Happy Men’s Health Month!

Happy Men’s Health Month! June is our favorite month because it’s a period dedicated to education and awareness about men’s wellness. This is a great opportunity for the media, healthcare providers, and public policy creators to bring men’s sexual health to the forefront of the healthcare conversation.

Did you know that the life expectancy for males is 76.1 years, while the life expectancy for females is 81.2 years?

Although it’s possible that there are genetic factors, most experts believe that behavior plays a larger role in the shortened life expectancy of the American male.  

This June, it’s time to commit to your health. With awareness and understanding of common men’s health concerns, you can reduce your risk of serious health concerns.

What are common male health concerns?

Not every man will have the same lifestyle, behaviors, and health risks. However, there are a number of diseases that affect a large percentage of men, especially with age.  

Below are the most common male health concerns and their typical causes or risk factors.

Heart disease

The most prominent male health threat is heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S., accounting for nearly 1 in 4 male deaths. It’s much more common in men than women, with over 3/4 of sudden cardiac events occurring in men.

One of the most frightening statistics about heart disease is that half of the men who die suddenly from heart disease have no previous symptoms.

Though not showing symptoms, research has proven that heart disease can be preventable. The key factors for high risk of heart disease are all controllable:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Other significant risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Unfortunately, though, half of American men have at least one of these three risk factors—even though these are entirely dependent upon lifestyle choices.

Heart disease isn’t something to mess with. At the very least, it can cause erectile dysfunction and reduced quality of life. At the worst, it can be fatal. 

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (except for skin cancer). It is often treatable, but it’s the second leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer. In America, 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and 1 in 41 will die of it.

Prostate cancer is rare before age 40 and becomes much more frequent after age 65. Nearly 6 of 10 diagnosed cases occur in men over the age of 65, and the average age of diagnosis is 66. 

Early detection is key to treating prostate cancer. It is completely curable if caught early enough. In fact, with early detection, the 5-year relative survival rate of prostate cancer is 99%, the 10-year survival rate is 98%, and the 15-year survival rate is 96%. Thus, it’s recommended that prostate cancer screening start at age 50 and occur at least every five years. For some men, doctors may recommend yearly screenings.

Risks for prostate cancer include age, family history, race, nationality, sedentary lifestyle, diet, calcium, obesity, beer, smoking, height, and Agent Orange.

Learn more about prostate cancer here.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common concern for men, affecting about 40% of men in their 40s, 50% of men in their 50s, 60% of men in their 60s, and 70% of men in their 70s. ED also called impotence, is when a man cannot get or sustain an erection long enough to have satisfying sexual intercourse. It becomes a long-term concern that can impact sexual health, relationships, and even mental health.

Although it’s more common for men of older age, studies suggest that 1 in 4 men seeking treatment for ED are under the age of 40. Those under age 40 also often have more severe symptoms of erectile dysfunction.  

Erectile dysfunction is often not a disease in and of itself. It is usually a symptom or side effect of another serious health concern like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity. ED is often one of the first warning signs that something serious is going on in the body.

Thus, if you’ve been experiencing ongoing erectile dysfunction, you want to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will usually consider ED as a symptom, so they will screen you for other potential concerns as well.  

There are a number of potential causes of erectile dysfunction including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Performance anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Neurological diseases
  • Hormonal disorders
  • BPH
  • Low testosterone
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Prostate cancer treatment
  • Porn addiction

ED can also be a side effect of certain medications you’re taking—including the medications that could be causing your ED in the first place. Work with your doctor to understand where your ED is coming from and what you can do about it.

Check out more erectile dysfunction resources here!

Low testosterone

Testosterone is the “man” hormone. It’s the most important hormone in maintaining male health including muscle mass, hair growth, bone density, red blood cell development, and sex drive. It also plays a role in cognitive function, mood stability, exercise endurance, and energy.  

Testosterone levels naturally decline with age. But this decline can create serious health problems for men. Low testosterone can cause:

  • Lower libido
  • Fatigue
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced cognitive function
  • Poor memory
  • Arthritis
  • Increased risk of heart disease

Men with low testosterone often present a general feeling of “un-wellness.” If you’ve been feeling “off” recently, you may be dealing with low testosterone.

There are natural ways to boost testosterone, and there is the possibility of replacement therapies if lifestyle changes aren’t showing fast results. You can quickly overcome low testosterone if you commit to your health and wellness! 


