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While this has been a popular debate, the evidence suggests there isn't a strong link between pornography use and erectile dysfunction (ED).
- According to UW Health, around 5 percent of men that are 40 years old have complete erectile dysfunction. That number increases to about 15 percent by age 70.
- While there are many things that can cause or contribute to ED (such as high blood pressure, smoking, the use of drugs or alcohol, depression, and anxiety), there has been wide debate over the impacts of pornography use.
- Several studies outlined in this article look at the supposed link between ED and pornography use.
Can pornography really cause erectile dysfunction?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUyMjIxMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODc3NDE0MH0.YIoVjpvc1V2X6viFQ0q62Bfr37dzWZGDb_JdfzpOlv8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C104&height=700" id="aeea4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cbb4798850bfefec88f62c3538741ba0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="naked man hiding behind a pillow" />
Is there really any evidence proving porn causes ED?
Photo by PrinceOfLove on Shutterstock<p>Over the years, there have been multiple studies with conflicting results when it comes to this controversial question.</p><p><strong>A 2012 study links porn and erectile dysfunction in men ages 20-40 but says it is only "one piece of the puzzle."</strong></p><p>According to a <a href="https://www.webmd.com/sex/news/20170512/study-sees-link-between-porn-and-sexual-dysfunction#1" target="_blank">HealthDay News study</a>, porn-addicted men are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and are less likely to be satisfied with sexual intercourse. This was determined based on a survey of 312 men between the ages of 20-40. Of men surveyed, 3.4 percent said they preferred masturbating to pornography over sexual intercourse, but the researchers found a statistical relationship between porn addiction and sexual dysfunction.</p><p>According to lead researcher Dr. Matthew Christman (staff urologist with the Naval Medical Center in San Diego), the rates of organic causes of ED in this age cohort are extremely low, so the increase in erectile dysfunction needs to be explained. "We believe that pornography may be one piece to that puzzle. Our data does not suggest it is the only explanation, however."</p><p><strong>A 2016 study has also been cited as proof that pornography use causes ED, however the study itself explains that more research is needed to prove this theory.</strong> </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/#B9-behavsci-06-00017" target="_blank">According to this study</a>, 1 in 4 participants who sought help for new-onset ED were younger than 40, which was highly unusual. The conclusion of this study was that traditional factors that once explained sexual difficulties in men appear insufficient to account for the sharp rise in sexual dysfunctions and low sexual desire in these men."Both the literature and our clinical reports underscore the need for extensive investigation of Internet pornography's potential effects on users, ideally by having subjects remove the variable of internet pornography in order to demonstrate potential effects of behavioral modification," the authors wrote.</p><p><strong>An Italian study suggests men could suffer from "sexual anorexia" after pornography use. </strong></p><p>A survey of 28,000 users suggests many Italian males started an "excessive consumption" of porn sites as early as 14 years of age. The study uses the term "sexual anorexia," which is referred to in this case as a pathological loss of appetite for romantic-sexual interactions. </p><p>This particular study has been cited in multiple articles that claim ED is directly linked to pornography use. However, the study, listed in ANSA, outlines "daily use" for people in their early-mid 20s, and how individuals <em>may </em>become "inured to even the most violent images" in porn. </p><p>"It starts with lower reactions to porn sites, then there is a general drop in libido and in the end it becomes impossible to get an erection," <a href="https://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2011/02/24/visualizza_new.html_1583160579.html" target="_blank">explains Carlo Foresta</a>, head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS). </p><p><strong>A 2019 study that analyzed porn watching and ED risk suggested there isn't likely to be a link. </strong></p><p><a href="https://www.seksuologen-vlaanderen.be/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Grubbs-Gola-2019-J-SEX-MED-no-causal-link-pornography-and-ED-2.pdf" target="_blank">According to this study</a>, which sampled 877 American men between the ages of 18-60, porn-watching and ED were not likely to be linked. While it was true that some porn-watching men in the study did report ED, researchers found "very little evidence that mere pornography use is associated with changes in erection function."</p><p><strong>While porn may have some impact on ED, that impact isn't always negative.</strong></p><p>"ED is a biopsychosocial phenomenon, meaning there are many factors that can contribute to it," Christene Lorenzo, a therapist specializing in sexual health and relationships, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/experts-debunk-new-survey-claiming-watching-adult-videos-causes-ed#What-sexual-health-experts-think" target="_blank">explains to HealthLine</a>. </p><p>There are many possible physiological, psychological, and relationship factors that impact ED that most surveys arguing the impacts of pornography of erectile function don't take into account. <span></span></p><p>Additionally, while porn-induced erectile dysfunction is possible, porn may also actually help with ED in some cases. Erectile dysfunction is a complex health issue that has both physical and mental health components, according to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317117" target="_blank">Medical News Today</a>. </p><p>"A <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sm2.58" target="_blank" style="">2015 study</a> found that men who reported more time spent viewing pornography had greater sexual responsiveness to a partner in a laboratory setting. This suggests that pornography might help prime the brain or body for sex, potentially improving intercourse with a partner." </p>
According to the analysis, the more yoga sessions a person did each week, the less they struggled with depressive symptoms.
- Depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting over 340 million people.
- According to a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, yoga sessions may be able to ease depressive symptoms in people with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
- Mindfulness, meditation, and breathing control techniques are all things that have been proven effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Traditional yoga practices typically include a combination of these things and therefore may actually have more of a positive impact.
Yoga can be used as a form of exercise and self-help<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzMwOTQwMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NzgxOTU4OX0.w6RNzU2JD0qlSxnNJXLcWJM80Tb3QTtLg-36FYyIWTM/img.jpg?width=980" id="07f6f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4a2f331ab10df4a53b2ef9863d3f13e5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="woman doing yoga self help depression disability" />
Depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>Globally, mental disorders such as the ones highlighted throughout this article <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215036615005052" target="_blank">are responsible for up to 32%</a> of disability-adjusted life years (which is described as a year of 'healthy' life lost). Depressive disorders are <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Greden/publication/11750034_The_Burden_of_Recurrent_Depression_Causes_Consequences_and_Future_Prospects/links/5a8c29e20f7e9b1a95575e5f/The-Burden-of-Recurrent-Depression-Causes-Consequences-and-Future-Prospects.pdf" target="_blank">the leading cause</a> of disability worldwide, affecting over 340 million people. </p><p>With COVID-19 lockdowns preventing people from accessing their regular workout routines, many are beginning to look for alternatives - and this is where yoga can help, according to new research. While typical treatments are still effective for those who are able to experience them, there may be another way to combat symptoms of depression. </p><p>According to a new <a href="https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2020/04/05/bjsports-2019-101242" target="_blank">study</a> in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, yoga sessions may be able to ease depressive symptoms in people with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.</p><p><em> </em>To assess whether physically engaging yoga practices were able to alleviate depressive symptoms in people with a diagnosed mental disorder, 19 studies were included in a large-scale systematic review, and 13 additional studies were included in a meta-analysis review for this experiment.</p>Jacinta Brinsley, a doctoral candidate at the University of South Australia (and lead on the study) explains:<em> "Exercise has always been a great strategy for people struggling with these feelings, as it boosts both mood and health." </em>
How can yoga ease depression symptoms?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzMwOTM5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODM2OTkzMn0.Mcm8Vtzcp7yNrCfWGgYBShqCp1LtU03XjBARaSNdVrI/img.jpg?width=980" id="6eb0e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="420938b6a75f7a69b20a0b4c5484ba10" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="group yoga in yoga classroom men and women doing yoga" />
Study shows the more yoga you do, the less depressive symptoms you may feel.
Photo by Rawpixel.com on Shutterstock<p>Within the 1712 individuals across these 32 studies, disorders of depression, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, anxiety, alcohol dependence, and bipolar were present.</p><p>Participants did 1-2 yoga sessions per week which varied between 20 to 90 minutes long. According to Brinsley,<em> "This is any kind of yoga where 'asana' (the postures and movements) are at the main focus." </em>Brinsley also explained that most yoga classes found online or in gyms or studios in Western society would fit these criteria. </p><p>These yoga sessions were completed weekly for about 2.5 months across all studies reviewed in this project. The results found through Brinsley's team analysis were that yoga moderately eased depressive symptoms compared with other self-help treatments (or lack of treatment) across the mental health spectrum. </p><p>The analysis proves that some conditions seemed to benefit more than others, with the highest success being among individuals who were diagnosed with depressive disorders. Yoga was less effective for those with schizophrenia and those struggling with alcohol use disorders. There was no positive impact listed for those who struggled with depression that stemmed from PTSD. </p><p>According to the analysis, the more yoga sessions a person did each week, the less they struggled with depressive symptoms and the better they felt.</p><p><strong>Different mechanisms work for us to improve our physical and mental health as we exercise.</strong></p><p>Exercise has been widely known for its physical and mental health benefits, with increasing blood circulation to the brain (especially to areas like the amygdala and hippocampus), which both play roles in controlling our motivation, moods, and responses. </p><p>One of the mechanisms that work for us, bettering our physical and mental health when we exercise is the release of endorphins. Another important mechanism that helps is the body's central stress response system (the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), along with the ability for yoga (or other kinds of exercise) to improve sleep quality. </p><p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20350028/?dopt=Abstract" target="_blank">Mindfulness</a>, meditation, and breathing control techniques are all things that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25881019/?dopt=Abstract" target="_blank">have been proven</a> effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Traditional yoga practices typically include a combination of these things and therefore may actually have more of a positive impact beyond mindfulness, breathing exercises, or exercise used individually.</p><p><strong>Connecting the body to the mind through yoga practices.</strong></p><p>One of the most helpful things when dealing with mental health conditions is awareness and proactivity. Understanding the problem and working to find a solution. Yoga practices often teach that the body, mind, and spirit are all connected. When you do work in one area, it impacts your whole system.</p><p>Laurie Hyland Robertson, who co-authored the book "<em>Understanding Yoga Therapy</em>", explains:<em> "We can expect that leg exercises, especially when you approach it in a mindful and purposeful way, can not only affect your quadriceps, but also your emotional state, your body's physiology, and even your mental outlook." </em></p><p><strong>Yoga can be treated as any treatment plan - individualized for each patient. </strong></p><p>Robertson also explains that yoga is an extremely unique treatment plan that offers something for everyone, as <em>"the results of this analysis underscore the importance of working with a professional who can tailor yoga practices to the individual, adapting the care plan as needed." </em></p>
Prior to COVID-19, 45% of people with intellectual disabilities reported feeling lonely.
