Skip to content

This study showed an association of eating lots of flavonoid rich foods (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, red wine, apples, pears, and citrus products) and lower rates of erectile dysfunction. A higher intake of several flavonoids also reduces diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. Keep in mind that erectile dysfunction is thought to be of vascular etiology (the cause) and so shares risk factors (such as hypertension, obesity, and smoking) with cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that lifestyle factors such as plenty of exercise, being of normal weight, and a Mediterranean style diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil was associated with both lower rates of erectile dysfunction and an improvement in erectile function in men. So don't focus just on the flavonoids, but on the whole lifestyle package. From Science Daily:

Blueberries, citrus fruits, red wine associated with reduced erectile dysfunction

Flavonoid-rich foods are associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction -- according to a new collaborative study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Harvard University. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that eating foods rich in certain flavonoids is associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men, with the greatest benefit in those under 70. Of all the different flavonoids, Anthocyanins (found in blueberries, cherries, blackberries, radishes and blackcurrant), flavanones and flavones (found in citrus fruits) were found to offer the greatest benefits in preventing the condition.

It is already known that increased exercise can improve erectile function, but this research shows that eating a flavonoid-rich diet is as good for erectile function as briskly walking for up to five hours a week. The study also showed that a higher total fruit intake was associated with a 14 per cent reduction in the risk of erectile dysfunction. And that a combination of consuming flavonoid-rich foods with exercise can reduce the risk by 21 per cent.

More than 50,000 middle aged men were included in this large population based study. They were asked about their ability to have and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse -- dating back to 1986. Data on dietary intake was also collected every four years.....More than one third of the men surveyed reported suffering new onset erectile dysfunction. But those who consumed a diet rich in anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones were less likely to suffer the condition.

Prof Cassidy said: "The top sources of anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones consumed in the US are strawberries, blueberries, red wine, apples, pears, and citrus products.""We also found that the benefits were strongest among younger men," she added. The team also looked at other lifestyle factors and found that men who consumed a high intake of anthocyanins and flavanones and who were also physically active had the lowest risk of erectile dysfunction.

Another excellent reason to exercise - for better erectile and sexual function in men! The researchers say that their research supports the idea that "that exercise might one day be prescribed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction".

And they're not talking about that much exercise: the highly active men in the study did a moderately intense activity such as brisk walking, cycling, or tennis at least an hour 3 to 4 times a week. Other research has suggested that erectile dysfunction can be reversed naturally by changing lifestyle factors see October 27, 2014 post Reversing Erectile Dysfunction Naturally). From Reuters:

Older men who exercise more have better erectile function

Men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function, suggests a small study of older overweight men. The authors say their results support the idea that exercise might one day be prescribed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Vidal and colleagues examined exercise habits and sexual function in 295 healthy men who were part of a research project evaluating prostate cancer risk at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina. On average, the men were about 62 years old, and they were all overweight or obese. Roughly one third had diabetes or a history of chest pain or heart attacks. About three quarters were current or former smokers. Ninety-three men, or about a third of the group, were African-American.

Men were scored based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours per week and placed in four categories ranging from sedentary, with three or fewer MET hours/week, to highly active, with at least 18 MET hours/week. Most often, the men were sedentary, with 44 percent reporting little activity. But a substantial proportion, 26 percent, were highly active.Researchers also questioned the men about their sexual function, focusing on their ability to get erections and have orgasms, as well as the quality and frequency of their erections...Added up, responses could lead to a total score from 0 to 100....Men who reported more frequent exercise also reported higher sexual function scores. Half of the highly active men reported sexual function scores of at least 70, compared with a median score of about 33 for sedentary men.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1NilZYI The Journal of Sexual Medicine, online March 20, 2015.

Another reason to improve your lifestyle.From Medical Daily:

Erectile dysfunction can be reversed without medication

Men suffering from sexual dysfunction can be successful at reversing their problem by focusing on lifestyle factors and not just relying on medication, according to research. Researchers have highlighted the incidence of erectile dysfunction and lack of sexual desire among Australian men aged 35-80 years. Over a five-year period, 31% of the 810 men involved in the study developed some form of erectile dysfunction. The major risk factors for this are typically physical conditions rather than psychological ones, such as being overweight or obese, a higher level of alcohol intake, having sleeping difficulties or obstructive sleep apnoea, and age.

"The good news is, our study also found that a large proportion of men were naturally overcoming erectile dysfunction issues. The remission rate of those with erectile dysfunction was 29%, which is very high. This shows that many of these factors affecting men are modifiable, offering them an opportunity to do something about their condition," Professor Wittert says.

"Erectile dysfunction can be a very serious issue because it's a marker of underlying cardiovascular disease, and it often occurs before heart conditions become apparent. Therefore, men should consider improving their weight and overall nutrition, exercise more, drink less alcohol and have a better night's sleep, as well as address risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

A question that some may have about the persistence of the virus on surfaces . From Medical Daily:

Sex Toys Can Show Traces Of HPV 24 Hours After Use, Have Increased Chance Of Spreading Virus, Despite Cleaning

Shared sex toys between two women and between women and men could have traces of the human papillomavirus even after they’ve been cleaned. According to a study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections,researchers from the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that women could be potentially putting their partners at risk...HPV is one of the most commonly sexually transmitted diseases, approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with the disease, and that number increases by 14 million each year.

The study focused on women between the ages of 18 and 29 who had been in sexual relationships with both a man and a women in the prior year. They gave each woman a cleaning product, one vibrator made of thermoplastic elastomer, and another made out of soft silicone. The participants were asked to swab the vibrations after vaginal use, immediately after cleaning, and 24 hours later.

The authors found that in 75 percent of vagina samples (9 out of 12), HPV was detected. In the nine vibrators from the HPV-positive women, 85 percent (8) of showed signs of the virus; after cleaning, 56 percent (5 of the 9) had traces of HPV. Twenty-four hours after cleaning the contaminated vibrators, 40 percent (2 out of the 5) of the swabs were still positive. They also found that silicone vibrators had a lower detection rate 24 hours after cleaning.