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Erectile dysfunction can affect physical intimacy and cause issues within a relationship, Shockwave therapy is one viable erectile dysfunction treatment, Common questions include what is shockwave therapy and how can it help with erectile dysfunction

Is Shockwave Therapy a Viable Erectile Dysfunction Treatment?

Article at a Glance

  • Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical erectile dysfunction treatment that uses short energy waves to stimulate the repair process, prompting the formation of healthy blood vessels.
  • Erectile dysfunction occurs when there is a disruption in the blood flow to the spongy tissues of the penis. This can be caused by normal aging, vascular disease, smoking, and excess body fat.
  • PRP can be added to shockwave treatment for more powerful results including encouraging brisk healing and reducing the risk of side effects such as allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most challenging conditions experienced by men in their middle ages and up. Those who suffer from it know that its symptoms are not isolated to the physical domain, but can impact mental health and relationships as well. While treatments for the symptoms of erectile dysfunction have been available for years, they have been limited and are not always effective for all patients. 

As the frontrunner in age management medicine, Cenegenics is proud to be among the first to offer advanced forms of medicine for the frustrating conditions that tend to accompany the aging process. Erectile dysfunction in particular is a common concern among our patient population, which is why our clinicians continue to stay at the forefront of medical advancements for treating this common yet challenging issue. We are, therefore, proud to announce that the newest form of treatment available for erectile dysfunction, shockwave therapy, is now available through Cenegenics. Discover below what makes this revolutionary therapy so powerful as an erectile dysfunction treatment and whether you could be an ideal candidate.

What Is Shockwave Therapy?

Erectile dysfunction treatment has previously included medications such as Viagra or surgical procedures for penile implants, Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive erectile dysfunction treatment, Ask your physician what is shockwave therapy and how can it help you with erectile dysfunction?

While commonly referred to simply as “shockwave therapy,” the full name for this cutting-edge treatment is low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (LI-ESWT). This non-surgical and non-invasive treatment uses powerful but short energy waves to stimulate healing for chronic conditions, many of which have failed to respond to other therapies or treatments. The therapy is performed by issuing focused electromagnetic pulses to stimulate a repair process, prompting the formation of healthy blood vessels and the delivery of key nutrients to the affected area.

Since its development in the 1990s, various forms of shockwave therapy have been used to treat musculoskeletal conditions such as calcific tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. The technology now used in shockwave therapy derived from the initial discovery of sound waves’ ability to breakdown kidney stones. In years since, it has been revealed to be particularly useful in treating conditions which are otherwise difficult to treat. For example, treatments for chronic plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to the toes, can be especially problematic. Surgical interventions pose the risk of serious complications, including infection.[1] Shockwave therapy, on the other hand, has yielded successful results in various studies, with few complications reported.[2]

In general, shockwave therapy is becoming a widely preferred method of treatment for stubborn injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. The purpose of the treatment is to trigger the body’s own natural healing response, instead of simply masking symptoms. As a noninvasive and drug-free alternative to many traditional forms of treatment, it holds promise for a broad range of injuries and chronic conditions including issues caused by:

  • Sports
  • Overuse
  • Strain
  • Tendonitis

Beyond sports injuries and chronic pain, however, shockwave therapy has also recently emerged as a feasible erectile dysfunction treatment option.

Shockwave Therapy as an Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Shockwave therapy was previously used to treat orthopedic issues in the back and knees, Shockwave therapy has recently been discovered as a viable erectile dysfunction treatment

While commonly used to treat orthopedic conditions in the back, heel, shoulder, knee, and elbow, new evidence shows that the therapy can also benefit erectile dysfunction. Affecting up to half the population of men between the ages of 40 and 70, erectile dysfunction has been a common condition for which, historically, there have been limited treatment options.[3] Yet, further statistics show that although erectile dysfunction does correlate with age, it can impact men earlier in life, too. Although it is a common challenge faced by older adults, with 70% of men affected by age 70, a recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 25% of men seeking help for the condition are under the age of 40.

Erections are produced during sexual stimulation when blood fills spongy tissue in the penis. A broad range of medical conditions can disrupt this blood flow, including:

  • Normal aging
  • Vascular disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Excess body fat
  • Among Others

These issues develop over time, so it’s no surprise that men across most age groups are affected.

The difference between shockwave therapy and alternate treatments is that this method addresses the root cause of erectile dysfunction – the blocked blood flow – through the process described below.

How It Works

Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction is performed by passing low-intensity sound waves through erectile tissue, which addresses plaque in the blood vessels and stimulates the development of new, healthy blood vessels. Called neovascularization, this process helps to improve blood flow to the penis which is crucial to getting and maintaining an erection. A healthy blood flow is what gives the penis firmness, and a man with blood flow issues may therefore have weaker erections or struggle to produce one at all.

Shockwave treatment for erectile dysfunction is different from alternate treatments in that its goal is to restore the normal mechanism of erection to produce natural erections. Sound waves are delivered at specific frequencies to produce a mechanical force to the underlying deep tissues, breaking up vascular plaque and helping new blood vessels and nerve tissue to form. These pulsating acoustic waves ultimately rejuvenate the spongy erectile tissue in the penis to allow the blood spaces to open. New blood vessels grow, blood flow and sensitivity increase, and erections become stronger, bigger, and have increased duration.

To administer the treatment, a trained technician applies a probe coated in a specially-formulated gel to targeted areas. Treatment sessions are usually completed within 20 minutes or less. The process is generally pain-free, though a tingling sensation may occur. The non-invasive procedure is typically completed in a series of 6-12 treatments.


What is shockwave therapy and how can it help you, Shockwave therapy reduced risks such as inhibiting feeling of sexual desire which can occur with penile injections and vacuum pumps

While treatments such as medications have been available to men with erectile dysfunction for decades, until now, the scope of treatment has been limited to generating an erection at the appropriate time. Many of these treatments aren’t widely preferred among patients as they can be painful, expensive, and inconvenient. Moreover, producing an erection at the time needed with pills, vacuum pumps, or painful injections into the penis can inhibit feelings of sexual desire. Being that they are used on an as-needed basis, they may also only work for one sexual encounter at a time. Furthermore, none of these methods treat or reverse the underlying pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction – inadequate blood flow into the erectile tissue of the penis – so using these pumps, pills, and injections allows the underlying problem to worsen as normal aging takes place. Thus, men who rely on these treatments gradually see them fail over time.

Shockwave therapy, on the other hand, addresses the root cause of erectile dysfunction by enhancing blood flow, allowing men to have erections on their own. According to research published in Therapeutic Advances in Urology, this revolutionary treatment “possesses unprecedented qualities that can rehabilitate erectile tissue.” The treatment is projected to be a new standard of care for erectile dysfunction patients and is hailed for its ability to restore erectile function without additional medication. It is also deemed feasible, tolerable, and without any adverse or unwanted effects.[4] Thus, for men who have struggled with this frustrating condition, shockwave therapy is an obvious course of treatment to consider.