A stroke is caused by a clot or ruptured blood vessel that cuts off blood flow to the brain. This can cause lasting brain damage that can have serious and fatal implications.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., numbering about 800,000 deaths yearly with an additional 130,000 from stroke-related complications. Men are at a higher risk of stroke than women.

There is an increased risk of stroke in those who smoke, have high blood pressure, have diabetes, abuse drugs or alcohol, are overweight or obese, or live a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk for something that could permanently damage your brain.


Diabetes is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) and/or can’t use its insulin properly (type 2). This causes sugar levels to rise, which can create serious health concerns. It increases the risk of heart disease and impacts eyes, kidneys, and nervous system. It’s also directly linked to increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction.

The risks for type 2 diabetes and complications from diabetes include smoking, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It’s also more common in men over age 40.

See if you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes with this 60-second online test.


After age 40, the prostate can start to grow. This is called benign prostate enlargement, and it’s “mostly” benign. Although it isn’t dangerous, it can create a number of sexual health concerns for men. It mostly impacts the urinary tract, creating a number of “bathroom” problems like a sudden urge to go to the bathroom or a slow urine stream.

BPH has also been linked to erectile dysfunction and other metabolic diseases. This is because the prostate typically grows when there’s a change in the prostate cells. This can be due to infection, prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment, age, or other factors.

Although BPH is itself not harmful, it’s often the first sign of another underlying factor. Enlargement is a signal that something in your body is changing your prostate cell makeup—and it’s not a sign to be ignored.


Mental health is equally—if not more—important than physical health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, and almost 45,000 people die by suicide yearly. Men die by suicide 3.53x more than women, and the rate is higher in middle age.

Too many men feel like they’re drowning with no route for escape. Men’s health month is the perfect time to open up the conversation about men’s mental health.

If you are struggling or feeling lost, it’s important that you realize you’re not alone—and you won’t feel this way forever. Find a local professional or support system to take the first steps towards regaining your life.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the term used to describe a collection of conditions that increase the risk for diseases, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Conditions of metabolic syndrome include:

  •     Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes)
  •     Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  •     High cholesterol
  •     High blood sugar
  •     Obesity 

Metabolic syndrome is a direct cause of lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.

Did you know…

Chronic inflammation may be the link between all of the above diseases including heart disease, cancer, stroke, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Preventing chronic inflammation may help minimize the risk of disease. Learn more about chronic inflammation here.

How can you protect your health?

Handsome businessman with eyeglasses working from home

I didn’t present you with all the major male health problems to scare you. I’m not here to spook you. Rather, I’m here to remind you of your own mortality—as well as your CONTROL over your mortality.

All of these diseases are preventable with the right lifestyle changes and behaviors. So what can you do to make sure you’re maintaining your health and wellness this June—and the rest of the year?

  1. Get yearly screenings.

When was the last time you went for an annual checkup? If it was more than a year ago, it’s time to go get screened.

Yearly screenings are the top prevention method for all of the above diseases. It allows you to “catch” diseases or conditions early, so they can be treated and monitored.

You should get an annual liver, kidney, sugar, and cholesterol screenings at the very minimum. Also, talk to your doctor about a PSA test as a preliminary prostate cancer checkup.

Kill the monster while it’s a baby before it turns into an unstoppable force. If you catch diseases when they’re early on, they’re more treatable. 

  1. Eat a healthy diet. 

Diet is one of the key lifestyle factors to overall health and wellness. Diet impacts your genetic expression and epigenetics,  meaning it plays a role in just about every disease.

Studies show that you can prevent prostate cancer with a healthy diet

Learn more about eating a healthy diet with the following resources: 

  1. Exercise.

Exercise is one of the simplest ways to fix nearly all of your health problems. Working out 4-5 hours per week can:

  • Help lose fat and maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve metabolism
  • De-methylate genes
  • Improve sleep
  • Minimize stress
  • Elevate mood and happiness
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Get rid of inflammation

Exercise is one of the easiest ways to control your health—without even thinking about it. Whether you swim, walk, lift weights, or play Frisbee, your body needs movement to be healthy and strong. I especially recommend a low-pressure exercise that won’t damage your joints, like yoga, stretching, and swimming.

Learn more about the importance of working out here.

Running man in forest woods training and exercising for trail run marathon endurance race. Fitness healthy lifestyle concept with male athlete trail runner.

  1. Know your supplements.

Most American men don’t get the micronutrients they need to maintain their health and vitality. Thus, I recommend most men take the following supplements to boost their wellness:

But make sure you know what’s in your supplements. A lot of one-a-day vitamins actually contain inactive ingredients that can do more harm than good. Always take a look at the ingredients label.

