Caffeine may aid healthy blood flow and sexual function
Men, that daily cup of coffee might do more than just jump-start your morning. It may perk up your love life, too, says a new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
The study, which looked at data on more than 3,700 men tracked by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that men who consume extra caffeine every day had a lower risk of erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects more than 18 percent of men in this country age 20 and older. (The exception: The effect didn’t hold for men with diabetes.)
“Even though we saw a reduction in the prevalence of erectile dysfunction with men who were obese, overweight and hypertensive, that was not true of men with diabetes,” said lead author David Lopez, assistant professor at UTHealth School of Public Health, in a release. “Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for erectile dysfunction, so this was not surprising.”
In the study, the men answered questionnaires asking them to recall their caffeine intake from the previous 24 hours. Those who consumed 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine each day were 42 percent less likely to report erectile dysfunction, and those who had 171 to 303 milligrams of daily caffeine were 39 percent less likely to report the condition.
Though the study didn’t prove cause-and effect, researchers suggest caffeine may help counter impotence because it relaxes arteries and muscles in the penis, improving blood flow and the ability to have an erection.
The amount of caffeine that appeared to reduce the risk of impotence was equal to two to three cups of coffee a day. For the purposes of the study, caffeine sources included coffee, tea, soda and sports drinks.