Inflammation Makes You Gain Weight. Peptide Therapy Can Help You Lose Weight.

Weight loss is one of the most common health concerns among my clients.

Men struggle with weight loss even though they do all the right things: they go to the gym regularly, they eat a clean diet, they take what they think are the right supplements… but something just isn’t right. 

Losing weight seems like it should be easy if you’ve straightened out your diet and exercise… So, why is it so hard to lose that stubborn fat?

First off, the body is complex.There are a ton of factors beyond diet and exercise that matter for losing weight. Of course, sleep is really important, your hormones and testosterone matter, and stress plays a huge factor. Your microbiome and gut health almost certainly play a role, too. 

And, of course, your genes matter. Not just your actual genetic makeup, but also epigenetics—which genes are turned on or off at a given time. 

In order to understand weight loss, and men’s health in general, we have to think about the body as a sophisticated system. If you want to lose weight, get more energy, and feel younger, there’s a constellation of factors that matter.

And here’s a big one that people often miss: inflammation. 

In this article, I want to explain the connection between your body’s inflammatory response and the difficulty you may have shedding those extra pounds. And then I’ll tell you how you can address your inflammation with targeted peptides to help you finally lose weight. 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s general immune response. There are two main types that we’re concerned with:

  • Acute inflammation is a localized response. It’s what you get when you sprain your ankle and it swells up, gets red, and gets warm. Or when you get an infected cut. Acute inflammation is your body sending in the “good guys” to repair tissue or get rid of toxins. 
  • Chronic inflammation is a longer term, generalized response. It happens when your body’s own white blood cells stick around longer than they need to and start attacking your own body. It’s a deep-rooted, systemic problem. 

Chronic inflammation can have serious health consequences, including increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, prostate disorders, and more.

But in addition to all those severe health issues, inflammation can also just affect how we feel day to day. It could be what’s sapping your energy and making you feel lethargic.

And, most central to this article, chronic inflammation can make it hard for you to lose weight. 

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic inflammation?

How do you know if you have chronic inflammation? It can be difficult to know, but some of the symptoms include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Heartburn, nausea, gas, and other gut problems
  • Fatigue and chronic feelings of being tired
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Prostate problems
  • Stress
  • Mental fog or emotional instability
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pains or weakness in the muscles that don’t have a clear cause

Chronic inflammation often simply looks like a general feeling of being unwell without a clear cause. 

What causes inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is caused by the regular suspects that are related to poor health: a poor diet that’s high in sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats; obesity; stress; and smoking. It can also be caused by periodontal disease, an imbalance of hormones, and inadequate sleep. 

How does inflammation contribute to weight gain?

Inflammation and weight gain go together. 

First, the research suggests that fatty tissue can trigger inflammation. One study found that adipose tissue actually stimulates your body to release inflammatory mediators like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α. Other research has suggested that overeating can lead to inflammation. So being overweight can contribute to inflammation.

But it works the other way, too: inflammation can cause you to gain weight—and keep it. One way inflammation does that is by changing how we absorb and use the food we eat. Inflammation can actually affect our gut health: it can influence the bacteria that make up our microbiome and even affect how nutrients and energy are extracted from the food we eat. 

For another thing, inflammation may cause us to feel more hungry and to choose to eat foods that are worse for us. And to make matters worse, it also may be one cause of insulin resistance, which makes it more difficult to turn blood glucose into energy.

So being overweight can contribute to chronic inflammation. And inflammation contributes to weight gain. It can turn into a vicious cycle. 

The good news is that you can reverse it: losing weight helps reduce inflammation… and reducing inflammation will help you lose weight. 

How to reduce inflammation

Adopting a generally healthy lifestyle can help reduce inflammation. That means eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet; avoiding processed foods, sugary, and fried foods; exercising enough; managing your stress; sleeping enough; and quitting smoking. Those are the basics. 

But even after doing all those things, you may find that you need a bit of a boost to lower your inflammation. 

That’s where the strategic use of peptide therapies comes in. 

Peptides can help disrupt chronic inflammation and help you lose weight

The scientific and medical community is only really just becoming aware of how important peptides can be in helping people age well.

Peptides are small chains of amino acids—like proteins, but shorter. 

What do peptides do? Well, there are now thousands of different peptides known to scientists, and there’s a huge variety in the effect that they have. But they often work as chemical signals, helping our body to regulate itself. 

For instance, some boost your immune system; others, like BPC-157, help your body repair tissues; others, like tesamorelin, stimulate growth hormone and help you put on muscle; and yet others, like amlexanox, can reduce inflammation and help burn fat. 

If peptides are made naturally, how does peptide therapy help?

Our body naturally makes peptides, but production of these essential chemical regulators tend to decrease with age. That’s one of the reasons that our body stops functioning properly as we get older.

Peptide therapies and supplements help restore key peptides back to the level you had in your early 20s. And they can bring back the benefits of a younger body: faster healing, faster metabolism, and improved weight loss, among others. 

Amlexanox and weight loss

Amlexanox is one peptide that plays a role in reducing inflammation. That’s why it’s one of the best peptides for weight loss and fat loss. 

Amlexanox has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Traditionally, it’s actually been used to treat stomach ulcers because it reduces healing time and pain. It works in several ways, including by inhibiting the release of histamine and leukotrienes.

But it also has been found to promote weight loss. 

