Over the years you have most likely heard and/or read plenty about what causes various diseases. Saturated fat supposedly causes heart disease. Too much sugar causes type 2 diabetes. Too much sun causes skin cancer. And too much salt causes high blood pressure.
But do you want to know the real cause behind most diseases? Chronic inflammation. From diabetes to arthritis, heart disease to cancer, the real culprit behind the majority of diseases is chronic inflammation. While “too much” of a good (or bad) thing may trigger inflammation, it is the inflammation throughout the body itself that does the damage.
What Exactly is Inflammation?
No doubt you’ve already experienced inflammation firsthand. If you’ve ever cut your finger or sprained your ankle, then you’ve experienced inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to an injury or illness. When you get the flu, you also experience inflammation. It’s the body’s way of dealing with something “bad” going on to help the body heal by sending white blood cells to the rescue. Acute inflammation happens when you get a sudden injury or illness. Acute inflammation is natural and beneficial.
CHRONIC inflammation, on the other hand, is something entirely different. Chronic inflammation is typically triggered by environmental factors and lifestyle choices such as smoking and eating a poor diet. In this scenario, white blood cells also flood the bloodstream, but instead of eventually retreating (the invaders of cigarettes and fast food never go away), they end up attacking healthy tissues and organs.
“Our own defenses literally bombard us with friendly fire,” says Peter Libby, M.D., a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School who studies inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation and Erectile Dysfunction
Chronic inflammation is thought to be one of the biggest culprits behind erectile dysfunction (ED). Men achieve erections when their penis becomes engorged with blood. It stands to reason that if there is something that stops the free flow of blood in the body, chances of getting a strong erection decrease.
Chronic inflammation damages the lining of the arteries. The lining is supposed to be nice and smooth. But inflammation causes tiny tears and rough spots to develop on the lining. What happens next is, plaque begins to get snagged on these jagged edges of the lining, causing plaque buildup. The artery wall eventually becomes narrower and narrower, constricting blood flow.
Beyond poor lifestyle choices, certain sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia pneumonia or cytomegalovirus are known to initiate chronic inflammation.
How to Fight Chronic Inflammation
There are a few different things you can begin to do today to fight chronic inflammation.
One of the first things you can do is lose weight. Belly fat has been shown to be a trigger for inflammation. So if you are a guy that has the proverbial beer gut, it’s time to take measures to lose it. Studies have found that even a small reduction in fat loss can lead to reduced inflammation.
Cutting back on refined sugars and processed foods is one of the biggest ways you can fight inflammation. In particular, avoid foods that are high in high-fructose corn syrup and vegetable oils. These are two BIG triggers of inflammation.
And finally, incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are the ones that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are foods like fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna) as well as walnuts and flax seeds.
Royal jelly is another food that has been widely acclaimed to reduce inflammation. In multiple animal studies, the fatty acids and phenolic compounds in royal jelly appear to reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals released by immune cells.
As an added bonus, men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction will be happy to hear that royal jelly has also been shown to be a powerful natural remedy for ED. So you are giving your body twice the chances at getting your erection back.