Are There Any Side Effects?

As mentioned above, the side effects of shockwave therapy when used as an erectile dysfunction treatment are minimal. Any discomfort experienced during the actual therapy session itself usually manifests as a slight vibration, prickling, or tingling sensation. In general, the treatments have been well tolerated by patients, and results have been impressive.[5]

Not only can you resume your normal, everyday activities immediately following therapy without any restrictions, but you can also have sex the same day of treatments. Most men experience positive results post-treatment, and some may experience a spontaneous erection within 24 hours. Of course, as with all forms of treatment, results vary based on a patient’s underlying medical condition and age. Since erectile dysfunction is a gradual process occurring over a period of years, it would seem beneficial for younger men who are having mild, early erectile dysfunction to begin treatment earlier rather than later. It’s possible that while the treatment may be effective as a standalone solution for many cases of erectile dysfunction, those with more severe symptoms may benefit from using supplemental treatments in addition to shockwave therapy.

For this reason, the Cenegenics team offers an exclusive, state-of-the-art procedure that can be coupled with shockwave therapy for male sexual dysfunction: platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is explained in greater detail below.

The Cenegenics Difference

Cenegenics age management specialists bring a unique perspective to the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Not only do our clinicians offer powerful solutions, such as shockwave therapy, to combat the root cause of the condition, but they also take an all-encompassing approach to effectively address the contributing factors which can have further implications on overall health and longevity, such as:

Our team delivers patient-centered treatment plans to fit the unique needs of each individual based on exhaustive clinical testing, thereby alleviating not only the most outwardly noticeable symptoms and conditions, but also facilitating better vitality now and into the future.

One of the ways we excel in our approach is by offering the broadest scope of treatments, ensuring each patient has access to the solutions that will best fit their individual needs. For erectile dysfunction, we also offer PRP, which can be added to shockwave treatment for even more powerful results. PRP is a concentrate of whole blood, derived from the patient themselves. The blood is treated by lab technicians to contain more concentrated growth factors. It is used to encourage a brisk healing response in many medical applications including orthopedics, dermatology, and dentistry. Using the patient’s own blood minimizes the risk of side effects, such as allergic reactions or skin sensitivity.

What is Shockwave Therapy – In Conclusion

If you’re interested in learning more about shockwave therapy, PRP, how you can improve your health through middle age and beyond, or all of the above, Cenegenics is your premier choice for age management and the specific conditions experienced throughout the phases of adulthood. Our experts have helped patients with concerns just like yours feel their best for decades. Whether you’ve struggled with erectile dysfunction or you’re simply seeking ways to lead a healthier life while keeping disease at bay, our team can help. Contact your nearest Cenegenics location to learn how we can optimize your quality of life today.  

Next Steps in Scheduling Your Shockwave Therapy Treatment

Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Shockwave Therapy

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Resources on ED Treatments

What is Andropause? And How Is It Affecting You?

Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Low Libido: How the Cenegenics Elite Health Program Improves Sex Drive

Cenegenics Alternatives: Why Cenegenics Reigns Superior to Low-T Centers

How Cenegenics Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Differs from Low Testosterone Clinics

What is Cenegenics?

Defy Your Age™ with Cenegenics

Understanding Chronic Stress

Sources on Shockwave Therapy and Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

[1] Cluett, Jonathan, MD. “Shock Wave Therapy for Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis.” Verywell health. 09 Dec. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.verywellhealth.com/shock-wave-therapy-for-plantar-fasciitis-2549421

[2] Jiale Sun, et al. “Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is effective in treating chronic planta fasciitis: A meta-analysis of RCTs.” Medicine. Apr. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/fulltext/2017/04140/Extracorporeal_shock_wave_therapy_is_effective_in.44.aspx

[3] Lakin, MD, and Wood, Hadley, MD. “Erectile Dysfunction.” Cleveland Clinic. June 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/

[4] Ilan Gruenwald, et al. “Shockwave treatment of erectile dysfunction.” Therapeutic Advances in Urology. Apr. 2013. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3607492/

[5] “What is shockwave therapy and how might it help men with erectile dysfunction?” International Society for Sexual Medicine. Retrieved from URL: https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-shockwave-therapy-and-how-might-it-help-men-with-erectile-dysfuncti/

What is andropause?, Andropause is a gradual drop in testosterone as you age that can result in a number of symptoms, Symptoms of andropause can include physical and sexual symptoms

What is Andropause? And How Is It Affecting You?

As we age, the hormones in our body undergo changes. While the decrease in hormone levels experienced by women in their middle ages, known as menopause, has been a well-known characteristic of aging for many years, men’s age-related hormone changes have only been studied in depth within recent decades. The purpose of this research has been to answer the question: Do men, too, experience menopause?

While the condition isn’t exactly akin to menopause, men do indeed experience a development of symptoms resulting from a decrease in the male hormone testosterone. This condition is referred to as andropause, a set of symptoms directly related to decreases in testosterone levels that occur with age. It affects up to 30% of men in their 50s and becomes more prevalent with age.[1]

We’ve compiled this guide to help you better understand andropause and make informed decisions about your health. Discover some information about the condition including its symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and available treatments below.

What Causes Andropause?

While changing hormone levels are a natural part of aging, when symptoms begin to interfere with an individual’s quality of life, it becomes necessary to look into suboptimal testosterone. Diagnosed low testosterone can have a strong or heightened influence on age-related symptoms. Indeed, age is a major influencing factor in testosterone levels, but weight is also correlated with testosterone deficiency rates. For each decade of life, the prevalence of testosterone deficiency increases by 17% after the third decade, but an increase of body mass index of 4-5 is also associated with an increased prevalence of 17% every decade. Thus, although testosterone does decline naturally with age, poor nutrition and exercise can also exacerbate or spur symptoms of andropause.

With that said, testosterone deficiencies are by no means rare. While the reported prevalence of testosterone deficiency varies significantly, ranging from 2.1% to 39% of men aged 40 and older, the Hypogonadism in Males (HIM) Study suggests as many as 13.8 million men aged 45 and older in the U.S. alone could be biochemically testosterone deficient.

Yet, if low testosterone, and thus andropause, are such widespread issues, why aren’t more men receiving treatment? Both this and the wide range in reported prevalence can be attributed to the fact that there is a lack of consensus on what, specifically, defines testosterone deficiency. For this reason, it’s important to understand the ways in which andropause can be diagnosed.

How is Andropause Diagnosed?