Some research has found that Amlexanox inhibits the TBK1 enzyme, which may enhance the body’s ability to burn fat. It also seems to inhibit IKK-ε, which is an inflammatory mediator. By inhibiting it, Amlexanox improves the metabolism of glucose and improves energy. 

Finally—and this brings us back to epigenetics—Amlexanox seems to “turn off” the expression of “fat genes”. 

While the research on Amlexanox is still in its infancy, the existing literature does suggest that Amlexanox can have some powerful effects: fighting weight loss and reducing inflammation so you feel your best.

Amlexanox plus TTA give fat a one-two punch

When Amlexanox is used to combat weight gain, it’s usually combined with Tetradecylthioacetic Acid, or TTA. 

TTA is a fatty acid that’s given as a nutritional supplement. When you hear “fatty acid”, you might think that’s a bad thing. But don’t worry—it doesn’t get used by the body for fuel. Instead, it actually helps regulate how the body stores fat.

TTA helps decrease hunger and upregulate metabolism of fat. That means it helps you burn through fat quicker. 

Together, Amlexanox and TTA are an effective fat-fighting duo. 

The men’s health takeaway: Target inflammation to lose weight

The body works together in one big system. That’s why it’s not enough for many people to use a simple equation like, “calories in, calories out”. If it were, weight-loss diets would work and it would be easier to slim down.

To really lose weight and feel healthy, you need a systems approach.

It turns out that a very significant contributor to gaining weight from fat is inflammation. That means that if you’re trying to lose weight, you want to do what you can to minimize inflammation. Some things you can do yourself, like eating well and getting enough sleep. 


But you might also want to power-up your own efforts with a tailor-made plan from an expert in peptide therapies. A personalized medicine plan that includes the strategic use of peptides like Amlexanox may be exactly what you need to get your body working at its best.  

Schedule a consultation to learn how  peptides can help you lose weight. 

Ready to take the next steps?

Download the Blueprint

Schedule a Call


In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

Want more tips to optimize your health?  Listen to the latest podcasts. Click HERE

Dr. Tracy Gapin, MD, a Board-Certified Urologist and Men’s Health Expert joins Gayle Guyardo on Bloom

Business Observer: Sarasota physician finds rapid success with personalized medicine practice

Dr. Tracy Gapin recently made the ultimate career pivot, in launching a new medical practice that seeks to take high-tech personalized medicine mainstream.

For 17 years, Dr. Tracy Gapin was part of a traditional urology practice, treating patients and doing surgeries for issues like kidney stones and prostate cancer. “But I got to the point where I felt like there was more out there for me,” he says.

His own health journey inspired his next move. After a routine physical where his weight and cholesterol were higher than normal, he began reading up on topics like health optimization, nutrition and preventative and precision medicine. By applying what he learned, he not only lost weight and lowered his cholesterol, but felt better and more energetic, too.

“I’m always looking to innovate, looking for new approaches and for the cutting edge of health,” says Gapin, 49. “Through my own health issues, I found a new world of health optimization with a focus on genetics, hormone optimization, peptide therapy, integration of wearable technology, physiology and longevity. And that was where I got super excited. … There’s more to health than just the traditional disease model of medicine that I was entrenched in for so long.”

Read Full Article Here.

Men’s Health Update: How to Read Food Labels Without Being Fooled

Food Labels

You probably already know how to read food labels.
You’ve been turning products over for years to see what’s really in the product before you buy it.
But manufacturers have been making changes lately. To comply with updated government standards, they’ve been quietly modifying the food labels you’re used to seeing over the past couple of years.
Here’s what you need to know.

Why Do We Need to Learn How to Read Food Labels Over Again?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first spearheaded changes to the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods in 2016.

The changes, the FDA stated, “reflect updated scientific information, including information about the link between diet and chronic diseases, such as obesity and heart disease.”

They also reflected the most significant shift since 1993.

Initially, the FDA required food makers with more than $10 million in annual sales to update their labels by January 1, 2020. The agency gave manufacturers making less than that until January 2021. Those of most single-ingredient sugars, such as honey and maple syrup, and certain cranberry products, had until July 1, 2021.

But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, impacting many processes in the food industry, including food labeling. To provide relief from regulations and deadlines and help food manufacturers keep up with consumer demand, the FDA increased its flexibility, working with manufacturers to meet the new requirements.

As of today, almost all companies are in compliance with the new guidelines. The updated labels will make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about the foods and beverages they consume.

How to Read Food Labels: What’s New and How it Affects Men’s Health

Let’s break down the new label to see what’s changed, and what you need to look for when choosing your healthiest products.

Calorie Count Gets a Boost

The new label puts calories front and center, pumping up the size of the word and the number so you can see immediately how many calories one serving will give you.

The “servings per container” text size has also increased, as has the “serving size” declaration. The point here is to make sure you know how many calories are in one serving.

Before, manufacturers could trick you into thinking that an item had fewer calories than it really did by using smaller text for the serving size. You could look at the label and think, “It’s only 300 calories!” But then if you read the fine print, you’d realize there were two servings per bottle and you were actually consuming 600 calories total.

The FDA was aware of this tactic. So they pumped up the sizes and bolded these listings to make it more clear exactly how much you’re getting in each container.

For men, cutting calories isn’t the best tactic for losing weight. In a 2017 study, researchers noted that the body usually counteracts a reduction in energy intake by reducing metabolic rate and increasing appetite later, ensuring that you regain any weight you might have lost.

