Dr. Oz explains exactly why the penis is such a good indicator of a man's health. In order for a man's penis to become erect, its blood vessels become engorged with blood. "If you've got artery problems in the penis, you're going to have them elsewhere too," he says. "You [will] have that same problem with arteries being hardened in your heart and in your brain."
Hardened arteries are linked to serious problems with heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer's disease and problems with kidneys and skin. "That's why coming forward and talking about it like it's a medical problem, rather than some cosmetic or manliness issue, is so critical," Dr. Oz says.
Drugs that treat erectile dysfunction are popular because they work remarkably well, Dr. Oz says. They increase the amount of nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes the arteries and allows blood to flow to the penis. "Those drugs actually work very effectively for that purpose," he says. "I don't mind people using it, but I do get concerned when we think that's the solution. Because if you medicate yourself and get over a problem, that's not the same as reversing the problem."
So what can a man do to reverse the root of the erectile dysfunction, rather than just medicate the issue?
- Cut out inflammatory foods, such as anything that's been fried. Replace them with healthy fats like omega-3s, found in salmon and walnuts. "They actually take the pressure off the liver so you don't have so much inflammation in the body," Dr. Oz says.
- Get enough exercise to break a sweat.
- Lose that belly fat to get your hormones back on track.