Andropause needs more than a simple blood test to diagnose, age management specialists use blood tests and clinical assessments to help diagnose andropause

One of the primary challenges in measuring testosterone is that the ways in which the body uses the hormone are complex. While a man can have levels of total testosterone that are clinically defined as being “normal,” only some of that is available for use by the body, or “free” testosterone. Men experiencing andropause tend to have lower levels of free testosterone, and the tissues in the body stimulated by testosterone receive lower amounts. This can lead to a variety of physical and mental symptoms.

The questions surrounding how best to measure testosterone are further complicated by the fact that hormone levels can vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • Fasting state
  • Sleep
  • Time of day

Simply put, measuring testosterone alone does not truly reflect the clinical effect of the entire androgen system. For this reason, age management specialists use both total and free testosterone measurements alongside several other hormone-related blood tests and clinical assessments to diagnose andropause. While clinical criteria are less specific, they are of equal or greater priority in making an accurate diagnosis.

To perform a clinical assessment, physicians discuss with their patients the symptoms that accompany testosterone deficiency in three domains: physical, sexual, and emotional.

What Are the Symptoms of Andropause?

Andropause is often referred to as male menopause, symptoms of andropause can often be linked into three domains

The symptoms of declining testosterone levels can vary significantly from one person to the next. While each individual may experience them differently, the most common symptoms of andropause include:

  • Decreased motivation and mood
  • Decreased mental sharpness and acuity
  • Low energy
  • Loss of muscular strength and muscle mass
  • Mild to moderate erectile dysfunction

Other common symptoms of andropause can be grouped into the following domains: physical, sexual, and emotional.


The most common symptoms of andropause within the physical domain are:

  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Decreased bone mineral density
  • Increased body fat
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of muscle tissue
  • Decreased insulin sensitivity
  • Anemia


Commonly reported sexual symptoms of andropause include:

  • Reduced libido
  • Difficulty getting or keeping an erection
  • Reduced intensity of orgasm
  • Small or shrinking testes
  • Loss of pubic or underarm hair


In the emotional realm, the most common symptoms experienced are:

  • Decreased energy
  • Depressive mood
  • Ornery disposition
  • Decreased motivation
  • Overall decreased sense of wellbeing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbance

Unfortunately, despite its host of unpleasant symptoms, andropause goes untreated far too often. There is a widespread notion that because sex hormone deficiency is a natural part of aging, no correction is required. Yet, this challenging set of symptoms can impact men in their social, professional, and personal lives, eventually taking their toll and leading to an overall decline in physical and mental health.

Moreover, if the physical, sexual, and emotional symptoms aren’t compelling reasons enough to seek treatment, consider this: testosterone deficiency leads to:

  • A shorter lifespan
  • A lower quality of life
  • Potentially, increased costs due to frailty and disability

It is therefore recommended that any man who suspects he could be experiencing the symptoms of andropause seek the professional opinion of an experienced age management specialist. There are many treatments available for testosterone deficiency, which brings us to our next section.

How is Andropause Treated?

Cenegenics helps treat andropause with hormone replacement therapy, HRT can be paired with nutrition and exercise to help optimize benefits for treating andropause

Factors such as age and general health status must always be accounted for when treating andropause. With that said, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to benefit young, elderly, healthy, and unhealthy men. Oftentimes, the most significant improvements are seen in the sexual domain.

When coupled with sound nutrition and exercise, however, hormone replacement therapy becomes a powerful treatment with benefits transcending into the physical and emotional domain, too. Improved muscle strength, physical function, lean body mass, and mood are just some of the positive changes that targeted treatment can achieve.

It’s important to emphasize, however, that treatments must always be based on an individual needs analysis. Age management specialists will discuss a number of treatment strategies regarding the use of bioidentical hormones, but these must be carefully considered by both the physician and the patient. Moreover, individualized dietary changes and exercise plans should be provided if the goal is to improve overall vitality, not just improvements in the sexual domain.

What is Andropause? In Conclusion

Because the symptoms of andropause are unique to each patient, and each patient likewise has their own individual set of preexisting health factors to consider, it’s critical for men to work with experienced age management professionals when seeking treatment for low testosterone. More importantly, comprehensive monitoring must be performed to ensure the patient’s progress is aligning with treatment goals and that biomarkers are within appropriate values.

Cenegenics age management specialists take an all-encompassing approach to treating andropause. Our team dynamically shifts nutrition and exercise goals and efforts, as needed, based on how patients respond and adapt and continuously monitor the impact of bioidentical hormones through comprehensive lab work. Our physicians are experts in the distinct needs of adults approaching their middle ages and beyond and are committed to helping them achieve a better quality of life and future, in which the symptoms of andropause and other age-related conditions are avoided or minimized.

If you’re interested in exploring andropause treatments, contact your nearest Cenegenics location today.

Next Steps in Treating Andropause

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Rudy Inaba

Director of Nutrition & Exercise, AMMEF Nutrition & Exercise Instructor

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.


[1] “Andropause.” MediResource. Retrieved from URL: https://medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/andropause

More than 12 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction, Cenegenics can help explain how to treat erectile dysfunction with exercise and nutrition

What Really Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a common condition impacting more than 12 million men in the U.S. alone. [1] In fact, it is the most common sexual issue men report to their doctors. Despite its prevalence, however, it continues to be a topic many men resist addressing with their physicians.

Discussions surrounding sexual health can be uncomfortable, but they’re worth having. Left untreated, erectile dysfunction can impact relationships and mental health, causing compounding stress across multiple areas of your life. With that said, there’s another – and even more important – reason to report the condition to your doctor.

Like many other physical anomalies, erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of a more serious illness. In fact, physical factors are suspected to underlie up to 90% of cases in men older than 50. [2] Atherosclerosis – a condition in which the arteries become blocked or hardened – is one example, while the condition can also point to heart disease, as well as high blood pressure caused by type II diabetes. [3]

Sexual health is therefore often more closely related to heart health than many patients realize, and investigating the underlying cause for erectile dysfunction could even hold life-saving possibilities in some men.

Thus, patients who are experiencing this frustrating symptom should address it sooner rather than later and with an experienced physician who specializes in age management and conditions experienced by older adults. Because the vast majority of its sufferers fall within the ages of 50 to 69 years old, age management specialists are best equipped with the right resources, knowledge, and experience to address erectile dysfunction.

Traditional Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

In traditional medicine, erectile dysfunction is treated with: 

  • Vacuum constriction device (VCD)

  • Penile prosthesis or implant

  • Vascular reconstruction surgery

  • Medication: Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Viagra, etc.

As the world’s leader in age management medicine, Cenegenics is here to help men experiencing erectile dysfunction and its related symptoms. Our physicians take an all-encompassing approach to optimizing wellness and decreasing disease risk as well as enhancing lives in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and hormone regulation.

