Everything that goes up must come down. That's certainly true of the stock market, Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity and the winner's weight on "The Biggest Loser." But sometimes the opposite is true.
When it comes to elevated levels of lousy LDL cholesterol, more than 32 percent of men in the U.S. can't get their number down below 100mg/dL. And at the same time, 30 percent of guys 40-70 have erectile dysfunction. Coincidence? Nope. High levels of LDL can clog any blood vessel, not just those in your heart, and make it difficult to achieve an erection. Unless the LDL comes down ...
Well, it turns out there's good news. Statins, the anti-cholesterol, anti-inflammation medications taken by 15 percent of men in the U.S. ages 45-64 and the 50 percent of those 65-plus, don't just help prevent cardiovascular disease, dementia and peripheral artery disease. They also restore blood flow throughout the body, and that eases ED.
While it's too soon to prescribe statins as ED therapy (not all ED is caused by circulatory problems; psychosocial issues need to be addressed through therapy), it's one more reason why we say these are life-changing medications.
Other good news about potential benefits of statins: They might help prevent blood clots and reduce your risk of developing and dying from all cancers. And combining a statin with a daily low-dose aspirin (warm water before and after, but check with your doc) might reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.