Part III: Say YES to NO: Nitric Oxide and other good stuff for men and circulation

by Michelle Edmonds, M.A., M.Ed
Author|Sr. Nutritionist
Serenity Weight Loss and Detoxification Program
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In this episode, we want to talk about the drugs that cause ED.

Drugs that may cause ED are listed below. The list of possible offenders is long, so check with your doctor regarding medications you are taking to rule out any as a cause of, or contributor to, ED.

Diuretics and high blood pressure drugs
Antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and
antiepileptic drugs
Fluoxetine (Prozac)
Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
Sertraline (Zoloft)
Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
Amitriptyline (Elavil)
Amoxipine (Asendin)
Clomipramine (Anafranil)
Desipramine (Norpramin)
Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
Phenelzine (Nardil)
Buspirone (Buspar)
Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
Clorazepate (Tranxene)
Diazepam (Valium)
Doxepin (Sinequan)
Imipramine (Tofranil)
Lorazepam (Ativan)
Oxazepam (Serax)
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
Indomethacin (Indocin)
Parkinson's disease medications
Biperiden (Akineton)
Benztropine (Cogentin)
Trihexyphenidyl (Artane)
Procyclidine (Kemadrin)
Bromocriptine (Parlodel)
Levodopa (Sinemet)
Disopyramide (Norpace)
Histamine H2-receptor antagonists
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Nizatidine (Axid)
Ranitidine (Zantac)
Muscle relaxants
Prostate cancer medications
Flutamide (Eulexin)
Leuprolide (Lupron)
Busulfan (Myleran)
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

If you experience ED and think that it may be a result of medication, do not stop taking the drug without first consulting your doctor. If the problem persists, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication.

13. LaughterImage result for laughter images

You wouldn’t think that the simple act of laughing could do anything dramatic…
However, research has  shown  that when men watch 60 minutes of a comedy film, their growth hormone, dopamine, and nitric oxide levels increase significantly when compared to control group. So maybe it’s true that laughter makes you live longer. Whatever the case might be, at least your circulation will improve when you’re having fun
Image result for laughter images

14. NiacinUltimate™ Niacin Plus™

Niacin (vitamin B3) is one of the 91 essential nutrients for human survival.
To put it mildly, niacin plays a crucial role in energy production, gene expression, and hormone synthesis. Humans cannot exist without it. It’s also good for the heart. Actually, research shows that it’s far more beneficial than statins at reducing deaths caused by stroke (which isn’t that hard really as statins have never worked in the first place, or in any peer-reviewed studies).
This is mostly because of the facts that niacin increases nitric oxide synthase, and thus, baseline NO levels, and it also elevates the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, while simultaneously lowering the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol
I niacin  mainly from red meat, but here again, how much niacin is in a steak remains an unknown, so if you are specifically working on cardiovascular issues , circulation  and ED, then take a niacin supplement to ensure that you are getting enough OR NOT TOO MUCH. .Also, add a liquid multiple vitamin,  just to ensure you are taking enough and that it is balanced with other nutrients. To order the one listed above, which as a prior health food store owner, I found to be the best for supplements,  open a free lifetime account here:

15. CapsaicinImage result for images of capsicum

Capsaicin is the alkaloid that makes all chilis hot. It’s literally the compound that creates the feel of heat in your mouth. And it’s also pretty good at increasing nitric oxide levels, per numerous studies.
One animal study also suggests that capsaicin might protect testosterone molecules during long-term calorie restriction.
You can get plenty of capsaicin by adding some cayenne pepper (or other hot chilis) to your foods, or you could also supplement with the alkaloid if you’re no friend of hot foods.

16. Coffee, or not?? This one is tricky

Nitric oxide is a natural vasodilator, meaning that it dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure…Coffee, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. A vasoconstrictor, which makes the vessels smaller, while also increasing blood pressure.
But then again, coffee contains plenty of antioxidants, which many studies was shown to increase the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which converts arginine into NO.
So the antioxidants in coffee increase nitric oxide production, but the caffeine in it constricts blood vessels at the same time. So it’s probably a plus, minus, zero kind of situation, except if you drink decaffeinated coffee, then you would get a boost in NO, without the vasoconstrictor effects. However, you wouldn’t get the testosterone boost that coffee gives since that’s caused by caffeine.