With a broad range of customizable solutions, we not only restore quality of life by addressing conditions such as erectile dysfunction, but also improve vitality to help you feel even better than before. Here, we take a closer look into this important men’s health topic with a brief guide on what erectile dysfunction entails and how our program can help.  

Erectile Dysfunction: A Brief Overview

Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as impotence, is clinically defined as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. [4] Like decreased libido, it is a common sexual complaint associated with testosterone deficiency.

Yet, it is more complex than libido. Erectile dysfunction can be a multifactorial diagnosis for causes spanning not only sexual and emotional domains, but also involving a subset of vascular and neurological physical domain considerations. We’ll explore possible causes of erectile dysfunction in greater depth in an upcoming section.

Erectile dysfunction is typically self-diagnosable, but demands clinical input in order to determine the underlying cause and establish an effective treatment plan. Although it can be identified exclusively by the inability to get and keep a firm erection, it can also produce additional symptoms.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can impact mental health and relationships, symptoms of erectile dysfunction can include the persistent inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex

The most obvious symptom of erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to keep a firm erection. Difficulty getting an erection and reduced sexual desire may also accompany the condition. To develop a better understanding of the possible physical barriers to healthy erections, let’s take a moment and revisit some basic principles in how erections work.

Erections: A Quick Anatomy Recap

When a man is sexually aroused, nerves release chemicals which in turn stimulate blood flow to the penis. The blood then enters two erection chambers located in the penis, which are made up of spongy tissue. This tissue, called the corpus cavernosum, relaxes and traps blood to produce an erection. After orgasm, the tissue then contracts to release blood back into circulation, causing the erection to come down. [5]

While factors like stress and temperature can influence erections, a persistent inability to keep a firm erection to engage in intercourse should be addressed. With that said, the impact of erectile dysfunction can extend beyond the physical realm, too. Its implications can also transcend into relationships as well as mental and emotional wellness.

Unfortunately, while impaired sexual performance can lead to guilt, low self-esteem, fear of sexual failure, and stress, these factors can also exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Thus, the symptoms of the condition often take on a cyclical effect, in which the connection between physical and emotional factors intensifies and the condition overall worsens. It is for this reason – and the potential indicator of an underlying disease – that the root cause of erectile dysfunction must be identified, which brings us to our next section.

Possible Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be influenced by multiple factors including smoking and being overweight, Anxiety and depression are possible causes of erectile dysfunction

With so many potential factors contributing to erectile dysfunction, only a trained physician can diagnose and treat the root cause. In many cases, treating health-related factors and behaviors is enough to address the condition.

At Cenegenics, each patient undergoes extensive lab work so that clinicians have a robust range of biomarkers to assess which can shed light on undiagnosed or underlying medical conditions. These can also reveal risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, a common culprit behind erectile dysfunction.

Here are a few of the most common physical and psychological factors that can cause erectile dysfunction. Keep in mind that, because there are many possible influences on sexual health and performance, this list may not be entirely exhaustive:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight
  • Use of illegal drugs
  • Certain medications, including:
    • Blood pressure medications
    • Antidepressants
    • Sedatives
    • Appetite suppressants
    • Ulcer medications
    • Antiandrogens
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Certain diseases and conditions, including:
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Heart and blood vessel disease
    • Peyronie’s disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • High blood pressure
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Injuries/surgical complications sustained in the pelvic region or spinal cord

It’s worth noting that the degree to which these conditions can influence a man’s ability to get and maintain an erection can vary significantly. For instance, men with diabetes are two to three times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than those without. [6] On the other hand, just 10% of cases are attributed to psychological factors, while the vast majority are found to be caused by physical influences.

At this point, you may be wondering why testosterone deficiency wasn’t listed above. After all, aren’t hormones and sexual health closely related? Indeed, erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism – the reduction or absence of hormone secretion by the gonads – are often linked; find out more about this relationship below.

What About Testosterone?

Low testosterone is one of the possible causes of erectile dysfunction, Testosterone deficiency can cause ED if left untreated

In addition to the possible causes cited in the previous section, testosterone deficiency can also be a direct cause of erectile dysfunction. In fact, investigation into testosterone deficiency and testosterone therapy is generally a good starting point for any patient experiencing the symptom, as testosterone deficiency has been associated with a decline in erectile function, and testosterone is inversely correlated with increasing severity of erectile dysfunction. [7]

If a patient is found to have low testosterone, hormone therapy can improve both libido and erectile dysfunction symptomology. In fact, testosterone therapy has been shown to cause improvements in the areas of morning erections, erectile function, sexual motivation and satisfaction, sexual thoughts, and total erections.

Patients with erectile dysfunction of vascular etiology could see more robust responses than those with physical contributions to the condition, but again, because the majority of cases are physical, a patient’s candidacy for hormone replacement therapy should be explored where appropriate.

Nonetheless, the efficacy of testosterone therapy, in the absence of sound nutrition and exercise, is likely to be limited. Thus, addressing erectile dysfunction to achieve the best possible results requires more than just a “simple fix;” in many cases, research-based and clinically-proven lifestyle optimization tactics are needed. The problem lies in the fact that many patients are unsure of where to start. This is precisely where the Cenegenics age management program excels.

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction with Cenegenics

Cenegenics physicians can help diagnose the complex interplay of factors contributing to your erectile dysfunction to help treat it, Cenegenics physicians are well-versed in the barriers to sexual health, learn how to treat erectile dysfunction with the Cenegenics Elite Health Program

The fact that erectile dysfunction can be caused by a complex interplay of factors, including nutrition and exercise, is further complicated by the fact that each person may be affected by these influencers differently. Thus, what may work for some may not work for others. It is for this reason that a comprehensive approach must be taken to pinpoint possible underlying causes and effectively address the breadth of factors that could be contributing to erectile dysfunction.

Cenegenics Approach to Treating ED

Cenegenics uses a non-invasive approach to treat erectile dysfunction through use of the following: 

  • Improved nutrition

  • Personalized exercise programming

  • Hormone replacement therapy

  • Lifestyle Alterations 

Cenegenics empowers its patients to achieve optimal wellness across five key areas: enhanced libido, weight management, improved cognition, better sleep, and boosted energy. These pillars comprise the foundation of the program but provide only a glimpse into how far-reaching it truly is.

Because our clinical team specializes in age management, our physicians are well-versed in the barriers to sexual health with which men, through their middle ages and beyond, are faced. This means that you’ll receive targeted treatment plans to address both the symptom itself as well as any other conditions that could be contributing to it. Discover below how to treat erectile dysfunction with a few of the precise ways our programs help you restore your sexual health.  