Still, there can be value in reducing the number of calories you consume from a particular food. If the new label encourages you to eat half the number of potato chips you used to eat, that can only be good for your health.

Changing the Outlook on Fat

Recent research shows that some fats—like unsaturated and monounsaturated fats—are good for us. So the FDA required the new label to get rid of the “total calories from fat” listing, and list only the calories from specific types of fat instead.

The “total calories from fat” listing was there before to encourage consumers to cut down on all fats. Now we know that’s a bad idea.

In a 2021 study, researchers from the United Kingdom found that low-fat diets decreased testosterone levels in men by an average of 10-15 percent. Normal testosterone levels are key for men’s athletic performance, mental health, and sexual performance.

Men should ideally consume plenty of monounsaturated fats—found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Other healthy fats can also be beneficial in moderation. The new label retains the listings and percent daily value for total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat, which is good. You want to consume saturated fats in moderation and avoid trans fats altogether, but you definitely shouldn’t avoid all fats.

Singling Out Added Sugars

There’s a clear difference between natural sugars—such as those in fruit and dairy products—and “added” sugars, which manufacturers add to foods after the fact.

Up until recently, however, that wasn’t clear on the food label.

It is now. And that’s a good thing because consuming too many added sugars can set you up for disease. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 150 calories (9 teaspoons) per day for men. Yet the average American consumes about 19.5 teaspoons each day—three times the recommended amount.

Studies have linked added sugars to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more. In a 2017 study, researchers found that eating too much sugar could increase a man’s long-term risk of mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

The new label requires manufacturers to list not only the total sugars in the product but the “added sugars” as well. This is the number to pay attention to. Natural sugars are typically less harmful because they are accompanied by other nutrients like fiber. So they don’t affect the body as negatively as added sugars.

Added sugars include cane sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, and molasses.

New Nutrient Listing: Vitamin D

Manufacturers will still need to list calcium and iron levels, but they will no longer have to list levels of vitamins A and C on their labels. They can still do so if they want to—they just won’t “have” to. Studies have found that most Americans are getting enough of these nutrients in their daily diets.

Manufacturers will now have to to list new nutrients vitamin D and potassium on the label—a change from before. Studies have shown that many Americans aren’t getting enough of these nutrients.

In 2011, scientists reported that the overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. is 41.6 percent. The highest rate was seen in Black Americans (82.1 percent), followed by Hispanics (69.2 percent). The researchers noted that “vitamin D was common in the U.S. population…”

Being low on vitamin D may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. When researching morbidly obese men in Norway, researchers found that those seeking weight-loss treatment had significantly greater odds of being deficient in vitamin D than women.

Studies have found that older men, too, are at a higher risk of having low vitamin D levels, particularly those who are obese or live at higher latitudes, where the sun is more likely to be absent in winter.

There is also some evidence that being low in vitamin D may contribute to erectile dysfunction. According to one study, men with a vitamin D deficiency had a 30 percent greater prevalence of ED. They also had an 80 percent greater prevalence of severe ED compared to men with optimal levels of vitamin D.

New Nutrient Listing: Potassium

It looks like there’s been a rise in potassium deficiency in the U.S. lately. Some scientists have linked that to agricultural crop removal of potassium and the decrease of potassium levels in our foods. In 2020, scientists reported that levels in beef, pork, turkey, fruits, and vegetables decreased between 1999 and 2015.

Yet we need potassium for normal cell function and to maintain a balance of electrolytes in our systems. Scientists have linked a low intake with hypertension and stroke, bone health problems, type 2 diabetes, and kidney stones.

In a cohort of over 45,000 men aged 40 to 75 years, for instance—none with a history of kidney stones—researchers found that those with the highest intakes of potassium had a 51 percent lower risk of kidney stones over 4 years than those with the lowest intakes.

New Lows and Highs on Percent Daily Value

Like the old label, the new one lists the percent DV for each of the nutrients. This shows you how much each one contributes to the total amount that you need. It contains updated values, however, for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D, however, based on newer scientific evidence.

As a general guide, the FDA recommends the following:

  • 5% DV or less is considered low.
  • 20% DV or more is considered high.

For optimal health, choose foods that are:

  • Higher in %DV for fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium
  • Lower in %DV for saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars

How to Read Food Labels: New Requirements for Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)

In addition to these changes to the nutrition facts label, there’s also been a big change to the rules for genetically modified food products (GMOs). These just went into effect on January 1, 2022.

Genetically modified foods have undergone genetic changes to alter their DNA. Manufacturers use many GMO crops to make ingredients that we eat every day, including cornstarch, corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, and granulated sugar. A few fresh fruits and vegetables are available in GMO varieties as well, including potatoes, summer squash, apples, and papayas.

More than 95 percent of animals used for meat and dairy in the U.S. also eat GMO crops, according to the FDA.

Manufacturers use genetic modification to:

  • give foods desirable traits
  • make crops more resistant to diseases as they grow
  • produce more nutritious food
  • make crops more tolerant of herbicides

Because altering foods in this way is a relatively new practice, we don’t know about the long-term safety for humans. Some studies have raised alarms. In a 2009 review of animal studies, scientists found that GM foods “may cause some common toxic effects” on the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and reproductive systems.”

