Diabetes is known to have an adverse effect on the sexual health of both men and women. In this post, we look at two useful tips for managing diabetes related sexual problems in men using natural remedies.
Ashwagandha: The Wonder Herb
The ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian Ginseng, has long been considered as a potent aphrodisiac for men, because:
- It elevates testosterone levels in the body.
- It improves sperm concentration and volume.
- It has a calming effect on nerves, alleviating symptoms caused by diabetic neuropathy and is known to be a potent stress reliever and hypoglycemic agent.
- It improves muscle tone and could reduce the symptoms of retrograde ejaculation in diabetics by strengthening the muscles of the urethra that prevent the back-flow of semen into the bladder.
Ashwagandha should be administered with caution in:
- Patients taking oral hypoglycemic drugs as it is known to lower blood glucose levels
- Patients known to be allergic to Ashwagandha or herbs belonging to the Solonacea family
- Pregnant or nursing mothers as there is limited scientific evidence supporting its safe use during these periods
- Patients consuming alcohol, sedatives or anxiolytics as it is known to depress the activity of the central nervous system
Eat Foods Rich in L-Arginine
The amino acid L-Arginine, which is needed by the body to make proteins, is known to dilate blood vessels, thus improving blood flow and preventing coronary heart disease (only when taken from plant-derived sources). Better blood flow is known to improve the capacity to have an erection in men.
In diabetics, a process known as oxidative stress damages arteries and capillaries. The effect of this process is minimized by L-Arginine.
Some of the dietary sources of L-Arginine are:
- Meats (turkey, chicken, pork loin, fish)
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc.)
- Seeds (sunflower, sesame, etc.)
- Grains (oats, corn, buckwheat, brown rice, wheat germ, etc.)
- Dairy products (curd, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, etc)
Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013). Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.
Assumpção, C., Brunini, T., Matsuura, C., Resende, A., & Mendes-Ribeiro, A. (2008). Impact of the L-arginine-Nitric Oxide Pathway and Oxidative Stress on the Pathogenesis of the Metabolic Syndrome. Open Biochemistry Journal, 108-115.
Bahadoran, Z., Mirmiran, P., Tahmasebinejad, Z., & Azizi, F. (2016). Dietary L-arginine intake and the incidence of coronary heart disease: Tehran lipid and glucose study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 13:23.
Chen, J., Wollman, Y., Chernichovsky, T., Iaina, A., Sofer, M., & Matzkin, H. (1999). Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placbo-controlled study. BJU International, 269-273.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference 28. (2017). Nutrient Lists: Arginine. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services.
Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12: 43.
Yates, B. (n.d.). Ashwagandha: An Overview of the Research and Clinical Indications. Plant Intelligence: Professional Resources, 90ltt002 v2.