Combating Erectile Dysfunction through Diet

Excess fat impacts hormone levels which can contribute to erectile dysfunction, Certain dietary agents including alcohol can impede upon sexual function, Cenegenics can help you learn how to treat erectile dysfunction through proper nutrition

When we think of the role nutrition plays on our wellness, oftentimes factors like weight and heart health come to mind. Yet, nutrition can influence virtually every function the body performs – including your ability to get and maintain an erection. While there are known dietary agents that can impede sexual function (including alcohol), there are also nutrients that can play a part in improving erections.

According to research, men who consumed primarily nutrient-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains while limiting consumption of red and processed meats and refined carbohydrates were less likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Thus, what you put on your plate could play a role in your sexual health. [8]

Moreover, excess fat impacts many of the hormones that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. For instance, a man with a 42-inch waist is 50% more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than someone with a 32-inch waist. Likewise, obesity increases the risk of both vascular disease and diabetes, two important causes of the condition. Thus, in men with poor diets, addressing nutrition could be one of the best tools available in pursuit of alleviating erectile dysfunction. 

Unfortunately, nutrition simply isn’t the first priority for many men with busy lifestyles. The modern American diet focuses largely on convenient, palatable options instead of providing the body with the fuel it needs to perform well. The nutrition team at Cenegenics is made up of age-management professionals who will work closely with you to develop nutritionally sound yet realistic eating patterns to help you improve wellness across a number of key areas.

Not only could this lead to beneficial changes in the area of sexual health, but with long-term compliance, it will also lead to better weight management and decreased risk of chronic illness.

Exercising to Improve Erectile Function

Sedentary lifestyle can play a part in erectile dysfunction, Exercise can lower risk of ED by 30 percent, Exercise can address a causative agent behind erectile dysfunction including weight control and increased testosterone

Like nutrition, physical activity (or lack thereof) is also tied to sexual health. Exercise is often considered to be the most largely under-prescribed yet most powerful form of all-natural, free medicine we have available to help us reduce our risk of disease. It can also help us feel better, too. Consider this: men who exercise at least three hours each week have a 30% lower risk for erectile dysfunction compared to those who get very little to no exercise. [9]

However, exercise is also similar to nutrition in the fact that it is only effective with the patient’s compliance. Thus, the more likely you are to stick with an exercise program, the more likely you are to witness its widespread results.

While some research suggests that certain targeted exercises, including pelvic floor exercises, could improve erectile function, in many cases, a broader attempt at improving physical fitness should be made to sustain noticeable results. [10]

Regular exercise is good for the circulatory system which, as described above, plays a major role in enabling healthy erections. Moreover, both improved nutrition and increased physical activity can help to address many of the possible causative agents behind erectile dysfunction including keeping weight under control, increasing testosterone, and driving self-confidence.

 Finding the right exercise program to fit your unique lifestyle and preferences can be daunting. Plus, a common complaint among many adult males is lack of time for a robust physical fitness regimen. Cenegenics recognizes these obstacles and helps you overcome them with the development of individualized plans that can improve cardiovascular health with as little time investment as possible. Our expert-led, prescribed routines are also based largely on patient preferences to facilitate sustained compliance.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Cenegenics physicians only prescribe hormone replacement therapy when clinically indicated by your blood work, hormone replacement therapy may be necessary to address testosterone deficiency or andropause

In addition to helping you address any gaps in nutrition and embark on a physical fitness journey, Cenegenics clinicians may also recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT), if it’s deemed necessary based on lab results. Keep in mind, however, that we do not use a “one size fits all” modality to improve testosterone levels.

In fact, our approach to patient care comes from multiple sources including age management physicians, nutrition and exercise physiologists, phlebotomists, and nutraceutical experts. We assess the entire picture of patient health by taking into consideration key factors such as carbohydrate metabolism to observe the ways in which bioidentical hormones are impacting critical bodily functions.

Moreover, each patient’s biomarkers are closely and continuously monitored. Our physicians are proactive in measuring the impact of hormones on prostate, kidney, and liver health, as well as other biomarkers, and they are well-versed in their understanding of how hormones directly affect carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

This means that treatment is always fit to the precise needs of the individual, and improvement of sexual health or symptoms like erectile dysfunction will never be pursued at the expense of your overall health. Additionally, all aspects of HRT, including diagnostics, clinical support, and pharmacy items, are provided in-house and managed internally – both for your convenience and to ensure accuracy and effectiveness of treatment.

It’s also important to note that Cenegenics is unique in its approach to HRT in that we help patients overcome all of the challenges that could be contributing to erectile dysfunction. In addition to improved libido and erectile function, our program also facilitates weight loss, mental acuity, better sleep, improved energy, and decreased disease risk.

These factors are what continue to drive patients to Cenegenics as the premier choice not only for effectively addressing age-related conditions like erectile dysfunction, but for better health and vitality overall.

Combat Erectile Dysfunction with Cenegenics – In Conclusion

Erectile dysfunction affects over 12 million men in the United States. ED is a multifactorial diagnoses, as the cause of erectile dysfunction can span over various factors including lack of exercise (sedentary lifestyle), anxiety, depression, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications and chronic diseases.

Cenegenics physicians empower patients to achieve optimal wellness, including increasing sexual libido and desire, through nutrition, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy when clinically indicated. Excessive fat can decrease levels of testosterone, which may cause erectile dysfunction and low sex drive. Individualized nutrition and exercise plans help patients lose weight, increase libido, and increase self-confidence. 

Next Steps on How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction with Cenegenics

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.


[1] Rew, Karl. T, MD, and Heidelbaugh, Joel J., MD. “Erectile Dysfunction.” American Family Physician. 15 Nov. 2016. Retrieved from URL: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/1115/p820.html

[2] Constance G. Bacon, ScD et al. “Sexual Function in Men Older than 50 Years of Age: Results from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.” Annals of Internal Medicine. 05 Aug. 2003. Retrieved from URL: http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/716599/sexual-function-men-older-than-50-years-age-results-from

[3] “What is Erectile Dysfunction?” Urology Care Foundation. June 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/erectile-dysfunction

[4] “Erectile dysfunction.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes/syc-20355776

[5] Urology Care Foundation, see above.

[6] “Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. July 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes

[7] M. Blute et al. “Erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency.” Frontiers of Hormone Research. 2009. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19011292

[8] H.A. Feldman et al. “Impotence and its medical and psychological correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.” Journal of Urology. Jan. 1994. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8254833

[9] Constance G. Bacon, ScD et al, see above.

[10] Mark Grace Dorey et al. “Pelvic floor exercises for erectile dysfunction.” Sexual Medicine. 05 Apr. 2005. Retrieved from URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.05690.x

Essential amino acids play critical roles in reducing disease risk and eliminating weight, One benefit of antioxidants is treating blood pressure and heart failure, This guide will help you discover the answer to what are the best sources for micronutrients

Essential Amino Acids, Antioxidants and Vitamins for Overall Wellness

As discussed previously, a large portion of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. When majority of people pursue their weight loss goals, they often attempt fad diets which promise the greatest results in the shortest amount of time. However, fad diets are often extremely restrictive and can leave large nutritional gaps, which when not addressed can result in a diminished state of health.