You should also talk to your doctor about the medications you’re on. If you’re experiencing any side effects, don’t be afraid to open the floor for conversation.

  1. Stress less.

Stress is the number one killer of men today. It’s an epidemic that seems to only be getting worse in America. In fact, more and more research is proving that stress is at the root of a number of serious, fatal diseases. Stress even influences your genes and epigenetic expression, “turning off” the protective genes and “turning on” those that cause serious disease.  

Make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Whether that means spending time with family, taking up yoga, or finding a less stressful career path, it’s critical that you put your health first. Learn more about how to address stress here.

  1. Sleep more.

Sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night has proven health benefits. Sleep is when your body’s hormones reset, which helps lower cortisol (stress) and boost testosterone. Without this period of rest, your body starts to go into “overdrive” and its normal functioning starts to slow down. Sleep (and a lack of sleep) can even impact your genes.

Learn how to sleep better right now.

  1. Use sunscreen.

Put on your SPF. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, and it’s frequently caused by exposure to UV rays. Daily sunscreen can help prevent the free radical damage that causes both cancer and wrinkles.

Sunscreen should become a daily habit to show the full effect. Check out these other five habits that will boost your health overnight!

  1. Drink water.

Health and wellness all come down to water. Water makes up the majority of your body. Without it, your body can’t function properly. That’s why just a couple of days of dehydration can kill you.

Drink more water and you’ll find improvements in energy, weight, sleep, mood, diet, exercise, sex, and more. Water is the building block of life—so make sure you’re getting enough.

Pro-tip: Drink pH balanced water. This helps keep your body’s pH aligned, which helps keep your body in balance to fight disease and infection.

Celebrate Men’s Health

How are you going to celebrate men’s health month? By FINALLY going in for that yearly screening? Or using these summer months to get outside and exercise?

How about changing your diet? Or by signing up for a N1 Performance Health consultation?

The G1 Performance Health Consult is a private consultation that takes you through every aspect of your health. We discuss everything about diet, exercise, psychology, and sexual health to reinvigorate your health and wellness. With high performance wellness & anti-aging medicine, Dr. Gapin provides Fortune 500 executives and entrepreneurs a personalized path to lose weight, maximize energy, & restore vitality.

And yes, I prescribe having more sex…

Schedule a consultation to learn more about N1 Performance Health.

Ready to take the next steps?

Schedule a Call


5 Benefits Of Pomegranate For Your Sexual Health

Is pomegranate the ultimate solution to all of your “sex-drive” needs? What are the benefits of pomegranate?

What if I told you pomegranate could help all of your sexual health problems, from low testosterone and diminished libido to erectile dysfunction to even prostate cancer? This superfood is filled with antioxidants that have proven results to help both men and women have better sex lives. This fruit can increase testosterone levels, improve sperm quality, and increase sex drive and mood.

Pomegranate has three times more antioxidants than even red wine and green tea. Antioxidants are what improve blood circulation, decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, and fight harmful free radicals that cause aging, illness, and cancer. Pomegranate antioxidants have even been known to help fight breast cancer.

If you’re looking to improve your sexual health, you need to add pomegranate to your daily lineup. From juice to seeds to supplement extracts, it’s easy to enhance your life with the wonders of pomegranate.

Let’s take a deep dive into the 5 benefits of pomegranates for your sexual and overall health.

1. Boosts testosterone

Testosterone is the “manly” hormone that controls your facial hair, deep voice, muscle growth, and even your sex drive. Low levels of testosterone can become a serious health problem leading to lowered energy, depression, diminished libido, weight gain, muscle loss, brain fog, and more. Women also need testosterone for their sex drive and regulation of estrogen levels.

By the way, low T means low libido… and low libido means a low desire for sex. If you have been losing your interest in sex recently, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels.

I always recommend increasing testosterone levels the natural way before resorting to costly (and often ineffective) testosterone replacement therapies. A daily intake of pomegranate is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to improve your testosterone.

Firstly, pomegranate is shown to block estrogen production. The Beckman Research Institute in California reported that pomegranate is rich in ellagittanins (ET). ETs convert into compounds that are used to stop your androgens from turning into estrogens. Basically, ET helps lower the production of estrogen.

This is critical to testosterone levels. Too much estrogen can interfere with libido, hurt erectile health, and damage bone strength. Plus, estrogen actually blocks testosterone production. High levels of estrogen actually further diminish T levels to create an unhealthy imbalance of hormones that are destructive to male sexual health.

