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More Protein Intake Could Mean Better Erections For Men With ED

Proteins and Erections

Believe it or not, rats and humans share similarities that mimic many relevant features of human erectile dysfunction.

Researchers at the Bronx, New York, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Case Western Reserve University have identified molecular changes in rats.

These molecular changes accompany the onset of diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction, which could gain insight and help identify erectile dysfunction risk leading to potential new drug discoveries into erectile dysfunction.

One of the most common problems induced in men with diabetes is erectile dysfunction. Over 70% of men with diabetes suffer some form of erectile dysfunction, and in many cases, actually develop more drug-resistant forms of erectile dysfunction.

Researchers noted that the corpora, which are the tissues that expand along the length of the penis by filling with blood during an erection, had the same reaction in rats with diabetes.

Mark Chance and colleagues used a proteomics approach to examine the relative abundance of proteins at two different stages of progression of the onset of diabetes.

These two different stages were one week after the outset and then at two months. They identified 57 different proteins in the tissues of the penis that had either decreased or increased during these controlled tests by comparing them to other age-matched healthy rats.

Mechanics of erectile dysfunction

These proteins revealed some of the mechanics of erectile dysfunction. Collagen proteins that provide the strength and hardness in an erection were not surprisingly down-regulated in the diabetic rats. The proteins that transport sex hormones were also down and also revealed up-regulated proteins. The ones related to fat metabolism, which are responsible for the hardening and narrowing of blood vessels, were among the up-related ones and proteins involved in the death of cells (apoptosis).

The researchers believe these insights into the proteins involved with erectile dysfunction could very well lead to the discovery of the medicines that may help diabetic men maintain a better quality of life with their partners.

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