Health & Fitness

Safely boost sexual energy

Lamar Odom, NBA star and reality-TV personality, recently was stricken after reportedly using an herbal “Viagra.” And while we’ve frequently warned you about the risks of taking unregulated and often toxic supplements for enhanced sexual performance (as well as for weight loss, an energy boost or to build muscle), it’s finally become inescapable news that these concoctions can be dangerous.

The Food and Drug Administration states in an Oct. 15 update on the dangers of so-called herbal sexual-enhancement supplements: “... lab tests have found that nearly 300 of these products contain undisclosed drug ingredients. These can include the same active ingredients found in prescription drugs that are FDA-approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction ... they also sometimes may include combinations of undisclosed ingredients or excessively high doses ... because their labels do not list the potentially hazardous ingredients.” (The FDA doesn’t regulate herbals.)

Enough said. If you’re concerned about genuine sexual enhancement, we’ve got the winning ingredients: a healthy heart, blood vessels loaded with nitric oxide, lowered stress response and a genuine connection with your partner. So start today to create a lifetime of intimate pleasure by making sure you eat a heart-loving diet filled with non-starchy veggies, whole grains, healthy proteins such as fish and skinless chicken and, if your doc says it’s OK, a glass of wine daily. Practice mindful mediation every day (unhealthy stress takes your mind off pleasure). And cultivate meaningful connections with those you care about by listening, sharing activities and having a generous heart. Then get creative.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.

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