Other studies have found that antibiotic-resistant genes that scientists insert into genetically modified foods can be more persistent in the environment than previously believed. This may contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms that may infect humans.

In a 2002 study, for instance, British researchers found that GM foods—often modified to resist antibiotics—could change the makeup of the human digestive system. The result is an increased risk of infections that are resistant to today’s antibiotics.

So far, we don’t have any evidence that GMO products pose any health risks for humans. As noted, however, this area of research is new and we need more studies to be sure.

How to Read Food Labels: What “Bioengineered” Means

Until recently, we had no regulations in the United States requiring manufacturers to label foods derived from GMOs. Government agencies assumed these foods would meet all the same safety standards applied to other food products, and didn’t need extra regulation.

That has changed. Back in 2016, Congress passed the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. Since then, manufacturers must disclose foods that are or may be bioengineered (i.e., genetically modified).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) then required new food labeling rules for genetically modified food products that went into effect on January 1, 2022. 

According to the USDA, bioengineered foods contain human-manipulated genetic material. You’ll now see labels on some foods that say “bioengineered” or “derived from bioengineering.” 

Companies with products that qualify as bioengineered can comply with the new standard in several ways:

  • Include text on the package that says “bioengineered food” or “contains bioengineered food ingredient”
  • Use one of two USDA-approved logos approved
  • Add a QR code for consumers to scan or a phone number for them to text that will provide information about the food item

To qualify as genetically engineered, foods need to be genetically modified or have genetically modified ingredients that are “detectable” by certain standards.

How to Read Food Labels: Is “Bioengineered” More Confusing?

Though the new labels will give consumers more information than before, critics say the change will only confuse them.

For one thing, “bioengineered” is not as common a term as GMO. Consumers aren’t as familiar with it, and may not realize that it’s the same thing.

The new standard also leaves out many foods that are “highly refined” or contain bioengineered ingredients that aren’t detectable. These include those in sugar-sweetened beverages, candies, or certain cooking oils.

The USDA has set a threshold at five percent for the “unintended” presence of bioengineered ingredients. Foods made from crops with less than that amount of an ingredient don’t have to be labeled as bioengineered.

Another potential issue: The new rules don’t cover products that list meat, poultry, or eggs as their first or second ingredient after water, stock, or broth. Frozen processed foods like chicken burritos or pasta, therefore, may contain modified ingredients without saying so.

Animal products from animals fed bioengineered foods don’t qualify either. So if you’re drinking milk from a cow fed bioengineered alfalfa, you won’t know it.

Finally, restaurants and other foodservice establishments don’t have to follow the new rules. That means when you go out to eat, there’s still no way to know if you’re consuming GMO foods.

Will You Read Food Labels?

Despite the drawbacks, the new labels are a step forward in protecting your health. They do give you improved information on what you’re buying, helping you to make more informed decisions.

The question is, will you read them carefully?

According to a survey by the Coast Packing Company and Ipsos Research, almost two in three Americans (62 percent) read food labels. Men, however, were less likely to do so (58 percent) than women (65 percent).

Women are also more likely (54 percent) than men (36 percent) to avoid certain foods based on the food label.

I encourage you to turn that product over and read it. What you eat every day has a huge impact on your health right now. It’s something simple you can do for your vitality and longevity.

Gapin Institute Introduces A Precision Health Optimization & Performance Center in Sarasota

Gapin Institute Introduces A Precision Health Optimization & Performance Center in Sarasota

Gapin Institute for Elite Health & Performance leverages the experience and expertise of Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS to shift the paradigm of health toward precision health optimization. A data-driven, personalized approach has emerged as the future of healthcare and is now available in Florida. The Gapin Institute combines modern medicine with hormone optimization, genetics, epigenetics, health and fitness coaching, nutrition, and sleep science. The cutting-edge center addresses men’s and women’s top health concerns. Society is experiencing a health crisis with plummeting testosterone levels, worsening obesity, cardiovascular disease, and sexual function, and for the first time in many years, a declining lifespan. At Gapin Institute, patients experience personalized healthcare with a unique comprehensive model incorporating all evidence-based and data-driven modalities. Treatment plans are based on personalized health data including genetics, real-time wearable tech data, detailed functional lab testing and next-generation biomarkers. The center utilizes an efficient hybrid model offering both on-site and telehealth visits. of health and fitness coaches, nutrition experts and epigenetic specialists.

Patients can also undergo a comprehensive Executive Health Exam in the world-class center. The full day, immersive experience includes an early-detection physical exam, 5-6 hour complete full body check up complete with extensive screenings, advanced blood work, cardiac imaging and calcium scoring, and genetics analysis. Patients meet with a nutritionist for a nutrigenomic assessment, a fitness trainer for core strength and agility assessment, and a functional medicine-trained health coach for a lifestyle assessment. By: SRQ Magazine.

Pictured: Gapin Institute for Elite Health and Performance Sarasota, FL.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (941) 444-1441
Address: 5911 N Honore Ave., Suite 103, Sarasota, FL 34243

(Behind Whole Foods on University Pkwy)

Is Your Occasional Erectile Dysfunction a Sign of Something More Serious?

Are you a victim of occasional erectile dysfunction…or is something else going on?

Every man experiences erectile dysfunction at some point or another during his lifetime. But if it happens more than once or twice, you may start to worry.

Is this something serious?

