Issues around your sexual organs aren’t always the easiest things to discuss. And if you have Peyronie’s disease, difficulty having an erection or the pain accompanying it may be wearing you thin. When scar tissue develops in your penis, it causes plaques or fibrous lumps inside. Over time, this causes the penis to curve abnormally and leads to symptoms you may be familiar with – painful erections, difficulty having an erection, or lumps on the penis.
While the exact cause of this condition is unknown, an injury to the penis, an autoimmune response, or an infection in the penis may lead to Peyronie’s disease. A genetic abnormality that affects the regulation of collagen, a protein present in your connective tissue, may also be a cause. Peyronie’s disease is usually seen in middle-aged or older men.
While the condition may resolve on its own in many cases, depending on your symptoms, your doctor may advise medication to reduce scarring or painkillers. In severe cases, surgery may also be recommended. However, some natural components present in common foods can help rein in the condition. Start by having foods rich in these substances – this is the simplest and safest route to fighting the condition. But do be aware that dietary intake may not always give you sufficient quantities of these compounds and you may have to explore supplements or extracts.1 2 If you are opting for a supplement, be sure to clear it with your doctor.
1. Drink Gotu Kola Tea
Gotu kola is a herb that has been traditionally used in Asian countries to treat conditions ranging from psoriasis to sexual issues. It is also often used to treat issues linked to the development of fibrous tissues and may, therefore, help you deal with Peyronie’s disease.3 4 This herb is available as tinctures and capsules. You can also brew a tea from the dried leaves and have this thrice a day. However, before using it, check with your doctor to see if any medication that you’re on will interact with this herb. Long-term use (over 6 weeks) must also be cleared with your doctor. Gotu kola may harm your liver and has been linked to tumors in mice so people with liver conditions or cancerous or precancerous skin lesions should not take it.5 Herbalists also often recommend an ointment containing gotu kola and vitamin E for topical application.
2. Have Bromelain Found In Pineapples
Bromelain is a mix of enzymes present in pineapple which help in the digestion of protein. It is thought to stimulate collagenase, the enzymes responsible for breaking down collagen. Taking bromelain may reverse or slow down the build-up of tissue you’ll find in Peyronie’s disease.6 Taking 80–320 mg of bromelain twice or thrice a day should help and is considered safe. But, usually, bromelain is not advised for more than 8–10 days at a time. Make sure you discuss appropriate dosage with your doctor. Bromelain can also cause mild side effects like diarrhea and nausea. Since it can increase the chances of bleeding during surgery you should not have it for a period of at least 2 weeks before a procedure.7
3. Have Carnitine-Rich Foods Such As Milk, Meat, And Fish
Carnitine is a substance derived from a protein that’s present in almost all your body cells. One study found that people with Peyronie’s disease who took 1 g of acetyl-L-carnitine, a form of carnitine, twice a day for 3 months experienced significant relief. It was found to reduce penile curvature and plaque size significantly. Carnitine was found to be more effective than the drug Tamoxifen at reducing pain and stopping the progression of the disease.