Although macronutrients are a large portion of daily consumption which are necessary for energy production and cellular functioning, micronutrients are often overlooked and underrated. They play a large role in essential functions and are only needed in small amounts.

Simple deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D can have minor to devastating effects from symptoms such as weak or soft bones, to serious conditions like breast, colon and prostate cancer.

What Are The Best Sources of Micronutrients?

While neither vitamins nor minerals, the following micronutrients are all essential in unique ways and are therefore also deserving of attention when it comes to pursuing weight loss and optimizing overall health:

  • Asparagine – eliminates waste created during the breakdown of proteins
  • Glutamine – acts as building block for protein synthesis, and is essential for immune health
  • Serine – essential for brain and central nervous system functioning
  • Oleic Acid – helps reduce disease risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid – beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, helps reduce blood pressure
  • Coenzyme Q10 – improve immune function, combat chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol
  • Cysteine – essential for detoxification and metabolic functioning
  • Glutathione – reduce oxidative stress and damage
  • Selenium – helps combat free radicals, and defend against heart disease and cancer
  • Chromium – important in the fight against diabetes by reducing insulin resistance
  • Choline – crucial for DNA synthesis
  • Inositol – used for nerve pain, panic disorders and other neurological issues
  • Carnitine – plays a role in energy production

Essential Amino Acids

The following amino acids play critical roles in optimize your health including:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Acting as a building block from protein synthesis
  • Assisting in immune function
  • Reducing disease risk
  • Participating in the production of energy


This non-essential amino acid is involved in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins. It also carries and aids in the elimination of ammonia, which is a waste product created during the breakdown of proteins to amino acids. A deficiency is rare in individuals with normal eating patterns, and the only true deficiency is genetic and known as Kegg disease.

As an amino acid, it can be found in almost any food containing proteins such as:

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Soy


Glutamine is an amino acid produced by the body but also found in abundance in foods. It is a multifaceted amino acid in that it acts as a building block in protein synthesis but is also critical for immune function and digestive health. It can be taken as a supplement as well but should be taken with the amino acid L-Alanine to avoid being broken down completely by the stomach.

Glutamine can be found in:

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fermented foods


An amino acid synthesized from other amino acids, glycine or threonine, serine is essential for the biosynthesis of purines and pyrimidines and acts as a precursor to other amino acids. It is essential for proper brain and central nervous system functioning as it helps to form the phospholipids needed for cell creation. A deficiency is a result of a neurometabolic disorder that affects the synthesis of serine itself.

Foods dense in serine include:

  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Carob seeds
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils

Oleic Acid

A non-essential fatty acid, oleic acid is linked to reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. It may also improve mood, slow aging, and potentially aid in cancer prevention. Oleic acid may also aid in controlling inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, as well as chronic nerve pain. Because it is prevalent in western diets, a deficiency is quite rare. In fact, there is a concern over consuming too much oleic acid. The body needs to maintain a balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 acids, and too much oleic acid can significantly increase omega 9s, thereby impacting the ratio. An imbalance could contribute to a number of diseases, and too many omega 9s could lead to a deficiency in the other conditionally essential fatty acids (3 and 6).

This monosaturated fat is found primarily in:

  • Oils:
  • Olive
  • Almond
  • Peanut
  • Grapeseed


Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid containing sulfur. It can be used to form taurine or cystine. It is involved in protein synthesis, detoxification, and a host of other metabolic functions. Cysteine crosslinks proteins (making them more rigid) and helps to protect against protein breakdown when necessary. Deficiencies are identified as inherited metabolic disorders, which are typically associated with impaired antioxidant defense, decreased ability to metabolize drugs and toxic compounds, and depressed immunity.

The nutrient is found in:

  • Soy
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oats
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Legumes


This nutrient is an amino acid with a primary function of transporting fatty acids to be broken down for energy in the mitochondria. Carnitine supplementation is useful in individuals with deficiencies. With that said, deficiencies are extremely rare so it isn’t necessary for most people to supplement with carnitine. Although carnitine supplementation is deemed unnecessary unless there is a deficiency, it may be useful for increasing androgen receptor sensitivity (Carnitine Tartrate) and improving cognitive function (Acetyl-L Carnitine).  

Carnitine is found in:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Some vegetables

The Benefit of Antioxidants as a Micronutrient

These antioxidants or micronutrients with strong antioxidant properties are beneficial for weight loss and optimize overall health, as benefits can include:

  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Treating blood pressure and heart failure
  • Improving immune function
  • Reducing oxidative stress and damage

Alpha Lipoic Acid

An antioxidant that has shown to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, alpha lipoic acid also reduces symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Due to its strong antioxidant properties, it may also deliver benefits in terms of reducing inflammation and decreasing hepatic fibrosis, though it is not commonly used for either.

It can be found in foods such as:

  • liver
  • broccoli
  • potatoes
  • yeast

Although alpha lipoic acid is found in some food, it is most commonly taken as a supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

This micronutrient is a naturally-occurring nutrient with strong antioxidant properties. It is regarded as beneficial in treating high blood pressure and heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 can also improve immune function in immune disorders, improve symptoms such as chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol. Symptoms of an acute deficiency include muscle or joint pain and frequent headaches. The symptoms of a chronic deficiency can resemble those seen in heart failure.

The nutrient can be found in:

  • organ meats
  • fish
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • legumes

It is also taken as a supplement and is best taken with fats as it is a fat-soluble nutrient.


This antioxidant encompasses three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. It is made in the body but declines naturally as a result of stress, age, and exposure to toxins. Interestingly, one of its greatest abilities is its power to reduce oxidative stress and damage. While it can be found in a few foods containing sulfur, including broccoli and cauliflower, it is also effective to supplement in the diet. One way to supplement for this antioxidant is to take N-Acetyl Cysteine, as it acts as a precursor to glutathione production in the body.


Another antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress, selenium also fights free radicals and may help defend against heart disease and cancer. Selenium is also needed for thyroid and immune functioning as well. A deficiency is primarily observed in the thyroid and manifests as symptoms of hypothyroidism including fatigue, mental slowing, goiter, cretinism, and recurrent miscarriage. If ingesting too much, toxicity is possible and can lead to nausea, vomiting, hair loss, nail discoloration, irritability, and “garlic breath.”