Is Occasional Erectile Dysfunction Normal?

A lot of factors—including mood, stress, and fatigue—can affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and sometimes those factors are working against you.

If you’ve been going through a particularly stressful period, for instance, working a lot of hours, or dealing with an illness, you may notice troubles in the bedroom too.

As far as what is “normal,” that can vary from person to person. The Cleveland Clinic states that a failure to get an erection less than 20 percent of the time is “not unusual and typically does not require treatment.”

Also called “situational erectile dysfunction,” occasional ED occurs only intermittently and is dependent on the situation. It’s never comfortable and can rattle your nerves, but often there’s no need to be overly concerned.

What’s the Difference Between Occasional Erectile Dysfunction and ED?

Sometimes, though, ED is a true medical condition that requires your attention because it’s often a sign of other health problems that need to be addressed.

How can you tell whether what you’re experiencing is normal or not?

The Cleveland Clinic defines ED as a failure to achieve an erection more than 50 percent of the time. But it’s not wise to wait until you’re having that much trouble.

I recommend talking to your doctor if you’re noticing trouble more than 20 percent of the time. In most cases, that’s a sign that something else is going on and we need to find out what it is for your health and your future.

“ED is common with age,” they’ll tell you, and it’s true that older men are more likely to be diagnosed. But that doesn’t mean you should just live with it if you’re over a certain age.

Occasional ED Difference

How Prevalent is Erectile Dysfunction?

Studies vary on how common ED is across the population. A 2018 review estimated it affects about one-third of men, with the prevalence increasing with age as well as with the number of risk factors present. These included cardiovascular disease, a sedentary lifestyle, and endothelial damage. (Endothelial cells line blood vessels, and if they become damaged, can lead to blood flow problems.)

Another review found that worldwide, the prevalence of ED ranges between 3 and 76.5 percent. Again, ED was associated with increasing age and with cardiovascular disease.

It’s not just older men who may struggle with ED, however. According to a 2013 study, about one in four (25 percent) of men seeking help for new-onset ED were younger than 40 years.

Indeed, ED can happen to anyone at any time. Yet it’s not something to just brush off as a “normal” part of aging. According to the review above, men with ED have an increased risk of all-cause mortality (death) as well as death from cardiovascular disease. They are also more likely to have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than men without ED and are 1.68-times more likely to develop dementia.

Fortunately, with a careful medical examination and treatment, you can avoid these undesirable outcomes.

ED Prevalence

What Causes Occasional Erectile Dysfunction?

Occasional or situational erectile dysfunction may be caused by the following factors:


Fatigue can easily decrease your desire or even energy for sex. If you try anyway, you may not be able to achieve an erection.

Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is a natural depressant and is a common culprit in cases of situational ED. Though you may be fine with a drink or two, if you overindulge, it can depress your sexual response.


When you’re stressed out, your body releases hormones that can interfere with an erection. Worse, if you experience one failed erection, you may feel stressed about the next one, compounding the problem.


Many common medications, including antihistamines, some blood pressure drugs, prescription pain relievers, sleep aids, antidepressants, and others, can cause short-term ED as a side effect. Recreational and illegal drugs can also suppress the nervous system, causing situational ED.

Relationship Problems

Poor communication, unresolved anger, and other issues can interfere with your ability to enjoy a pleasant sexual encounter with your partner.


If you’re feeling depressed or even just down at the moment, it can affect your nerves and your ability to achieve an erection.

How to Address Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

If you’re experiencing occasional erectile dysfunction, you can usually address it with a few careful lifestyle changes:

  • Make sure you’re eating healthy foods.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Exercise consistently.
  • Stop smoking, and limit alcohol use.
  • Seek treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. If you’re having relationship issues, consider couples counseling.
  • If you’re taking prescription medications, ask your doctor if any may be contributing to ED.

Potential Causes of ED

What Causes Medically Diagnosed Erectile Dysfunction?

Medically diagnosed ED is often related to a physical health issue. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about it as soon as you can.

Cardiovascular Disease

A successful erection relies on proper blood flow. If blood flow is slowed or stopped because of narrow or blocked blood vessels, there won’t be enough blood flowing into the penis to maintain an erection.

As we age, it’s more common to suffer from narrowed and stiffened blood vessels. Over the years, a hardened plaque made up of cholesterol and other materials can build up inside them. That can affect not only heart health but sexual health as well.

ED and cardiovascular disease are closely related. In a 2018 study, researchers stated, “Increasing evidence suggests that ED is predominantly a vascular disorder.”  An earlier study also found a confirmed link between ED and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and noted that ED is a sign of increased risk of CVD.


Obesity increases the risk of ED. That’s because it can damage the blood vessels, decrease testosterone, and create systemic inflammation in the body. In a 2008 study, researchers found that overweight and obesity could increase the risk of ED by 30-90 percent.

They also found that men with ED tended to be heavier and with a greater waist circumference than those without ED, and were also more likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.


ED is known to be a potential complication of diabetes—again, because diabetes, when not properly treated, can damage blood vessels. In a 2014 study, scientists noted that diabetes is an “established risk factor for sexual dysfunction in men,” adding that those with diabetes had a three-fold increased risk of ED.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, when untreated, can rob men of the critical sleep they need every night, leading to other health problems down the road, including ED.

After examining 150 patients with sleep apnea, scientists reported that over half of them had ED. Fortunately, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) helped improve erectile function and sexual satisfaction.