You can get carnitine from foods like milk, poultry, fish, and meat. If you’re considering a supplement, know that doses of 3 g or over in a day can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. It may also lead to seizures in people with seizure disorders and muscle weakness in people with uremia. It’s imperative to have a doctor fix your dosage.8 9
4. Have L-arginine Found In Poultry, Red Meat, And Dairy Products
L-arginine is an amino acid that’s required by your body to make proteins and it’s obtained from the food you eat. And this amino acid may be beneficial for people with Peyronie’s disease. So how does it work? L-arginine is converted into nitric oxide in your body and this chemical may be important in reducing the formation of plaque. Research indicates that inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase, which is an enzyme that plays a role in the formation of nitric oxide, can exacerbate the scarring of connective tissue by increasing the synthesis of collagen. One study even found that when L-arginine was administered for 45 days in the drinking water of rats who had been induced with plaque such as is found in Peyronie’s disease, it reduced plaque size by 80–95%. This amino acid is present in poultry, red meat, dairy products, and fish.10 11
5. Have Tuna, Whole Grains, And Liver For Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Like carnitine, coenzyme Q10 is a substance that’s present in almost all your body cells. It’s a potent antioxidant that helps transform food into energy and it may be helpful for people with Peyronie’s disease. One study supplemented people with Peyronie’s disease with 300 mg of CoQ10 daily for 24 weeks. It was found that this improved erectile function significantly and reduced plaque size and penile curvature. It was also found to prevent the progression of the disease. You can get CoQ10 through oily fish such as tuna and salmon as well as whole grains and liver. Supplements are also available.12 13
6. Explore Vitamin E And Plant Extract Colchicine
Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant and it has been suggested that this helps it prevent plaque from forming in people with Peyronie’s disease. Around 100 mg of vitamin E, thrice a day for four months is thought to be beneficial.14 But there are no studies that confirm this. However, vitamin E taken in combination with a compound known as colchicine has been found to be effective at tackling Peyronie’s disease. This combination was found to reduce plaque size and penile curvature as well as pain in a study. But this remedy should not be used without a doctor’s supervision. Colchicine is a strong alkaloid that naturally occurs in Colchicum haussknechtii, the plant commonly known as autumn crocus. However, it is extremely toxic and should not be used without a prescription.15 16 17
|↑1||Peyronie’s Disease.University of Michigan.|
|↑2||Peyronie’s disease. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|↑3||Trachtenberg, Karen. “Peyronie’s Disease.”|
|↑4||Munoz, MD George E., ed. Integrative Men’s Health. Oxford University Press, 2014.|
|↑5||Gotu kola. University of Maryland.|
|↑6||Dighe, Nachiket S., Shashikant R. Pattan, Abhijit N. Merekar, Ravindra B. Laware, Sanjay B. Bhawar, Sunil N. Nirmal, and D. S. Musmade. “Bromelain A Wonder Supplement: A Review.” Pharmacologyonline 1, no. 2 (2010): 11-18.|
|↑7||Bromelain. University of Maryland.|
|↑8||Biagiotti, G., and G. Cavallini. “Acetyl‐l‐carnitine vs tamoxifen in the oral therapy of Peyronie’s disease: a preliminary report.” BJU international 88, no. 1 (2001): 63-67.|
|↑9||Carnitine. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑10||L-Arginine. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑11||Valente, Eliane GA, Dolores Vernet, Monica G. Ferrini, Ansha Qian, Jacob Rajfer, and Nestor F. Gonzalez-Cadavid. “L-arginine and phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors counteract fibrosis in the Peyronie’s fibrotic plaque and related fibroblast cultures.” Nitric Oxide 9, no. 4 (2003): 229-244.|
|↑12||Coenzyme Q10. University of Maryland.|
|↑13||Safarinejad, M. R. “Safety and efficacy of coenzyme Q10 supplementation in early chronic Peyronie’s disease: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study.” International journal of impotence research 22, no. 5 (2010): 298-309.|
|↑14||Fitkin, James, and George T. Ho. “Peyronie’s disease: current management.” American family physician 60 (1999): 549-557.|
|↑15||Prieto Castro, R. M., M. E. Leva Vallejo, J. C. Regueiro Lopez, F. J. Anglada Curado, J. Alvarez Kindelan, and M. J. Requena Tapia. “Combined treatment with vitamin E and colchicine in the early stages of Peyronie’s disease.” BJU international 91, no. 6 (2003): 522-524.|
|↑16||Khodadoust, Saeid, Hossain Sadeghi, Arezou Amiri Pebdani, Jamshid Mohammadi, and Amin Salehi. “Optimization of ultrasound-assisted extraction of colchicine compound from Colchicum haussknechtii by using response surface methodology.” Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences 16, no. 2 (2017): 163-170.|
|↑17||Colchicine. National Institutes of Health.|