Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is thought to be a sign of cardiovascular disease risk because the same processes needed to maintain an erection – proper circulation and blood vessel relaxation – becomes impaired.
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios have been show in a number of studies to lower total Cholesterol and raise the good HDL Cholesterol, both of which improve cardiovascular function, so it makes sense that they may help men suffering from erectile dysfunction as well.
Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.), a member of the Anacardiaceae family, is a native of the arid zones of Central and West Asia and distributed throughout the Mediterranean basin. Pistachio nuts are rich sources of plant proteins, dietary fibers and especially antioxidants, including flavanoids and antioxidant vitamins, besides being high in unsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fatty acids (Table 1), which may also have cardioprotective effects.
A dysfunction of arterial wall lining, characterized by impaired nitric oxide bioavailability, leads to the development of atherosclerotic lesions and has been suggested as an important link between ED and cardiovascular disease as well.
International Journal of Impotence Research Clinical Trial
To see if a small amount of Pistachio nuts (100 g) each day could improve ED, researchers in Turkey studied a total of 17 married male patients (average age 48) with ED for at least 12 months. The participants consumed 100 g of Pistachio nuts at lunch every day for a period of 3 weeks. This corresponds to 20% (570 Calories) of their daily calorie intake. After three weeks the men showed marked improvements in erectile function as well as cholesterol balance. There were no side effects; only side benefits, including improved cardiovascular health.
As pistachio nuts are often thought of as a fatty food, consumers may have concerns about gaining weight. However, this study showed that the consumption of the pistachio diet did not cause a weight gain or change in body mass index (BMI). Similar to our study, other previous studies have likewise demonstrated that people who consume up to 20% of their daily calories in Pistachios do not show an increase in BMI or weight gain.
The participants were informed to maintain similar daily dietary intake, similar physical activity and other lifestyle habits as before the start of the study. No subjects were reported to have had any side effects during the pistachio-diet period and no patient dropped out during the study.
Before the pistachio diet, body mass index, systemic systolic and diastolic blood pressures, fasting blood glucose level, lipid parameters and blood testosterone levels were measured. Additionally, the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) scores and Penile Color Doppler Ultrasound (PCDU) parameters were also measured.
At the end of 3 weeks, all of these tests were repeated and the results were compared with the results obtained before the diet.
Pistachios Nuts significantly Improve Erectile Function
Total IIEF-15 score was 36±7.5 before the diet and 54.2±4.9 after the diet (P=0.001). Similarly, all of the five domains of IIEF-15 showed a statistically significant increase (P<0.05; Figure 1, below).
Figure 1. The results of total IIEF-15 and five domain scores before and after the pistachio diet
|Parameters||Before the pistachio diet, mean±s.d. (n=17)||After the pistachio diet, mean±s.d. (n=17)||P-valuea|
Abbreviations: EF, erectile function; IIEF, International Index of Erectile Function; IS, sexual intercourse satisfaction; OF, orgasmic function; OS, overall satisfaction; SD, sexual desire.
Pistachio nuts Lower Bad Cholesterol and Raise the Good
After the pistachio diet, Total Cholesterol (TC) and Bad LDL Cholesterol levels decreased by 18 and 21% respectively. TC/HDL and LDL/HDL ratio also showed a significant decrease after the pistachio diet, whereas the Good HDL Cholesterol level increased by 47% after the pistachio diet. Additional positive results included a decrease in Total Triglycerides (TG) by 17% and a decrease in TG/HDL ratio by 50% after the pistachio diet (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Summary of serum lipid levels and other biochemical parameters before and after the pistachio diet
|Before the pistachio diet, mean±s.d. (n=17)||After the pistachio diet, mean±s.d. (n=17)||P-valuea|
|TC (mg dl–1)||179.5±53.2||148.3±38.9||0.008|
|TG (mg dl–1)||160.8±99||133.9±71.1||0.288|
|HDL (mg dl–1)||42±6.4||62.1±7.9||0.001|
|LDL (mg dl–1)||106.1±30||84.8±10.1||0.007|
Pistachio nuts are rich sources of some plant proteins, dietary fibers and especially antioxidant substances, besides being high in unsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids (Table 1).
Significantly, Pistachio nuts are relatively high in the important amino acid Arginine, which appears to maintain flexible arteries and to enhance blood flow by boosting nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels.
Several hypotheses have been suggested for the serum lipid-lowering effect of pistachio nuts. Pistachio nuts are generally low in saturated fatty acids and high in unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) have been shown to reduce serum TC and LDL. In addition, pistachio nuts contain significant amounts of phytosterols. The major phytosterol component is β-sitosterol, which is one of several plant sterols implicated in cholesterol lowering.
Arginine may account for the hypocholesterolemic effect observed in animal studies.
Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress significantly decreases the synthesis and bioavailability of nitric oxide from the lining of blood vessels as well as nerve cells. We know that pistachio nuts are rich sources of antioxidant substances (Table 1). Kocyigit et al.  reported that a 3-week pistachio diet in healthy volunteers had a favorable effect on oxidative stress. They found a decrease in malondialdehyde level and an increase in antioxidant potential. Serum interleukin-6, total oxidant status, lipid hydroperoxide and malondialdehyde levels were detected to be decreased following administration of 60–100 g pistachio diet for 4 weeks in another study. The antioxidant effects of pistachio against oxidative damage might originate from phytochemicals in its content as resveratrol and anthocyanins have strong free radical scavenging ability.[14,19]
Table 1. Fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, minerals and some bioactive substances in pistachio nuts per 100 g (dried)a
|Vitamin C (mg)||7.19|
|Vitamin A (IU)||233|
Abbreviations: MUFA, monounsaturated fatty acid; PUFA, polyunsaturated fatty acid; SFA, saturated fatty acid.
Dr. Hansen’s Notes:
Erectile Dysfunction affects so many men for the same reasons heart disease has does: Stress; a diet high in saturated fat and low in fruits, vegetables and nuts; pesticides and plastics (Polyethylene Terepthalate); nutritional and antioxidant deficiencies, which lead to high Cholesterol, high blood sugar, low HDL, decreased circulation, and hardening of the arteries (in the coronary arteries and the penis).
Dr. Hansen recommends a comprehensive diet, exercise, and nutritional supplement program to prevent or reverse this process, including GSE Ultra 110, CoQ10 Max, Anginox (Arginie/Citruline Complex), Hawthorne extract, a proprietary sublingual Rx Testosterone formulation and Prostate Pro™ Hansen Clinic formula.
To read the original research go to:
Pistachio Diet Improves Erectile Function Parameters and Serum Lipid Profiles in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction
M Aldemir1, E Okulu1, S Neşelioğlu2, O Erel2 and Ö Kayıgil1
1Department of 2nd Urology, Atatürk Teaching and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey and 2Department of Biochemistry, Atatürk Teaching and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
Posted: 03/06/2011; Int J Impot Res. 2011;23(1):32-38. © 2011 Nature Publishing Group