Neurological Disorders

Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of neurological diseases can interfere with the nerve impulses sent to the penis. The nerves may become damaged from these diseases to where they no longer function as they should.

In a 2016 study, researchers found that the occurrence of ED was “significantly more prevalent” among men suffering from neurological conditions.


Smoking is horrible for your health, including your sexual health. In addition to increasing your risk of coronary artery disease and lung cancer, it can also increase your risk of ED. That’s because it can damage the lining of your blood vessels, affecting the way they function, while also potentially damaging the nerves leading to the penis.

When researchers reviewed data from 860 male patients between the ages of 18 and 44, they found that heavy smoking was a risk factor for ED, particularly for younger men. And when examining data from over 2,100 men, researchers found that compared with former and never smokers, current smokers in their forties had the greatest odds of suffering from ED.

Compared with men who never smoked, those who smoked at some time had a greater likelihood of ED, with those who smoked more having a higher risk.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease—a condition that causes scar tissue to develop on the penis, creating curved, painful erections—is often associated with ED. In men genetically susceptible to the disease, ED may be an early sign of it.

Hormone Imbalances

Hormonal abnormalities—including low testosterone, thyroid issues and those caused by steroid abuse, can also cause ED.

ED Fast Food

Surprising Causes of More than Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

In addition to the causes listed above, some additional ones may surprise you.


It may be hard to believe, but your diet could be related to your ED! Indeed, the foods you eat affect your overall health, including your hormone balance, heart and blood vessels, weight, inflammation, and more.

Those most likely to increase the risk of ED include:

  • Packaged, processed foods
  • Fast foods
  • Fried foods
  • Animal meats (particularly animals given antibiotics and hormones)
  • Salty foods
  • Soy
  • Alcohol

Find healthier alternatives to these in our post, “7 Foods Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction.”


Internet porn use has exploded over the past couple of decades, and it’s not helping men to enjoy healthy sex lives.

According to a recent study out of Italy, more and more young men, in particular, are suffering from ED because of Internet porn. Investigators surveyed 28,000 users and found that many started watching it as early as 14 years of age.

Scientists discovered that the effects were very harmful to young men’s developing sexuality. Over time, they experienced a drop in libido, which eventually morphed into full-fledged ED.

Indeed, porn can dampen sexual desire over time, while also affecting men’s self-esteem and expectations. In a 2016 review, researchers noted that Internet porn can condition sexual arousal that doesn’t readily transition to real-life partners.

Environmental Toxins

We’re exposed to more chemicals today than ever before in history. They’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and in our material goods (furniture, clothing, consumer goods), personal care products, and more.

Scientists are still learning about how these chemicals may affect us. They have already discovered, however, that they can increase the risk for ED. When studying nearly 200 men who sought help for ED, scientists found that exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides and solvents was a risk factor for ED.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Occasional Erectile Dysfunction

Think about your experience with ED for a moment, and ask yourself if you’re noticing the following more than occasionally:

  • A reduced desire for sex
  • Persistent or regular inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection (20 percent of the time or more)
  • Softer erections
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Loss of sensitivity in the penis
  • Stress related to these factors

If you’re not sure whether what you’re experiencing is normal or not, ask yourself:

  • Has it been going on for longer than three months?
  • Is it painful or difficult to get an erection, to the point that you’re feeling stressed about it?
  • Do you have accompanying symptoms, like those related to heart disease or diabetes?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

ED Normal or Serious

Solutions for Medically Diagnosed ED

Studies show that only about a quarter of men suffering from ED get help. I hope if you’re experiencing this, you won’t be one of them. There’s so much we can do now to help you feel better. There’s no reason for you to suffer in silence.

Remember that ED is often a sign of other, underlying health problems. We must find out what’s going on to prevent further complications down the road.

If your doctor does diagnose you with ED, you have many options for how to treat it. Unfortunately, in today’s world, men are often just given a pill and sent on their way. I think this is a huge mistake.

At the Gapin Institute, we recommend a systems-based approach that includes the following approaches.

Lifestyle Changes for ED

It’s always best to start with lifestyle changes, like those listed above for occasional ED. These can not only improve your sexual health but your overall health as well. Even if they don’t completely cure your ED, they can help reduce it or prevent it from getting worse in the future.

Medications for ED

Drugs like Viagra and Cialis have been important breakthroughs for men for one reason: they work. By increasing blood flow to the penis, they improve your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and they can also improve sensitivity to sexual stimulation. They can help you enjoy sex once again, but they mustn’t be the only part of your approach.

A Full Health Evaluation

At the Gapin Institute, we conduct a full evaluation of your health condition to make sure we don’t have other issues we should be dealing with. Early detection of things like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Peyronie’s disease, and more can mean the difference between a healthy, active future, and a diseased one.

Peptide Therapy for ED

Peptides are amino-acid-based molecules that perform many functions in the body. Some of them are directly connected to sexual function, while others are tied to hormonal function. If you’re not producing as many of these peptides as you need—which is common—a targeted treatment could help you feel like your old self again.

(Read more: 8 Reasons Why People Are Talking About Peptides for Men.)

GAINSWave Treatments

GAINSWave is a clinically proven, non-invasive therapy that improves sexual performance by releasing blood flow. It uses low-intensity sound waves to stimulate the growth of new, healthier blood vessels in the penis. As opposed to medications, it gets to the root cause of the problem and solves it. Plus, there are no harmful side effects.

