Drink Up, Guys: Caffeine Might Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

Photo (cc) by torbakhopper

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but a couple of cups of coffee could keep erectile dysfunction at bay, new research shows.

The study, published in the scientific journal Plos One, was based on data from more than 3,700 U.S. men who were at least 20 years old and whose average age was 49.

It revealed that, compared to men who drink fewer than 8 milligrams of caffeine per day, men who drink 8 to 84 milligrams of caffeine were 33 percent less likely to report erectile dysfunction.

An 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee typically contains anywhere from 75 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

The numbers were even better for men who drank 85 to 170 milligrams. They were 42 percent less likely to report erectile dysfunction.

However, more is not necessarily better. Men who drank 171 to 303 milligrams of caffeine were 39 percent less likely to report erectile dysfunction, and that dipped to 31 percent for men who drank 305 to 700 milligrams.

The results were even better for men with high blood pressure (up to 53 percent less likely) and men who are overweight or obese (up to 49 percent less likely).

Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, tells HealthDay:

These findings also support the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee position that drinking three to five cups a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two conditions that are well established as significant risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

The study authors note caffeine might help with erectile dysfunction by triggering effects that lead to increased blood flow in the penis.

In the U.S., about 18 percent of men who are at least 20 years old have erectile dysfunction, according to the study, and the odds get worse with age:

Among older men, these numbers significantly increase, affecting their overall quality of life: At age 40, approximately 44 percent are affected and this number increases to nearly 70 percent by age of 70. The economic burden of ED is unclear, yet studies have shown that the cost of treatment could reach $15 billion if all men seek treatment.

The men studied got their caffeine from coffee, soda, tea, and energy and sport drinks.

If you get your caffeine fix from soda, you might want to check out “What’s Really In Your Soda?

If you drink coffee, just keep your coffee machine clean. As we explained in “Is Your Coffee Hiding a Deadly Secret,” the machines may harbor bacteria that can make you sick.

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