A study at the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland found that participants who were given one glass of pomegranate juice per day for two weeks had a 24% increase in testosterone on average. They also saw further results linked to improved testosterone, balanced hormones, and regulated mood:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decline of stress levels
  • Increase in positive emotions, especially self-confidence
  • Heightened mood
  • Lowered feelings of shyness, fear, and sadness

2. Treats erectile dysfunction

It’s important to note that the Queen Margaret study found not only an increase in testosterone levels, but also an increase in positive emotions as well. Stress, anxiety, low self-confidence, and fear are all major causes of erectile dysfunction. This study demonstrated that pomegranate might be able to improve psychological concerns that could cause erectile dysfunction.

Furthermore, pomegranates help address three major causes of erectile dysfunction: restricted blood flow/high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

Blood flow

You need proper blood flow in order for your penis to fill with blood and get “hard.” If you have high blood pressure, damaged arteries, or vascular problems, blood flow to the penis can be restricted, thus causing erectile dysfunction. Some studies show that pomegranate juice can reduce systolic blood pressure with “promising acute hypotensive properties.” This lowered blood pressure can help promote blood flow to the penis when it’s time for an erection.

Furthermore, a 2007 study found that drinking 100% pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful brand) actually helped manage erectile dysfunction. 50% of participants who drank the juice saw an improvement in their erections. They concluded that this was due to the high antioxidant content of pomegranates, which can stop free radicals from inhibiting blood flow to the penis.

Additionally, pomegranate is high in vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the production of nitric oxide (NO) by converting nitrites to nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is the chemical that relaxes blood vessels and flexes muscles near and in the penis. This NO process prepares your penis for an erection. A 2005 Italian study found an increase in levels of nitric oxide and a decrease in oxidant damage in all blood vessels after consumption of pomegranate juice.

Heart disease

In a similar “vein,” heart-healthy pomegranates (filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals) can open up your blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is another cause of erectile dysfunction and lowered libido. Pomegranates can help lower cholesterol, remove arterial deposits (bad cholesterol), limit inflammation, and encourage blood flow—all lowering the risk of heart disease.

One study found that daily pomegranate seed oil for four weeks improved participants’ ratio of triglycerides to HDL, basically lowering bad deposits and raising good cholesterol. Researchers discovered that half a glass of pomegranate juice and three dates had enough antioxidants to help protect against heart attacks and strokes. A second study also showed that pomegranate juice could reduce bad cholesterol in those with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.


Being overweight can cause erectile dysfunction, lowered testosterone, imbalanced hormones, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Pomegranates also have been shown to help fight obesity by curbing hunger pains and improving satiation levels.

A 2016 study at Queen Margaret found that those participants who took a daily supplement of pomegranate had less desire to eat, were less hungry, and felt more satiated while eating than the placebo group. Researchers hypothesized that this was because of the fruit’s polyphenols (a specific type of antioxidant), which can act as an appetite suppressant.

Plus, pomegranates can help improve exercise performance, helping you lose weight and gain muscle at a faster rate. Pomegranate has a high amount of nitrates, which enhance blood flow throughout the body. This improved blood flow to the muscles can improve exercise performance, efficiency, and endurance. The better you workout, the more your body can burn off that extra flab. Regulated, healthy weight can reduce ED symptoms—and make you more energetic, happy, and productive!

3. Lowers risk of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer affects 11.6% of men at some point in their lives. What seems to be an inevitable disease is actually preventable—and maybe even with a delicious fruit like pomegranate! Recent research suggests, “pomegranate is likely to be valuable for treatment of some forms of human prostate cell life.”

One study looked at the reason why pomegranates may have this effect on prostate cancer. Data suggests that pomegranate extract down-regulates HR which sensitizes cells to DSBs, growth inhibition, and apoptosis.” Basically, pomegranate polyphenols help your cells kill themselves. “Apoptosis” is your body’s natural process where unhealthy cells self-destruct before spreading their “disease” to other cells. When damaged cells don’t self-destruct, they begin to breed and grow into tumors and cancers. Pomegranate extract helps keep this natural process of apoptosis functioning, so cancerous and damaged cells will continue to die off at an appropriate rate.

4. Improves sperm quality

A Turkish study found that rats that drank pomegranate juice had significant increases in healthy sperm. Generally, “healthy” sperm refers to the quantity, movement, structure, and fertility of the sperm. Healthy sperm is more likely to fertilize an egg and create a healthy embryo. If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, it’s time to start glugging the pomegranate juice.