Injections & Vacuum Therapy for ED

  • The Priapus or P-Shot: This is a single-injection treatment that infuses the patient’s own blood products, including power growth factors and enriched platelets to help stimulate cellular and tissue repair in the penis. Like GAINSWave therapy, it helps to get at the root of the problem.
  • Trimix Injections: These injections must be used every time you want to stimulate an erection. You inject them into the penis just before intercourse to promote increased blood flow.
  • Vacuum Therapy: This is another treatment that must be used every time you need it. You place a cylinder-shaped suction device around the penis to draw blood into it. It’s non-invasive and effective.

If It’s More Than Occasional Erectile Dysfunction, Call Your Doctor Today

If you’re ready to talk to your doctor about ED, I recommend you:

  • prepare a list of questions first
  • make a note of whatever medications you’re taking
  • jot down the symptoms you’re experiencing (and for how long)
  • then take a deep breath and make that appointment!

Your sexual health isn’t just a nice-to-have extra in your life. It’s an important part of your overall health, as well as a barometer indicating how well you’re aging.

We all experience bumps in the road. With the right approach, you can smooth this one out and go on to enjoy many more vigorous, vital years.

The Truth About Genes and Weight Loss in Men

Genes Weight Loss 1

When it comes to genes and weight loss, how much do your genes matter?

It’s a question you may ask, particularly if you’ve been struggling to lose weight.

Could your genes be working against you? And if so, what can you do about it?

What Do Genes Have to Do with Weight Loss in Men?

Just like your genes affect your eye color, hair color, height, and more, they also have a part to play in your weight and body shape.

How much impact genes have on weight depends on the individual. Harvard Health reported in 2019 that for some people, “genes account for just 25 percent of their predisposition to be overweight, while for others the genetic influence is as high as 70 percent to 80 percent.”

How can you tell which side of the spectrum you may be on? Genetic testing may help, which we’ll talk about, but there are certainly some characteristics you can look for.

People likely to be greatly influenced by genes:

  •       Struggle with weight their entire lives, even in childhood.
  •       Have close family members who are overweight or obese.
  •       Have difficulty losing weight even when sticking to a low-calorie diet with exercise for months.

People likely to be less influenced by genes:

  •       Are moderately overweight, but can lose weight when they try (with diet and exercise).
  •       Struggle to avoid eating too much of the foods they enjoy.
  •       Experience ups and downs in weight, particularly around the holiday season or after changing eating patterns.

Regardless of which group you may fall into, your weight is at least somewhat influenced by your genes. But what does that mean, exactly?

Genes Weight Loss 2

What We Know So Far About Genes and Weight Loss

So far, scientists have identified about 400 different genes that seem to be involved in overweight or obesity. These genes interact in complex ways with other genes and with neurotransmitters, hormones, and more to affect the following:


How “accurate” is your hunger instinct? Does it signal you when you’re really hungry, or does it spur you to eat for other reasons?

Normally, your hunger response kicks in only when you need to refuel. But if you have certain gene variants, you may be more likely to experience hunger for other reasons, such as when you’re stressed out or bored.


Can you sense when you’re full? Certain genes can tell you when you’re full, while others may not signal your brain, potentially making you overeat.


How efficiently does your body burn calories? Your genes can determine that. Some gene variations drive normal metabolism, whereas others may indicate less efficient metabolism.

Sweets and Snacking

How does your brain respond when you eat something sweet? Can you stop eating those brownies after consuming one? Or are you compelled to eat more?

Some genes signal an “average” response to sweet tastes, while others may encourage greater consumption. Your drive to snack, as well, is somewhat affected by your genetics.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is the hormone that drives glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. If you have insulin resistance, it means your cells don’t respond to insulin very efficiently.

If you have genes that predispose you to insulin resistance, you may be more likely to have higher blood sugar levels, which can ultimately lead to obesity and diabetes.


You’ve heard about how some carbohydrates (simple carbs) can lead to weight gain because they break down quickly in the body and spike blood sugar levels. Others are more complex, take longer to break down, and don’t affect weight the same way.

While it’s a good idea for everyone to avoid eating too many simple carbs, your genetics can influence how well you may respond to them.

Some genetic variations, for instance, may help you lose belly fat when you make a point to avoid simple carbs and consume more complex carbs. Others, however, will inspire your body to manage both well, so you won’t notice as much difference.


You know that fiber is good for you. It helps keep your digestion going smoothly, and can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

But how much will consuming a high-fiber diet help in your weight loss efforts? Your genes can tell you.

Some are linked with greater improvements than others, meaning that if you have certain genes, you’ll notice better results on a high-fiber diet than others without those genes.

Saturated Fat

Scientists used to believe that the low-fat diet was the best option for most people. Recent research, however, challenged that idea. A 2015 review, for instance, found that reducing saturated fat had no effect on heart attacks, strokes, or all-cause deaths.

Now, scientists are taking a second look at fats. While we know that unsaturated fats (like those in nuts and seeds) are good for you, we’re still not sure about saturated fats (like those in meat and dairy foods).

