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Linking Erectile Function and Memory Decline – Predictive or Connected?
This post was written by Alisa Cooper summarizing a whitepaper originally authored by Beth Shirley, RPh, CCN.
This comes from survey data collected from 818 middle-aged men over a 12-year span tracking the relationship between sexual health and cognition.
It turns out the tiny blood vessels, or microvasculature, involved in erectile function are subject to the same physical changes as we age as the tiny blood vessels in the brain. When the single-celled lining, or endothelium, of these vessels breaks down, they become less efficient at carrying oxygen-rich blood to vital structures. The loss of endothelial function effects the microcirculation throughout the entire body.
So, ED = ED!
Erectile Dysfunction = Endothelial Dysfunction
When you begin to understand endothelial dysfunction, you can fathom how decreases in erectile function and sexual satisfaction might be associated with cognitive decline. Researchers found that lower erectile function at baseline was related to poorer performance in all cognitive domains at baseline and with faster decline in the speed of mental processing over time.
The Hard Facts
Even though the human brain comprises only 2% of our body mass, it consumes 25% of body’s requirement for oxygen. The brain produces 20x more NO than the entire vasculature of the body, so critical is microcirculation to brain function.
By the time we are 40, NO is functioning at around 50%.
By age 60, NO is only functioning at only approximately 15%.
Impaired blood flow to the brain increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and ALS. Impairment of circulation to erectile tissue leads to erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual satisfaction.
Impaired microcirculation in sexual organs = Impaired microcirculation in brain
Is There a Solution?
Thankfully, yes. There is a molecule released by cells of the endothelial lining of our tiny blood vessels called nitric oxide, or NO, and it governs healthy circulation and microcirculation.
NO plays a protective role in the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus, structures involved in the learning process and memory formation. Nitric oxide inhibits the influx of excess calcium into neurons, thereby limiting glutamate and EMF neurotoxicity in these regions.
NO: Amazing Multi-Functional Molecule
- It modulates the transmission of signals between neurons. (Think increased speed of mental processing!)
- It allows for the creation of new neural pathways and reinforcement of existing ones.
- It enhances the production of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), a crucial molecule involved in memory.
- It promotes the creation of new brain cells by stimulating the proliferation of neural stem cells.
- It supports mitochondrial function leading to increased cellular energy.
- It decreases free radical production, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
What You Can Do Right Now:
To maintain a healthy sex life and cognitive function, increase nitrate-rich foods in your diet like green leafy veggies, blueberries, cold water fish, eggs, and red grapes. To optimize NO, it is also recommended to take a clinically proven nitrate supplement.
Discover Berkeley Life’s NO supplements designed to support healthy circulation and cognitive function.
One response to “Linking Erectile Function and Memory Decline – Predictive or Connected?”
Thank you for your great products. I’m 82 years old and started using your NO Foundation, dietary supplement. Dr. Rachael Ross M.D., PhD sales the NO supplement to me from her website but she doesn’t carry your brain function supplement. Can you help me to get this product? Thanks. Gary Burdick, [email protected]