Episode 112. Let’s Talk About SEX
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Research shows that diet affects reproductive health. Scott references more than a dozen published clinical studies whose results support plant-based solutions to sexual health issues faced by both men and women.
“There are foods that can harm and foods that can heal”
- Studies looked at diet and its effect on male and female sex hormones, PMS, endometriosis, erectile dysfunction.
- Vegans have higher testosterone levels than vegetarians or meat-eaters, according to a paper published in the British Journal of Cancer.
- One of Scott’s vegan clients writes to report recent lab tests he’d received, showing his base testosterone went from low 700s to the low 900s and free testosterone being in optimal range without any change in hormone replacement dosage.
- A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine demonstrated that women with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) had lower sexual function indexes than similar aged women with lower cholesterol.
- Another study showed a low-fat vegetarian diet was associated with reductions in body weight, dysmenorrhea duration and PMS symptom duration.
- Some vegan women lose their periods from simply eating too little, not from the vegan diet itself. Scott often saw this when he was coaching female physique competitors.
- Diet may contribute to endometriosis. A 2004 study in the journal Human Reproduction showed women who consumed more green vegetables and fruit were at reduced risk. Red meat increases the risk.
- Milk consumption, researchers found, increased blood levels of the harmful type of estrogens in both sexes: a 25% spike in estrogen and reduced testosterone levels in men.
- ED (erectile dysfunction) can be a predictor for cardiovascular risk. Men with serious ED, according to the Mayo Proceedings, should be considered cardiac patients until proven otherwise.
- In one study, pistachios were shown to improve erectile dysfunction while improving lipid parameters.
- High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia, female’s version of ED) also affects women’s sexual experience.
- Small amounts of ginger helped relieve PMS as well as ibuprofen in a 2009 study published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- Food can harm and food can heal. Foods that help or heal tend to come from plants.
[References & Links]
Allen NE, et al. “Hormones and diet: low insulin-like growth factor-I but normal bioavailable androgens in vegan men.” Br J Cancer. 2000 Jul; 83(1): 95–97
Key TJ, et al. “Testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, calculated free testosterone, and oestradiol in male vegans and omnivores.” Br J Nutrition. 1990 Jul. Vol 64: 1110119
Barnard ND, et al. “Diet and sex hormone-binding globulin, dysmenorrhea and premenstrual symptoms.” Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Feb;95(2):245-50
Parazzini F, et al. “Selected food intake and risk of endometriosis.” Hum Reprod 2004 Aug;19(8):1755-9. Epub 2004 Jul 14.
Maruyama K, Oshima T, Ohyama K. “Exposure to exogenous estrogen through intake of commercial milk produced from pregnant cows.” Pediatric Int. 2010 Feb;52(1):33-8.
Inman BA, et al. “A population-based, longitudinal study of erectile dysfunction and future coronary artery disease.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009 Feb;84(2),108-113.
Aldemir M, et al. “Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction.” Int J Impot Res. Jan-Feb;23(1):32-8. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2010.33. Epub 2011 Jan 13.
Esposito K, et al. “Hyperlipidemia and sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women.” J Sex Med. 2009 Jun;6(6):1696-1703. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01284.x. Epub 2009 Apr 23.
Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. “Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea.” J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32.
Kashefi F, “Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on heavy menstrual bleeding: a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.” Phytother Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):114-9.
Rahnama P, et al. “Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jul 10;12:92.
Khayat S, et al. “Effect of treatment with ginger on the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2014 May 4;2014:792708.
Kashefi F, et al. “Comparison of the effect of ginger and zinc sulfate on primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo-controlled randomized trial.” Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Dec;15(4):826-33.
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