It turns out that your genetics have a lot to say about it. Depending on which genetic variations you have, you may be more or less affected by the saturated fats you eat. Some genes signal a high tolerance for saturated fats, whereas others markedly increase your risk for early cardiovascular disease or Alzheimers Disease with saturated fat intake.  Knowing where you are on the spectrum can help you determine what sort of diet may help you lose weight.


We all need protein in our diets, but depending on your genes, you may be able to lose weight more efficiently with a low or high protein intake.

If you’re considering a high-protein diet, for instance, your genetics might help you determine whether it would work for you. Some genes may show, for instance, that a lower intake of protein would be more effective, or that you should make a point to increase your protein intake.

Some Important Details on Genes and Weight Loss

While there are many genes associated with weight loss, a few have been identified as critical in recent years.

Your question might be: Do I have these genes?


One of them is called the “fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO)” gene. In 2007, researchers reviewed many studies on genes and obesity and identified this as one that could increase your risk of being obese.

Another study that same year found similar results, with the two together showing that those carrying the FTO gene had a 20-30 percent higher risk of being obese than those who did not.

And in a third study, researchers examined obese men and found that the FTO gene was strongly associated with a higher BMI, higher fat body mass index, increased abdominal fatness, increased insulin sensitivity, and decreased HDL “good” cholesterol.


Another gene variant identified as increasing the risk of obesity is called the melanocortin-4 receptor gene (MC4R). When scientists examined genetic data from nearly 17,000 people, they found that after FTO, MC4R mutations were the leading cause of severe childhood-onset obesity. It also influenced fat mass, weight, and obesity risk.

Other research shows that MC4R is related to insulin resistance, food intake, and energy balance, and that the gene is significantly associated with higher intakes of total energy and fat.


Perilipin 1 (PLIN-1) is another gene to be aware of when it comes to weight loss. This is a protein involved in fat storage and the breakdown of fats. It plays a large role in energy and glucose (blood sugar) metabolism, and over the past decade, has been repeatedly associated with body weight and obesity-related complications.

When studying children between the ages of 10 and 18, scientists found that certain PLIN variants (including PLIN-1) were significantly higher in obese participants compared to the control group. They concluded that PLIN may influence the risk of obesity in adolescence.

In another interesting study, scientists reviewed data from about 1,200 overweight and obese people who ate lunch at different times of the day. They found that those with the AA genotype at the PLIN-1 variant struggled more to lose weight when eating late than those who didn’t have this gene variant.

If you have this gene, in other words, you may want to be sure to eat on time!


The apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene seems to affect metabolism, to the point that it could increase your risk of being overweight.

APOE4, for instance, is associated with a greater risk of metabolic syndrome—a group of symptoms that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease:

  •       hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •       raised blood sugar levels
  •       high triglycerides
  •       reduced HDL “good” cholesterol
  •       a large waistline

In one animal study, researchers fed subjects a high-fat diet for 12 weeks. They found that those subjects with APOE4 were more susceptible to metabolic changes from the diet, including weight gain and high blood sugar levels, than those who did not have the APOE4 genetic variant.

Some other genes that seem to be associated with weight include:

  •   Panx-1: Pannexin-1 helps regulate the accumulation of fat. In a 2018 study, researchers found that when they deleted this gene, subjects gained more weight, and also had a higher risk of obesity later in life.
  •   IRX3: The Iroquois homeobox gene 3 can make it harder to lose weight. This may be because FTO exerts its effects on body weight by changing the expression of IRX3.
  •   Ankyrin-B: If you have this gene, your fat cells may absorb glucose at a faster rate than normal, which increases the size of the fat cell and can cause obesity.

Can You Use Genes and Weight Loss in a Personalized Plan?

The exciting part of all this research is that we’re starting to use what we know to help men more efficiently lose weight.

Wouldn’t it be helpful, for instance, to know whether a high-protein diet would be effective for you? Or how you respond to sweets? Or whether your hunger pangs are accurate or not?

Personalized weight loss plans based on genetics are the future of health, available today. Genetic tests allow you to learn more about what genes you may or may not have that are influencing your ability to lose weight.

The tests are simple—most consist of an easy cheek swab. They provide complex but applicable data on a large number of genetic variants. A genetic coach can review the results with you and help you understand how to apply them.

Genes Weight Loss Scale

Other Things to Consider In Addition to Genes and Weight Loss

It’s important to remember that genes aren’t everything when it comes to weight loss. In fact, depending on your individual makeup, your genes may have only a small effect on your ability to lose weight. This is where epigenetics comes into play – your lifestyle and environment that affect genetic expression.

Your lifestyle, exercise habits, diet, stress levels, and more all play a large role in your body composition. In one study of over 17,000 people, scientists found that those who carried the FTO gene and were active had BMIs that were no higher or lower than those without the FTO gene.

In another study of 240,000 people, those who carried the FTO gene had a 23 percent higher risk of obesity than those who didn’t, but being physically active lowered the risk. Those with the gene who exercised regularly had a 30 percent lower risk of obesity than the inactive FTO-carriers.

At the Gapin Institute, we pride ourselves on working with each individual to determine the best weight loss plan for them. While genetic testing can give us some important data to work with, we also emphasize the power of epigenetics and how your lifestyle and behavior can have a massive impact on your success. We also incorporate a total body composition scan and comprehensive health assessment, among other approaches, to help men succeed in their weight loss goals.

If you’re curious about how you may develop a personalized weight loss plan, schedule a free consultation with a men’s health advisor today.