Turkish researchers also found an increased amount of natural antioxidants in sperm and blood, further demonstrating that pomegranate extract helps to send nutrients directly into the bloodstream to fight against damaging oxidation.

5. Other benefits of pomegranate

Pomegranate also has a number of health benefits that will make your overall wellness significantly better. For example, pomegranate’s ability to fight oxidative stress and minimize inflammation has been shown to fight rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, and swelling. It has also been shown to aid brain health, improve memory, and fight off signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

As we age, our body’s natural processes start to slow down. If you want to stay functioning with optimal health, you need to take care of your sexual, physical, emotional, and mental wellness in tandem. Pomegranates have proven benefits in all of these wellness facets.

How to consume

There are a number of ways to get your daily dose of pomegranate. Pomegranate juice and pomegranate supplements are a popular way to get a shot of healthy goodness.

But be careful. Steer clear of most store-bought pomegranate juice, which tends to be filled with sugar—and sugar can actually make your sexual health worse. If you’re going to buy store-bought, stick to all-natural 100% juice like POM Wonderful.

I like making pomegranate juice right at home, so I can control the taste and consistency myself. Here’s how:

  • Cut open a fresh, organic pomegranate.
  • Scoop out the seeds and place in a bowl filled with water.
  • The seeds will sink to the bottom, and their white goopy membrane will float to the top.
  • Strain the water, which will clean the seeds and remove the membrane.
  • Place the seeds in a blender and blend to a pulp.
  • Strain the seed mixture into a pulp.
  • Add water and agave sweetener to taste.
  • Eat the rest of the pomegranate or use in your cooking!

And don’t neglect pomegranate seeds! They burst in your mouth for a hydrating and sweet snack. If you have a midnight sweet tooth like me, pomegranate seeds are a deliciously healthy way to curb those cravings.

Bottom line

Get back to the sex life you want with boosted T, high libido, diminished erectile dysfunction, lowered risk of prostate cancer, improved sperm quality, higher energy, regulated weight, improved memory, fewer aches and pains, and so much more… all with pomegranates!

Adding pomegranates to your morning routine or midnight snack is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to boost your sexual health and wellness. In fact, you’ll start seeing most of the benefits of pomegranates in as little as four weeks.

What else can you do to upgrade your health? 

Well, you can flip the page on your calendar.

And you can renew your vitality and vigor with a Male 2.0 Consult! Sign up to start living your best life in now!


Tracy Gapin, MD FACS is a board-certified Urologist, Men’s Health 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. www.drtracygapin.com

BPH and Erectile Dysfunction: Are They Related?

Approximately 70% of men with BPH (enlarged prostate) have co-existing erectile dysfunction (ED), according to research presented in The World Journal Of Men’s Health. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that ED causes BPH or that BPH causes ED. It also doesn’t mean that if you have one problem, you must have the other as well. This statistic simply means there’s some sort of connection between the two. But what is the relationship? And what does this link mean for your wellness?

If you’re suffering from BPH and/or ED, you’re likely wondering how this will influence your sexual and urinary health. Wonder no more—the answers are here!

(Well, not all the answers. Still waiting on more research and science for some explanations. But a lot of the answers!)

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man can’t get or keep an erection. ED affects nearly 52% of all men at some point in their lives. It can stem from psychological concerns like: anxiety, depression, stress, poor sleep, relationship concerns, or lowered confidence. It also has physical causes like: vascular problems (high blood pressure or poor blood flow), imbalanced hormones, lowered nitric oxide, damage to pelvic area, clogged arteries, and diabetes.

Basically, your brain, blood vessels, hormones, nerves, psyche, and muscles all need to work together to create an erection. If one part of the process isn’t functioning properly, an erection simply won’t happen.

But none of these have to do with the prostate. The prostate isn’t part of the erection process  (it’s part of the sperm-making process)… so why are BPH (enlarged prostate) and erectile dysfunction linked?

What is BPH?

The prostate is the walnut-shaped gland at the base of the bladder that surrounds the urethra. Its primary function is the production of fluid for the semen. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the noncancerous growth of cells in the prostate, creating an enlarged prostate gland.

Although the prostate function is sexual in nature, the enlargement of the prostate actually upsets the urinary tract due to the proximity to the urethra and bladder. When the prostate enlarges with a benign tumor, it tends to block off the urethra—aka the tube from which you urinate and ejaculate.