My brother was supposed to move into his first "independent" home in mid-March. In his late 20s, and a person with an intellectual disability, he had finally gathered up the courage and the will to move out of our family home and live in a group home.
Vaccines have done their job so well that anti-vax parents have forgotten the horror of contagious disease.
- "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr Larry Brilliant, "but vaccines are not one of those factors."
- Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.
- Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts.
What if we could just skip the workout part and take the results in supplement form? Researchers did it… On mice and flies.
- A group of scientists found that boosting the protein Sestrin in mice and flies mimicked the effects of exercise.
- One hypothesis is that the protein activates metabolic pathways that result in certain biological benefits.
- Researchers hope these findings could eventually help scientists combat muscle wasting in humans due to physical limitation.
The study<p>The researchers needed to encourage some lab flies to workout. They did this by utilizing the insects instinct to climb up and out of a test tube and developed a contraption that worked like a fly "treadmill." One group of flies was bred without the ability to produce Sestrin, the other was not. The flies were trained on the cardio device for three weeks, then matched up on their running and flying abilities.</p> <p>"Flies can usually run around four to six hours at this point and the normal flies' abilities improved over that period," explained University of Michigan physiology professor Jun Hee Lee to <a href="https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/a-replacement-for-exercise" target="_blank">a university health blog</a>. "The flies without Sestrin did not improve with exercise." </p> <p>Additionally, when the researchers maximized Sestrin levels in the muscles of normal, untrained flies, they found that those flies actually outperformed the trained flies in fitness tests even though they hadn't exercised. Interestingly, the flies with enhanced Sestrin didn't develop any more endurance when they did exercise. It was as if they had already reached their max. But Sestrin can boost more than just endurance levels. When the mice were bred with Sestrin absent from their muscles, they lacked improvement in fat burning that is typically the result of exercise. </p> <p>"We propose that Sestrin can coordinate these biological activities by turning on or off different metabolic pathways," said Lee, who co-authored the study. "This kind of combined effect is important for producing exercise's effects."</p>
So, about that exercise pill…<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY0MjE4My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzUzMDcwNX0.ynC19NKMbmuEmD93U7dY5NEwvW0PMMyoYEjCAOzObvo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C269%2C0%2C270&height=700" id="f517e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bd0185a4e0d527487e06b7b403565c7a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Flickr/e-MagineArt.com<p>According to Lee, this study demonstrates that Sestrin by itself is able to produce most of the benefits that result from exercise and physical movement. But, sadly, those were just animals. In fact, scientists still are not sure how exactly exercise produces Sestrin in the human body. So, if you're wondering when the Sestrin pill will hit the market for humans, it isn't likely in the near future. But the intriguing results seen on other animals give the green light for researchers to continue exploring the effects that Sestrin has on humans. However, there are some complications involved with producing a Sesterin supplement.</p><p>"Sestrins are not small molecules, but we are working to find small molecule modulators of Sestrin," Lee said. </p><p>A more pressing concern for the researchers has been how these findings could eventually help scientists combat muscle wasting due to physical limitation. In fact, they have already demonstrated that Sestrin can also help avoid the muscle atrophy that occurs when a muscle is immobilized. They want to find out if their research could lead to a new type of treatment for people who are unable to exercise because of a disability, age, or other physical restrictions.</p>