The Three food factors for Sexual Fitness
by Robert Fried, Ph.D. and Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Ph.D.
Ballentine Div., Random House, 2006
This book is about the application of a (1998) Nobel-Prize winning
discovery to enhancing both cardiovascular and heart health but most
important, to enhancing sexual vitality for a lifetime. Healthy sexual
performance depends on a steady supply of blood to the sex organs during
arousal to ensure erection in men and engorgement and lubrication in
women. We first leaned in 1998 that the blood supply is under the
control of a foods-derived molecule, nitric oxide (NO). When the body
fails to produce it, sexual vitality in both men and women wanes and may
disappear altogether--even in the face of strong desire! Read here why
our three food factors work where psychotherapy fails: Our three food
factors provide the body with the very molecule, NO, without which even
VIAGRA would fail:
Until 1998, we all assumed that blood vessels were controlled by
so-called action hormones including noradrenaline. In fact, prescription
anti hypertensive beta-blocker meds reduce the action of noradrenaline,
thus lowering blood pressure. But, we now know that action hormones only
modulate blood vessels whereas NO is the basic control mechanism that
dilates blood vessels increasing blood flow when and where needed.
At that time also, Pfizer, well aware of the research on NO, discovered
that they had developed a compound--later termed VIAGRA--that extended
the duration of the action of NO on body blood vessels--dilating them--
and they intended to market it as an anti hypertensive. But they noted
that it resulted in erection in men at the same time that it reduced
their blood pressure. In other words, VIAGRA dilated more than coronary
How does the body make NO? It turns out that it comes mostly from one of
the principal amino acids found in all proteins: L-arginine. L-arginine
rich foods include meats, fish and legumes. In addition, the body can
readily make NO directly from green vegetables because they are rich in
nitrate compounds that can be made to yield it.
Fried experimented with arginine supplement readily available in health
food stores in the early 1990s reasoning that one alternative to VIAGRA
that prolongs the action of NO is to supply more NO to the body. As we
now know, this worked and resulted in "THE ARGININE SOLUTION"
(Times/Warner, 1999) and then the arginine-based supplement, VasoRect
(Real Health Labs, Inc.). By then, tens of thousands of articles had
been published on the cardiovascular and erectile benefits of
In the mid- 1990s also, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a series of
clinical trials of a nutrition plan intended to raise NO availability
for heart patients. Anything that raises NO production will lower blood
pressure, lower heart rate and the work of the heart, and will increase
sexual energy. This does not mean libido (sexual desire) but
performance. NO has no effect on sexual desire, but it dramatically
So, *GREAT FOOD, GREAT SEX* explains all that to the reader and most of
the recipes are from the NHLBI clinical trials (reprinted in the book
with their permission). Thus, we have the only sex nutrition book proven
by the US government to support cardiovascular and heart action and at
the same time it raises NO production for increased sexual performance.
So, as you can see, it is very scientific, not whimsical, nor is it
prurient in intent or content.
Edlen-Nezin joined the project several years ago contributing also her
vast knowledge about- and experience with special- populations
nutrition. Together, we formulated the three-food factors for sexual
The three food factors are "*greens-and-beans*" (nitrogen rich and
arginine rich foods such as vegetables and legumes that yield NO),
*arginine rich meats and fish* that yield NO, and *powerful antioxidant
foods* (fruits, vegetables, etc) to protect blood vessels.
About the authors:
Robert Fried, Ph.D., is senior professor of biopsychology at Hunter
College, City University of New York. He is a member of the American
Physiology Society (APS) (cardiovascular and respiration division) and
the American Psychological Association (APA). A fellow of the New York
Academy of Sciences, Dr. Fried lectures in the U.S. and abroad on
cardiovascular function. He has appeared on national and international
TV, including CNN and Fox News. He is also the author of The Arginine
Solution: The First Guide to America 's New Cardio-Enhancing Supplement
and Breathe Well, Be Well: A Program to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Asthma,
Hypertension, Migraine, and Other Disorders for Better Health. Dr. Fried
lives in New York City.
Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Ph.D., is director of behavioral science and vice
president of strategic planning and research for Grey Healthcare Group.
She is a graduate of the doctoral program in clinical health psychology
at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed her internship
at the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke 's --Roosevelt Hospital Center.
She is an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal
trainer. Dr. Edlen-Nezin has contributed to several books, and her
articles have appeared in magazines including Self and Seventeen, as
well as in the New York Daily News. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.