This is the first link between BPH and sexual dysfunction. Even though BPH primarily influences the urinary tract, this is the same tract that semen comes out of. This indicates there is also some sort of concern with sexual health and ejaculation as well. But read on for a deeper understanding of this connection…

What are the symptoms of BPH?

The symptoms of BPH tend to be urinary in nature. If you are struggling going “number one” in the bathroom, you may want to get checked for BPH. You’ll often see BPH referred to as LUTS, which stands for “lower urinary tract symptoms.”

Symptoms can include:

  • Feeling the urge to urinate frequently or urgently
  • Trouble starting or stopping urination
  • Weak stream of urine
  • Straining during urination
  • Incomplete emptying of bladder
  • Needing to go excessively at night

It’s interesting to note that there may be a correlation between the severity of BPH symptoms and the risk of other sexual dysfunctions. For example, men with severe trouble going to the bathroom often also find they have reduced sex drive, inability to keep an erection, and lowered sexual satisfaction. One review found that most men who sought treatment for either BPH or ED were actually diagnosed with both conditions.

What causes BPH?

BPH is a common concern for a number of men. In fact, autopsy studies around the world have found prevalence among all men regardless of race or location. The one link is age: 10% of men in their 30s, 20% in their 40s, 50-60% in their 60s, and 80-90% over age 70. The cause of BPH is poorly understood. Because of its prevalence worldwide, it’s concluded that the major cause of BPH is simply age. However, some research has suggested that genetics, insomnia, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes also play a role in prostate enlargement.

The “causes” of BPH are also causes of ED. This is where the second link comes in. Age, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and poor sleep are all proven causes of erectile dysfunction—as they are with prostate enlargement. In this way, the two may not be interdependent—but their root causes are the same.

What are the treatments for BPH?

Typical treatments for BPH include hormone blockers and surgeries. This is where the third link, and possibly the most potent connection, plays a role. The treatments for BPH are proven to impact and potentially cause erectile dysfunction.


Common medications that are often prescribed for the treatment of BPH are alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Alpha blockers, such as Flomax, relax the urine channel that runs through the middle of the prostate to ease urination. The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as Proscar and Avodart, influence your endocrine system (hormones) to slowly promote shrinkage of the prostate.

Although 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may improve symptoms BPH and reduce the likelihood of problems related to BPH, they have some potential serious side effects. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the most common side effect for 5-alpha reductase inhibitors was erectile dysfunction. They attributed this to a decrease in nitric oxide activity; nitric oxide is necessary for the blood flow to the penis that happens during an erection.

Another study in Hormones Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigations found that Avodart could worsen erectile dysfunction in men already experiencing some sexual dysfunction problems. Moreover, the study found that Avodart put men at an increased risk for diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Researchers at George Washington University found that finasteride (Proscar) caused a number of sexual side effects including ED, changes in genital sensation, and quality of ejaculate. These side effects could even persist for up to 14 months after discontinuation of use. Proscar has been linked to ED in 3.7% of men who use it, and 3.3% of men report a diminished libido.


One of the most common surgeries for BPH is TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate). The incidence of erectile dysfunction post-TURP surgery is approximately 14%, as reported in the World Journal of Urology.

Overall, it’s widely accepted that surgery on or around the pelvis/prostate can cause erectile dysfunction.

Research has shown that less invasive surgeries for BPH may have reduced risk of ED. For example, TUNA (transurethral needle ablation) has been shown to less likely to cause sexual dysfunction. TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate) and TUMT (transurethral microwave thermotherapy) also have lower incidence of ED. Nevertheless, any prostate surgery has the chance to potentially cause ED.

What is the link between BPH and ED?

So what does all this mean? Let’s recap.

Enlarged prostate does not cause ED. ED does not cause BPH.

But they do often appear simultaneously. The Survey of the Aging Male found that 60% of men who had urinary symptoms also presented ED symptoms.

There are three major links between these two independent concerns:

  1. Enlarged prostate blocks the urinary tract, which is also where semen is released. This may thus influence the ability to maintain an erection and ejaculate quality semen. Though this is not related to erection quality, it demonstrates a sexual health concern as well.
  2. The accepted causes of BPH are also common causes of ED, such as age, poor sleep, stress, heart disease, and diabetes.
  3. Common treatments for BPH, including hormone blockers and invasive prostate surgeries, often hold erectile dysfunction as the most prevalent side effect.

