By Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)
Oxygen-rich blood is one of the most important components for erectile health. Oxygen affects two substances that are important in achieving erection: Oxygen suppresses transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-B1). TGF-B1 is a component of the immune system called a cytokine and is produced by smooth muscle cells. It appears to stimulate collagen production in the corpus cavernosum, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Oxygen enhances the activity of prostaglandin E1. Prostaglandin E1 is produced during erection by the muscle cells in the penis. It activates an enzyme that initiates calcium release by the smooth muscle cells, which relaxes them and allows blood flow. Prostaglandin E1 also suppresses production of collagen.
Severe erectile dysfunction often has more to do with disease than age itself. In particular, older men are more likely to have low oxygen conditions that are leading them into heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and as their oxygen levels get lower so does the strength of their penises.
Aging and ultimate death seem characteristic of all living organisms. Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis progressively decrease the tissue oxygen supply. Declining sexual performance goes hand in hand with any decrease in oxygen delivery to the cells. The mechanisms underlying the aging process are not well understood but it is certainly accompanied by a decline in oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.