Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to maintain penile erection for a sufficient amount of time during sexual intercourse. It can afflict men at any age in their life span. Obstruction in blood supply (ischemia) to the penile arteries is the main factor for the pathology. This condition can occur due to several factors like neurogenic, psychogenic, vasculogenic or drug-induced.
Atherosclerotic plaque gets deposited over time in the inner wall of delicate penile arteries. Studies have shown the significant improvement in the condition after supplementation with fish oil derivatives like omega 3 fatty acids. The two key omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. They are potent anti-oxidants. Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their protective effects by lowering oxidative stress and elevating superoxide dismutase and catalase activity. They have well established beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and other inflammatory disorders Omega 3s carve out the plaque and improve circulation and sensation. Erectile dysfunction is a preventable condition as the primary cause is fibrosis, progressing to ischemia. Omega-3 fatty acids also raise dopamine levels in the brain that elicit arousal.
While you consider to sought treatment with drug therapies for ED, fish oil supplements are widely available and are safer option than consuming other medicinal drugs. Popular drugs like Viagra, levitra have their own side-effects and should be used as per severity of the disease. Promising results have been achieved by taking healthy diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Give your body good fuel and it will operate better. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are richest sources of omega-3s. Plants contain alpha-linolenic acid which is converted to DHA and EPA by the body. Other sources are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sprouts, and spinach.
Potential risks associated with prolonged supplementation is delayed wound healing as it alters platelet function. It poses a serious threat during the time of trauma or surgery. On chronic use, they elevate blood sugar and reduce the blood pressure. Other side-effects are diarrhoea, insomnia, acid reflux, vitamin A toxicity and altered taste sensation. Various drug interactions have been seen due to exposure of toxins to marine life which are ultimately ingested by us.
It is important to understand the requirement of dosage and recommended intake to avoid any potential complications. Loading your plate with good and healthy food should be the aim. Let your clinician guide through this delicate phase as Erectile dysfunction can also be a marker for any serious ailment.