17. Raw Cacao

raw cacao powder helps boost nitric oxide and drop blood pressureRaw cacao – and by this, I mean real unheated cacao that has been cold pressed from the bean – is a super food that contains A LOT of antioxidant and polyphenols.
And that’s the reason why it also skyrockets nitric oxide production and relaxes the inner lining of arteries (study, study, study).
Raw cacao actually contains the same nitric oxide boosting active compound as Pycnogenol and grape seed extract do (protocyanidin), along with many other NO boosting antioxidants.
However, when purchasing raw cocoa, remember that it has to be raw and cold pressed. Heat destroys the antioxidants.

18. Icariin (A/K/A Horney Goat Weed)

Image result for horney goat weed images

Icariin is a flavonoid that can be found in a herb by the name of horny goat weed (epimedium).
The herb itself is known for its aprhodisiac benefits, and animal research suggests that it can boost testosterone levels quite significantly (more here).
The active compound in the plant (icariin) is great for nitric oxide production, and it also acts as a mild PDE-5 enzyme inhibitor. Meaning that it works similarly as ED drugs (study, study, study, study) So in a way you could say that icariin is natural viagra with circulation-enhancing, nitric oxide boosting, and testosterone boosting benefits.
You can get the herb here, or extracted icariin here.
 Image result for horney goat weed images

19. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil is a cheap way to boost nitric oxideOmega-3’s are pretty damn healthy. There’s just no way around the fact.
They’re are anti-inflammatory, they significantly increase blood flow and nitric oxide levels, and they’re extraordinarily awesome at lowering stroke risk and blood clots (study, study, study, study).
The simple truth is that we’re eating way too little of these essential fatty acids, as the modern diet favors processed vegetable oils, margarines, and trans-fats over healthy natural alternatives such as butter, olive oil, avocados, fish oil, cod liver oil, fatty fish, chia seeds, etc…
Basically we’re eating way too much of the omega-6’s and way too little of the omega-3’s. Correcting that is simple, just start eating more omega-3’s and less omega-6’s. Your overall health will improve dramatically, and nitric oxide levels will increase in the process.
I highly recommend this fish oil for daily use.

20. Resveratrolcellshield supplement facts

Resveratrol is a polyphenol flavonoid present in grapes and red wine.
The compound caught my interest when I found few studies about it increasing testosterone levels and reducing estrogen levels, which was exactly what I’m interested in…
…But then I found something more.
Not only was reservatrol good for the hormonal balance, it’s also a very potent nitric oxide booster, as it stimulates the nitric oxide synthase enzyme (study, study, study, study).
So to increase nitric oxide production naturally, drink red wine, eat grapes, and perhaps supplement with resveratrol (which should also be supercharged with piperine due to its low bio-availability as an extract).

Eat whole eggs, which are rich in Vitamin D. Eggs have been given a bad rap. Think about what grows out of an egg, a chick! Everything you need is in an egg! The cholesterol in egg yolks helps low T. As long as you don't have pre-existing cholesterol issues you can safely eat one egg a day.

22. Turmeric
Although the list is much longer, I’ve selected 10 drugs that pale in comparison to turmeric in potentially reversing disease. As you read this report, keep in mind that one of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects.
Red Blood Cells CirculationAnticoagulants/Antiplatelets
Medical intervention generally includes the following medications to slow and prevent blood clotting:
  • Aspirin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Diclofenac
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
  • Naproxen
  • Warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Unfortunately, for people with conditions that are treated by these drugs (i.e. deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), this approach may not always be the wisest decision. Ibuprofen overdose is one such common problem. In addition to common side effects like excessive bleeding and hemorrhage, the risks associated with anticoagulants abound and include everything from back pain to headaches to difficulty breathing.
Turmeric, on the other hand, has relatively no known side effects unless taken in extremely excessive amounts.
Additionally, ever since several groundbreaking studies in the mid-1980s, the curcumin in turmeric has been suggested by researchers as actually being a better option for those with vascular thrombosis.