So what can you do about this? How can you overcome your symptoms of BPH and ED easily, quickly, safely, and effectively?

Do ED medications work for BPH?

Some research has shown—though not definitively—that ED meds may also help BPH. It seems against logic, since ED meds tend to affect the vascular system and BPH is not a vascular problem. Despite logic, ED meds might work for BPH.

For example, tadalfil (Cialis), when taken daily, has been shown to improve erectile function, ejaculatory function, and sexual satisfaction in men showing both BPH and ED. Another study found that ED and BPH symptoms share common pathophysiological pathways that can be treated by tadalafil. This is likely because tadalfil increases cGMP, which is the chemical that both enhances blood flow to the penis and relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder. Nevertheless, tadalfil is not an approved treatment for BPH.


Image Source: www.healthdirect.gov.au/cialis

However, despite the research, there is still hesitancy to start prescribing tadalfil for all men with ED and BPH. ED pills don’t get to the root of the problem, instead just masking the symptoms indefinitely. This means you will be on pills the rest of your life in order to stay healthy. Moreover, medications often host a number of mild and serious side effects that aren’t worth the trouble, including blood pressure and heart concerns.

You want to get to the root of the problem of your BPH and erectile dysfunction. As we know, the causes of erectile dysfunction are also the shared causes of BPH. In this way, fixing the root cause can solve both problems in the long-term.

This means taking a look at your risk factors and making lifestyle changes accordingly. Common causes of BPH and ED that you should consider with your doctor include:

  • Weight (being overweight/obese)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Medications

Treating symptoms of BPH and erectile dysfunction

If you’re dealing with BPH and ED, you might feel overwhelmed running to the bathroom and unable to enjoy the sexual pleasures of life. And lifestyle changes take time. Below are a few tips to reduce your suffering in the meantime, while you attack the root causes of your ED and BPH problems.

  • Reduce your intake of fluids, especially after dinner. This will help reduce the urge to urinate throughout the night.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. These are diuretics that increase urine flow.
  • Talk to your doctor about anticholinergic medications like antihistamines and antidepressants. These weaken bladder contractions, so it can be a challenge to control your symptoms.
  • Talk to your doctor about blood pressure or heart medications, which are usually diuretics.
  • Avoid medications that stimulate your muscles, like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and other decongestants.
  • Clear the path from your bed to the bathroom so you don’t hurt yourself in the middle of the night.
  • Always use the bathroom when you feel the urge.
  • Eat an ED-fighting diet.
  • Exercise! Sweating can help reduce the urge to go to the bathroom. It can also help maintain a healthy body weight, reduce stress, and lower anxiety—all of which may be causing your BPH and ED.
  • Get more vitamin D, which is linked to prostate health.

Bottom line

Enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction are linked, often presenting signs at the same time. If you’re suffering from urinary and sexual symptoms, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Be sure to discuss how your treatment for BPH will influence your ED and vice versa.

You don’t need to run to the bathroom. You don’t need to shy away from sex. It’s time to take control of your health.

Take power over your health and vitality right now by checking our Male 90X program. With this genetic-based report and private consultation, your sexual and overall health will be completely renewed and revolutionized. 

The Link Between Vitamin D and Prostate Health

Are Vitamin D and prostate health related?

Half of all men over age 50 will be diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia. This statistic rises to nearly 90% in men over age 80. While an enlarged prostate due to BPH can be related to age, it may be even more intricately linked to hormonal and vitamin imbalances in the body.  

In fact, numerous studies in recent years may have found a strong link between BPH and vitamin D. A majority of men are deficient in vitamin D, especially as they get older. Studies show this deficiency increases the risk for male sexual health problems among other concerns like cancers, heart disease, and depression.

Let’s first take a look at BPH and vitamin D separately, and then use information about both to understand the correlation between the two.

What is BPH?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign enlargement of the prostate (BEP) is, simply put, an enlarged prostate. The stromal and epithelial cells—both of which make up the tissue of the prostate—overgrow and expand, causing the prostate to grow in size.

BPH is often linked to other prostate and sexual health concerns as well, such as prostatitis and prostate cancer.

If the prostate grows large enough, it will restrict and affect other areas of reproductive health. For example, an enlarged prostate can obstruct the urethra and minimize the size of the bladder.

This can lead to complications like urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney stones, kidney infections, and possibly even kidney failure.

There are a variety of treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia, but results are varied based on the cause of the BPH. Generally, BPH can occur due to hormones, diet, or simply from age.

