Erectile dysfunction is a symptom of an even bigger problem

Guys, does watching “Godfather Part II” make you feel like a hyped-up lone wolf? According to a 2004 study in Hormones and Behavior, that’s because the macho movie has made your testosterone level rise 30%. Conversely, the study says, if you watch a romantic flick like “When Harry Met Sally” your testosterone level falls. 

If only managing erectile dysfunction were as simple as choosing the right Netflix movie. In reality, low testosterone isn’t the usual cause of ED; restricted blood flow is. The solution for most guys lies in treating the underlying health issue(s) that reduce blood flow, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. 

A new study, using data from the European Male Ageing Study, shows how important it is to address those problems: Over about 12 years of follow-up, men with normal total testosterone levels and ED were at a 51% increased risk of death compared with men without ED.

Fortunately improving your lifestyle can normalize blood pressure, glucose levels, weight, your lousy LDL cholesterol and can ease or reverse Type 2 diabetes. That can make your blood flow better, along with your self-esteem. So, adopt and stick to a life-changing nutrition and exercise regimen (try Dr. Oz’s System 20 for 20 at Ask your doc if it’s safe for you to take meds that enhance genital blood flow, like Viagra. But don’t rely on them. The smart solution is to upgrade your cardiovascular health by upgrading your lifestyle choices.

In the dark about weight loss? Turns out you should be!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit

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