seratonin molecular formula2. Anti-depressants
Although few studies have been conducted on humans, dozens of research trials have proven that turmeric is especially effective in correcting depression symptoms in laboratory animals.
To address this issue, the journal Phytotherapy Research published the results of an amazing, innovative study this past year.  The study took 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), such as manic depression, and split the group to determine how patients treated by curcumin fared against fluoxetine (Prozac) and a combination of the two. 
Not only was it discovered that all patients tolerated curcumin well, but they discovered curcumin was as effective as Prozac in managing depression.
According to the authors, “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”
anti inflammatory medications tablets 3. Anti-inflammatories
Arguably, the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. 
The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world
This news should have reached every household in the world after the study was conducted because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known to man.
Diseases today such as cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, high cholesterol and chronic pain can be the result of inflammation.
As you will see below in several other articles related to chronic illness, keep this in the back of your mind: Turmeric’s key to disease reversal may be its ability to keep inflammation at bay. 
Pain In A Hand, joint pain, arthritis 4. Arthritis management 
Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to arthritis drugs (diclofenac sodium), that put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.
The study split these volunteers into three groups: curcumin treatment alone, diclofenac sodium alone, and a combination of the two. The results of the trial were eye-opening:
The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.
Published by Phytotherapy Research in 2012, the results of this study has encouraged more human research to evaluate the amazing effects curcumin-rich plants like turmeric has on people suffering from various different types of arthritis.
Cancer Word Cloud 5. Cancer treatment 
Of all the various topics scientists have tackled in regards to the curcumin and disease reversal, cancer (of various types) is one of the most thoroughly researched topics. In the words of global authorities like Cancer Research UK,
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. 
A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. 
States-side, the American Cancer Society states,
Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Researchers have reported that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.
Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.
Bottom line: Turmeric works incredibly well to help naturally treat cancer and is especially effective at treating breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.
diabetes Word Cloud 6. Diabetes management 
For lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance there’s arguably no better natural treatment than adding turmeric into your diet.
In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study out of Auburn University that explored how supplementing with turmeric can help reverse diabetes.
The study discovered that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than Metformin (a common diabetes drug) in activating AMPK which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
Take, for instance, diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. One of the most common complications of diabetes is damaged blood vessels which cause blindness.
A study found that supplementing with curcumin can delay this horrible complication of diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Human Digestive System7. Gastrointestinal treatments
Oftentimes, people with digestive and stomach complaints become intolerant to medical interventions because the stomach flora is already compromised and drugs can literally tear up the mucosal lining.
An in-depth analysis of all the studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis) found that many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin! 
For many patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) corticosteroids reduce their pain symptoms, but damage the intestinal lining over time actually making the condition worse.
However, supplementing with curcumin did not have these side effects and, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, actually helped heal the gut and supported the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).
clogged cholesterol artery 8. Cholesterol regulators 
One of the reasons heart disease is such a problem in the U.S. is that people are developing pre-diabetes (excessive blood sugar) at an alarming rate.
In turn, diabetics and non-diabetics alike are suffering from a common complication called oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels.  Because of this damage to the arteries, cholesterol begins to build up to patch up the damaged areas which leads to high levels of LDL cholesterol. 
Traditionally, statin drugs (like Lipitor) are widely known to harm the kidneys and liver and cause a number of deadly side effects.  They do bring cholesterol down but never address that actual cause which is oxidative stress that is caused by high blood sugar levels and inflammation.
Thankfully, medical doctors are becoming more and more aware of the dangerous side effects of statin-drugs and prescribing natural alternatives like curcumin and fish oil instead!
A study done by Drugs in R & D found that curcumin was equal or more effective than diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the treatment of high cholesterol.
Studies like these are causing pharmaceutical companies to try and design a synthetic form of curcumin that unfortunately, will not work as well as the real thing.
medication bottle with pills 9. Painkillers 
One of the more widely accepted properties of curcumin in scientific communities is its ability to manage pain.
Just this past year the European Journal of Pharmacology published research that discovered curcumin naturally activates the opioid system in diabetic rats. Typically manipulated by drugs, this natural process serves as the body’s inherent pain-relieving response. 
Not being limited to diabetic pain conditions, an interesting study also published late last year gives us a clue as to the wide array of pain conditions that can be treated by curcumin.
Take, for instance, severe burns. Typically, burn victims are treated by dangerous opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. However, because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research suggests that, curcumin should be used to treat burns instead of these conventional medications.
The trend should becoming clear at this point. Therapeutic use of turmeric and other curcumin-rich plants are displacing conventional medical treatments and proving it’s a legitimate natural painkiller.
steroid shot10. Steroids 
Lastly, we’ll take a look at how turmeric benefits the many conditions normally treated by corticosteroids such as:
  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Chronic pain                                                                                                                                                                                  
In a 1999 breakthrough clinical study, it was found that curcumin has the ability to cure chronic inflammation of the eye.  Typically this condition was only treated with steroids but today it’s common for medical doctors who practice functional medicine to prescribe curcumin instead.
What cannot be overstated, however, is that although statistically “comparable” to steroids in managing and reversing chronic disease, “The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids,” as stated by the authors in the above study out of K.G. Medical College.
To give you a sense of the amount of suffering alleviated by curcumin, the following is a sample of steroid side effects listed by the UK’s National Health Services (NHS):
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Diabetes onset
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Increased appetite (oftentimes leading to increased weight)
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney and thyroid issues
  • Mood disturbances (including aggression, irritability, and rapid mood swings mimicking bipolar disorder)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Risk of infection
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Thinning skin (leading to easy bruising)
Ultimately, when taking into account the large amount of deadly complications these 10 drugs puts your body at risk for, it is easy to see how taking therapeutic curcumin is superior to most medicines.
If you have any of the diseases above, you will want to consider this natural approach first. For those of you who aren’t sick, taking turmeric will serve you well as a preventative measure.

