Impotence is more commonly related to obesity and conditions like diabetes (1). It is also more frequently associated with alcohol abuse and smoking. High-calorie diet and lack of physical activity are culprits behind many common health issues (2).
So, can fasting cure ED?
It may sound like a big claim, but fasting, if done correctly, may help cure or at least reduce the severity of impotence. Such benefits primarily happen due to improved metabolism and general health.
How Could Fasting Help With Impotence?
There are many ways in which fasting might help.
Above all, it may help accelerate metabolism and promote weight loss. Weight loss is known to be associated with an increase in testosterone levels. This is because testosterone production does not increase with weight gain, resulting in lower testosterone concentration in the blood (and vice-versa). Additionally, fat cells/adipose cells are known to convert testosterone to the female hormone estrogen (3).
Fasting may also help reduce systemic inflammation and control the levels of adipokines. Fasting may help alter the body's structure and fat content. This may change the hormone levels in the body.
Fasting may have lesser-known effects that might help reset the body's responses. It may, in some cases, help improve sexual function. Fasting may even help alter sexual desire when used along with periods of abstinence.
Fasting is well known to lower insulin resistance, which is one of the significant contributors to impotence. Insulin resistance promotes atherosclerosis and reduces NO production in penile blood vessels. Insulin resistance is associated with weaker sexual desire (4).
Fasting is also suitable for blood vessels. Fasting might help reduce blood cholesterol and hypertension. Regular intermittent fasting may thus help improve the quality of erection.
Fasting may also help by improving the quality of sleep and reducing psychological stress. It may help reduce levels of stress hormones.
Type of Fasting Methods to Avoid When Living With Impotence
To begin with, it is necessary to understand that fasting is not about staying hungry for prolonged hours. Fasting is rather about limiting food intake; it is about calorie restriction. So, for impotence cure, do not use a strict kind of fasting.
Some ways of fasting may have the opposite effect and may instead worsen sexual function. Therefore, it is essential to know what not to do.
Rigorous and prolonged fasting is damaging to health and may even cause malnutrition. Such a kind of fasting may harm sexual health (5).
Studies show that though Ramadan fasting, done by practicing Muslims once a year for almost a month, may be useful for many health conditions, it does not have a positive influence on male potency (6). It is because such kind of fasting may be too stringent for most, as a person not only avoids food for 12-16 hours but is not even allowed to drink water.
Thus, a warrior diet, in which one fast for almost the whole day and then have just one hefty meal in the evening, may not be suitable for treating impotence.
What Kind of Fasting Is Better for Impotence Treatment?
A more flexible type of fasting or diet is beneficial for curing impotence, as they provide health benefits but do not overstress the body. Less stringent fasting also ensures adequate fluid and nutrient intake.
Thus, it may be a good idea to practice 8:16 fasting, where a person almost enjoys all kinds of food items for eight hours during the day. However, the person avoids eating anything for 16 hours (out of which one spends 6-8 hours sleeping).
Another way of fasting could be fasting for 12 hours twice a week. Or some obese individuals may even consider alternate-day fasting.
Fasting for health conditions differs from fasting due to religious or spiritual reasons in a way that one may make some exceptions. So, if a person finds it difficult to fast for 12 hours, one may take some fruits during that period or a bowl of light salad.
Another good way could be using restrictive diets. Restrictive diets are not fasting, but they may help, especially when used along with lifestyle changes. Thus, those addicted to fast food, burgers, and a high-fat diet may benefit by just switching to a vegetarian diet (7).
When fasting, do not forget to have adequate rest and follow the regime. Just remember that men who have a night of ample sleep, go to bed at the same time daily, and manage their stress well, are more likely to have morning erections. This happens due to the normalization of the secretion of hormones, including testosterone.
Taking Additional Steps to Cure Impotence Along With Fasting
Dieting alone would take a long time to help and may not work in all cases. Non-pharmacological means always work better when combined with other ways.
Thus, while fasting, one may think about various supplements. It is particularly important to pay attention to micronutrient intake (vitamins and minerals).
When fasting, one may get a better effect from herbal supplements that are known to boost testosterone and sexual desire. It happens due to the better absorption of various natural compounds. Fasting may also make the body more sensitive to herbal supplements.
Periods of fasting may be an excellent time to take care of mental health and overcome psychological issues. Following a healthy lifestyle, restrictive diets, fasting, along with mindfulness may change a person completely and build confidence. These measures may also help improve physical looks, which plays a vital role in the sexual attractiveness of individuals.
To conclude, fasting is in no way a fast cure but something that may help reset the body, get rid of both physical and psychological issues and thus boost sexual performance. In some cases, fasting cures impotence.