Dietetic Treatment Of Impotence As Well As Of Sexual Apathy And Sterility
( Originally Published 1913 )
Although we can, as has already been stated, with considerable certainty stimulate and increase sexual activity by means of a diet rich in phosphorus and iron, this does not by any means imply that we can thereby turn an impotent individual into a very potent one, any more than we can make a sensible person out of a stupid individual by merely administering plenty of phosphorus. The matter is not quite so simple as all that. We are able, to be sure, to furnish the necessary material for the functioning of the brain and sexual organs in the shape of nutrient salts, but the proper assimilation and utilization of this material depends upon the activity of the thyroid and sexual glands, and possibly also upon the hypophysis.
The last-named organ also stands in intimate relation with the sexual glands, just as does the thyroid. If the thyroid is degenerated, the sexual organs will also undergo degenerative changes, and vice versa. The functions of these organs go hand in hand, and we can therefore, by increasing the sexual activity, also improve the intellectual capacity, which is greatly influenced by the condition of the thyroid and the sexual glands. In our work on "Old Age Deferred" we gave details to illustrate how frequently gifted and brilliant men have been sexually inclined. When the thyroid gland or the sexual glands are degenerated, not much can be accomplished by food alone ; we must also give the required organic preparation in addition, and with this, according to my experience, in cases of testicular insufficiency or when alterations not too pronounced have occurred, very good results may be obtained, even in individuals of advanced age. The case of a youth who was suffering from testicular insufficiency and presented the appearance of a eunuch has already been referred to. When we are treating persons in whom the thyroid and sexual glands are in such a condition that they may still be enabled to carry out their functions—in many old men the testicles are in a pretty fair condition—we give the diet especially adapted, i.e., fish, meat, eggs, caviar, certain vegetables, fruits, etc. This simply results in increased sexual desire, but it is a far step to a complete restoration of potency. The potency of a man does not really depend upon the degree, more or less pronounced, of his sexual impulse, which is certainly an allwise dispensation of the Creator, for if the libidinous men were also the most potent the human race would surely be threatened with extinction. The production of semen may be furthered by a rich and properly adapted diet, in case it is not present in sufficient quantity in advanced age or after some debilitating disease, or when the sexual impulse is impaired. The accomplishment of the act itself depends, however, upon the condition of the organ involved, which may have undergone certain changes owing to diseases such as chronic gonorrhea, prostatitis, varicocele, etc. These factors have then to be removed. It also depends upon the circulation ; there must be a sufficiently high blood-pressure so that sufficient blood will be carried to the member to enable erection to take place. When too much alcohol is taken at a time the blood-pressure is diminished and erection cannot occur. The state of the nervous system is of primary importance. When too much meat is taken daily, and when a person is very nervous, potency may be impaired from the fact that ejaculation occurs much too soon; there is then a condition of irritable impotency, with which are usually associated augmented sexual tendencies. In such cases the ingestion of meat must be restricted; it would be preferable to adhere for a time to the milk-egg-vegetable diet. Men much underfed are sometimes the most capable in regard to sexual requirements, inasmuch as the act is properly carried out by them, although they really have less sexual desire. Insufficient nourishment does, to be sure, act as a hindrance, because owing to insufficiency of blood no proper erection can take place. These facts prove that overnutrition may occasionally prove injurious; under such conditions a diet rich in phosphorus and sometimes also in iron is required; in fact, I have frequently obtained very good results with such a diet in treating impotent patients.
Such a diet—rich in phosphorus and iron—is also very necessary in sexual apathy in women. In combination with thyroid gland and ovarian extracts, and particularly with the aid of the customary mud baths at Carlsbad, Franzensbad, and Marienbad, very good results are obtained not only in sexual apathy, but also in sterility in women, when this is not due to anatomical alterations in the uterus or ovaries. The best results are obtained in cases where no apparent anatomical changes exist, e.g., those in which there is simply an enfeeblement of the ovaries—ovarian insufficiency—as so often occurs in chlorosis. Numerous experiments made upon animals have afforded clear evidence of the influence exerted by food upon their reproductive power, as well as their offspring.