Turmeric Side Effects

Some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric, especially after skin exposure. Typically this is experienced as a mild, itchy rash. In addition, high doses of turmeric have been observed to cause:
  • Nauseaturmeric capsules and powder
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Increased liver function tests
  • Hyperactive gallbladder contractions
  • Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
  • Uterine contractions in pregnant women
  • Increased menstrual flow
People taking certain medications should also be careful when using turmeric in their food or supplementing with it. Turmeric may interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin. It also can affect medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. As with any herb or supplement, use as directed.
If you’re in the position where you must be on prescription medications, don’t discount the need to include ample amounts of fresh, organic turmeric into your diets because it will help reduce the adverse affects of the medicine.
A study that was published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology describes how combing curcumin with prednisolone (a steroid) effectively reduces the side effects of this dangerous medication.

Turmeric Recipes

One of my favorite recipes for including turmeric benefits into your diet is turmeric tea “liquid gold”.
Turmeric Tea
Also, consuming turmeric eggs for breakfast and curried carrot soup is an excellent way to get more turmeric in your diet.
Amazingly, anti-arthritic activity and a marked reduction in steroid toxicity was seen when supplementing with curcumin.
At the end of the day, the research speaks for itself and we cannot think of one reason why EVERYONE shouldn’t be taking some form of turmeric every day.
Whether as a supplement or a spice to flavor your food, you will certainly be satisfied with turmeric benefits for your body!

Turmeric Supplements 

Along with adding turmeric into your diet you may also consider taking it or curcumin in supplement form. I personally recommend con,suming a CO2 extracted form of turmeric.
Also, according to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2000mg Turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of Turmeric 154 percent!

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