There is little doubt that some individuals who change their diet can reduce their cholesterol levels and, over a period of time, even decrease arterial blockages. (Sometimes medication combined with diet is needed.) Canadian doctors, for example, put 50 patients with blockages in their leg arteries on a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet. Some used the American Heart Association’s program, others the Pritikin maintenance plan. Despite their leg pain, all participants were supposed to exercise regularly, cut out smoking as much as possible, reduce their intake of salt and caffeine (both of which can raise blood pressure) and limit alcohol consumption.

After one year on the program, all participants had lower levels of cholesterol and blood fats, and higher levels of highdensity lipoproteins (HDLs), an all-important cholesterol-remover .The researchers also found that the more fiber an individual ate, the more likely he was to have lowered his cholesterol. As an additional benefit, everyone lost weight. All were better able to exercise, as measured on a treadmill. This improvement may reflect increased blood flow to the legs, resulting from fewer blockages in the arteries. Many participants said they felt better. Unfortunately, the researchers did not report the program; effect on erection.

Obesity is bad for your arteries because it promotes in creased fats in your blood, high cholesterol, and keeps you body from producing enough HDLs. And if you are prone to diabetes, overweight will make you more susceptible to it—and the erection difficulties that can follow. So, for heavy men, taking off pounds is a necessary part of any plan for improving the health of the arteries and prolonging potency. A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight, and oat bran in particular may help lower your cholesterol. In addition to limiting your fat intake, exercise is important to losing weight.

Losing weight and keeping faithful to a low-salt, low-fat diet can also help lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure and many medications used to treat it can sap potency. You should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year, more often if possible. Another aid to controlling high blood pressure is exercise.


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