There is a strong link between estrogen and overgrowth of prostate cells. In conjunction with naturally dropping testosterone levels due to age, male estrogen (estradiol) begins to take over and prostate cells multiply rapidly.  

Still, there is still a lot of missing research to fully understand BPH and its causes. That’s where vitamin D comes in.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that works like a hormone in the body. It is absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the tissue.

Because it’s stored in tissues, the body holds on to it for longer periods of time than water-soluble vitamins. The body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorous from the blood stream, so these minerals can be used for proper organ function, nerve health, and bone strength.

We get vitamin D primarily from the sun. Our bodies use a complex process to convert ultraviolet rays into vitamin D. We can also get small amounts of vitamin D from foods like salmon, herring, orange juice, fortified cereals and drinks, or supplements.

Vitamin D has a number of proven health benefits:

  • Boosts immune system and ability to fight infections
  • Improves life expectancy
  • Maintains bone health
  • Prevents high blood pressure
  • May decrease risk of certain cancers, like colon cancer
  • Reduces muscle and joint pain
  • Promotes muscle strength
  • Lowers risk of heart disease and improves cardiovascular function
  • Protects brain function and memory; may fight Alzheimer’s

Vitamin D has also been linked to prostate health and male fertility. High levels of vitamin D maintain strong sperm count with quality semen.

Additionally, vitamin D has been considered a possible treatment for ED because of its positive effects on blood flow (vitamin D may work to send more blood to the penis to help it get an erection).

So how is vitamin D related to BPH?

Does vitamin D treat BPH?

Vitamin D is not a proven treatment for BPH…yet.

A study in the Canadian Journal of Urology discovered that, “the impact of vitamin D on prostate volume and BPH has shown promising results, thus proposing further studies on vitamin D and BPH be conducted.”

Although conclusive results are still needed, vitamin D shows some significant benefits that can reduce symptoms and potential causes of BPH


Chronic inflammation is a significant factor of benign prostatic hyperplasia. BPH is, simply put, an inflammation of a specific grouping of cells, which then causes an overall inflammation of the prostate.

One study with the International Journal of Andrology found that vitamin D receptors play a crucial role in inflammation. They concluded that strengthening these receptors—through the supplementation or consumption of vitamin D—can help minimize inflammation, including BPH-related enlargement.

Another study in Italy found that the synthetic vitamin D2 was able to stop inflammation and growth of BPH cells.

Basically, vitamin D can help promote a normal prostate size and reduce prostate swelling like BPH and prostatitis. Vitamin D has proven properties that inhibit cellular proliferation, which is the process of cells increasingly growing or dividing. The ability to reduce inflammation and cell proliferation may also be the reason that vitamin D could minimize the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.


Estradiol, or male estrogen, also plays a role in BPH. Elevated estrogen prohibits testosterone production.

Low testosterone levels can result in reduced libido, mood changes, increased risk of heart disease, lowered energy, erectile dysfunction, and—you guessed it—an enlarged prostate.

According to the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting, vitamin D may be able to increase testosterone concentrations, especially in aging men whose T levels are starting to naturally decline. Vitamin D has also regulates estrogen levels and increase sperm quality.

Healthy weight

In addition, lowered testosterone can also result in weight gain and a loss of muscle. This, in turn, elevates the level of free-floating estrogen; this creates a cycle of high estrogen, low testosterone, weight gain, and prostate concerns.

A study at the University of Milan found that vitamin D can help maintain a healthy weight. Those participants with vitamin D supplementation lost more weight and had a larger reduction in waistlines than those who did not take supplements during the same weight loss regimen.

In this way, vitamin D may also help shed weight, which can in turn boost testosterone and lower estrogen.

Simply put, vitamin D can help balance estrogen and testosterone despite outside forces like weight gain and age-related disorders. This balance may help prevent BPH, as cells growth is not encouraged by excessive free-floating estrogen.

Bottom line

An analysis of the many studies of vitamin D and prostate health can conclude that it may play a role in preventing and treating BPH. 

However, maintaining a healthy level of vitamin D is crucial to overall health and wellness, and it has demonstrated some positive effects on prostate health, male fertility, or testosterone levels.

If you’re dealing with BPH, talk to your doctor about incorporating a vitamin D supplement into your routine. And don’t forget to catch some vitamin D sun rays (with proper SPF protection, of course).

To achieve the ultimate prostate health and achieve your maximum potential sign up for The Male 90X Consult. This genetic-based report and private consultation will get you on track for a total body transformation so you can start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.