[ed note: today we’re happy to publish the latest thoughts from “Doc Gumshoe”, who is a medical writer (not a doctor) whose work we often feature here at Stock Gumshoe — particularly because this piece is about one of the most heavily marketed cure-all supplements out there for men of a certain age … which happens to be (on average) the same cohort as “men who buy investment newsletters”. As always, Michael’s words and opinions are his own … enjoy!]
The idea is appealing at first glance, no doubt. Among the many effects of testosterone is libido, so it would make sense that boosting testosterone would increase libido, and that would do wonders as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, wouldn’t it?
Lots of men seem to think so, as witnessed by the tripling of men getting testosterone supplements in the past decade. This has been a bonanza for the supplement manufacturers, and has also created a pipeline for the flow of serious money to certain celebrities who have been using their wide renown – or should we say notoriety? – to assist in the promotion of these supplements.
Who are they? Well, how many of us still remember Herman Cain? Poor Herman didn’t even come close to getting the nod back in 2012, but he emerged from that mêlée with at least one invaluable asset: an email list with about 360,000 names. And to that email list he has sent many, many messages boosting testosterone therapy, with such titles as “Breakthrough Remedy for ED!”
As usual with these mass emailings, you don’t just open the email and get a simple message – something clear and straightforward such as, “If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you might get some benefit from testosterone therapy.” Even skeptics like Doc Gumshoe wouldn’t find much to quibble about with a statement like that.
But no. You have to submit your name and email address, and Herman sends you a “cool, free report.” This turns out to be one of those interminable videos, which eventually reveals that the product that will cure your ED is called TestoMax 200, a product of Natural Breakthroughs Research, LLC.
Here, for your entertainment and amusement, is a bit from their website:
The Ultimate All-Natural Male Potency Booster?
There is a solution. Your desire can be boosted, your potency can be unlocked and reclaimed, using an all-natural 10 year-aged herb called found deep in the Indonesian rainforest, from farms that we personally work with. The highest quality, most potent extract is found in TestoMAX200:
It’s One Heck Of A Weird Trick.
Since I researched and released TestoMAX200, the world’s most potent all-natural male-mojo-boosting supplement, 99.6% of my clients over 48 report harder and longer lasting erections, more drive, assertiveness, and better action in-the-sack than they’ve experienced in over 17 years.
It is designed to lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, as well as giving a major boost to your potency by increasing NATURAL testosterone production.
The men who have tried it are reporting an incredible difference in the way they feel and say their lovers are now seeing them in a completely different way. Like it was the first time again. Most of the stories we get are pretty X-Rated.
Reports include cases of:
- Large gains in performance
- Highly charged sex drive
- Verifiably increased muscle mass
- Visible gains in natural potency
- Actually feeling ALIVE again
But we don’t really have a lot of it left. Supplies are running out fast, and the next shipment of TestoMAX200 is held up for the next 4 months. When we run out, that’s it. It’s gone until we get more. And do you really want to be in the same place you are now, for even another 2 months?
I have not the slightest idea what that amazing herb (aged for 10 years) from the Indonesian rain forest might be – why can’t these magic herbs come from Kansas, I wonder? – but before we get anywhere near the pros & cons of testosterone supplements, we need to look at erectile dysfunction a bit more closely. The question that needs addressing is, how often is low testosterone – or “low T” as the advertising calls it – the real cause of ED?
The answer is sometimes, but by no means always.
What are some of the underlying causes of ED?
An erection is nothing more than blood flowing to the penis and filling the spongy tissue, which is what the penis mostly consists of. Usually all it takes is some physical and/or psychological stimulation, and the penis stays engorged with blood long enough to do the job. Therefore, anything that interferes with vascular function has the potential to result in failure to attain and maintain a satisfactory erection. What might some of these vascular obstacles be? Diabetes, heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, as well as obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. And those are just some of the factors that can result in ED.
It’s important for every man to be aware of those factors. Why? Because for many men, ED may be the first sign of a developing condition that could prove fatal. Therefore, the First Commandment regarding ED is DO NOT SELF MEDICATE!
As I was getting ready to send this piece off to be posted, a new major study popped up in my in-box, entitled “All Men with Vasculogenic Erectile Dysfunction Require a Cardiovascular Workup.” It lists 24 authors from 24 big-time academic and medical institutions in the US, UK, France, Italy, and Greece. The premise is that if the source of the problem is not psychological, then it’s vascular – something interfering with blood flow.
Here’s a bit directly from the paper:
“An emerging paradigm indicates that erectile dysfunction is, in fact, an independent marker of cardiovascular disease risk. Thus, the presence of erectile dysfunction may provide the opportunity for cardiovascular disease mitigation in men with otherwise unrecognized cardiovascular disease.” (Miner M et al, Am J Med 2014)
In many cases, dealing with the underlying cause will also bring about resolution of the ED, although sometimes not right away. Many men with ED develop a degree of performance anxiety. Having failed to get and keep a satisfactory erection, the fellow loses confidence in his ability to perform next time and the time after that. It’s the equivalent of a batting slump, and he may benefit from a coach that helps him get the kinks out of his swing.
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The warning about self-medication applies not only to testosterone-boosters but to the Viagra-type medications. These are drugs of a class called phosphodiesterase (PDE5) inhibitors, and they work by relaxing the blood vessels to the penis and also the spongy tissue, permitting them to fill with blood. This is accomplished by inhibiting the activity of a substance that makes the erection go away.
However, in some men PDE5 inhibitors are absolutely contraindicated. This would include men (I say “men” because it’s usually men, but the contraindication would apply to women as well) with angina who are taking nitroglycerine or nitrates. Both the angina drugs and the ED drugs have a short-term powerful blood-pressure lowering effect, and doubling this effect could prove dangerous.
Perhaps more important than the potential for harm with these agents is the need for men to discuss the implications of ED with a physician, in spite of the understandable reluctance of proud, manly, virile males to broach the subject. Doc Gumshoe would be remiss if he didn’t put in capital letters and bold type that ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION IS NOT USUALLY A SIGN OF DECLINING MANHOOD! Guys should swallow their embarrassment, own up to their physician, and do whatever it takes to get to the root cause – because, if it’s one of those conditions I mentioned above, detecting the cause of ED could mean early and effective intervention in a progressive disease with potentially grim consequences.
But, yes, low testosterone can be a factor in ED.
Testosterone, I’m sorry to say, declines steadily with advancing age, so in older men libido may decline and the potential for ED increases. Thus, along with other factors, “low-T” can lead to ED. In younger men, however, low testosterone has other causes, ranging from kidney, liver, and pituitary diseases, trauma to the testes, and hemochromatosis, a condition in which people absorb too much iron from their food, which affects testosterone levels. Even contracting the mumps after adulthood. As with the vascular causes of ED, low testosterone, particularly in younger men, requires further investigation before boosting testosterone with supplements or prescriptions.
It’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity!
… or, perhaps I should say, that’s how it’s viewed by the marketers of testosterone boosters. Reliable surveys report that about one fifth of men between 5