In recent years, ordinary people have been hearing more about oxidative stress, a topic once only seen in medical journals and conferences. But while the man in the street may now recognize the term, it’s likely he does not really know anything about oxidative stress. Certainly, he may not be aware of the role it plays in his sexua wellbeing. In this article, we discuss oxidative stress and how it impacts penis health.
Learning about oxidative stress
To understand oxidative stress, one must first know something about free radicals. One definition of free radical is “an oxygen-containing molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons.”[i] Because electrons tend to come in pairs, when there is a “loner” among them, it creates conditions that are highly favorable for chemical reactions. For the most part, it’s good to have “stable” molecules with no free electrons. Free radicals can have a positive function, sometimes creating favorable chemical reactions. However, when there are too many of them, they tend to be problematic. For example, their “goal” is to find an electron to balance their unpaired one, and they do this by “stealing” an electron from someplace else, like DNA or protein molecules. This process of stealing electrons produces oxidative stress.
Antioxidants to the rescue
The best way to counteract a free radical is by exposing it to antioxidants. An antioxidant is capable of having unpaired electrons without itself become destabilized. So when an antioxidant and a free radical meet, the free radical can take one of the antioxidant molecules without harming the antioxidant.
So free radicals cause damage to other molecules by stealing electrons, but how does that damage affect humans? Actually, oxidative stress can be a factor in many different kinds of problems. These can range from neurodegenerative diseases to cancer to skin issues.
The last two are areas that can have a significant impact on penis health. Penis skin is very sensitive and can react strongly to outside forces. When penis skin is encounters free radicals, it ages prematurely[ii]. This results in less attractive skin that is more vulnerable to dryness, flaking, peeling, allergic reactions, inflammation and infection. A man who wishes to maintain a handsome penis wants to keep oxidative stress to a minimum.
But oxidative stress can also contribute to erectile function issues. This relates to the cardiac issues that arise from oxidative stress. These can incllude high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attack, etc. When the heart and blood vessels become weaker, it is much more difficult for them to deliver the extra blood to the penis necessary for forming erections.
As we mention above, antioxidants can help to fight free radicals and diminish oxidative stress. This is especially important in dealing with erectile dysfunction, as free radicals can destroy nitric oxide,[iii] which is a molecule that helps penile blood vessels relax and allow for greater blood flow.
Antioxidant Treatment for the Penis
Avoiding oxidative stress depends upon the availability of sufficient amounts of antioxidants, so men should look for a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) that includes powerful antioxidants. As antioxidants go, alpha lipoic acid is one of the best and can be a valuable ally in fighting excess free radicals. Other antioxidants include vitamin E, which is strongly associated with limiting free radicals, and vitamin C, which also plays a key role in developing connective tissue.