages rapidly declined.

The ability to carry on the activities of daily living was also affected, and the progression to Alzheimer’s disease was doubled.

An inefficient blood supply to the brain has very grave consequences on brain function. Based upon these and many other studies, more and more Alzheimer’s is being described as a vascular disorder.

Good news! Atherosclerosis is preventable and reversible - like all lifestyle related diseases.

But does treatment of vascular risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol actually make a difference? Well, a recent ground-breaking study did focus upon treating  vascular risk factors. Happily, those treated showed significantly less decline and slowed progression of their disease, compared with those who went untreated.

This is one of the first positive outcome studies for Alzheimer’s - and it is based upon Lifestyle Medicine.

So what about male impotence? 

Same risk factors. Same problem. Atherosclerosis affects blood vessels to the penis just like it affects blood vessels to the heart. It impairs blood flow making an erection much more difficult.

More good news! Prevent atherosclerosis, prevent male impotence. Treat atherosclerosis, treat male impotence. Pretty simple formula really.

And sure, there are other issues when it comes to impotence, but this is a big one and one not well recognised and frequently left untreated.

There is hope for both Alzheimer’s and impotence.



As for the old saying…

“Feed the man meat”?

Maybe not ....

Happy days


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