It can be found in:

  • seafoods
  • lean meats
  • eggs
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • soy

Other Essential Micronutrients for Optimizing Health

Although these micronutrients are neither antioxidants nor amino acids, they play a critical role in:

  • Reducing insulin resistance
  • DNA synthesis
  • Treatment of nerve pain and neurological issues


A mineral required in trace amounts, chromium reduces insulin resistance and is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. A deficiency impairs the body’s ability to use glucose and raise insulin sufficiently. Deficiencies are very rare, as it is found in many food sources including:

  • meat
  • seafood
  • vegetables
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower

It is also available as a supplement but should not be taken in excess, as it could lead to low blood sugar, gastrointestinal distress, and potentially even kidney or liver damage.


Choline is a water-soluble nutrient and is a source of methyl groups needed for metabolic processes. It is used to create phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids, which are major components of cell membranes. Choline is also needed for DNA synthesis as well as homocysteine reduction (homocysteine buildup is seen in the serious condition, liver cirrhosis). Inadequate choline intake may lead to fatty liver, a precursor to cirrhosis or death. Choline can be found in:

Some forms of choline can have a profound effect on neurological functioning as they increase levels of acetylcholine, which functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain.


Mainly used to treat nerve pain or panic disorder and other neurological issues, this nutrient has a host of cognitive benefits. It is a vitamin-like substance found in plants and animals, but it can also be produced synthetically. Inositol can be commonly found in many types of:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole grains

Although it has many different benefits, among its most notable strengths is its abilities to reduce anxiety and address mental health issues by balancing chemicals leading to mental health conditions. While deemed safe, it does carry potential side effects including nausea, tiredness, headaches, and dizziness.

How Cenegenics Micronutrient Testing Can Make the Difference You Need

Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing is a blood draw that tests multiple allergens to assess what symptoms are being triggered by food, food allergies can cause immune system responses that range from a runny nose to life-threatening anaphylaxis

With so many different micronutrients – and their respective roles – to consider, it’s easy to see how deficiencies could be impacting your health. Unfortunately, these deficiencies are very hard to detect and pinpoint without specific testing.

Whether it is in your quest to lose weight or to simply become healthier, in many cases the smallest factors can make the biggest difference. That’s precisely why Cenegenics offers micronutrient testing that encompasses all of the nutrients listed above. In addition, we also measure fructose sensitivity, glucose-insulin metabolism, total antioxidant functioning, and immune response score through SpectraCell to determine if there are any other underlying barriers impeding your journey towards optimal nutrition.

Upon taking the test, you will be paired with a Cenegenics physician who can go over your results in detail and develop a plan to correct and account for any deficiencies that are present. A noticeable improvement could be made by simply changing some aspects of your diet or adding supplements to make up for missing nutrients. Whatever the case, you can’t identify any potential gaps in your diet without help. Take the first step in becoming a healthier version of yourself today – contact your nearest Cenegenics location to get started.

Next Steps to Schedule Your Micronutrient Food Allergy Test


Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Article at a Glance

  • Micronutrients are required in small amounts for normal functioning and a deficiency can manifest as a number of symptoms including: fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system.
  • Micronutrient deficiencies can be caused by dietary choices or food allergies.
  • Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing can help you determine which foods you should be avoiding and if supplementation may be required.

Micronutrients, as previously discussed, are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning.

Micronutrient deficiencies can manifest in a large array of symptoms and are often attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors, making it easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

Below, we identify key micronutrients and their critical roles to help you develop an in-depth understanding of them and to showcase just how far-reaching and complex the impact of your dietary choices can be.

Essential Vitamins and Their Role as Key Micronutrients

MicronutrientRoleSymptom of Deficiency
Vitamin A
  • Maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus membranes, and the skin
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • Night blindness
Vitamin B1
  • Supports brain and central nervous functioning
  • Significant contributor to proper digestion
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Numbness in the extremities
Vitamin B2
  • Breaks down macronutrients
  • Maintains the body’s energy supply
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Dry skin around the nose and mouth
  • Skin rashes
Vitamin B3
  • Nicotinic Acid: used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease
  • Niacinamide: used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia
Pellagra (condition that causes):

  • Skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue
Vitamin B6
  • Healthy brain development in children
  • Supports overall function of individuals
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Cracked or sore lips
  • Sore or glossy tongue
  • Mood changes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Tiredness or low energy levels
  • Tingling or pain in extremities
  • Seizures
Vitamin B12
  • Keeps nerve and blood cells healthy
  • Contributes to creation of DNA
  • Helps prevent megaloblastic anemia
  • Tiredness/ Weakness
  • Constipation and/or weight loss
  • Nerve problems
  • Depression/ Confusion
  • Balance issues
  • Anemia
Vitamin B7
  • Helps convert food into energy
  • During pregnancy: plays crucial role in fetal development
  • Supports healthy skin, nails, and hair
  • Can cause metabolic disorder
  • Lead to more than 140 different genetic defects
Vitamin B9
  • Helps develop red blood cells
  • Aids in synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA
  • Anemia
Vitamin B5
  • Red blood cell production
  • Metabolizing food/macronutrients
  • Similar to B6 and B3 deficiencies
Vitamin C
  • Protects cells against free radicals
Vitamin D
  • Promote bone growth
  • Proper hormone functioning
  • Softer bones
  • Breast, colon, prostate cancer
Vitamin E
  • Reduce free radical damage
  • Slow the aging of cells

  • Diarrhea, headache, fatigue, weakness, blurry vision, problems with reproductive organs


  • Disorientation, vision problems, muscle weakness
Vitamin K
  • Essential for blood clotting
  • Reverses arterial stiffness
  • Easy bruising, excessive bleeding
  • GI bleeding, heavy periods
  • Increased prothrombin time

Vitamin A

This vitamin is fat soluble which means it is absorbed in the small intestines and stored in the liver and the body’s fat deposits. Water soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are easily absorbed into the body and when consumed in excess, will be secreted instead of stored. Vitamin A helps to maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus  membranes, and the skin. It also produces pigment in the eye. Night blindness is typically the first symptom of a deficiency.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 supports brain and central nervous functioning. It is also a significant contributor to proper digestion. Loss of reflexes and numbness in the extremities are associated with deficiency.

Vitamin B2

Referred to as riboflavin, B2 breaks down macronutrients and maintains the body’s energy supply. Deficiencies are characterized by weakness/fatigue, dry skin around the nose and mouth, and skin rashes.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin, has two forms: nicotinic acid (used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease), and niacinamide (used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia). Symptoms of a deficiency, when severe, can include pellagra, a condition associated with skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine, a lesser-known name for vitamin B6, is needed for healthy brain development in children and to support overall function in all individuals. It aids in the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. A deficiency can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, cracked or sore lips, sore or glossy tongue, mood changes, weakened immune system, tiredness or low energy levels, tingling and pain in the extremities, and seizures.

