Impotence is the inability to maintain or achieve an erection, resulting in difficulties participating in sexual intercourse. Impotence can have both physical and emotional causes, with physical causes being predominant. While garlic is not necessarily a replacement for medical treatment, it has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of not only impotence, but erectile dysfunction as well by acting on the body in several ways. More research is needed, however, to validate it's effectiveness in the treatment of impotence.
Stimulates NOS Production
As people get older, the arteries in the body begin to lose their ability to dilate, which can impede blood flow. This is due, in part, to a reduction in the production of an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase, or NOS. Garlic contains NOS, an enzyme that plays a big role in the mechanism of an erection, and garlic has been shown to stimulate NOS production, notes Health Guidance. The evidence, however, is sparse and more studies should be conducted to verify the effectiveness of NOS from garlic and it's effect on impotence in humans.
Allicin was discovered by the Italian chemist C.J. Cavallito in 1944, and it is one of the principle biological active compounds of garlic, notes Allicin Facts. Allicin is primarily responsible for many of garlic's beneficial effects including its ability to contribute to the treatment of hypertension and high cholesterol, notes Allicin Facts, both of which atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of the arteries of the body. Due to the fact that atherosclerosis contributes to decrease blood flow, it is a contributing factor to impotence, according to Health Communities. Research, however, has not yet directly established a relationship between allicin in garlic and the treatment of impotence.
Contains Polysulfides and Promotes H2S Production
When garlic interacts with red blood cells in the body hydrogen sulphide, or H2S, is produced. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 which demonstrated that H2S causes blood vessels to relax and lowers blood pressure and has heart protective effects. Lead research of the study, Dr. David Kraus, Ph.D., reported in his study that these effects come from polysulfides, which are the compounds in garlic that boost H2S production. Garlic's ability to relax blood vessels improves circulation, which indirectly contributes to lessening impotence. While these results are encouraging, more research is needed in the potential link between garlic and lessening impotence.
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Seana Rossi is a research associate from Toronto who has been publishing and editing scientific abstracts and manuscripts since 2003. Her work has appeared in publications such as "The Society for Neuroscience," "The Canadian Psychological Association" and "The Journal of Surgical Oncology." Rossi obtained a Master of Science in neuroscience from York University.