Vitamin B12

An essential nutrient that must be consumed through food sources or supplements, vitamin B12 assists in keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy and contributes to the creation of DNA. B12 is essential in preventing megaloblastic anemia, in which the bone marrow produces abnormal and unusually large red blood cells, causing weakness and tiredness. B12 requires intrinsic factor, also referred to as gastric intrinsic factor (GIF), a glycoprotein produced in the stomach, to be absorbed. A deficiency can produce a series of significant symptoms, ranging from tiredness, weakness, and constipation, to weight loss, nerve problems, depression, confusion, balance issues, and anemia.

Vitamin B7

B7 or biotin, like other B vitamins, helps convert food into energy. It is even more important during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it plays a crucial role in fetal development. Biotin is also known for its ability to support healthy nails, skin, and hair. A deficiency is extremely rare. A deficiency in the enzyme biotinidase is considered a metabolic disorder in which biotin cannot be released from proteins during digestion. It can lead to more than 140 different genetic defects.

Vitamin B9

Folate, or vitamin B9, is often seen in its synthetic form, folic acid. Because folic acid has a better bioavailability in the body, it is often used in processed foods and supplements. It is an important contributor for developing red blood cells and also aids in the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. Deficiencies, while rare, most often lead to some form of anemia.

Vitamin B5

Also known as pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is necessary for red blood cell production and metabolizing food/macronutrients. Symptoms of a deficiency are similar to those seen in B6 and B3.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C: Sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which protects cells against free radicals, which are produced when we convert food into energy and are also found throughout the environment. Deficiencies are rare. It is believed that vitamin C can help prevent immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal issues, eye diseases, and skin wrinkling.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D: This vitamin is available in two forms, D3 and D2. D3 is better absorbed and utilized by the body and is, therefore, more commonly seen. The body also requires vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. It is also required for adequate hormone functioning. A deficiency would lead not only to weak, softer bones (a condition called Rickets in children), but can also lead to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Other complications associated with vitamin D deficiencies include heart disease, depression, and weight gain. Our bodies can produce vitamin D but only with adequate sunlight exposure. It is therefore essential to ensure you are taking in enough vitamin D through diet or supplementation, if necessary, or if living in a northern state where there is limited sun exposure.

Vitamin E

A powerful antioxidant which can reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of cells, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in foods such as seeds, nuts, leafy greens, oils, and swordfish. It may also protect the skin against aging, inflammation, and sun damage. Potential side effects of a vitamin E overdose include diarrhea, headache, fatigue and weakness, blurry vision, and problems with the reproductive organs. A deficiency can cause disorientation and vision problems as well as muscle weakness.

Vitamin K

An often-underrated vitamin, K is essential for blood clotting and reverses arterial stiffness by preventing the calcium buildup that causes it. A vitamin K deficiency can cause easy bruising, excessive bleeding, heavy periods, GI bleeding, and increased prothrombin time (a measure of how quickly your blood clots). Vitamin K is found in many leafy green vegetables as well as fish, liver, meat, and eggs.

Role of Minerals as Micronutrients

MicronutrientRoleSymptom of Deficiency
  • Development of healthy bones and teeth
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • ​Hypocalcemia (condition that causes):
  • Confusion, muscle spasms, numbness, depression, hallucinations, weak/brittle nails, and weak bones
  • Facilitates over 300 different chemical reactions
  • Regulating muscle & nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches/cramping
  • Mental disorder
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Supports formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones
  • Fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Calcium absorption
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Normal brain and nerve functioning
  • Poor bone growth and skeletal defects
  • Slow/impaired growth
  • Low fertility
  • Low glucose tolerance
  • Abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism
  • Proper function of immune system
  • Cell division and growth
  • Wound healing
  • Carbohydrate breakdown
  • Proper hormone function
  • Acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia
  • Impaired vision, sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function
  • Supports iron absorption
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Frequent sickness
  • Weak/brittle bones
  • Memory/ learning impairment
  • Pale skin
  • Difficulty walking
  • Premature gray hair


A mineral essential for the development and health of bones and teeth, calcium also plays vital roles in cell signaling, blood clot formation, and muscle/nerve functioning. A deficiency in the mineral, known as hypocalcemia, could lead to a vast array of symptoms such as confusion, muscle spasms and cramps, numbness and tingling in the extremities, depression, hallucinations, weak and brittle nails, and bones that fracture easily. While most dairy foods are rich in calcium, they aren’t the only source of it. Calcium can also be found in seafood, leafy greens, legumes, certain fruits, and even dairy substitutes such as almond milk.


Another mineral, magnesium, facilitates more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body. It is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also contributes to the development of bones, proteins, and DNA. A magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle twitches or cramping, mental disorders, osteoporosis, fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, asthma, and irregular heartbeat. Foods containing high amounts of magnesium include leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and seafood. There are many variations of magnesium supplements, so it is recommended to speak with a health professional to determine which is best for you.


This mineral supports the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It can also be a contributor in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese could also play a role in calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, and normal brain and nerve functioning. Deficiency symptoms include poor bone growth or skeletal defects, slow/impaired growth, low fertility, impaired glucose tolerance, and abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese is found in whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and tea.


Zinc is a mineral which is required by the immune system for proper functioning but also plays a role in cell division and growth, wound healing, carbohydrate breakdown, and hormone function. In addition, zinc supports the senses of smell and taste. Some symptoms of a deficiency may be acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia. It can also impair vision as well as the sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function. Zinc is found in meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains. When supplementing with zinc, it is critical to avoid overdose. When taken in excess, zinc can suppress copper and iron absorption and may also lead to nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, cholesterol issues, and flu-like symptoms.


A metal/mineral that is incorporated into proteins and metalloenzymes to support essential body functions, copper is used in conjunction with iron to form red blood cells. It also maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function while simultaneously supporting iron absorption. It is suspected that consuming ample copper may aid in preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, which is no surprise given its function in the domains of the body affected by those conditions. Some symptoms of a deficiency include weakness and fatigue, frequent sickness, weak or brittle bones, memory and learning impairment, pale skin, difficulty walking, and premature gray hair. Copper can be found in oysters and other shellfish, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and dried fruit, such as prunes. Like zinc, however, it can be dangerous if consumed in excess. If used as a supplement, it is important to take copper in safe amounts.

The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

The role of micronutrients is often overlooked, since macronutrients receives so much of the world’s attention in regard to nutrition and weigh loss. However, the severity of symptoms caused by deficiencies, and sometimes vitamins or minerals taken in excess, can be the reason you can’t achieve optimal health.

Micronutrient food allergy testing through Cenegenics can give you the boost you need to meet your personal goals. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning. Don’t let a simple imbalance, caused by a food allergy or fad diet, get in the way of your personal health goals!

Next Steps in Understanding The Role of Micronutrients

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We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information on Micronutrients

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss